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FWD: Adam Reynolds - R I P

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  • Keith Armstrong
    Sisyphus, a performance by Adam Reynolds, in collaboration with Sign Dance Collective, Jefford Horrigan, Terry Smith and Christopher Shanks, was scheduled to
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 29, 2005
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      Sisyphus, a performance by Adam Reynolds, in collaboration with Sign
      Dance Collective, Jefford Horrigan, Terry Smith and Christopher
      Shanks, was scheduled to take place on August 13 in London, directly
      in front of the Tate Modern art gallery. From among the debris on the
      Thames foreshore, 120 water-scoured bricks were to have been
      assembled in the form of Carl Andre's Equivalent VIII, the sculpture
      known as "the Tate bricks" which provoked controversy about the
      nature of art and artistic endeavour in the mid-1970s. At high tide,
      the worn bricks were to have been cast back into the river.

      In itself, the task appears straightforward, but the protagonist was
      to have been a 45-year-old artist with a severe form of muscular
      dystrophy, singularly ill-equipped for such physical activity. The
      performance thus becomes an overwhelming labour, like the task of
      Sisyphus, condemned forever to carry a rock up a mountain, only to
      see it roll down each time he reached the top. It also becomes a
      performance requiring ambition, determination, utter concentration
      and courage.

      These qualities defined the character of Adam Reynolds, who died,
      unexpectedly but peacefully, two days before his scheduled
      performance at Bankside. They were combined with a sense of mischief,
      humour and generosity which would have been remarkable in anyone, but
      were exceptional in someone facing the prospect of increasing
      physical disability for all his adult life.

      Adam was born in London, but grew up in the Buckinghamshire
      countryside, in a family that responded with courage and imagination
      to the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy in his older brother, Mark,
      and in Adam soon after birth. It had been expected that he would not
      live beyond his teens. At Sussex University, where he met Isabelle
      King, his partner and the mother of their daughters, Tilda and Kitty,
      Adam read medieval history and European literature. He then studied
      sculpture at the Sir John Cass School of Art for two years.

      In 1984, in a move of typical economy and lateral thinking, he
      provided himself with living accommodation, a studio and showing
      space by acquiring a small house with a ground-floor shop in Walcot
      Square, south London. He believed that a gallery run by an artist
      would have a different ethos than one run by either a curator or a
      commercial dealer, and at the Adam Gallery he presented exhibitions
      of his work, often exploring the potential of the building itself and
      frequently making his work from detritus discarded by others.

      He also wanted to provide a platform for artists, by offering them an
      opportunity to develop projects or work without the conventional
      constraints. The gallery ran for more than 10 years. Adam sought no
      single aesthetic, but rather an attitude from exhibitors, encouraging
      artists to use the space and discover their own potential.

      Many who showed were teachers rather than professional artists, but
      all were young and untried. The gallery was not a forcing ground for
      stars - though Jeremy Deller and Tracey Emin showed there in the late
      1980s - but rather a community in which artists respected each
      other's work and took pleasure in the company. Several owed their
      first chance to a show in Walcot Square, where the atmosphere and the
      quality of the work generated critical interest and support from
      public funds..

      Adam directed the gallery himself for many years, but later formed a
      board to share decisions and the workload of an enterprise he said
      was "slightly off the London art map". Eventually, the pressure of
      other work led him to close it in 1997.

      Throughout this period, Adam's own work as a sculptor developed, with
      contributions to open and survey exhibitions, and small solo
      exhibitions at the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, and the Yorkshire
      Sculpture Park, near Wakefield. But he probably found greatest
      fulfilment in the public commissions which came to dominate his
      practice, most of them designed to be experienced by people
      regardless of physical, sensory or intellectual impairment. He
      frequently provided opportunities for others with disabilities to
      contribute to projects.

      In 1993, Adam created a monumental, yet graceful, steel and copper
      piece, Of Common Origin, for the midlands office of Scope, the
      disability organisation focused on people with cerebral palsy. At the
      Boscombe day centre, in Bournemouth, he facilitated the design and
      production of a public artwork by the centre's clients alongside his
      own Glasshouses, a series of identically shaped glass houses
      increasing in size and laid out as a spiral across the grounds, each
      containing a single round object.

