Salon Contemporary is offering emerging, innovative and passionate artists out there a chance to display their work in the creative hub of Notting Hill!Artist of the Week’ is a new and exciting competition, with the opportunity for one selected artist each week to have their work featured on our website in the run up to our AoW Christmas Exhibition. The winning candidate will then be offered a residency in London’s West End! We’re calling on artists from all fields including the visual arts, performance, dance, film, theatre, animation and music!


The exhibiting artists 'Artist of the Week: The Exhibition' are:
Akleria * Alyona Larinova * Dragana Jurisic * Helen Gorill

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

This week's Winner 'Artist of the week' is Charlotte Billingham!

Congratulations Charlotte Billingham!

Final year BA Fine Art student from Loughborough School of the Arts.

Charlotte Billingham's current practice explores the relationships between individual elements within a given space, creating aesthetic dialogues using found objects.

'Locating ourselves in space... is achieved by relating ourselves to other objects in terms of relative distance'. (Benson 2001: 197) 


"A series of short, timed studio sessions help me to understand the objects, their properties and how they relate, before longer sessions allow me to develop my findings further and challenge the boundaries of the relational narratives achieved. Documentation of the sessions at every stage is necessary in order for me to assess the work in terms of its aesthetic value at a later stage. At present, studio work is quick, documentation is frequent and analysis is prolonged."

According to the artist,  reading has been an essential factor to grounding the context for this work. The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard has been of exceptional importance in changing the way the artist view's space and our movement through it, both in and out of the studio. Texts on defining 'place' and 'space' are also proving to be very thought-provoking. Daniel Buren and Brian O'Doherty have also been relevant texts on issues surrounding the notion of 'The White Cube' and the questioning of the gallery space as the place of consumption.

Practice-based influences are vast; Gedi Sibony's work which evokes aesthetics of Arte Povera has been very significant - the considered arrangement of the objects used in relation to their environment challenges the relationships with surrounding contexts. Further reference points include Martin Boyce, Peter Fischli & David Weiss and Felix Gonzalez-Torres amongst many.

To follow more works of Charlotte Billingham, take a look at her website: 

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Salon Contemporary Artist of the Week 2010: The Artists

An Interview with Shaun Stamp

If you could use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?


Your house is burning down - you have to save THREE things. What are they?
Depending if I was outside, I'd leave it all, but if inside, my tent,
laptop and coffee machine.

What was your number one highlight of your residency in Armenia?

In this case (I would say for me), it was the starting point on our
new project and the subjective conclusions towards the end, everything
else in between was experimenting and reaching towards tough decisions
through our dialogue, it changed in different environments.  When you
collaborate (especially for the first time with that person) using
different disciplines, this becomes the real test, it brought about
our last kinetic work that self-destructed.  When people came to our
show (Yerevan), over a period of our Kinetic installation slowly
destroyed, the work was intended to be ephemeral, but during the show
some people started running up to it, trying to save and reattach the
fallen pieces. This brought a new element that we didn’t perceive when
we had the idea, seeing this happening was extraordinary and gave us
new ideas for other participation projects, in the end we let viewers, students
and children intervene.  After the show we proposed to the (first
grade) students to deconstruct it, recycling the materials and to
reconstruct it into something new.

Name one thing you learnt about yourself whilst at your residency in
the Netherlands?

During my residence, I discovered the Dutch art/artist scene and
squatting scene, it has a strong network, which is looked at in a different
way to how the (I’m being general here) UK public sees it.  Since then
I've been look-out in London for a place to start...

What is your favourite colour?

For now, Blue

What do you like to read?
Without wanting to be too vague and difficult, books, (when at work)
audio books.

Are you superstitious?
I like to look on the edge of things. But ask me again in 5 years time.

Name one piece of art work you've seen recently that’s had a powerful
affect on you.  Why did you like it/dislike it and who was it by?
Right now the trouble maker Gustarv Metzger, his early works are
painting/drawing with acid and pioneer of auto-destruction, but
without giving away too much you should check out his current stuff.
But choosing ‘one’ is difficult because I recently saw a couple of
artists that really made me say… WOW!, when it comes to viewing their
work I take on a Neanderthal manner by simply just wanting to
experience the aesthetics, walking around there works.  Later, I
usually question there technique, like Alan Vegas' combination of
Music and Punk, Jean Tinguely MetaMatic machines, a series of
sculptures that play on the notion of physics, I questioned his use of
medium and motion,  his works are in a way, playfully kitsch and
nostalgic.  And Anish Kapoors temporary works in the Hyde park, while
as if not even trying, they seem to beam energy, they move like live
paintings…just stand in front of one. All three are very are
different, but all artists have played a major role in the
experimentation of my current work.

