Synecdoche Art Communityis a Bristol-based network and support group of artists. The group meet regularly to discuss work, share ideas and create exhibitions in Bristol and beyond that showcase their diverse practices. Most of us are graduates of the Drawing and Applied Arts degree at the University of the West of England, UWE. We graduated between 2014 and 2017.
Synecdoche is constantly on the look out for new opportunities. If you have any enquiries, ideas or projects you think Synecdoche would be excited about please get in touch with us.
An image from Synecdoche's recent month-long residency, [dis]place, at The Vestibules, Bristol in September 2017. For more details, scroll down this page. 15 Synecdoche artists were in residence for 4 weeks from Monday to Friday in the two historic Vestibules at either end of City Hall, on College Green. This is the view of part of the Deanery Road Vestibule on Day 14, 22.9.17, showing a couple of Lou Baker's soft sculptures and Maura Zukina's allotment installation.
The image is part of Lou Baker's Displacement activities - Displacement activity 10: Shadows and light
'Led by concentrated interactions with materials yet concept driven, Synecdoche pushes the capabilities of a diverse range of media including paint, print, ceramics, metal, textiles and more. By investigating the boundaries of mark making, their intention is to blur the border between fine art and craft by creating intellectual connections between material, process and concept. This is what has brought them together as Synecdoche.'
I am one of the organisers of Synecdoche and this page showcases the exhibitions we have been involved in. Since 2014 we have set up several exhibitions and residencies in Bristol and one in London. We have also been involved in a rolling programme of exhibitions at Southmead Hospital, Bristol since 2016 with Fresh Arts, the hospital arts programme. We use two long walls opposite one another near Gate 24 in the main atrium of the Brunel building. Come and have a look if you're nearby!
Synecdoche's 'Opposing positions' exhibition at Gate 24 at Southmead Hospital, July 2017 - January 2018
featuring Lou Baker's hand knitted Part of me I
suspended above Gina Baum's porcelain skin series of sculptures
I have helped with every aspect of the planning, curation, setting up and running of all Synecdoche exhibitions and I have exhibited in most of them.
Have a look at my CV for a full list of my exhibitions, including my Other exhibitions and Align exhibitions.
*Please scroll down for details of all of Synecdoche's exhibitions.*
They're in chronological order with the most recent first.
Synecdoche + Southmead: Endings/Beginnings, with Fresh Arts at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, January – April 2018
‘For this exhibition, Synecdoche artists have been considering the theme, and the ideas around, ‘Endings and Beginnings.’ Perhaps consciously thinking about the beginning and end of a piece of work, or a development of ideas around these markers of time and space, relationships, events and even life. Enjoy!’
This exhibition features the work of Synecdoche artists Maura Zukina, Soraya Schofield, Helen Acklam, Scott Clarence, Frances Martin, Chris Watkins and Lou Baker. It was curated by Helen Acklam and Soraya Schofield. Once again I was involved in planning and setting up. Another member, Sandra James, also helped with the set up.
I was pleased to have 2 pieces of work selected – Fragments and Horizon.
Fragments far left, Horizon far right,
with two of Helen Acklam's Stains in between
and Sandy sorting out a frame during set up!
Fragments is a diptych of 2 screen prints on canvas. The image is inspired by the same photo cut outs that inspired Nobody 1. I made a photo montage book for my son for his 18th birthday, printing lots of photos, cutting him out of them and sticking him in the book. I was left with a rather disturbing pile of photos with him cut out of them… and, naturally, I kept them! Fragments is a selection of drawings from the 'frames' of the cut outs, what is left behind, memories of the backdrop of our lives. What is left behind when someone leaves?
Helen with Fragments and two of her Stains series.
These are marks made with histology dyes on muslin.
They are two identical images, framed in one frame, but the left one is printed in black and the right in a flesh tone. As I have explained, I am ambivalent about framing my work, but I think this fading from left to right works well and fits with the ideas around memory and loss.
