Review: Rebel Women – Inspirational Girls

Romsey Town Roller Billies - a moment of relaxation

Romsey Town Roller Billies – Daisy Zoller

Slate the Disco, a Cambridge-focused artist and criticism site with a broad inclusion policy for the arts, has plenty to say on the Salon’s recent show. Rebel Women – Inspirational Girls celebrated International Women’s Day in the Salon, and was produced by Ruthie Collins, our Creative Director.

Led by teenagers who were guided and supported by the local Romsey Mill charity, Rebel Women is the result of a year’s work by many amazing women and those who supported them in their work, women and men together.

Read what Slate the Disco has to say:

Interviewing successful but also everyday women, women “who could be your neighbour”, Ruthie says, these girls have seen other perspectives of what being a woman means – expanding ideas of what female role models might be, celebrating women. The show itself fuses visual art, live art, video and text – all with a feminist twist. From photoshoots of women in Romsey Town (like the Romsey Town Rollerbillies), to the pop videos of live artists Bryony Kimmings’ feminist pop star Catherine Bennett, to videos of Hollie Mcnish’s poetry – there’s animation and film, too.

Slate the Disco interviewed Ruthie, to find her inspirations behind the show, and what she felt people could learn. Read the review and interview, on their site.

Karl Dmitri Bishop in Conversation


Karl Dmitri Bishop talks about his work, becoming a photographer and his exhibition at the Art Salon.

In the September exhibition of his photography at the Art Salon he explored the abstract dream space by veiling and obscuring the formal subject matter to form a highly constructed surreal moment. The elaborate veils that shroud each subject lend them their intangible quality of otherworldliness.

Daisy Zoll in Conversation


Daisy Zoll talks in detail about the ‘Explore’ exhibition at the Art Salon featuring photographic work by herself and Catherine Bullen.

The joint exhibition features work from very different positions on the spectrum of unadorned photography with both artists documenting their explorations of the world around them.

The Art Salon is delighted to announce that the exhibition has been extended until the 20th October.

The Barefoot Collector

HOT OFF THE PRESS ... For those of you who were unable to attend Simon Sedgwick-Jell's talk please 
click on the links below to hear expert tips on how to collect art affordably....

Dennis Healey famously said that politicians need a hinterland – a passion or two beyond the public sphere. His was photography; for Simon Sedgwick-Jell, Leader of Cambridge City Council in the early 90’s, General Election candidate in 2010 and current Green Party County Councillor it is collecting art – but, he stresses, without ever having much money to do so! On the first two weekends in October visitors can see some of the fruits of this passion at his exhibition “The Barefoot Collector” at the Cambridge Art Salon Gallery in Cromwell Rd., Cambridge.

Simon acquired his first painting when he was 14, now, nearly fifty years later he has well over a hundred artworks, many of which have been funded by the £1 a day he has been putting into an art fund for over 20 years. Work from well known galleries, pictures from Cambridge’s annual Open Studios event, from student shows, charity auctions and charity shops all are to be found in his collection and Simon hopes that the exhibition will show that art collecting can be enjoyed by each and everyone and not just by a chosen few with deep pockets! Exhibition runs 6-14 October 2012.

We will preview the show at 5.30pm on 6th October 2012.

click on the link below for the trailer to Simon’s talk …

Film courtesy of John Caldwell, Frameworks

Interview: Mark Woods-Nunn On The Inspiration Behind ‘Discs’

Tell us what inspired Discs: A Theme Tune To Life.

The show includes people who are from wealthy or low income backgrounds, those that are/have been homeless, those whom have or are struggling with addiction. People with a history of abuse, mental health issues. All sorts really. Many of these issues span people from all walks of life and are most definitely not limited to those from poorer or broken homes. Unless an individual specifically said so, I did not mention people’s backgrounds.

I am closet listener of Radio 4’s “Desert Island Discs”. Last year, listeners of the program submitted their own choices, which were aired and commented upon by a panel of presenters. A throw away comment suggested that some genres of music were under represented due to make up of the program’s audience. This sparked off the idea. A pet peeve of mine is hearing people pigeon hole musical genres or the arts in general, to particular “types” of people. In fact, I pretty much dislike stereo-types in general, but we all make them, largely down to perception or lack of knowledge. So I wanted to quietly challenge this by bringing people together from varying walks of life and backgrounds.

