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ARMA 2016: Alison Carlier unveils 'Flourish'

Aspex, engage and The Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award (ARMA) are proud to present ‘Flourish’ a new artwork from the artist Alison Carlier.

Carlier undertook the ARMA residency in May 2016, working in Aspex’s new artist’s studio. The Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award (ARMA) was established in memory of the artist Alexandra Reinhardt and is supported by the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust.

The annual Award enables an artist to undertake a residency working with children and young people to create an artwork in the public realm. engage has been running the Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award programme since 2012.

Over ten weeks the artist carried out education and participatory work at Aspex, leading the weekly ‘Family Saturdays’ session and a series of workshops for St Georges Beneficial School. The workshops have culminated in ‘Flourish’, a neon and sound installation that draws on the military history of the gallery’s home – The Vulcan Building, as an artillery and land service store for HMS Vernon.

‘Flourish’ was unveiled at a celebration event on Thursday 1 December, marking the gallery’s 10 years in the Vulcan Building. The artwork references the site’s present and future incarnations, on the periphery of the designer retail outlet Gunwharf Quays. The accompanying sound work fuses a buzz of the neon workshop, wind whistling through Portsmouth Harbour and shopping at Gunwharf Quays.

An exhibition is also on display within Aspex’s Learning Space, showcasing Carlier’s residency and artwork created through the participatory workshops.

Alison Carlier studied at Surrey Institute of Art and Design and Wimbledon College of Arts, and was awarded the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2014. The artist has more than 20 years experience of working directly with the public and engaging others is central to her work. Her work reflects upon the activities of listening and looking, often taking the form of a sound installation or performance.  

Jane Sillis, Director of engage said:

'Alison Carlier has created a stunning neon and sound commission for Aspex supported by the 2016 Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award. Carlier has drawn inspiration from the naval history of Portsmouth and the Vulcan building and from the brilliant activities she led with Aspex colleagues for children, young people and families. engage is grateful to the Max Reinhardt Charitable Trust for their support of the Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award and proud to organise the bi-annual award.'

Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex said:

'Aspex has thoroughly enjoyed having Alison as our first artist-in-residence to be located in our new artist’s studio following our small capital project from Arts Council England. ‘Flourish’ is a brilliant homage to the history of this building.'

 
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