Nottingham Contemporary. Marguerite Humeau. 

Marguerite Humeau has described herself as an “Indiana Jones in Google times.” The London-based French artist’s work embarks on epic quests in time and space. FOXP2 is her first major solo show in the UK. Humeau’s new works grew out of conversations with zoologists and other experts. 

One sound installation takes the form of a “choir” of 108 billion voices, re-enacting the moment when a gene – FOXP2 – mutated, allowing our ancestors to develop language. This leads on to what Humeau calls a “biological showroom” of elephants, engaged in an elaborate mourning ritual. The installations take us back to the origins of life, while also imagining a future without us.FOXP2 has been conceived by the Palais de Tokyo, where it opened in June 2016. The exhibition presented here is a collaboration between Nottingham Contemporary and the Palais de Tokyo.


Nottingham Contemporary. Otobong Nkanga

Otobong Nkanga exhibits huge tapestries, performances, drawings and installations that trace all kinds of different botanical and geological histories in the work. This is the Antwerp-based Nigerian artist’s first solo show in this country.

The exhibition is made up of two site-specific installations. One, a new commission, is a constellation of museum display cases, a vast wall drawing and a large two-part tapestry. Next door Nkanga has created a new version of her installation Taste of a Stone, which brings the natural world into the gallery to create a landscape of boulders, pebbles, trees and other plants. This environment for contemplation is used by local storytellers and musicians

LCA MA Creative Practice end of year show

Viewed the work of graduating students from Leeds Collage of Art MA Creative Practice end of year show, at Studio 24 in Leeds.The MA Creative Practice exhibition showcases work by: John Gamble, Kara Zichittella, Kieran Hadley, Lesley Wood, Lorna Jewitt, Richard Dennis, Rory Menage, Sally Cooke, Sarah Bates, Morticia and Sorel Hirst.

Eva Rothschild. Alternative to Power – The New Art Gallery, Wallsal

Eva Rothschild is one of the leading sculptors of her generation and has gained extensive international recognition for her work.

Her practice is informed by an ongoing interest in the meeting points between spirituality, power, visual perception and the nature of materiality.

She works across a range of media including steel, leather, resin, plastic and fabric and her work is often characterised by the use of unstable geometric forms. 

Alternative to Power is the artist’s first exhibition in the Midlands and includes a specially commissioned work involving leather, a material at the centre of Walsall’s manufacturing industry.


Rothschild has created a new body of work for The New Art Gallery Walsall that is characterised by the use of co-dependent forms: each piece is made up of multiple elements relying on one another for support. Taking on a range of formats, her columns, frames, arches and benches form a fragile union of physical components, in which our experience of them is determined contextually by the temporary groupings the works inhabit for the duration of the exhibition.

Stars on Starting Out. Paul Simmonds, Timorous Beasties. 

Noted for its surreal and provocative textiles and wallpapers, the design studio Timorous Beasties was founded in Glasgow in 1990 by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, who had met while studying textile design at Glasgow School of Art. Timorous Beasties was shortlisted for the Designer of the Year prize in 2005.
Their Inspiration is very indirect, it can take lots of different shapes and forms which can also be influenced by timing. To name but a few: Dutch design, Josef Frank, William Morris, Joseph Beuys, Paul Klee, Leonardo, Picasso, Ridley Scott, Tom Kirk, Chuck Mitchell, Italian motorcycles, Jake and Dinos Chapman.

By depicting uncompromisingly contemporary images on traditional textiles and wallpapers, Timorous Beasties has defined an iconoclastic style of design once described as “William Morris on acid.

Typical is the Glasgow Toile. At first glance it looks like one of the magnificent vistas portrayed on early 1800s Toile de Jouy wallpaper, but closer inspection reveals a nightmarish vision of contemporary Glasgow.