The idea was to over lap / mix the shoot times so people perhaps interacted with others they would not ordinarily meet. Each individual’s music choice was then used as a vehicle to tell their stories and thus create their own life’s theme tune.

I love music, and I love listening to people’s life stories. Like music, people are so diverse, yet we all share common themes (as with music), bit of a paradox really. I wanted to explore that further in some way. The exhibition is largely about the people. The images are therefore quite simple and as least “busy” as possible.

I want to raise the awareness of the great work that organisations like FLACK Cambridge are doing and hopefully raise some funds for them too.

Tell us more about your work as a professional photographer.

I first became serious about photography when I did some aid work in the West Indies. My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) was very supportive and encouraged me to take it further. So I did the training and it went from there.

Beside the artistic projects, I mainly shoot advertising, portraiture and events, as well as teaching photography. I am so blessed, I love it. I get to meet interesting people, watch exciting performances and get paid for it! So clichéd, but having had a break from photography and music for a few years; it felt like part of me was dying. Creativity is such an intrinsic part of who we are. I believe we have one life, so we best make the most of it.

I am available for hire as a photographer, for commercial work, arts projects or teaching. You can find out more at or email me at

What about the other artists involved – how has that worked?

It has worked well! I love fusion and collaboration. Whilst I am creative, I most definitely lack the skills in areas that I wished I possessed! I tend to have loads of ideas, but often need others to help me implement them, besides, I wanted a mix. It also reduces the risk is becoming too self indulgent. Ultimately, the piece should be about the people involved, not me. I just get a few ideas, listen to the participants, and take a few pictures

The really exciting thing is that people have been able to shine in what they are good at. No one said “I can’t do that”. In fact a couple of the pictures we have used in the documentary accompanying the exhibition were taken by students Liam & Phoebe who’d never done studio work before, I just handed them a camera and they had a go.

What’s been surprising for you about this project?

How much people shared about themselves. Being a portrait photographer is such a privilege and comes with responsibility; some participants used the whole process as a form of therapy! Ultimately, I talk to people to form a connection; to help them relax in front of the camera. So we have a chat and at the end we have some pictures.

I was also surprised to hear stories from people who on the face of it, you’d never imagine would have such experiences. It was amazing the number of people who wanted to give up their time to take part, whether in front of the camera or contributing in some other way. If I had more time and a bigger budget, I have loved to have taken it much further.

Why did you decide to show at the Art Salon?

Great space, professional and reasonably priced too! Besides which, with out wanting to sound too smulchy, the Art Salon stands for many of my own principles, i.e. lets get the arts out to the community and encourage those that perhaps would not consider it their bag, to have a go. SO many people think they are not creative. It’s such a lie. Everyone is, they just may not have discovered it yet! Anyway, creativity is not simply limited to what we traditionally refer to as the “arts”. Read “The Element” by Sir Ken Robinson.

What’s next for you?

I have a couple of community projects on the cards, and the usual teaching / photography work. I don’t want to give too much away, but my next exhibition (to be launched next year) is a mix of sounds from often “unusual” sources and photographs / video included from non-trained artists. It is a modern twist on “The Carnival of the Animals”, by Camille Saint-Saëns, entitled “Dr Doolittle’s World of the Strange”…

All photo portraits purchased and ordered are in aid of FLACK Magazine

An interview with Matt JOnes aka Lunartik

Where are you now?

Good question, I’m in Berlin of all places, living the artist dream!

It’s got a lot of good things going for it as a whole, it’s a vibrant city, full of art, culture and especially exciting is the food. It’s a place similar to London, but not as crammed or nor as busy, and it’s nice to have a bit of time to think and chill for a change. It’s also a good place to work from as there’s less distractions over here and this keeps me more focused in artistic and in my private life is better for it.

Where did your inspiration for the Lunartik Mini Tea Tour come from?

