Welcome to the blog of Spike Dennis; an artist and sometime curator. Trained in London Spike has exhibited widely, from London to Los Angeles, and has delivered projects from Cardiff to Stockholm, for organisations including the Illustration Research network and Cardiff Design Festival amongst Others.
Dates: 27 February – 9 March 2013 Location: Milkwood Gallery, Cardiff Late night opening: Saturday 2 March 2013: join us for an evening of enchanting fairy tales, puppet shows and performances.
“Every fairy tale had a bloody lining. Every one had teeth and claws.” – Alice Hoffman
Once upon Again will be an exhibition of fairy tale inspired work. The title suggests the idea of re-imagined narratives – taking existing fairy and folk tales and retelling them. This follows the tradition of stories being passed from generation to generation over centuries, through cultures and societies, books, art and film. These stories were once rife with violence, disobedience and punishment, dark magic, sex, cannibalism, beasts and fantastical wishes that came true.
The likes of the Brothers Grimm rewrote such narratives to make them palatable for children. They added cautionary and moral awakenings to ensure good judgement, wisdom and common sense was instilled in their audiences. However, the traditional motifs remaining in today’s fairy tales are diluted – happily-ever-after now litters the endings of stories and any trace of real darkness has been stripped away.
“Fairy tales serve a meaningful social function, not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales reveal the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society.” – Jack Zipes
The Pack of Wolves will retell fairy tales, as they should be – as they once were, bringing back old values and themes… Once Upon Again. The artists will take inspiration from existing fairy and folk stories and either reinvent them or present new stories using visual narratives. Fairy tales should not only enchant and entertain the audience but also illuminate and inform.
“The enchantments universalize the narrative setting, encipher concerns, beliefs and desires in brilliant, seductive images that are themselves a form of camouflage, making it possible to utter harsh truths, to say what you dare.” – Marina Warner
On the evening of Saturday the 2 March 2013 you are invited to join us at Milkwood Gallery to view a series of short puppet shows performed by members of the Pack of Wolves. This will include a traditional Punch and Judy show and a Jabberwocky shadow play.
What’s more the evening will present an opportunity to meet many of the artists involved with Pack of Wolves. We do hope you’ll be able to the Once Upon Again exhibition celebration.
We’ve recently been working on some Punch & Judy puppets for the Pack of Wolves’ exhibition at Milkwood Gallery that opens later this month. I was tasked with working on the policemen and doctor puppets pictured here. They’re still both works in progress at this stage but they’ll be finished in good time for a dress rehearsal.
The painting of the heads for these puppets was undertaken by fellow member of the Pack of Wolves, Layla Holzer. She has also painted up a wonderful crocodile puppet which I’ve yet to make a body for.
The exhibition at Milkwood gallery opens on the 27 February and runs until the 9 March. we will be performing our Punch and Judy Puppet show on Saturday the 2 March along with a shadow puppet show of the Jabberwocky.
This stop motion embroidered video was made for Black Books’ latest single by director Christophe Thokler. It’s a stunning piece of work that uses over 10,000 images to create a truly unique piece of film.
In addition to the phenomenal amount of photos that Christophe used in the creation of this video he also used
– 1 km of thread
– 350 reels of thread
– 73 000 embroidery stitches
– 6 kg of scraps of fabric
– 100 needles and sewing pins.
It makes me want to go an animate my stitch supplies.
The Project Cardiff Exhibition opened at Milkwood Gallery in Roath this weekend. It was great to see the whole set printed and hung together. The whole portfolio of images present quite a striking impression.
After a frantic day installing, the exhibition had a successful opening on Saturday evening. It was good to meet some of the people photographed and strike up some interesting conversations about the arts in Cardiff. The project has sparked up some debate since it was launched last year but it was great to hear it being so well received.
The exhibition at Milkwood Gallery continues until Sunday the 24 February. For more information visit www.projectcardiff.com
With my being involved in two exhibitions at Milkwood Gallery back-to-back I thought I’d better re-visit the space whilst it was empty to get an idea of the size and shape of the space available.
They’re crude sketches but they’re functional and I’m happy now that the gallery will neither be too cluttered nor too bare.
The first exhibition, Project Cardiff, opens on Saturday 2 February and features a set of photographs taken by Lann Niziblian. The second exhibition will present the first time I’ve ever exhibited my own work at Milkwood Gallery as the Pack of Wolves take over the space for Once Upon again.
I was recently invited to write an article for Central station’s My Creative Scene feature on their website.
It took me a while to decide how to approach the article and whether or not I should tackle it from a personal perspective or by taking an overview of everything that takes place in the city. In the end I produced a whistle-stop account of all the events and goings on that I’m engaged with.
I’m sure I missed out a thing or two but it’s an honest account. You can read My Creative Scene in full on the Central Station website here.
There are also a number of other interesting other My Creative Scene articles from cities across the world including, Zagreb, Kathmandu, and Mexico City amongst others.