Pigeons over Paradise Square

Pigeons over paradise Square, was my first exhibition outside of an educational environment. The exhibition took place within the MAO (Modern Art Oxford). A prestigious gallery space, located in the heart of Oxford city centre. The MAO is a leading contemporary art space with an international reputation for the innovative and ambitious.

This exhibition was part of the Oxford arts mark, where I worked alongside and was mentored by several artist and professional practitioners who worked along side media charity FilmOxford. FilmOxford runs a creative course called iCreative, a programme of training, production and mentoring for young creative talent aged between 15 -25 looking to work in the local creative industries. Developing skills in film, design, sound, gaming, projection art, installation and more. The programmes are particularly aimed at young people – unemployed or in part-time training or work – who are now looking for new creative opportunities and pathways into further training or work.  

During my opportunity to work with FilmOxford, I got to learn and work alongside several artists and media professionals such as Chris Oakley, Peter Walker and David Harper who helped to develop my skills and curate this exhibition. 

Pigeons over paradise Square, is a collective exhibition recounting and reflecting on St Ebbes. A original local area within Oxford, that consisted of worker houses and cottages, local farmer markets and auctions, and to the original history of oxford was consisted a slummed area, which then resulted in a mass migration of local residents to make way for the 'back then' now modern oxford. The original St Ebbes was lost to time and now only recounted by the street address which the MAO locates itself on. 

The exhibition consisted of 3 projections 2 wide angle and 1 large format wide angle projectors, exhibited within the MAO yard space which is the main entrance to the gallery from the St Ebbes street. The projections were on a looped reel of several film collages using documented primary research sources relating to the locational history of "Paradise Square". The 3 projections were situated parallel to each other, the 2 end projections (the first screen 1 as you entered the gallery yard from St Ebbes and the last screen 3 as you entered the MAO main building entrance) screens 1 & 3 played at the same looped speed, starting and finishing at the same time both facing the opposite wall to screen 2. Screen 2 was the larger of the 3 projections, this looped sequence was accompanied by audio. The audio consisted of local residents reminiscing and talking about their original homes and childhood within in St Ebbes. 

The exhibition and project was a collaborative effort which consisted of 11 adolescents between myself (21) and several piers aged between (16-20). We worked together on collection and creating several short collage film pieces and each member took a role within the group. For myself I undertook the role of being the exhibition space curator. Working alongside the MAO technicians and technical staff to curate the space, deciding on the preferred layout, equipment and medium that would be exhibited within the space.

Light tagging

Light tagging, is an experience and practice of visual medium I want to experiment with more. The process of projection art through the use of a portable HDMI digital projector onto public surfaces for the public to view and interact with is very intriguing. I had the pleasure and opportunity to work and learn from Peter Walker & David Harper of Luxmuralis.

Luxmuralis is a collaborative team combining artists from different backgrounds and artistic disciplines – creating works across multiple media and presentation formats. Luxmuralis work with a variety of different clients from Councils to Corporate alongside developing and generating ad hoc and individual works of art. Core to our work is the opportunity to explore the development of fine art tradition through new media and place the medium in an art historical context. The primary purpose of Luxmuralis is to take art onto the streets and provide access to visual artwork in public as well as unexpected places. Developed from the concept of “son et Lumiere” our fully curated immersive fine art experiences combine the qualities of light and sound through contemporary media and years of experience as fine artists. We create the stained glass windows of our time, bringing stories to life through an understanding of art historical context of such institutions and painting with light the architecture – not for artifice or to simply animate but to evoke and engage and take audiences on creative journies in some of the most remarkable buildings around. Creating fine art light and sound reflects closely on the history, heritage and art history of these places and brings together the contemporary and the ancient. More than a light show, we look to create contemporary exhibitions whose core is always close to the sense of place.