Well, I’ve always been involved with exhibitions and I do like the traveling around.

So I needed to combine these to get out of the studio and meet people, so I begun the Mini-Tea Tour back in 2011 to help promote my Mini Tea series of vinyl figures and also to collaborate with other artists.

You’ve worked with the likes of Mr Scruff as an artist – tell us a bit about that.

It’s good fun, I like to work with all types of artists, from large “Celebes” like Mr. Scruff and “Pete Fowler” to newbie’s on the Vinyl scene. With this tour in mind, I found myself trailing the internet to find the best eclectic artists across the scene to make for a very interesting show.

What is so compelling to people about the vinyl art scene?

Toys and collecting art and meeting up with artists. Artoys make the unaffordable art affordably obtainable.

Most of the artists I’ve met are super fun and they love to sign and draw for people at signings. I think all artists buzz at signings and the fans really appreciate it.

How long have you been practicing as an artist?

Well, in the toy scene, I’ve been around since 2004, and before that I came from a product design background. I call my self as a designer/artist and I guess I’ve been practicing since I was old enough to hold a pen.

What really helped you get to where you are now?

Money. Oh no, that’s not correct, it was the lack of money that drove me to where I am now. I strive for good design and I have a passion for art, so all these things keep me going. Money is a by product of doing lots and lots of self directed work and making stuff people enjoy – and in-turn making stuff and design makes me a happier person.
And this is where I am right now.

Lastly – fave type of tea to drink?

Well, not being a tea snob or nothing, so I like a good old mug Yorkshire or PG.

Playing with the Masters

Catherine Lalevee is interviewing Deanna Tyson – discussing teaching art and the upcoming exhibition “Exploring…isms” by Ateljé Fulbourn at the Cambridge Art Salon.

Deanna and I finally get to speak about the exhibition via phone on a Saturday afternoon. She is very busy producing new work – mainly working in her studio at the back of her garden.

I begin by asking her about Ateljé Fulbourn. “It is a very unusual name!” I wonder if she is smiling at my silly comment or simply shaking her head,  Deanna explains that it is the name her group of students.  The group has have shown their work previously in Brookfields Hospital, twice in Fulbourn and the Geldart Pub on Ainsworth Street in Cambridge.

When asking about the inspiration for the exhibition, Deanna goes on to explains that the idea for the show first came from an exercise she practiced with her class. She says: “The aim of the original exercise was to research and explore three different art movements from 18th century to the modern day. The task was to grouped them into three time-related sections from Impressionism through Cubism to Conceptualism…to study styles and discover underlying philosophies.”

Deanna explained that she choose these modern art movements as some of her students hadn’t heard of them previously. “Just to create a new challenge!” The students had to learn about what differentiates the paintings and get a better understanding of the styles through composition and colour. “The aim was to aid the students to understand and read paintings within the context of an exhibition or their own work.”

As the exercise progressed, the pieces started to show real qualities as work in progress rather than finished pieces, she adds proudly.  The next step seemed to be quite obvious: “I decided to make the exercise an even bigger challenge by extending the decision making to mounting and presentation.” Deanna wanted her group of students to face the challenges of exhibiting a show and to learn to work together towards creating something unique. The students had to learn about marketing, publicity and curating an exhibition. The group was able to use skills from previous professions to help them do this. “All of their shows had previously been curated and organized by me”, says Deanna, but she never had much involvement with the hanging or marketing of this event, as she wanted her class to experience both sides of putting on an exhibition.

So, what will be next for Deanna? She says that there will not be another exhibition planned for the Ateljé yet. “This show is truly a unique opportunity to see these works.” However, Deanna explains that she is also a member of part of a “STRAY”, a collaboration of Cambridge artists, which are interested in the way their different practices work alongside each other, as well as creating a sense of rhythm, line and colour to create a relationship between their work. “STRAY” will be exhibiting at The Gallery on Red Church Street  in London from the 5th to the 10th of June.

“Exploring…isms” by Ateljé Fulbourn will open on Friday, the 25th of May at the Cambridge Art Salon.

Written by Catherine Lalevee and Anika Zschiesche.