The University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art presents: The Visiting Artists Talk Series

The University of Kent’s School of Music and Fine Art is pleased to present a series of five talks running from 6.15pm -7.45pm on the dates listed below, this term and next, in the Dockyard Church Lecture Theatre, in Chatham Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent.

These talks are part of an exciting series of visiting artists, writers, filmmakers, curators and performers who will share and discuss their work. Each speaker is renowned in their own field and uses imagery, materials and processes differently to pose distinct and searching questions to address the urgent concerns of our age.

These events are FREE and are open to the public.

Simon Ling:  (painting)  Tuesday 11th October

Simon Ling is a British artist whose practice in involved in a deep engagement with painting. Ling’s subjects can often appear banal – street scenes, still lifes, rocks, stones or patches of scrubland – but through a process of sustained and rigorous looking, his works transcend the ordinariness of their initial appearance, taking on a strange and at times unsettling quality.  Looking and seeing are of profound importance in Ling’s work. This might seem an obvious statement with regard to an artist, particularly a painter, but for Ling the operations and effects of perception are of particular centrality. For Ling, looking is always an extraordinary act. Not simply a process of passive observation, but an active and deliberate thing; a thing that not only produces the world, but alters and disrupts it.  Many of Ling’s works are made ‘en-plein air’: painted in the streets around his London studio, in more rural locations in the British countryside, as well as in parks and wasteland. But he also works in the studio, sometimes from models – which he constructs himself – sometimes from sketches or from memory. In this way, his paintings take on a composite quality, accumulating and collapsing together different kinds of experience, perception and time.  Across all of Ling’s paintings we see an intense engagement with objects (in their broadest sense) – their relations, realities, and our mutable experience of them. Each canvas might be read as a kind of ‘event’: between the artist and the world, as it appears in that moment, as well as through the vagueries and distortion of recollection and reverie. Ling’s paintings might be seen to exemplify this unstable, contingent quality of the visible, the withdrawn and flickering thingly-ness of things, the way objects seep and pulse with the mute but exuberant fact of their own materiality.

Ling has had a solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle, Bergen, 2015 , and greengrassi, London and has taken part in numerous group exhibitions including Tate Britain, Camden Art Centre, and CAPC Bordeaux, France.


Martin Clark.  (curator, Bergen Kunsthall)   Tuesday 8th Nov 

Martin Clark is Director at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway, one of Scandinavia’s most important institutions for contemporary art.

Previously Artistic Director for Art Sheffield 2016, Artistic Director of Tate St Ives, Curator of Exhibitions, Arnolfini, Bristol, and Curator at Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury UCA, over the past 16 years Martin Clark has curated and organised over 50 exhibitions and projects. These include solo shows by Simon Starling, Robert Overby, Alex Katz, Lily van der Stokker, Albert Oehlen, Carol Bove, Dexter Dalwood, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Adam Chodzko, Deimantas Narkevicius and Eileen Quinlan, as well as group exhibitions including Pale Carnage (Arnolfini, 2007), The Dark Monarch, Magic and Modernity in British Art (Tate St Ives, 2009) and The Noing Uv It (Bergen Kunsthall, 2015).

In his previous role as Artistic Director at Tate St Ives he championed an ambitious and internationally recognised contemporary programme, as well as organising a number of exhibitions by important British and international modernists including Peter Lanyon, Ben Nicholson, Lucio Fontana, Barbara Hepworth, Marlow Moss and William Scott.

Clark will talk about curating as a practice, a responsibility and a process, with a particular emphasis on ‘the group exhibition’. Focussing on a recent show The Noing Uv It, which he co-curated with artist Steven Claydon, at Bergen Kunsthall, and which featured work by over 30 international artists, he will examine how works of art both inhabit and create a curatorial space, and how exhibitions should work to open up objects and images, encouraging complexity and resisting resolution.


Erica Scourti: (performance, text, video) Tuesday 15th Nov

Erica Scourti was born in Athens, Greece (1980) and is now based in London and Athens. Her work across different media draws on personal experience to explore life, labour, gender and love in a fully mediated world.
She has exhibited recently at Microscope Gallery, New York, Somerset House, HeK Basel, FACT, The Photographers’ Gallery, Hayward Gallery, Munich Kunstverein, Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, Banner Repeater, and The Royal Standard. She has recently presented performances and talks at the Whitechapel Gallery, South London Gallery, the Royal College of Art, Chelsea College of Art, Goethe Institut, London, the Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, Goldsmiths College, London, the Dutch Art Institute, Aarhus Decennial Conference 2015, Transmediale, ICA, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, David Roberts Art Foundation and Southbank Centre, London.  Recent shows include Big Bang Data at Somerset House, Trace Programme at Flo Skatepark, Nottingham, Dark Archives, a solo commission at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, and a performance at Block Universe festival 2016. In 2015 Erica was in residence at Wysing Arts Centre and the White Building, London, and in 2016 she attended the Saari Residence in Finland, with Autoitalia; and she is a Near Now Fellow 2015/6. She presented a performance at Somerset House as part of Block Universe 2016 and has created a new commission for the Wellcome Collection’s exhibition, Bedlam: the Asylum and Beyond (opens Sept 2016)


Heather Phillipson ( poetry, multi-media and video)    Tuesday  28th Feb  2017 

Heather Phillipson’s videos and sculptural installations collide images, noises, objects, language and bodies – attending to how physical and affective ‘selves’ are constructed, manipulated and, above all, escape. Often rendered as walk-in conglomerations of readily accessible materials (digital images, paint, cardboard, words, audio loops and reproducible consumer detritus), her works stake out an ambiguous territory in which cultural references and emotional responses are mutually contingent and reactive. Phillipson’s solo projects in 2016 include Whitechapel Gallery London, Frieze Projects New York, the 32nd Sao Paulo Bienal, Images Festival Toronto, and a major new commission for the Arts Council Collection. Recent solo exhibitions include: Schirn Frankfurt; the 14th Istanbul Biennial; Performa New York; Sheffield Doc/Fest (with Serpentine Galleries); Opening Times (; Dundee Contemporary Arts; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Serpentine Park Nights and a video commission for Random Acts, Channel 4 television. Phillipson is also an award-winning poet and has published three volume of poetry; she was named a Next Generation Poet in 2014, was Writer in Residence at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2015, was awarded the Friends of Literature Prize from Poetry journal in 2016, and writes a regular column for Art Review. She has been shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award 2016.


Maria Fusco:  (Writing )    Tuesday March 28th  

Maria Fusco is a Belfast-born writer based in Glasgow, working across fiction, criticism and theory, her work is translated into ten languages. Her latest work, Master Rock, is a repertoire for a mountain commissioned by Artangel and BBC Radio 4. Her solo-authored books are With A Bao A Qu Reading When Attitudes Become Form, 2013 (Los Angeles/Vancouver: New Documents, 2013), Gonda, 2012 and The Mechanical Copula, 2011 (both published Berlin/New York: Sternberg Press) and she is founder of The Happy Hypocrite, a journal for and about experimental writing. She is currently a Reader at the University of Edinburgh and was Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. New books in 2017 are Legend of the Necessary Dreamer (London: Vanguard Editions) and Give Up Art: Collected Writings (Los Angeles/Vancouver: New Documents).


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