Author Archives: Sharon Read

The Hive

Welcome to The Hive

 On the 18th of March second year Art students from the University of Northampton presented their end of year show at the Avenue Gallery, situated within the University. Second year exhibitions are always a chance to see potential, whether this manifests its self in terms of a particular way of thinking, a sharpened and considered way of working that is ultimately a prequel to a finale during the third year experience. Or, recognising a certain style that has the exact same potential to shine and deliver whilst provoking a sense of enquiry along with an understanding of historical contextualisation and realisation of development into the future.

This event was no means disappointing  with a very noteworthy exhibit/performance from an incredibly well matched collaborative pair of students that were working under the heading of ‘The Hive‘ . The Hive Is the brainchild of Ally Johnson and on this occasion was in collaboration with Billy Hawes who challenges the notion of the canvas in a melodic rhythmic way.

Ally has created a concept that relies on much of the fluxes movement with scores given out either by hand or ultimately if one wishes to participate, a score would be collected from a purposeful location. On one of my initial talks with Ally I found out that the Hive is representational of a working beehive with worker bees having a particular role to play within the structure of a beehive. Ally sees all participants as the worker bees thus bringing back results, reactions and responses back to the point of sauce – The Hive. The collaborative nature of the event worked well in so far that two individual practices came together in a way that brought about conversation, questions, performances, and actual making of work in a fun and exciting way.

Billy provided weaving material wound on threading hooks for guests to ‘have a go’ and add to his woven frame. This was a chance to learn how intricate this process is, withstanding the opinion how one should never underestimate a person’s technique and thought processes.



In addition to the weaving the Hive provided envelopes with hand typed instructions such as ‘Hum on the spot’ or ‘Go to the Gavin Turk talk’.  These instructions brought about a charged atmosphere along with trepidation from guests who were initially lightly apprehensive of their pending requirement to ‘perform’. Pretty soon there was laughing and sharing along with a very interesting result with the weaving. As this was open to interpretation from the participants it may be said what happened as a result was unexpected and as much of a challenge to the artist as it was for the participants. Billy’s weavers made sure that the piece itself became very much entwined with the fabric of the space. The warp took on the form of a large structured spiders web, it developed a life force of its own as guests looped pipes, wound around blinds dressing areas of the gallery that possibly were never considered.

The combination of people performing their tasks, weavers expanding into unimagined areas and poetry being read  aloud was indeed a multi-sensory success. It is clear to see the potential and future development that this concept has. Year two has certainly offered both Ally and Billy the opportunity to develop their thoughts and practices in an interesting and thought provoking way. It is always refreshingly exciting when faced with something that is not expected, to see people engaging with the unknown and being non passive spectators but participants that are open minded and embrace all aspects of art and art making.

Congratulations to The Hive with Billy Hawes.




5 International Festival for contemporary sculpture New Years Brunch

I was invited by Susan Williams to take part in the fifth International Sculpture New Years Brunch 19 January 2014.The event is uniquely organised by Sculpture Network with individual hosts curating their own event accordingly across Europe.

This year in total there were 2500 contributors across 45 individual venues in 14 countries. Venues included galleries, studios, foundries, along with architect associations and art centres. The concept of this event brings makers, collectors, art lovers together with curators to share a potential platform to exchange opinions, ideas, interventions as well as further opportunities and general networking prospects. We were all joined together via live streaming enabling a feeling of unity whist being able to view various presentations from Poland, Spain, Berlin etc.


Artspace Kettering UK

Venue Artspace Susan Williams ARBS

Exhibiting artists included Graham Keddie ARBS, Jill Hedges, Christina ten Bosch, Carole Miles & Jo Dacombe, Susan Williams, Warren Shaw and Gareth Day.

We were welcomed to Artspace where works were presented in a fine art context including projected imagery, slide shows of participating artists practices with a stimulating array of publications exemplifying diverse fine art approaches.  The atmosphere was charged with excitement with the aspect of live streaming with an interesting voyeuristic provocation as we watched others watching us, watching them.

The art work that being streamed to to us from across Europe was of high quality and with the utmost consideration to presentation regarding the way international viewers were receiving the imagery and commentary. It was fascinating to see almost at first hand, artists studios, how they had either prepared for the event or left studios as working spaces. I found myself  interested to see the working space with how the visible materials seemingly merged to become part of the work being viewed. It gave a sense of providence and added to the illusion of actually being in an artists sanctuary.

At a particular time during the event there was a live toast where we all raised a glass to the new year and to each other. This was a rare and unique experience, so many people globally share the love of art, making, facilitating as well as the appreciation and 2500 individuals were celebrating each others and our own contributions within that one moment. With a few timing issues and the odd random country coming in and out of view of our big screen, it was very exciting to be part of the wider community.

To view images and learn more about the event visit Sculpture Network this link will take you straight to the 2014 event.

 Art that was shown at Artspace.

Susan Williams ARBS

Susan Williams ARBS


Graham Keddie ARBS Potentially Every Possible Living Thing

Graham Keddie ARBS Potentially Every Possible Living Thing


Christina ten Bosch Mobius Strip

Christina ten Bosch
Mobius Strip


Sharon Read External Interiorisation

Sharon Read
External Interiorisation




Jill Hedges Untitled

Jill Hedges Untitled


 Miles &  Dacombe In Tenz

Miles & Dacombe In Tenz


The event was extremely well hosted by Susan who had gone to great lengths within her studio/gallery space providing an inclusive feel to a prestigious international forum. As well as enjoying a cross culture exchange we all enjoyed a lovingly prepared brunch consisting of a choice of home-made soups, breads juices and a very pleasing glass of wine or two.

Many thanks to Susan Williams