      In Out There, at Frimley Park hospital, Surrey, in 2001, he
      redesigned a courtyard to provide access and a setting for three
      interactive artworks: Floating Pond, in which the sky is reflected;
      Mist Pyramid, with the mist coloured by lights which change according
      to the seasons; and Steel Ring, a large polished ring, which responds
      with sound to the presence of viewers.

      Adam's abilities resulted in invitations to serve on advisory boards
      and panels, and he became a leading figure in what he described in
      his CV as the "disability business". From 1986 onwards, he was a
      trustee of (and, for a period, chaired) Shape London, the arts
      development agency working with disabled and disadvantaged groups. He
      was in constant demand as an adviser, trainer, workshop leader and
      speaker on disability issues from museums and galleries across the
      country. He contributed regular reviews to Disability Now and served
      on the Arts Council's art panel (1989-94), the Southern Arts Board
      (1995-2000) and as a trustee of the Art Place Trust and Chisenhale
      Gallery (1991-2003).

      Once met, Adam was never forgotten. You were struck by the singular
      physical grace with which he negotiated his way through any
      encounter; you were regaled by stories of trips involving huge
      determination and ingenuity, once strapping his electric buggy to a
      taxi roof in Eritrea; you were startled by his curiosity about your
      own projects.

      Adam was exceptional. His generosity to other artists and his belief
      in developing the talents of everyone, especially those with special
      insights into the world gained through their impairment, remains a
      lesson to us all.

      · Adam Reynolds, artist, born October 22 1959; died August 11 2005

      Nicholas Serota Tuesday August 23, 2005 The Guardian

      More goto:
      <http://www.guardian.co.uk/obituaries/story/0,3604,1554349,00.html>
    • lm murray
      What a concept! What a guy! Hey, Keith, do you know of any good magazines in the UK like Abilities here in Canada? It s going to be so painful after seeing
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 30, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        What a concept!  What a guy! 
         
        Hey, Keith, do you know of any good magazines in the UK like Abilities here in Canada?  It's going to be so painful after seeing the BBC news on TV to go back to the stupid, stuttering self-congratulating hosers at the once great CBC when the strike is over.  I'm now addicted to BBC Online.
         
        Louise

        Keith Armstrong <keitharm@...> wrote:
        Sisyphus, a performance by Adam Reynolds, in collaboration with Sign
        Dance Collective, Jefford Horrigan, Terry Smith and Christopher
        Shanks, was scheduled to take place on August 13 in London, directly
        in front of the Tate Modern art gallery. From among the debris on the
        Thames foreshore, 120 water-scoured bricks were to have been
        assembled in the form of Carl Andre's Equivalent VIII, the sculpture
        known as "the Tate bricks" which provoked controversy about the
        nature of art and artistic endeavour in the mid-1970s. At high tide,
        the worn bricks were to have been cast back into the river.

        In itself, the task appears straightforward, but the protagonist was
        to have been a 45-year-old artist with a severe form of muscular
        dystrophy, singularly ill-equipped for such physical activity. The
        performance thus becomes an overwhelming labour, like the task of
        Sisyphus, condemned forever to carry a rock up a mountain, only to
        see it roll down each time he reached the top. It also becomes a
        performance requiring ambition, determination, utter concentration
        and courage.

        These qualities defined the character of Adam Reynolds, who died,
        unexpectedly but peacefully, two days before his scheduled
        performance at Bankside. They were combined with a sense of mischief,
        humour and generosity which would have been remarkable in anyone, but
        were exceptional in someone facing the prospect of increasing
        physical disability for all his adult life.

        Adam was born in London, but grew up in the Buckinghamshire
        countryside, in a family that responded with courage and imagination
        to the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy in his older brother, Mark,
        and in Adam soon after birth. It had been expected that he would not
        live beyond his teens. At Sussex University, where he met Isabelle
        King, his partner and the mother of their daughters, Tilda and Kitty,
        Adam read medieval history and European literature. He then studied
        sculpture at the Sir John Cass School of Art for two years.

