Arts & Heritage News
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Louise Giovanelli: Slow to Respond
- 21 November 2016
19 November 2016 - 4 March 2017.
Touchstones Rochdale’s Art Gallery continues to champion the work of women artists and emerging regional talent within the art world through their upcoming show of Louise Giovanelli: Slow to Respond.
After researching the permanent Fine Art Collection at Touchstones Rochdale Louise Giovanelli has produced a series of new paintings that re-imagine and re-configure existing works within it, casting them in a different light and suggesting new narratives.
Often site responsive, Louise Giovanelli’s practice embodies an affection for aspects of older paintings seen during museum visits. The starting point for many of her own paintings is a pre-existing historical feature or detail, an interesting element or peculiarity within these older works, which becomes the catalyst for re-appraisal. There is a sense of re-focusing and of re-framing with her painting functioning like a camera, drawing attention to details that would otherwise be left overlooked, unexplored, or dismissed.
Speaking about the show Louise Giovanelli explains: “I am delighted to have been invited to spend time engaging with the collection at Touchstones Rochdale Art Gallery. My practice explores alternative ways of looking and perceiving within the infinitely rich tradition of painting. Undertaking this project, therefore, has enabled me to develop and build upon these pre-existing processes.
One particular painting Going to a Party by John Callcott Horsley functioned as the source material for my piece Watcher. The girl centrally positioned is foregrounded as the figure of most importance - the other figures all direct their gaze at her while she in turn looks at herself. It was, however, the distant expression of the left figure that struck me as the most compelling aspect of the composition.
My response was to isolate, edit, repeat and reverse the figure on the left from its context, to allow for a more intense scrutiny of her curious, somewhat disapproving gaze.
The two ‘heads’ within Watcher retain their directional gaze, but their eyes now fall on an abstract red painting. They enter into a dialogue with this painting – a reference to the sequence of reds within the Horsley piece. These works present the act of looking and of re-searching, hinting to the process inherent within the project itself.”
Mark Doyle, Curator & Collections Manager at Touchstones Rochdale, states: “We were delighted to be able to give Louise the opportunity to make important new work in response to our collection. She is a rising star of the regional art scene and this project signals the beginning of an ongoing programme of support for some of the amazing talent we have here in the North of England to realise their ambitions.”
To research the art collection at Touchstones Rochdale, artist Louise Giovanelli utilised the online artuk.org website which showcases all oil paintings currently held in UK public art collections, including those at Touchstones Rochdale Art Gallery. The Art UK website enabled Giovanelli to access and select paintings allowing her to further explore and develop her practice. It is through the partnership with Art UK and the exhibition ‘Slow to Respond’ that visitors can gain and extra insight into Giovanelli’s practice through a new online article being published as well being able to see historic artworks next to those inspiring contemporary practice, via a QR code link and in gallery interpretation. Further details can be viewed at Art UK.
Talk & Book Launch
To coincide with her exhibition, Louise Giovanelli will discuss the processes and themes in her work with Charlotte Keenan (Curator of British Art at National Museums Liverpool). The talk on Saturday 25 February 2017 from 2pm-4pm, will also see the launch of a new publication focusing on Giovanelli’s work. The publication is the first to be produced on the artist and brings together documentation of three solo exhibitions undertaken in 2016 and 2017 at Grundy Art Gallery (Blackpool), The International 3 (Salford) and Touchstones Rochdale. Bookings can be made through Eventbrite
Touchstones Rochdale is an award winning Arts & Heritage Centre with an art gallery, museum and Local History Centre. It has a regular programme of contemporary visual arts exhibitions. Visit: www.link4life.org/touchstones
Address: The Esplanade, Rochdale OL16 1AQ
Admission FREE. Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.