What is currently on your playlist?
All in all, some really good music and some really bad music.

Sweet or Savoury?

Which project of yours has been the biggest challenge...why?
Hard to say, every project seems to have its’ big challenges.

You favourite quote/motto that sums you up.
Recently I was in conversation with the very active Colombian artist,
professor and before that theatre and lawyer (and now mentor to me)
Danilo Duenas, he recently shared this quote by a Brazilian poet
before I set off for my artist-in-residence to (ex-soviet state)
Armenia; is the experimental exercise of reality. - Mario Pedrosa

Your number ONE gallery/location to display your work at.
The last location I eyed up was just on the Kings road in South Ken’,
it was to be my future residence (squat) but recently when I returned,
it had just begun demolishment (so if I find another place similar, a
large warehouse with no limits).

Monday, 22 November 2010

Artist of the Week winner - Shaun Stamp!

CONGRATULATIONS to Shaun Stamp!  This weeks 'AOW'.  Shauns work is refreshingly innovative, intreguing and playful!

'Deadlock' 2010

Drawing on the ambiguous, Shaun Stamp explores theoretical collisions within the mechanics of industry and evolution, he reflects on engineering and construction as the form and basis to create sculpture, kinetic, ephemeral/performance and installation.  In 2008, he was selected  for ‘The Best Artists This Week on’ and picked for ‘Vote! Your Favourite Artworks on’ (selected by and art critic Laura Mclean-Ferris, art critic for the Tate Modern).

'Cyclus of Reinvention Installation view of Eduring love' 2010

In 2007, Stamp redefined the definition for the traditional process 'Oil Painting' by applying the word to his Vascellum Project works. His (Vascullum) artworks use pre-used automotive oils and engineering oils that see 'Oil Paintings' evolve over time.  His oil paintings are a mix between the traditional sense and contemporary exploration in aesthetics that amalgamate forms of painting and sculpture.

'Tank' 2010

'Tank' 2010

In juxtaposition to this exploration and obsession with shaping the world, 'Tank' forms part of a wider inquiry into themes of probability and chance.

Untitled Performance, 2010

Shaun Stamp’s work examines the human desire to understand the world and search for answers to human existence and development.

A decisive measure for infinite possibilities, 2010

Born in Cardiff, Shaun has exhibited in numerous solo shows both nationally and internationally.  His works have been published in the Independant and The Korea Times National Newspaper. 

Monoseduction, 2010

This year Stamp has undergone a residency in Yerevan, Armenia and The City of Enschede, Netherlands.  The work he produced at his time in both cities sensitively and accurately responded to the surroundings and culture.

He received his education in Sculpture at the Cardiff School of Art and Design (2008). Since his graduation, he has created artworks that are outdoor/environment, site specific, guerilla and performance in South Korea (Untitled performance 2009 and Sirens, Deok Je-do Island 2009), Netherlands (Zuiderval Project : Untitled, A decisive measure for infinite possibilities) and Armenia (Where's Charlie 2010, Around 4:30, maybe 5:00 2010).

Saturday, 20 November 2010

An Interview with Helen Gorrill

Q:  What is your signature drink?   
A:  Easy: any red wine will do.

Q:  Can you reveal a secret about your hometown?  
A:  With pleasure, I can give you a few!  I live in an isolated rural community that isn’t the rural idyll it seems. It’s mono-cultural and ruled by the small-minded.   And people don’t talk to me much because I’m a single parent and they don’t like what I do with ink nor prosthetic limbs, and I’m not the asexual being you have to be in order to be accepted into such a community!

Q:  Where is your next travel destination?  
A:  I’m going to Paris with my boyfriend in November, via Erotica 2010 in London. 

Q:  What are your top 3 desserts?
A;  Nigella’s Pain au chocolate pudding (my speciality lol), sticky toffee pudding, and death by chocolate.

Q:  What’s most played in your music collection? 
Lily Allen. Mazzie Starr. Jazz.

Q:  What is your favourite song lyric and who is it by? 
A:  'When your halo slips for good,/ You’ll have to wear your hood'...(Iain Brown)

Q:  What’s your best memory from university?  
A:  Graduating (drawing degree) with the best peer group ever. And walking out of the ensuing degree (Fine Art) because I found it the opposite of what art’s meant to be about – it was way too restrictive and repressive at my particular university. Standing up for what I believed in was the best feeling ever.

Q:  Where’s your local ‘hang out’? 
A:  I live in the middle of nowhere and I’m barred from the only local pub (long story!).