Another view of my work, Fragments and Horizon alongside the other work on that wall,
with Sandy and I in the foreground sorting something else out on set up day!
My other piece, Horizon, is a lino print of an imaginary landscape, inspired by the view towards Dundry from Bristol. It was drawn as a stream of consciousness drawing; it was very satisfying to make different kinds of marks by gouging out the lino. The image is actually hung upside down as the curators preferred it like that!
My Horizon lino print at Synecdoche's Endings/beginnings exhibition
And here's a gallery of images from the set up day of Endings/Beginnings:
1. Helen, Sandy and Soraya packing up the old exhibition onto a trolley.
2. Soraya swapping the old work for the new in the hospital loading bay.
3. Decisions, decisions!
4. More decisions?
5. Helen locking my work, Fragments, into place.
6. Sandy replacing the fittings on one of the frames.
7. Soraya and Helen sorting out the shelves in the cabinet.
8. Is it straight?
9. Left to right: Soraya Schofield, Helen Acklam, Lou Baker, 2 x Helen Acklam, Lou Baker, Helen Acklam, Chris Watkins.
10. Close up of the cabinet featuring the work of Maura Zukina (the two top shelves) and Chris Watkins.
12. Left hand side of the long wall by Gate 24.
13. Right hand side of the long wall by Gate 24, featuring 3 works by Frances Martin (baby heads), a print by Soraya Schofield and a dyed muslin piece by Helen Acklam.
14. Shorter wall, l-r, Maura Zukina, Scott Clarence, Chris Watkins, 3 x Soraya Schofield.
15. & 16. General views of Endings/beginnings
17. Lou Baker, Horizon, lino print
18. Lou Baker, Fragments, diptych, screenprints on canvas
Synecdoche's [dis]place at The Vestibules, City Hall, Bristol, September 5th - 29th 2017
'dis: prefix - changing a term to the negative
place: noun - a particular position, point, or area in space; a location
verb - to put something somewhere
displace: verb - to move or put out of the usual or proper place
A group of artists from Synecdoche, a Bristol-based art community, will explore the ideas that these definitions evoke during their month-long residency at The Vestibules in September 2017. Displaced from their normal routines to make art in a public space, they are aiming to work differently, reacting to this new environment, bringing a range of practices and ideas that will hopefully change and evolve over time. The visitors may influence what happens, through interaction, conversation or by their very presence. There will always be something to see, to inspire and engage. Come with an open mind; every day will be different.
Can the experience of being displaced offer a fresh perspective, unexpected connections and a new understanding?
September 5th - 29th
Mon to Fri 11 - 3, Weds 11 - 7
Closing party Weds 27 4 - 7
We’ll be there at other times too. If the doors are open, please come in.'
The artists were: Maura Zukina, Chris Watkins, Clare Thatcher, Miranda Story, Soraya Schofield, Francis Martin, Rosie McLay, Ann Kelson, Alice Jennings, Veronia Gayle, Prerna Chandiramani, Gina Baum, Lou Baker, Margaret Anstee
A group of 14 Synecdoche artists spent 4 weeks in residence at The Vestibules, the two cavernous entrance halls at either end of City Hall on College Green in Bristol. We exhibited some of our work, developed ideas, collaborated, had many discussions together and engaged the public. Some people were there almost every day, some were only able to be there for a few days but we were all exploring ideas around what it means to be displaced. Each day was different as different artists worked together and sometimes we worked alone.
Some of the artists explored ways to respond to the spaces, some set up installations, some created participatory artworks and some did a series of collaborative drawings. Others stitched, drew, painted, collaged, sculpted or took photos. We all talked to the public.
For a snapshot of the residency, have a look at [dis]place finissage 2017, a video by Francis Martin.
Part of the Deanery Road Vestibule during [dis]place, Day 8, 14.9.17
showing Lou Baker's Safety net and Maura Zukina's allotment installation
I set up my participatory installation, Safety net, on the day we moved in. It’s a den-like walk in space made with garden netting, with an invitation to go inside, reflect on the term safety net and respond by writing a label and adding some torn cloth to the net. It was interesting to try it in a new environment. This time I used a couple of tall racks to make the den; once it was made I left it to weave its magic with the public.
