Our round-up of the best art shows and events heading in Singapore in March 2014.
Walking around Wessex
Artists in Wessex Estate throw open their studio doors each year for ArtWalk@Wessex. This collection of historic 1940s black-and-white houses and walk-up apartments in leafy Portsdown Road is where many local and international artists now live and work.
ArtWalk@Wessex a unique opportunity to visit 14 studios and meet artists working in a variety of media including painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and ceramics. Plus, it’s a chance to buy directly from the artists and find out about their motivations and techniques.
The walk is free and self-guided; maps are available at every studio. Recommended starting points are Block 28, Woking Road, #03-05, and Block 2, Whitchurch Road, #02-03. Parking available. 29 and 30 March, 11am to 7pm. Check Facebook ArtWalk@Wessex for more details.
Consume at the NUS Arts Festival
The ninth National University of Singapore Arts Festival is a smorgasbord of 28 feature works from theatre, film, music and the visual arts, all offering food for thought about what we consume and what consumes us. Performed by Singaporean and international artists, as well as student talent, the festival will be held over three weekends from 14 to 29 March.
Five minutes with … Clare Haxby
My trademark style is a mixed media approach that combines printmaking techniques with painting. My current painting series is a contemporary take on Singapore called “Singapore Landmarks”; it was launched at The Fullerton Hotel last year.
I’m lucky to have been living in a black-and-white house on Malcolm Road for the past two years, with a separate building in the garden that I use as my studio. It’s full of natural light and is an independent space where I’m free to make a mess and close the door at the end of the day. This space has also allowed me to paint larger-scale works up of two metres or more.
I’ve been an artist all my life. I have always painted and exhibited, I’ve designed textiles, and I was a specialist creative makeup artist and body-painter for film and fashion in London for a few years. I worked on pop videos and with celebrity hairdressers and had my own business designing textiles and selling to companies like Liberty’s of London, Tangs of Singapore and Isetan Japan.
I have a toddler, so I’m an early riser, and the first part of the day is my most creative time. My absolute favourite track at the moment is Will.I.Am’s “Smile Mona Lisa”, and also I love listening to music by Bach or Mozart when I’m painting.
In Singapore, I enjoy visiting Ode to Art Gallery as it represents a cross-section of artists with individual styles; I also like to pop into Singapore Tyler Print Institute to see the work of contemporary printmakers. Internationally, I have taken my children twice to the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris as I love the paintings of Matisse there. My favourite independent gallery is Rebecca Hossack in London.
Surrealist Works by Salvador Dalí
Lovers of Surrealism and Spanish art can look forward to something very special at a new exhibition of over 100 works by Salvador Dalí at REDSEA Gallery. Taken from the renowned Pierre Argillet Collection, the etchings, drawings, and tapestries offer a rare glimpse into the friendship between Dalí and his publisher, Pierre Argillet.
Pierre’s daughter, Christine Argillet, who spent much of her childhood in the company of Salvador Dalí, will visit Singapore to introduce the collection. “This presentation is a tribute to the work of my father as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group. It reflects his constant endeavour and his close collaboration with the artists of these two movements, especially Salvador Dalí,” she says.
Among the highlights of the exhibition are Les Chants de Maldoror, the Surrealistic Bullfight series, and two works that linked Dalí to Asia, Poems of Mao Zedong and The Hippies.
In 1967, in the midst of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Pierre Argillet commissioned Dalí to illustrate poems by Mao Zedong. Dalí created eight illustrations in a series called Poems of Mao Zedong, some of which were political satires. Among them is Portrait of Mao, featuring a headless figure in a Mao suit. To Argillet’s question on why the figure was headless, Dalí replied, “Well, the man is so tall that he didn’t fit on the page!” All eight etchings reworked in drypoint from Poems of Mao Zedong are featured in the exhibition.
In 1969, Pierre and Christine visited India, where he took many photographs of the country they encountered. Upon his return, he shared these strange and beautiful photographs with Dalí. The result was The Hippies, a series of 11 hand-coloured drypoint etchings featuring outlandish, free-flowing surrealist characters and situations appearing through intricate whirls or golden halos.
Together as artist and publisher, Salvador Dalí and Pierre Argillet produced nearly 200 etchings over a period that stretched 30 years. In 1974 they parted company, but remained friends until Dalí’s death in 1989. The Collection permanently resides at the Museum of Surealism in Melun, France, and the Dalí Museum in Figueras, Spain.
See Dalí: The Pierre Argillet Collection from 22 March to 20 April at REDSEA Gallery, Block 9 Dempsey Road, #01-10 Dempsey Hill. Meet Christine Argillet when she leads a curatorial tour of the exhibition on 23 March at 3pm. Call 6732 6711.