BSR Visual Art alumni exhibit in Rome

As well as giving artists the time and space to explore their practice, our Visual Art residencies open up a fruitful dialogue and exchange with the Rome audience via our mostre and studio visits which showcase the work of our artists, and gallery visits which can open up opportunities for further projects and collaborations.

Some of our recent alumni have been drawn back to the Rome art scene, and this winter saw several former award-holders — including Rachel Adams (Sainsbury Scholar in Painting and Sculpture 2015-16), Jonathan Baldock (Abbey Fellow 2012-13), Damien Duffy (Arts Council of Northern Ireland Fellow 2015-16), and Joseph Griffiths (Australia Council Resident 2015-16) — return to Rome to pursue further residencies and collaborations with Roman and international artists and galleries.

Damien Duffy spent six months at the BSR earlier this year as Arts Council of Northern Ireland Fellow. We were delighted to see him return to Rome in October, this time to spend a month in the city as FPA Fellow at the Fondazione per l’Arte, a highly competitive Fellowship that he held alongside Polish artist Bartosz Beda and Italian artist Danilo Correale (both based in the USA). Damien explains:

‘The FPA Fellowship was conducted in studios in Via del Mandrione, an area that has tremendous archaeological significance, being the route of the Felice Aqueduct, as well as having great historical value.

Its marginal status between railway lines and aqueduct offers a place that is almost an urban island within Rome, and with a history of marginality that — along with its post-war shanty town built under the arches of the aqueduct — attracted the figures of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alberto Moravia.


An ‘open studio’ with Damien at the BSR earlier this year. Photo by Antonio Palmieri.

Works I made there continued themes developed at the BSR earlier in 2016. New works deployed the squeegee labour of car-washers often seen at the traffic lights in Rome’s streets.

Developing from adaptations of Twombly’s works, I considered the issue of migration, leading to a new body of work Screenwash deploying the labour-authorship of those working within marginal economies (see below).damienduffy-1damienduffy-2

In addition a work developed around the disappearance at sea of the artist Bas Jan Ader is currently on show as part of the exhibition About: blank with fellow alumni Rachel Adams (Sainsbury Scholar in Painting and Sculpture 2015-16) and Joseph Griffiths (Australia Council Resident 2015-16). The show runs until 8 January’.

Closer to home — that is, just across the Villa Borghese park at the Villa Medici, home of the French Academy in Rome — Joseph Griffiths (Australia Council Resident 2015-16) was invited to participate in Art Club #9 — Bois D’Amour in the Villa Medici’s I Giovedì alla Villa series, curated by Pier Paolo Pancotto. Below are some installation shots of his installation Communicating Vessels in situ at the Villa Medici. The work expands upon his series Fountains first shown here at the BSR at June Mostra earlier this year.


Communicating Vessels 2016, water collected from Roman fountains, PVC, silicone, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.


Communicating Vessels 2016, water collected from Roman fountains, PVC, silicone, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist.

Back in the UK Jonathan Baldock (Abbey Fellow 2012-13) is currently showing alongside Emma Hart whom we were delighted to host for an artist’s talk here at the BSR back in November. Their show Love Life, an exhibition in three acts — which will also tour to The Grundy, Blackpool, and the De La Warr, Bexhill  — ‘re-imagine[s] the traditional seaside show Punch and Judy, transforming the puppet booth living quarters of the pair into an oversized, warped and darkly humorous place’. The exhibition runs until 28 January at Peer Gallery (see below – photo courtesy of Jonathan Baldock).


Here in Rome however, Jonathan is participating in a group show at Fondazione Memmo. Some of our readers may recall Fondazione Memmo’s exhibition Conversation Piece I which took place in 2014 and showcased work by BSR alumni Rowena Harris (Sainsbury Scholar in Painting and Sculpture 2014-15) and Eddie Peake (Abbey Scholar 2008-9). The third instalment, Conversation Piece III, opened in December with work by Jonathan and other international artists, and runs until 2 April.

Natalie Arrowsmith (Communications Manager)