Q:  What are your October 2010 highlights? 
A:  I’ve done quite a lot of magazine interviews recently and my work’s going to be featured in a couple of articles, which is great to see something on paper, I’m so grateful...Work-wise, I have lots of different projects on the go: I’ll be continuing to work on my ink ‘new generation dominatrix’ paintings, I’m also making another sculptural piece with the prosthetic limbs and using embroidery in lieu of paint on huge canvas panels.

Q:  Who do you think gets the worst deal, girls or guys, and why?  
A:  In theory, girls get the worst deal because we live in a society where biological differences reinforce patriarchy; and we’re also moulded by scripts for male power (looking at the bible and much of popular culture).  I think things have shifted slightly with the rise of ‘raunch culture’, but I still believe girls have to work harder for what they want (which actually isn’t necessarily a bad thing).

Q:  How do you make the most of your womanly powers of persuasion?
A:  Ha ha. Well my studio is filled with all sorts of scary-looking props for my dominatrix paintings.

Q: If you could only use one word to describe yourself what would it be?  
A:  Naughty!

Q:  Which magazines do you regularly read and why?  
A:  Elle, Harpers Bazaar and Elle Deco for style, Modern Painters for art, A-N for opportunities, Skin Two for inspiration and Viz because it’s genius.

An Interview with Dragana Jurisic

Q:  What is your signature drink? 
A:  Vodka straight 

Q:  Can you reveal a secret about your hometown?
A:   I left 10 years ago with the hope of forgetting all its secrets.

Q:  Where is your next travel destination? 
A:  At the moment it appears - Berlin.

Q:  What are your top 3 deserts
A:  Anything with berries.

Q:  What’s most played in your music collection? 
A:  My Morning Jacket, The Walkmen, Songs: Ohia, The Jayhawks   and The National are in the top five.

Q:  What is your favorite song lyric and who is it by? 
A:  "Good-bye lonely heart Jolene

you never did work anyhow
I'm looking for a nice girl
and I don't want no cow

by Daniel Johnston

Q:  If you could only use one word to describe yourself what would it be?
A:   Restless 

Q:  Which Magazines do you regularly read and why?
A:   Whatever I can grab a hold of. 

An Interview with Alyona Larionova

Q:  Where is your favourite place in the world?  Why?
A:   I don't have a favourite place in the word as such. Everywhere I go I find things that amaze me. Probably the place that most amazed me was Tokyo, Japan. It is a completely different planet!

Q:  What are your top three novels?
A:  Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, Tokyo Fiancee by Amelie Nothomb, The Drowned World by JG Ballard. 

Q:  What do you like to do on a Sunday?
A:  Nothing, maybe read or watch a good film, especially when it rains.

Q:  Who are your top three photographers?
A:  Sophie Calle, Andre Kertesz, Ryan McGinley

Q:  What is your favourite colour?
A:  Yellow

Q:  What is the best song you have ever heard?  Who is it by and what is the title?
A:  Sinatra, My way

Q: What is your favourite smell?
A:  Underground (Paris or Moscow), tulips and home.

Q:  How many siblings do you have?
A:  None. I am the only selfish child.

Q:  If you could use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?
A:  Yellow

Q:  What is your favourite drink?
A:  Sencha Tea and  Cream Soda.

An Interview with Akleriah

Q:  What is your signature drink?
A:our Akleriah special - pomegranate juice(double shot),  vodka(double shot), vanilla, gin(single shot), a splash of red wine(single shot), rose syrup,sprinkle of ground coffee, stir and serve in larger iced glasses.

Q:  Can you reveal a secret about your location?
A:  Akleriah is a philosophy that can't be rooted to any single location.

Q:  Where is your next travel destination?
A:  We are hoping to do an octagonal travelling performance London- Moskow-Berlin-Prague-Paris.

Q:  What are your top 3 films?
A:  In our current exploration for a performance it would be : The Savages, Orlando, Pleasantville.

Q:  What’s most played in your music collection?
A:  Our music ranges from classical to contemporary, experimental and anything in-between!

Q:  What is your favorite song lyric and who is it by?
A:  Lyrics and songs are like clothes - would you want to wear the same outfit every day of the year?

Q:  What's you best memory from University?
A:  When Akleriah was born after collaborating on a performance at London Zoo. After monkey training log was carried by Anna around the Zoo while Lenka was burning her paintbrush and dropping daffodils we took on a role of caged animals.

Q:  Where's your local 'hang out'?
A:  Southbank, at the moment, has the right mixture.

Q: Who would you most like to dress up as?
A:  A character that has never been seen before.

Q:  What makes a good performance
A:  Depth, laugh, sorrow, symbolism, cats, glitter, triangular relationships, souls, red wine, rituals.

