21st January –26th January 2013 Coningsby Gallery 30 Tottenham Street London W1T 4RJ
This exhibition is the culmination of a year-long project in which Smith has been exploring Harry Hill’s TV Burp as a configuration of European Carnival (1300-1700).
Smith has sought to define and spotlight components of TV Burp using a combination of ethnographic methods (drawing and watercolours) and selected folk media (papier-mâché sculptures, knitted works, thimbles and clay character pots). By creating these ethnographic studies and new folk artefacts, Smith invites us to re-examine the context in which we view TV Burp.
Her sensitive and expressive two-dimensional works examine the action of the television show with the keen observation of an anthropologist. The three-dimensional pieces draw from the folk iconography of Naïve commemorative memorabilia. Collectively, they present TV Burp’s elements and key characters as rituals and archetypes, with relayed slapstick, distorted faces, and characterful expressions. The works purposefully retain and convey the humour and silliness of TV Burp; qualities that are integral to the very essence of a Carnival approach to life.
The exhibition playfully demonstrates how certain traditions repeatedly manifest in society. Smith encourages the viewer to reflect on their own responses to Hill’s parody of the world of television and to understand this unintentional carnival “born out of the traditions in the blood and moulded by the laughter of the audience” as a continuation of a fluctuating folk institution. Accordingly, Smith highlights the enduring methods in which we humans engage and deal with our existence.
Accompanying the exhibition there will be a book of essays comparing the activities on the television programme, Harry Hill’s TV Burp, with the historic phenomena they relate to.
Anna FC Smith studied Critical Fine Art Practice at the University of Brighton, graduating in 2007. Her work is primarily concerned with identifying ritual, carnival and transgressive space within contemporary culture. She is also a curator; running Northern Arts Collective (previously NXNW Festival) from 2007 to present. She was assistant curator at Birth Rites Collection (2010-2011), where she curated a symposium discussing ‘Birth in Contemporary Art’, held at both the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, and the Whitechapel Gallery, London. She has exhibited her art internationally. She now lives and works in her home borough of Wigan.
BURPology – Harry Hill’s TV Burp As Carnival’ at the Coningsby Gallery, London, is curated by Jo Guile with curatorial assistance from Nathalie Boobis. The show will be returning to the artist’s hometown of Wigan for exhibition after its London premier. The curation of the Wigan show will be led by Nathalie Boobis with curatorial assistance from Jo Guile.
Jo Guile is a curator and artist based in London. She most recently curated and coordinated ‘Where The Latent Image Lives’ organised in partnership between Camden Arts Center and Kingsgate Workshop Trust. Jo studied Fine Art Sculpture at the University of Brighton and graduated in 2007.Nathalie Boobis is a curator and artist based in Manchester. She is exhibitions curator with Blank Media Collective, Manchester and Northern Arts Collective, Wigan. Recent exhibitions include ‘Location Relative’ at Contact Manchester and ‘You Say Tomato I Say Tomato’ with Northern Arts Collective. She graduated from a degree in Critical Fine Art Practice at the University of Brighton in 2008.
Andrew Coningsby founded The Coningsby Gallery in 1994. The gallery has a specific objective of helping selected up and coming younger fine artists and illustrators – artists depicting things that are thought provoking and insightful. Andrew represented Harry’s now wife Magda (who practised as an illustrator) for around twelve years. Harry attended at least one of Magda’s exhibitions at the gallery in the mid-90’s.
The gallery stages some 20 + exhibitions per year and is located in the heart of the dynamic contemporary art district of Fitzrovia
Following its premier at the Coningsby Gallery BURPology – Harry Hill’s TV Burp as Carnival will be returning to the artist, Anna FC Smith’s, hometown of Wigan for exhibition. As such, any customers who wish to buy works from the London show are kindly asked to acknowledge that they will not receive their purchases until after the conclusion of the Wigan exhibition. However, any work bought will be clearly marked as sold and will be guaranteed, by means of a contract, as the property of the customer. Thank you for your understanding.