FLUX Exhibition took place at UAL Chelsea College of Art and Design from 11th -15th April. Curated by Lisa Gray, the show gathered the work of 100 artists that presented their work in a variety of media. "Out of 700 applicants, we selected the best 100" commented Gray, whose intention with the show was to expose a range of artists at different stages of their careers. I was was pleased to see some familiar faces from the New Artist Fair who were at Flux for their second London art show, Lina Ogaily and Giacomo Bevanati.
Femi Temowo, from whose photo I cut one of my earliest Jazz musician portrait kindly dropped by to have a look at the large scale canvas of him that I made especially for FLUX. We had a chance to talk about the way the artwork was made and he took an interest in the process behind the work. That gave us a chance to have a conversation about how musical and artistic process overlap and parallels between making music and making artwork.
The standard of the work was high, with something for everyone that attended the exhibition. The Private View on the Wednesday night was buzzing, with many visitors appreciating not only the artwork, but also the appearances from drag artists such as Liquorice Black and Marnie Scarlett and some live wall-based work by Charlie Buster.
Just wanted to post a link on this blog, from an article in the Observer by Kate Hutchinson, chronicling the rise of the new generation of British Jazz. She writes:
"In the UK, a new and thrilling jazz movement has evolved. As with Lamar, Thundercat and Washington, it is born out of fresh experimentalism, is reaching far younger, more diverse audiences and doesn’t care for snootiness. Unlike in previous waves, these musicians are in their 20s and early 30s, come from diverse backgrounds and, as with grime, have created their own community outside of major labels and concert halls. Their music, meanwhile, pulls liberally from other genres, whether hip-hop, neo-soul, UK club sounds such as broken beat, or from the African and Caribbean diaspora. And it’s not just at gigs that you can hear it but, much like in the acid jazz days, nightclubs too." (read more here)
As someone who is photographing some of these artists and using them as subject matter for my Jazz portraits, it is exciting for me to see recognition of these talented performers in the more mainstream press. What I find most interesting about this wave of Jazz musicians is the sense of community, both online and locally, that knits this group together. It isn't only restricted to the musicians themselves- Jazz Re:Freshed have played a big role in continually promoting young bands and performers, most recently at SXSW in Texas. Tomorrow's Warriors, the pioneering music education organisation, nurtured and supported many of the players that are making headlines at the moment.
(all photos: copyright Tone)