Q:  If you could only use one word to describe yourself what would it be?
A:  Akleriah

Q:  Which Magazines do you regularly read and why?
A:  Akleriah - we telepathically Google it to each other because it's an honest reality.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

An interview with Hester Jones - AoW, November 15th

What's your favourite girls name?As I don't particularly have any favourite names I'll choose the names of two artists I really admire so.... Sophie (Calle), the French artist...I like this name for it's meaning also which is Wisdom.

What's your favourite boys name?and Sidney (Nolan), the Australian artist whose work I love

If you could use one word to describe yourself, what would it be?A dreamer

Do you prefer film or theatre?Film

Are you a good cook?  If yes, what is your best meal? If no, what's your worst cooking disaster?Not really! Luckily my Brazilian husband is a great cook though! My worst cooking disaster was cooking pasta when I lived in Italy for Italians, as they are quite particular about their pasta - it has to be exactly right!

What made you want to become an artist/photographer?As I come from a fine art background, both parents are artists I suppose it was my destiny, at the age of 5 minutes old my father took my first portrait (see image below), and my mother inspired me more than anyone else to be an artist... I started photography quite late at the age of 30 when my father gave me one of his cameras a Nikon F3 whilst I lived in Napoli Italy, which was a very inspiring place to take photographs, and he said to himself "she won't have a clue how to use this camera" I have since proved him wrong!

Favourite memory from your time at the University of Bologna.  What did you study?Bologna is a magical city, I loved walking below all the porticos which serve as great concrete umbrellas when it's raining. I studied the Erasmas Language programme, whilst also researching for my thesis on one of the most amazing authors ever Italo Calvino. I also studied Neo-realist cinema so I have fond memories of watching such films as The Bicycle Thieves.

What's been your most successful/exciting exhibition/project so far?I would say the most successful project so far has been my most recent one CALL YOURSELF A MOTHER, the maternal and mother/child relationship is a subject I personally find very interesting and am continuing to research for new work I am making. As part of my final MA project it is has definitely so far been the most challenging. I recently took part in an exhibition called 'Home Truths' at the Brighton Photo Fringe which was a very exciting venture to be part of.

A Baby Hester

Monday, 15 November 2010

Artist of the Week winner - Hester Jones!

Hester Jones graduated last year with an MA in Photography from London College of Communication, and has studied in the historical University of Bologna.  Jones won us over this week with her insightful, unique photography.  


Look Left Look Right
Open Your Mouth
"You do not have to be clever, and you do not even have to think if you do not want to" in order to be a “good enough” mother. D.W. Winnicott.

This series of portraits examines the ambivalent feelings and fantasies many mothers experience towards their children. The work unsettles idealized romantic portrayals of motherhood as found in Media and more traditional forms of representation.

Keep Still
Read It

Mothers often suppress these negative feelings, so they are not demonized by society.  They can feel persecutory guilt, frustration and maternal depression, striving to live up to the glorified cultural fantasy of maternal “at-oneness”. (Parker 1995)

Each photograph becomes a space for performance in which various mothers act out feelings and fantasies of ambivalence for the camera. Referencing the Madonna and Child in Western Art, the portraits are cropped to focus on the mother’s hand and breast, so the loving gaze of the mother is disrupted.  With this gaze removed from the viewer's inspection, the conventional portrait is overturned, and each woman’s expression is undetermined. The viewer is thus invited to question the mother’s true identity in today’s society. Since the subjects remain anonymous, they cannot be accused of being bad mothers.

Stand Up Straight
The dark background resonates with the dark thoughts and fantasies that emerge from the mother's mind, emphasized by the play between light and dark. The negative space acts as a balancing element, highlighting the action, tension and drama of the hands.

Jones' goal is to show a view of motherhood that is only seen behind closed doors. These are feelings that all mothers possess, but rarely publicly show.

'Duck Man Making Sense of West London' - A Performance by Alex Mazitelli

One of our first Artist of the Week winners Alex Mazitelli, performed a fantastic piece at Salon Contemporary today.  Dressed as a very strange, avant-garde looking 'Duck Man', Mazitelli began by standing outside the gallery asking passers by to donate money for eggs.  An hour later, collecting a whopping £6, the artist stopped by Sainsbury's (with an interesting response!!) and made his purchase.  

Mazitelli then proceeded to make egg paintings in the window of the gallery, handing his work out to an intrigued audience watching outside!

Alex will be performing again at Salon Contemporary next Monday 22nd, from 12 - 4pm.  He'll also be walking the streets of West London, providing an exclusive tour of the First Wednesday venues on Wednesday 1st December!  Artist of the Week opening night AND a CRAZY tour from Alex Mazitelli as Duck Man.