Lou Baker's Safety net, Day 2, 6.9.17
For more information about this participatory installation visit my Installation and site responsive works page
I am a compulsive knitter. I had expected to spend any spare time during this residency knitting but unfortunately, probably as a direct result of this obsession, I have tendonitis in my left wrist so have had to stop, for a while at least.
Knitting is like breathing to me. I normally have some knitting with me and knit wherever I am - on buses, on the beach, in the park and in the pub. It has a meditative quality about it; it calms me and helps me focus. Also, as I generally knit large pieces, I need to knit whenever and wherever I can in order to get enough knitting done.
Without it, I am bereft.
So, for this residency I spent my time on what I’m calling my ‘displacement activities’:
• responding to the spaces by experimenting with a series of temporary installations and interventions
• writing down comments and conversations that I had with visitors and my reflections on that feedback
• documenting the residency by photographing the ways that the spaces changed with time
Have a look at my Displacement activity #12, projection, part ofa series of site responsive interventions.
Watch a video of me drawing as part of a collaboration with Maura Zukina and Clare Thatcher
Here is a selection of general images from the residency. For more details about the other work I did, please see Safety net and Displacement activity.
1.[dis]place poster, designed by Nicola Pearce, image: Lou Baker's Don't wash
your dirty laundry in public, Sept 2016
2. Day 1, Prerna Chandiramani
3. Day 2, Gina Baum, buttons, card and stitch
4. Day 2, Prerna Chandiramani, participatory installation with letters
5. Day 2, Lou Baker, Safety net, participatory installation; netting, cushions, labels, torn cloth, chair
6. Day 2, Margaret Anstee, acrylic paintings
7. Day 3, Miranda Story, sculpting with clay
8. Day 3, Maura Zukina, installation
9. Day 3, Chris Watkins, installation
10. Day 3, a visit from Marvyn Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, with Ann Kelson and Mike
11. Day 4, Lou Baker’s soft sculpture, Other 4, featuring Francis Martin
12. Day 6, Ann Kelson painting (‘How hard can it be?’)
13. Day 7, Veronia Gayle collaging
14. Day 8, Maura Zukina’s installation and Lou Baker’s Safety net
15. Day 8, visitor comments
16. Day 9, Rosie McLay reflected in one of her mirrored etchings
17. Day 9, post about [dis]place on the Artists’ Network website
18. Day 10, one of the labels written by a visitor to Lou Baker’s Safety net
19. Day 10, Maura Zukina, site responsive mark making
20. Day 11, Chris Watkins, fallen Plasticene sculptures
21. Day 11, Alice Jennings, ceramic and vinyl sculpture, drawing
22. Day 12, Chris Watkins, placing a Plasticene sculpture
23. Day 13, Lou Baker drawing round Soraya Schofield
24. Day 14, shadows and light at the Deanery Road Vestibule, Lou Baker’s soft sculptures and Maura Zukina’s installation
25. Day 15, Gina Baum, buttons, elastic, frame
26. Day 15, Clare Thatcher, Maura Zukina and Lou Baker, drawing collaboration
27. Day 16, Clare Thatcher with 3 collaborative drawings, one by Chris Watkins, Lou Baker and Clare Thatcher, two by Maura Zukina, Lou Baker and Clare Thatcher
28. Day 16, Lou Baker, soft sculptures; Clare Thatcher, drawing of soft sculptures
29. Day 17, Francis Martin, collaged installation
30. Day 17, Soraya Schofield, ‘Janus’, self-portrait, paint and installed objects
31. Day 18, Margaret Anstee, detail of collaged painting
32. Day 18, Lou Baker, Displacement activity #2, Mobile soft sculptures, hand knitting, meat hook
33. Day 19, shadows and light at the Deanery Road Vestibule, Maura Zukina, installation, Lou Baker, soft sculptures, Clare Thatcher, drawing
34. Day 20, Maura Zukina, performance, rug
Synecdoche + Southmead: Opposing positions, with Fresh Arts at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, July 2017 – January 2018
‘Playing with ideas of opposition, contrasting form, texture and colour, this exhibition explores a variety of themes, from the interior and exterior, to yin and yang, absence and presence, chaos and order, life and death, left and right and the private & public. Balance and contrast are part of our very being, it is what makes us human, how we live our lives and construct our societies. Here we look at the juxtaposing positions we encounter and create responses as a way of understanding.’