Some of the scenes are from an area of Glasgow where we lived and worked for a big part of our lives. The scenes are sinister, funny and moral. A junkie shoots up in a graveyard – the graveyard is a famous Glasgow landmark, called the Necropolis, where junkies go. The moral tale being that if you shoot up, you will literally end up in a graveyard. A young man pees against a tree in a park. A tramp takes a swig from a can of beer. The moral here is that if you start misbehaving early in life you may end up in the park later on. All this is happening as the Glasgow University Tower looms above like a fairy tale castle. Other landmarks are the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Church situated in Maryhill, a poor area of Glasgow where we used to have a studio, while Norman Foster’s Armadillo building represents the changes along the Clyde, a once booming industrial port. The urban landscape in many UK cities seems to change all the time. Modern buildings have become icons that give us a strong sense of identity, therefore the Glasgow Toile seemed a perfect expression of where we were coming from. To sum things up, we do love some of the traditional designs from the past, but it’s great fun to give them a new angle, to make them speak to us in the present.

Timorous Beasties was founded in Glasgow in 1990 by Alistair McAuley, born in Duntocher in 1967, and Paul Simmons, born in Brighton in 1967, who met as students at Glasgow School of Art. After beginning by designing fabrics and wallpapers for production by other companies, Timorous Beasties then started to manufacture its designs and recently opened a shop on the Great Western Road in Glasgow. McAuley and Simmons also execute special commissions, such as fabrics for Philip Treacy’s hats and for the interiors of the Arches Theatre in Glasgow and 50 Piccadilly, a London casino.

Clients include Famous Grouse, Nike, Fortnum & Mason, and Philip Treacy as well as exclusive lines for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Brintons carpets, Liberty London, and John Lewis Department Stores.

As their working practise as designer-makers has progressed, Timorous Beasties have become increasingly experimental in their approach to both hand-printing and machine production. 

These changes are reflected in their evolving aesthetic: from early wayward interpretations of naturalistic images of insects, plants and fish; to a searingly contemporary graphic style which, as Glasgow Toile illustrates, explores social and political issues.

Clients for whom the Beasties have supplied special commissions, are; fabric for the fashion world’s hat extremist Philip Treacy, as well as interiors for a London casino and Glasgow’s Arches venue. When the Wellcome Trust wanted lampshades for its London HQ, Simmons and McAuley decorated 48 shades with paisley designs made from germs, argyle checks made from syringes, and patterns drawn from images of human foetuses and tsetse flies. The shades hung as a double helix in the Trust’s 5m-high windows, mimicking the shape of DNA.

Off the Shelf -Kid Acne 

Kid Acne is an artist, illustrator and hip-hop musician. He was born in Lilongwe, Malawi in 1978.
He grew up in Lutterworth, Leicestershire and currently lives and works in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England. 

He spent his formative years painting graffiti, creating fanzines and making limited run records on his own Invisible Spies imprint. Nowadays, his artwork can been seen throughout the world – both inside and outside of galleries. 

His signature style has adorned products for leading brands such as Prada, Kenzo, Elle, Kid Robot, Brompton and Warp Records, while the man himself continues to paint epic slogans in sub-zero temperatures. 

In 2014 Kid Acne collaborated with Dr Katie Edwards, an academic at The University of Sheffield, on ‘The Word Made Fresh’ project for the university’s The Festival of the Mind. As part of the project, Kid Acne painted a mural version of his work ‘The Birth of Hip Hop’ on the side of the Old Junior School in Sharrowvale, Sheffield.He also created a new rap, ‘The Universe Rap’, for the project

Stars on Starting Out. Sarah Jane Palmer

A double take, to look and then look again, the gaze and then the glance, an illusion that changes from one thing into another or disappears completely. Drawn to the affect of film ‘like a painting that comes to life’, I’m interested in the aesthetics of early film from the Expressionist filmmakers to artists of the Surrealist movement. 

I am particularly interested in the immersive experience of developing patterns, animations and illusions, drawing on elements of eroticism, humour and suspense.

Focusing on the importance of developing skills and the hand made, her art practice is concerned with the process of merging together traditional art forms with new technology. From printmaking, film, animation, installations and public interventions to collaborations with theatre, circus and dance practitioners. Exploring alternative environments and alternative ways of exhibiting art through both practice and research.