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Senti-monu-mental - Roadkill Artist Nigel Grimmer at Artlink in Hull

Date: 04 Aug 2010
Time: 12:21:32 -0500


Major retrospective – 'Roadkill' photographer Nigel Grimmer shows at Artlink When Nigel Grimmer created the ‘Roadkill Family Album’ it helped establish the career of one of the country's most creative photographers. Now, ten years later, Grimmer is to unveil a new major retrospective at Hull's Artlink gallery. While this retrospective, called ‘Senti-monu-mental’, will feature his best known works, such as the ‘Roadkill’ series and ‘Superhero Family Album’, the artist will also preview new projects ‘The Dunces’ and ‘The Nigel Doll Album’. These new alternatives to the traditional family snapshot album are shown together for the first time. The work from ‘Roadkill Family Album’ depicts Grimmer’s family and close friends lying, apparently dead, by the side of a road wearing animal masks. This ‘Roadkill’ series highlights the formulaic language of snapshot photography by substituting a new set of instructions for the traditional commands given to the family when being photographed. The portraits are taken during family holidays and other special occasions, those times traditionally recorded in the album. Each year at least one image is added to the project, and the current series includes photographs from around the UK, France, Japan and America. In Grimmer’s new photographic series ‘The Dunces’ the traditional snapshot commands of “Smile!” “Hold hands!” “Act naturally!” and “Don’t move!” are again substituted, this time for orders given to a naughty child. Grimmer’s adult friends are sent to their rooms, told to stand silently in the corner and are given a dunce hat to wear. As Grimmer systematically visits each of his friend’s homes the series begins to reveal his increasing interest in the social and performative uses of his art practice. For his 2003 drawing project ‘Superhero Family Album’ Grimmer created a 'superhero generator', comprising two lists of random words. The words were numbered; participants picked two numbers, which then formed a superhero name. A drawing of each participant was produced, and a biography of the character was created ‘extending’ each person’s life to that of his or her new character. Finally Grimmer added drawn 'snapshots' documenting key moments in the interaction between different characters to the series. The artist’s childhood memories, for which there is no corresponding family snapshot, are given form as sculpture in ‘Minor Monuments’ and as screen-printed text in ‘Baskerville Family Album’. Further gaps in the album are filled by the eponymous hero of ‘The Nigel Doll Album’ a twelve-inch plastic reproduction of the artist. Within his 2005 series ‘Annihilation By Blandness’ Grimmer considers the images of ‘The Family’ produced by the Culture Industry in which only narratives of happiness, achievement, leisure activities and consumerism are deemed worthy of recording. EDITORS' NOTES: Nigel Grimmer: Nigel Grimmer was born in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, and studied Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University and Central Saint Martins. He has exhibited widely throughout the UK, as well as in Germany, Greece, France and America. His solo show ‘Plastic Life’ recently finished a two-year tour of the UK; the exhibition was recently purchased by a major private collection. He has just received a major award in ‘The Art of Photography’ one of the largest photographic competitions in America. The artist will be available for interviews at the gallery on the 18th, 19th and 20th of August. Nigel Grimmer – contact: Email: nigeldarling@hotmail.com Tel: 0795 227 6658 www.nigelgrimmer.com Private view Friday, 20 August. 6.30pm to 8.00pm Exhibition runs 21 August to 20 September 2010. Gallery hours10.00am – 4.00pm, Monday to Saturday Artlink Centre for Community Arts, 87 Princes Avenue, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU5 3QP For more information, images, to attend the private view or be placed on the Artlink mailing list, please contact: Email: info@artlink.uk.net Tel: 01482 345104 www.artlink.uk.net ***ENDS***