This exhibition features the work of Synecdoche artists Gina Baum, Maura Zukina, Soraya Schofield, Laura Waite, Veronia Gayle, Rosie McLay, Ann Kelson, Helen Acklam and Lou Baker. It was curated by Helen Acklam and Soraya Schofield. Once again I was involved in planning and setting up.
We were able to use the cabinet again so set up an installation of Gina Baum’s porcelain skin sculptures with my hand knitted and felted Part of me 1.
Part of me 1 installed at Opposing positions, Southmead hospital, July 2017
It’s the first time I’ve exhibited this smaller soft sculpture. It was suspended with strands of red wool and looked fabulous! It worked very well with Gina’s work too.
Part of me 1 installed with Gina Baum's porcelain skin series
Sadly though, there was a bit of a mix up and the cabinet was needed elsewhere after about a month so it was short lived. I’m sure Gina and I will exhibit together again at some point…
The cabinet looking cool at the Opposing positions exhibition at Southmead Hospital. Lou Baker's hand knitted and felted Parts of me I complements and contrasts well with Gina Baum's porcelain skin sculptures.
This exhibition was up for almost 6 months, for various reasons, which is longer than usual. In that time we sold a couple of pieces of work and had to replace them, so all in all it was rather a changeable exhibition!
Synecdoche + Southmead: Bodies, with Fresh Arts at Southmead Hospital Bristol, March - July 2017
Our bodies have fascinated humans throughout the ages. Doctors, philosophers, psychiatrists, clerics, scientists, artists and others have tried to understand them in their diversity; their outer form and inner workings, in sickness and in health, their strengths and vulnerabilities, youthfulness and aging, issues of identity, sex and sexuality, the troubled mind, body image, life and death….
This exhibition features work by Gina Baum, Prerna Chandiramani, Ann Kelson, Rosie McLay, Chris Watkins, Maura Zukina and Lou Baker. It was curated by Soraya Schofield and myself.
Four of my pieces were selected for this show. I’m rather ambivalent about framing my work generally, but was very pleased with all of these. I enlarged and printed two photos of me wearing my soft sculptures, Nobody 3 and Other 3, as part of an ongoing series of performances called Wearing the unwearable. I’m really pleased with them; they’re striking, thought provoking, humorous and offer an unusual take on ‘bodies’. They make me smile.
Nobody 3, Wearing the unwearable, framed photograph of performance still
at Bodies at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, 2017
Trying to photograph these framed pieces has made me realise that the reflections become part of the work.
Other 3, Wearing the unwearable, framed photograph of a performance still
at Bodies exhibition at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, 2017
I also had 2 mirrors framed especially for this exhibition, Body image I and II. I find them mesmerising. The images are obviously everchangng in this busy thoroughfare which makes them intriguing. They're also interesting conceptually, although possibly a little too quirky for the hospital setting?
Body image I at Synecdoche's Bodies exhibition at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, 2017
Here’s a video of Body image I in action.
And here's Body image II.....
This was the first time we were able to use a small glass lockable cabinet, which I feel made the exhibition more visually interesting; it’s quite hard to make 2 walls varied! We decided this time to fill it with Gina Baum’s Tools of my trade, a series of very fragile hand cast, hand painted porcelain speculums. It looked magical! Gina painstakingly suspended them with monofilament so that from a distance they looked like a flock of delicate, colourful birds in a cage….and unexpectedly, they moved spontaneously, which felt like a bonus. Close up it became clear what they actually were….