        In 1984, in a move of typical economy and lateral thinking, he
        provided himself with living accommodation, a studio and showing
        space by acquiring a small house with a ground-floor shop in Walcot
        Square, south London. He believed that a gallery run by an artist
        would have a different ethos than one run by either a curator or a
        commercial dealer, and at the Adam Gallery he presented exhibitions
        of his work, often exploring the potential of the building itself and
        frequently making his work from detritus discarded by others.

        He also wanted to provide a platform for artists, by offering them an
        opportunity to develop projects or work without the conventional
        constraints. The gallery ran for more than 10 years. Adam sought no
        single aesthetic, but rather an attitude from exhibitors, encouraging
        artists to use the space and discover their own potential.

        Many who showed were teachers rather than professional artists, but
        all were young and untried. The gallery was not a forcing ground for
        stars - though Jeremy Deller and Tracey Emin showed there in the late
        1980s - but rather a community in which artists respected each
        other's work and took pleasure in the company. Several owed their
        first chance to a show in Walcot Square, where the atmosphere and the
        quality of the work generated critical interest and support from
        public funds..

        Adam directed the gallery himself for many years, but later formed a
        board to share decisions and the workload of an enterprise he said
        was "slightly off the London art map". Eventually, the pressure of
        other work led him to close it in 1997.

        Throughout this period, Adam's own work as a sculptor developed, with
        contributions to open and survey exhibitions, and small solo
        exhibitions at the Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, and the Yorkshire
        Sculpture Park, near Wakefield. But he probably found greatest
        fulfilment in the public commissions which came to dominate his
        practice, most of them designed to be experienced by people
        regardless of physical, sensory or intellectual impairment. He
        frequently provided opportunities for others with disabilities to
        contribute to projects.

        In 1993, Adam created a monumental, yet graceful, steel and copper
        piece, Of Common Origin, for the midlands office of Scope, the
        disability organisation focused on people with cerebral palsy. At the
        Boscombe day centre, in Bournemouth, he facilitated the design and
        production of a public artwork by the centre's clients alongside his
        own Glasshouses, a series of identically shaped glass houses
        increasing in size and laid out as a spiral across the grounds, each
        containing a single round object.

        In Out There, at Frimley Park hospital, Surrey, in 2001, he
        redesigned a courtyard to provide access and a setting for three
        interactive artworks: Floating Pond, in which the sky is reflected;
        Mist Pyramid, with the mist coloured by lights which change according
        to the seasons; and Steel Ring, a large polished ring, which responds
        with sound to the presence of viewers.

        Adam's abilities resulted in invitations to serve on advisory boards
        and panels, and he became a leading figure in what he described in
        his CV as the "disability business". From 1986 onwards, he was a
        trustee of (and, for a period, chaired) Shape London, the arts
        development agency working with disabled and disadvantaged groups. He
        was in constant demand as an adviser, trainer, workshop leader and
        speaker on disability issues from museums and galleries across the
        country. He contributed regular reviews to Disability Now and served
        on the Arts Council's art panel (1989-94), the Southern Arts Board
        (1995-2000) and as a trustee of the Art Place Trust and Chisenhale
        Gallery (1991-2003).

        Once met, Adam was never forgotten. You were struck by the singular
        physical grace with which he negotiated his way through any
        encounter; you were regaled by stories of trips involving huge
        determination and ingenuity, once strapping his electric buggy to a
        taxi roof in Eritrea; you were startled by his curiosity about your
        own projects.

        Adam was exceptional. His generosity to other artists and his belief
        in developing the talents of everyone, especially those with special
        insights into the world gained through their impairment, remains a
        lesson to us all.

        · Adam Reynolds, artist, born October 22 1959; died August 11 2005

        Nicholas Serota Tuesday August 23, 2005 The Guardian

        More goto:





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