An AirSpace Gallery Residency by Natasha Rees
could be a campaigner, a defender, a promoter, a supporter, a champion, a pleader, a proposer, a spokesperson.
Former industrial cities such as Stoke-on-Trent, which are seeking a place in a post-industrial world, need people to shout for them. Similarly the arts sector, which despite being a net contributor to the economy of the UK and to cities such as Stoke-on-Trent has seen a series of severe cuts since the financial crisis of 2008, needs supporters too
Over the course of two weeks, artist Natasha Rees
was resident in AirSpace Gallery exploring themes of advocacy.
In response to theme of the residency Natasha Rees has been developing a series of works that have been made in response to her 2 week stay in Stoke-On-Trent. From her initial proposal of posters and a moving image work, the work has taken form in a variety of media. Among these a hand printed poster with a short exhibition text written out by Rees 200 times; a set of architectural rubbings; a wall collage and some stencilled wall and floor pieces.
Of the posters, Rees has commented:
“I wanted to make something that marked my intense period in the space, something hand produced, in a way echoing the labour element of an industrial past that I feel very attached too. Each poster then becomes essentially a uniquely made thing, something that is duplicating the same idea but slightly differently each time. I like the idea that visitors to the space can keep something that links directly to my labour during the residency
Mechanisms of order and repetition are something that have informed Rees’ work and the idea of repetition and difference, as an ‘on-going event’ forms the basis of an important artistic inquiry.
The revolving nature of subject matter within the news media, design, behaviour, technology, dance, etc. seem informed by an interior structure relating to need, natural history, ideology, language, ego and legacy – among other things...and in exploring these ‘sources’ in depth, rich areas of work and research open themselves up.
Natasha Rees graduated from Chelsea College of Art And Design with a Ba(Hons) in Fine Art Media. She has exhibited widely since, both in the UK and abroad, in solo and group shows. A particular interest for Rees is writing and publishing projects, and, in 2008 she founded a journal, [the] Evidence, that is thematically led and aims to record contemporaneous artistic, social and cultural tendencies. The next version is due for release in 2014.
The Advocate is the first in a series of 2 week Summer Residencies to be held at AirSpace Gallery over the next two years. They are designed as opportunities for artists to develop their practice and test new artworks and ideas, whilst always in response to the areas of concern of AirSpace Gallery.