Synecdoche + Southmead: Creative Pathways, with Fresh Arts at Southmead Hospital, Bristol, December 2016 - February 2017
Three Synecdoche artists have independently been awarded the Somerset Art Works Creative Pathways Bursary over three successive years:
2014 Bursary Winner was Andrea Oke whose work examines behaviour and its links to concealed thoughts, feelings or memories.
2015 Bursary Winner was Sandra James whose abstract forms are influenced by human interaction and our response to the world around us
2016 Bursary Winner was Veronia Gayle who explores layering of shapes and colour to form coherent, compositional pieces.
This exhibition is a showcase of their work - drawing, print, paint and collage - and was curated by the artists.
Bodies: a group residency by Synecdoche, September 1st -28th 2016
Bodies was a month long residency in an empty shop in Broadmead, a busy shopping centre in Bristol. 12 Synecdoche artists set up a studio/testing/research space in The Unit, a temporary art space in The Arcade to explore ideas based around the body. New work was made, as well as old work being displayed. The space changed over the month as the work developed and as the group hosted collaborations, workshops, seminars and happenings. Different combinations of artists were in residence each day; no two days were the same.
It was open to the public for 4 days a week. It opened on Sunday 4th September 11-5, and was then open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays 10-4, and Sundays 11-5 until the 28th September and at various other times.
Artists: Helen Acklam, Lou Baker, Gina Baum, Scott Clarence, Alice Jennings, Ann Kelson, Rosie McLay, Nicola Pearce, Stan Read, Miranda Story, Laura Waite, Maura Zukina
‘Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public’ is part of the art work I produced during the residency. It’s based around a series of temporary installations of used clothing which took place between 1st and 30th September 2016 in the space. It took on a life of its own and became part social engagement, part performance but was also participatory, confessional, interactive, and highly conceptual.
Watch a video of me talking about 'Don't wash your dirty laundry in public'.
I also spent time installing some of my soft sculptures in different ways in the space.
For more information about the residency generally, visit the Bodies page on The Unit website
It was so hard to choose images to capture fully the essence of this experience, so I decided to choose just one image for each day I was in residence.
Day by day at Bodies:
1.Day 1, 1.9.16 Right hand window of The Unit, with Nobody I
2.Day 2, 2.9.16 Part of both windows, with All the babies I might have had II and Nobody I
3.Day 4, 4.9.16 Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public, members of the public rummaging through my pile of free second hand clothes
4.Day 6, 6.9.16 Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public, members of the public trying on some of the free clothes
5.Day 8, 8.9.16, Nobody I, installed in front of a wall of chalk outlines of our visitors
6.Day 9, 9.9.16, The first Open Study Group, run by Nicola Pearce as a collaborative art research session about bodies
7.Day 11, 11.9.16, Two visitors preparing to be drawn around
8.Day 15, 15.9.16, Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public, detail, an installation of used clothes inside body bags. The clothes are still free.
9.Day 16, 16.9.16, Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public, spot the visitor inside one of the body bags!
10. Day 17, 17.9.16, Heart of darkness, diptych, hand knitted wool, meat hooks, chains
11.Day 18, 18.9.16, Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public
12.Day 19, 19.9.16, A jar of hair I collected during the residency
13.Day 21, 21.9.16, Heart of darkness, diptych, hand knitted wool, meat hooks, chains
14.Day 22, 22.9.16, A visitor being drawn around, with Nobody I and All the babies I might have had II
15.Day 23, 23.9.16, Don’t wash your dirty laundry in public, one of the many performance installations
16.Day 24, 24.9.16, Tethering our thoughts, collaborative installation. We invited the public to participate, adding to the structure and inhabiting it
17.Day 25, 25.9.16, BODY PART-y
18.Day 27, 27.9.16, Tethering our thoughts
19.Day 28, 28.9.16, Front window, with Heart of darkness
20.Day 29, 29.9.16, Group evaluation of the Bodies residency
Synecdoche + Southmead: Windows to Elsewhere at Southmead Hospital, August 31st - November 30th 2016
Windows to Elsewhere aims to provide patients, visitors and staff with portals to places outside the hospital setting. Each artwork will provide a framed moment, hoping to transport them to another place for a while at least. This selection of ‘windows to elsewhere’ are drawn, painted, photographed, stitched or printed. We hope that these art works will provide opportunities to be still in a busy place; that they will draw the viewer into that other place.
