Confused about where to see great art over the festival month? So are we. But if you’ve waded through the programmes and come out with your head all a-muddle, here are ten you should try.
The Giddy oral history app and exhibition is the work of three of Brighton’s smartest and most experienced digital curators and designers: Carina Westling, Jamie Wyld and Peter Pavement, united as The Nimbus Group. It goes on a journey through the lives, loves and tribulations of people in the city during the 1940s, 50s and 60s, including a chance meeting with Jimi Hendrix, strip bars, teddy boys and some incredible old pictures. “Our intention is to bring history to life in such a way that the young – or not so young – people who hear these stories will never look at older people in quite the same way again,” says Westling of a work illuminating shared memories between successive generations. Pupils at Longhill worked with archivists and photographers to curate the material.
Exhibition at University Gallery until May 29th. Get the app here
The Sprawl (Propaganda About Propaganda)
Don’t tell the trolls, but the internet is a geopolitical super weapon – or, at least, that’s how cinematographer Remko Schnorr, electronic musician Kuedo and award-winning artists and filmmakers Metahaven are critiquing it through this “poetic cinematic journey” entangling political spin and the unique take news channels claim on morality. The Ukraine war, the downing of flight MH17 and the spread of IS are three themes of a multi-screen installation Lighthouse Artistic Director Juha van’t Zelfde calls “a sensational screenshot” of the world.
Lighthouse, until May 29th
Louise Searle Paintings
Louise Searle’s first solo exhibition has been put together specially for the Fringe, capturing chance observations which the artist photographs before turning into beautiful paintings. Bold and invigorating, these landscapes range from woodlands to fairgrounds, and illustrate her journeys from Antigua to the Austrian Alps. “It begins as an intuitive and immediate process,” says Searle. “I don’t often go out seeking my subject matter, but rather react to the visual stimulation around me.”
Gallery40, May 16th-28th
Technology and the Evolution of the Artist’s Book
Enhancing the gallery’s reputation as a home for some of the world’s most talented artists working in book form, this exhibition has been curated by Maddy Rosenberg, the director of New York’s Central Booking space, and features practitioners who enjoy both the sensory and textual allure of books. The gallery will undergo a dramatic re-imagining in line with the experimental approach of the artists taking part, inviting visitors to discover these books in a theatrical display overseen by local designers Curious Space. Fabula and the Sussex Book Art Collective are two of the local groups involved.
Phoenix Art Gallery, until June 12th
Portraits in Motion
An award-winner at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, Volker Gerling’s intrepid approach to his art is no walk in the park: the artist has walked thousands of miles through Germany during the past 13 years, creating portraits of the people he encounters in his beloved photographic flipbooks. Here, he presents some of his favourite portraits under a video camera, projecting the moving images onto a big screen. “I am interested in the gaps between the images and everything that gets lost when you leaf through them quickly,” he says. “I am interested in the gaps between the cities that you would normally speedily cover.”
Dome Studio Theatre, Wed 11th May, 6.30pm & 9pm, £10-£12.50
The Best Ink_d Show Ever
Ink_d’s imminent closure will be a marked loss: no more effervescent smiley faces looming out of the North Street windows, nor street-artists-to-the-stars showing off their latest edgy wares. They’re going out with a bang, though: works by some of the artists to grace their 90 exhibitions over the years will be included in a typically flamboyant finale for the Fringe. “The staff are on to new projects, bigger and better,” says Mew from the gallery, thanking visitors for their support over the years. “This last show is an example of all the wonderful talent that ink_d has had the good fortune of working with.”
Ink_d, until May 29th
As well as a series of spectacular LED light drawings presented as a monumental walk-through installation within Fabrica’s cathedralesque home, Ron Haselden, who was been perfecting his technique for the past decade, has also produced a series of smaller works around the city, based on children’s drawings. Haselden loves drawings produced by untutored hands, and the work in the gallery has been developed from drawings by older people, emphasising the wisdom and perspective they possess. “Many older people do not find it easy to have their voice heard as contemporary life rushes on,” he muses. “I see Luminary as giving older people much more visibility by presenting, in quite a confrontational way, very large illuminated drawings in very public spaces.”
Fabrica, until May 29th
A Room With Your Views
Former Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing is the lead artist for HOUSE 16, which itself is presenting all manner of works across the city, including a luminous work by Felicity Hammond (also at the University Gallery) and a series of paintings inspired by urban landscapes, courtesy of Thompson Hall at the Regency Town House. Wearing has asked people to portray the view from their windows, exploring the boundaries between private and public life in a succession of confessional, fly-on-the-wall self-portraits. A series of new artist commissions have also been created around Brighton by Photoworks and Outside In, and a community drawing project is being led by Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.
University of Brighton Gallery, until May 29th
Artists Open Houses
Open Houses are always an unpredictable joy, partly because of their inviting, personal nature and partly because you never know what might lie in wait. The venues are typically unusual: The Dreamliner Arts Club sets up in a camper home, and a former cinema on the end of North Road will become the home of a range of mixed media artists. 11 Rugby Road turns a one-bedroom flat into an emporium of makers, and there are three Open Houses along the Kings Road Arches. Look out for The Light On The Hill Top, along Queen’s Park Road, where Spanish artist A Pozas has created a series of monochromatic paintings, and pen and ink portraits of dogs by Emily Boyce, exhibiting as part of the Chelston Artists in Hove.
All over Brighton, until May 30th
Two-for-one cocktails. ‘Rad’ food. Headdress making. As well as being the most Brighton art event imaginable, Cult Milk is a chance to learn from some incredible professional artists – often for free – against a backdrop of music, film, face painting and interactive art. This time there are printing, weaving and sewing workshops to improve your skills, alongside vintage clothes and a pop-up gallery, all offered on a drop-in basis. Pure fun: just don’t ruminate retrospectively on your own creations if you take excessive advantage of the drinks deals.
Patterns, May 30th, 12pm-6pm
Photos by Tom Thistlethwaite, Oliver Raven and courtesy of the Argus archive