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HOUSE 2012: David Batchelor in Brighton

— May 2012

Associated media

Angular 1 © David Batchelor

Prominent contemporary artist David Batchelor, along with Tim Brown & Anna Deamer, Robin Blackledge, Deb Bowness, Caroline Le Breton, Helene Kazan are working to alter theartistic landscape of Brighton, UK in its annual visual art festival.

Batchelor as lead artist commissioned by HOUSE 2012, influences the selection and development of five smaller satellite commissions that make up HOUSE Festival 2012.

With significant funding from Arts Council England, HOUSE 2012 promises to be the most ambitious visual arts festival in Brighton to date. Working in and beyond the gallery walls, HOUSE 2012 presents a carefully curated exhibition of international artist David Batchelor’s work, alongside five new commissioning opportunities developed by HOUSE. Collectively, these artists are making interventions on the streets of Brighton over the month of May, exploring themes of domesticity, the urban and everyday, bringing attention to the overlooked and ordinary.

Artwork is being positioned in Phoenix Gallery, domestic spaces, artist studios and unexpected locations across Brighton & Hove. Internationally and critically acclaimed British artist David Batchelor will exhibit his largest presentation of artwork in the UK yet, with several new commissions, including a major new co-commission in conjunction with Brighton Festival.

Fittingly, for a vibrant coastal town, Batchelor is primarily concerned with colour within the urban environment. For HOUSE 2012 he draws connections between Sicilian street festival decoration and the vernacular of Brighton’s famous Regency architecture. For many years Batchelor has looked to the streets for inspiration. Using everyday objects of the modern urban environment – from salvaged light boxes to neon signage – his works celebrate the ordinary, the lurid and trashy while being beautiful  in themselves.

His latest site-specific installation draws on traditional festival decorations encountered in Palermo will be presented at Hove’s Regency Town House – a grade 1 listed terraced House undergoing major restoration. Palermo Remix makes a point of connection between the artist’s current fascination with festival illumination and the building’s architectural period details, where Regency details feature in decorative motifs. It also plays on the idea of the public and domestic, the familiar and overlooked and touches on the famed hedonism of the city’s Regency past.

Alongside these new commissions a selection of work is sensitively sited in the Regency Town House basement, an extraordinary domestic setting, that still echoes its past, in a warren of servants quarters and rooms. Here Batchelor’s work has interplay with the character of its surrounding environment, providing moments of both subtlety and brilliance. The five satellite commissions draw on the idea of the domestic, overlooked and everyday and are related to Batchelor’s work. They are developed to be shown in and around the city. Since HOUSE festival began in 2009, this curated and programmed festival – originally partner to Artists Open Houses has established itself as a trailblazing annual event. Taking place across sites within the city, an interest in the threshold between private and public space is inherent to the character of HOUSE.

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