Windows to Elsewhere was curated by Rosie McLay, Nicola Pearce and Laura Waite. I was involved in planning and the setup, although I didn’t exhibit any of my work. It features the work of Synecdoche artists Gina Baum, Prerna Chandiramani, Laura Waite, Rosie McLay, Maura Zukina, Lily Urbanska, Ste Boyle, Veronia Gayle, Kate Williamson, Nicola Pearce.
Synecdoche + Southmead: Drawing >Talking at Southmead Hospital, June 12th-Aug 31st 2016
Drawing > Talking (drawing is greater than talking)
“Drawing is simply taking a line for a walk” - Paul Klee
“I prefer drawing to talking” - Le Corbusier
“The first writing of the human being was drawing, not writing” - Marjane Satrapi
“I don’t draw” - Drawing and Applied Arts Graduate
Drawing > Talking celebrates the idea that drawing comes in many forms whether that be in graphite, stitch or print.
Drawing > Talking is the first in a series of rolling exhibitions by Synecdoche Art Community in the busy atrium of Southmead Hospital, Bristol, a local, general hospital. Working with Fresh Arts the North Bristol NHS Trust’s arts programme, we hope that Synecdoche’s exhibitions will interest, inspire and improve the wellbeing of patients, visitors and staff alike. The exhibitions are at Gate 24 in the Brunel building
This exhibition was curated by Rosie McLay, Nicola Pearce and Laura Waite. I was involved in planning and the set up. It features the work of Synecdoche artists Rosie McLay, Margaret Anstee, Soraya Schofield, Nicola Pearce, Prerna Chandiramani, Francis Martin, Lou Baker, Veronia Gayle and Chris Watkins.
Three of my framed, hand knitted and felt seascapes Imaginary landscapes I- III are part of this show.
Synecdoche at The Christmas Steps Gallery, Bristol, December 2014
Exhibition statement for Synecdoche's second exhibition:
'This December the Synecdoche Art Collective will host their next ambitious show at the Christmas Steps Gallery, Bristol. Following the success of their recent exhibition debut in London, the Bristol-based collective will set up a series of three consecutive exhibitions and a Christmas Shop, selling an eclectic selection of Synecdoche’s distinctive, playful and thought-provoking art work to suit every budget and taste.
Opening on Tuesday 2 December and running over four weeks, twenty four emerging artists will exhibit work which pushes the capabilities of a diverse range of media including: paint, print, ceramics, metal and textiles. The Synecdoche artists have all studied Drawing and Applied Arts at UWE, and challenge the perceptions of what it means to draw through extensive explorations with materials and processes. Their work blurs the boundaries between Fine Art and craft by creating intellectual connections between material, process and concept. The exhibition will reflect the name Synecdoche [si-nek-duh-kee]; each art work represents the whole, and the individual pieces would not exist without the influence of the collective.'
Read the Synecdoche interview with Gallery Spaces and the review by Golden Pulse
Exhibition statement for Synecdoche's first exhibition:
'Synecdoche, a Bristol-based artists’ collective, is presenting its debut exhibition at The Embassy Tea Gallery in London from Tuesday 8th July to Sunday 13th July 2014. Fifty emerging artists will exhibit their works, pushing the capabilities of a diverse range of media including paint, print, ceramics, metal, textiles and more. Through their explorations with materials and processes, Synecdoche challenges the perceptions of what it means to draw. Their intention is to blur the boundaries between fine art and craft by creating intellectual connections between material, process and concept. The show reflects the title; each part represents the whole and the individual artwork would not exist without the influence of the collective.'