A New Era: reflections on the summer, a new exhibition and the start of MA Curating and Collections

David Garnett preparing objects from the ILEA/Camberwell Collections for the 'A Good Design?' exhibition

collections manager David Garnett preparing objects from the ILEA/Camberwell Collections for the new CHELSEA space exhibition ‘A Good Design?’

Instead of a quiet summer the period following the exhibition Markets featuring Charlotte Prodger and The Block was extremely busy and very productive.

installation view of Icons of Process Carlyle Reedy at Flat-Time House

installation view of ‘Icons of Process Carlyle Reedy’ curated by Karen Di Franco at Flat Time House. photo: Joe Plommer

Curator/Archivist, and CHELSEA space Programme Co-ordinator, Karen Di Franco curated the excellent Icons of Process Carlyle Reedy at Flat Time House.

installation view of 'Icons of Process Carlyle Reedy' curated by Karen Di Franco at Flat Time House. photo: Joe Plommer

installation view of ‘Icons of Process Carlyle Reedy’ curated by Karen Di Franco at Flat Time House. photo: Joe Plommer

This well researched exhibition was a rare opportunity to see a range of works by the American-born poet/performer/painter/collagist Carlyle Reedy (b.1938)  who was a member of the Artist Placement Group and an active participant in the 1960s British avant-garde.

detail of archives and ephemera from the Carlyle Reedy exhibition curated by Karen Di Franco at Flat Time House

detail from the Carlyle Reedy exhibition curated by Karen Di Franco at Flat Time House. Photo: Joe Plommer

The show included text and image-based works, photo documentation of performances, collages and films, as well as archives and ephemera, presenting an intriguing curatorial narrative around the life and work of this extraordinary artist. The exhibition was also accompanied by an illustrated publication including an interview between Carlyle Reedy, Guy Brett, and Karen Di Franco.

detail of Sinead Bligh's sound installation at Balfron Tower

detail of Sinead Bligh’s sound installation at Balfron Tower

Meanwhile in London’s East End, artist and CHELSEA space Research Fellow Sinéad Bligh was preparing new sound works as part of an installation in collaboration with Alan McFetridge, James Lander and those who wish to remain anonymous in two vacated flats in Ernö Goldfinger’s iconic 1960s high rise building, Balfron Tower.

detail of Sinead Bligh's sound installation at Balfron Tower

Sinead Bligh’s ‘Epistemological  Maquette’ at Balfron Tower

Sinead Bligh’s soundscapes were part of Bow Arts Trust’s Balfron Season and can be found along with her other audio works on the Sound Cloud

Henry Moore in the maquette studio 1976. photo: Gemma Levine

Henry Moore in the maquette studio 1976. photo: Gemma Levine

In 2009, Ann Harezlak assisted Teresa Gleadowe on the CHELSEA space exhibition Dematerialised: Jack Wendler Gallery 1971-1974. Ann is currently Assistant Director at Sonce Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles and recently curated  Arrive and likewise Depart, an exhibition examining perceptions of sculpture through documentation. Amongst the artists in this group show was Gemma Levine whose  archive, held at Tate, includes over four thousand photographs highlighting her collaboration with Henry Moore. Ann Harezlak worked on Levine’s Henry Moore archive and will be in the UK on 2nd December to participate in an ‘In Conversation’ with Gemma Levine at Tate Britain.

Fred Pradeau from his exhibition Outside-In - Upside Down

Fred Pradeau from his exhibition Outside-In/Upside Down at Videochroniques, Marseilles.

Curators Lynton Talbot and Hana Noorali, who organized our 5th anniversary shows and events Should I Stay Or Should I Go with Elena Crippa, have curated a new exhibition with Laure Genillard entitled …and the stage darkens (or this voice is a big whale). This show includes Florian Roithmayr who showed with us in our 2007 exhibition Ice Trade and Fred Pradeau who showed with us twice in 2011, firstly in Aftermath: Objects from Projects, curated by Laure Genillard, and then in Ideal HomeFred currently also has a major exhibition at Videochroniques in Marseilles.  .…and the stage darkens (or this voice is a big whale) is at Laure Genillard London until November 22nd, other artists in the show include Ryan Gander, Haroon Mirza, Laure Prouvost, Franz Erhard Walther and Elaine Cameron-Weir.

installation views from 'A Good Design?' at CHELSEA space

installation views from ‘A Good Design?’ at CHELSEA space

Our latest exhibition A Good Design? Objects from the ILEA/Camberwell Collection traces the development of a project to cultivate design appreciation in school children.

