CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI: ESCAPE

Douglas O'Connell, NY3, Installation View, ACTS RE-ACTS 2014

02 Oct - 23 Oct 2015

10am to 5pm

CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI: ESCAPE

Exhibition Dates: 2 - 23 October 2015
Opening Event: Thursday 1 October 5 - 8pm


'When I was an art student, over twenty years ago, I remember one statement from a visiting lecturer in particular that changed my practice. It went something along the lines of:
"At art college you are merely learning the visual language. The problem is you are all so young that  you have very little life experience and therefore have nothing worth saying".

It was this put-down mixed with disillusionment and homesickness that led me to make a boat out of driftwood and try to escape from art college in it ('Seascape Escape'). My logic was that it would be 'visual language' and personal life experience all rolled into one.

I was at art college in Hull so the first obstacle was the river Humber, one of the most dangerous river estuaries in Europe. Needless to say the project ended in disaster and I had to be rescued by a tug boat as we were swept off downstream past the docks on a 5 knot spring tide.

I subsequently built several vehicles, each one allowing me to escape in different ways.  Apart from the boat; which was burnt on the insistence of a very irate river Humber harbour master, all of these vehicles still exist.

Given the opportunity to have a solo show at Wimbledon Space, I have chosen to revisit this body of work. I felt there was an interesting poetic irony in bringing these vehicles back into an art college'. 

Chris Dobrowolski, July 2015
 

EXHIBITION EVENT

CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI: ANTARCTICA
Performance Lecture: Tuesday 20 October 2015, 1 - 2pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre, Wimbledon College of Arts
Free. All welcome

 
SOMETIMES, IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO JUSTIFY YOUR POSITION MAKING ART WHILST EVERYONE AROUND YOU IS TRYING TO SAVE THE PLANET.
 
Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, driest place in the world, home to a few scientists, engineers and medical professionals all at the top of their game. Every day is about survival. Every day is about saving the planet.

And then Chris came along to make some Art.

For three and a half months Chris lived and worked alongside the folks at the British Antarctic Survey. He discovered that sometimes it’s very difficult to justify your position as an Artist whilst everyone around you is a Hero.

This is a recently reworked, power-point presentation-come-adventure story about overcoming hardships and celebrating difference via tales of carnivorous ducks, Ladybird books and a sledge built out of gold picture frames. 

Antarctica is created by Chris Dobrowolski and produced by Artsadmin.


Chris Dobrowolski is an artist and maker who works from his garden shed in Colchester, Essex. He studied Fine Art in Hull but, when he arrived, he built a boat from driftwood to try to escape. Chris has since ended up making a whole series of working vehicles in a similar vein, including a tank, a hovercraft, an aeroplane and a sledge. Each vehicle and escape attempt has its own story attached. Over the years, Chris has retold and refined these stories as both an artist and teacher.

His performance work includes the acclaimed All Roads Lead to Rome and Poland 3 Iran 2 with 30 Bird Theatre about the 1976 cup match final. He has recently had his first book published: Escape (Jardine, 2014). 


Image: Chris Dobrowolski, Seascape Escape, 1989 - 2015