Secondary School students examining a cabinet from the ILEA Design Appreciation scheme

Secondary School students examining a cabinet from the ILEA Design Appreciation scheme

Between 1951 and 1977  a series of exhibits, comprising of examples of ‘good design’ were circulated in London secondary  schools, presented in specially designed cabinets complete with informative texts and labels. The scheme was jointly conceived and implemented by the Council of Industrial Design and London education authorities with the idea of cultivating an interest in design, perhaps to inspire some students to become designers, and potentially to create the ‘consumers of tomorrow’. This optimistic educational project came in the wake of the Festival of Britain which was celebrated in our 2012 exhibition, Dome.

Maria Georgaki, Daisy McMullan and David Garnett

Maria Georgaki, Daisy McMullan and David Garnett at the private view for ‘A Good Design?’

For this exhibition we drew on the PhD research of Maria Georgaki who worked in consultation with our outgoing Research Fellow and curator, Daisy McMullan, Honorary Keeper of the Collection, Dr Linda Sandino, and the Collection’s manager, David Garnett.

cover for the 'A Good Design?' publication designed by Syd Shelton

cover for the ‘A Good Design?’ publication designed by Syd Shelton/Graphicsi

The exhibition publication for ‘A Good Design?’ was designed by Syd Shelton whose photography and graphic designs were featured in our exhibition about the Rock Against Racism movement, A Riot of Our Own. Syd’s photography was also shown in our exhibition Red White and Blue: Pop | Punk | Politics | Place and we are delighted that he has recently been featured in the Brighton Photo Biennal. All CHELSEA space publications including ‘A Good Design?’ are available from our E-Store

Students from the new MA Curating and Collections course with Course Director, David Dibosa, and CHELSEA space Director, Donald Smith

Students from Chelsea’s new MA Curating and Collections course in front of Henry Moore’s Two Part Reclining Figure 1959 with Course Director, David Dibosa, and CHELSEA space Director, Donald Smith

When the Inner London Education Authority (I.L.E.A.) was disbanded in 1990, the estimated 20,000 collected objects from the scheme were donated to Camberwell College of Arts and the collection became part of the Collections and Archives of University of the Arts London (UAL). This exhibition was deliberately timed to coincide with the start of the new MA Curating and Collections course at Chelsea College of Arts.

MA Curating and Collections students with Dr Joanna Melvin in the course collections study space

MA Curating and Collections students with Dr Joanna Melvin in the course collections study space

The Director of MA Curating and Collections is writer, curator and co-editor of Post Critical Museology, David Dibosa, and the course is co-written by CHELSEA space Director, Donald Smith, who will act as practitioner in residence and lead the ‘Exhibition Studio Workshop’, the curatorial practice element of the course.

Bob Cobbing reading 'Are Your Children Safe in the Sea' c.1966-1972.  Photograph: John Bennett

Bob Cobbing reading ‘Are Your Children Safe in the Sea’ c.1966-1972.
Photograph: John Bennett

Following our current exhibition,  CHELSEA space’s core programme continues with Bill Jubobe: Bob Cobbing which opens with a private view on 18th November. Running alongside the core programme will be a new series of displays organised by CHELSEA space in conjunction with the Exhibition Studio Workshop under the title ‘Work From The Collections’. These displays will offer an opportunity to show material from the CHELSEA space and Chelsea College of Arts collections and other works that complement or contrast with the themes of the core programme.

MA Curating and Collections students at the private view of 'A Good Design?' L-R: Cherie Silver, Roberta Vacca, Kyle Chung, Oxana Smirnova

MA Curating and Collections students at the private view of ‘A Good Design?’ L-R: Cherie Silver, Roberta Vacca, Kyle Chung, Oxana Smirnova