Thursday, 14 August 2014

Sleeping Dreaming Planning

Sometimes theViewergallery sleeps and dreams.
While Eleanor is away busy elsewhere, theViewergallery plans its next projects.
Sometimes it applies for funding, but it hasn't been lucky yet.
When Eleanor finishes her MA perhaps theViewergallery will wake up a bit more.
There are screenings and exhibitions and projects and drawings and ideas to make and do and see.

August 2014

Monday, 2 December 2013

Crucial Pursuit!

Crucial Pursuit is a Financial Planning Game for Artists and Art Students. It is a debating and discussion tool which is designed to enable Artists to think through various circumstances, decisions and consequences they will come across in their Art careers. All of the situations are derived from real experiences in negotiating the Artworld, and many recur throughout an Artists’ career, no matter how mature or established they may become.

Financial decisions can make or break Art projects and personal budgets, and Artists are no different, no more or less financially educated than the rest of the population – except they tend to be extremely resourceful in their practice. This means there is a great source of creativity to tap into, but this is sometimes inhibited by an enormous amount of received information and advice. Artists have high expectations of themselves, and often want to fulfil the expectations of others, viewers and Art professionals, in order to be seen as professional and credible. Naturally this does not always mean that the best solution is the one with the biggest budget. Equally, it is sometimes appropriate to invest in the highest possible production values in order to deliver an Art project successfully. Sometimes it needs to be gold and sometimes it needs to be cardboard.

Crucial Pursuit acts as a forum for Artists to examine their responses, consider alternatives, and swap real experiences and anecdotes, to embed flexibility in financial choices and thinking. Artists tend to take on the costs of their practice from their personal budget, and so while pursuing an established practice, unwise spending and poor decisions can spread into and hinder all areas of life. 

There is always an alternative. There is always a way of thinking which can make Art ideas happen. Money does not always equate to creativity, and it makes sense to be prepared, to think flexibly and to be resourceful so that financial and Artistic decisions are considered and not compromised.


Crucial Pursuit - coming to Art schools soon!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

theLongLine events

1. October 2011
Launched at The Original Gallery, London.


2. October 2012
Highbury School in Islington, London hosted a Big Draw day, where the Cubitt Gallery Drawing Collective set up several drawing-based workshops, including theLongLineand screening.


3. April 2013
Islington Museum Cubitt Gallery Drawing Collective Day. Drawing workshops, theLongLine and screening.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Guardian Culture live chat

theViewergallery on the panel for a live discussion on the Guardian Culture Professionals Network
on Friday 8th February 2013, from 12 - 2.

Artist Eleanor MacFarlane of theViewergallery discussed setting up and running a popup gallery, and shared advice and tips.

And here is the Guardian's round up of the discussion:

Eleanor MacFarlane/theViewergallery's top tips on setting up a popup gallery:

Ask for free space: I have negotiated free or reduced rates for gallery hire in the past. If you're enthusiastic and can add value to the gallery by having a pop up day, they will help you out – I have even been given staff for free for the day.

Be patient: There's nothing wrong with smaller organisations waiting a bit until the next generation of things become cheaper. Let the large funded places invest in developing digital tech first. As long as you keep up with Twitter, Facebook, blogging and so on, tailor-made apps can come later. There are free online QR code generators to at least appear being up to date – it's a better contrast to have the gallery a bit old fashioned while the art is cutting edge.

Public Liability Insurance: If you are artists or curators popping up, join AIR at Artists Newsletter:
Membership includes public liability insurance.

Link up: One of the best pieces of advice for popups I've always tried to adhere to is to link with larger organisations.
So I linked with a local open studios programmes, linked my workshops with The Big Draw, etc.
It's mutually beneficial, and you get to be part of their publicity while you bring in new audiences for them.

Logistics and Layout of Gallery: I'd say shamelessly steal best practice ideas seen in various galleries and other venues. We should all do that!
Adapt ways of presenting according to what you have.
Galleries often have a resource table of books, etc, now - great idea which even a measly popup can replicate.
And definitely have seats available when screening video.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

theViewergallery report 2


theViewergallery had been invited as the inaugural artist in a new venture, The Art Shed, set up by Mel Hardwick who runs the Freespace Gallery in Kentish Town, London. The Art Shed was set up for the day on the Art Street, part of a festival organised by Mel, on Sunday 27 May 2012. 

Setting up in a temporary space requires trialling and anticipation, and flexible solutions which can adapt to changing conditions. Wherever the plank goes, theViewergallery exists, and there are additional reproductions of the plank in various sizes as signs. We brought everything – stands, easels, tables, a ladder, fixtures and fittings, adding to theViewergallery’s store of stuff.

Despite being a baking hot day, over 100 people spent time in theViewergallery shed, viewing the screening and reading the books. There is reasonable space for two to view, but at times there were four.

The stream of visitors had much to say about the films, enjoying the variety, and also asking further questions about the artists, and about theViewergallery set up.
The screening had been selected from a call for work, and further edited to a maximum of three minute excerpts. The whole screening was ten minutes, which is a long time to spend in a shed. I had made a further curatorial decision to show two films together, including their soundtracks. They were Moving Image of train journeys, through Berlin and Moscow. The effect together, both still with their soundtracks, was mesmerising.

Duncan McKellar. 48 Hours in Moscow. Animation still. 2010

Steve Fossey. Berlin – The Space Between. Digital video still. 2010

The audience also enjoyed the weird humour of Shared Stuff, where items move between different split screens, and the cartoon figures in Leaders of Men. They were suitably disconcerted by the insects piece with the alien-sounding music.

Elin Ahlberg. Shared stuff. Digital video still. 2010

Jonathan Kelham. Leaders of Men. Animation still. 2010

Eleanor MacFarlane. X4. Digital video still. 2006

The theme of Multitude linked the pieces in split screens, with works with two, three and four simultaneous frames, and multiplicitous views, and with morphing characters within one frame.
I had trialled the screening in bright light, which was just as well, as the heat made closing the door and attempting a dark space impossible. The screening was still clear and visible even while battling direct sunlight.

theViewergallery shop project was set up, a set of fold-out cabinets.

Overall, theViewergallery had a busy, eventful and successful day, making new friends and fans. Despite many opportunities for things going wrong or blowing away, everything went well, and the screening was enjoyed by an appreciative audience.

Monday, 14 May 2012

Multitude...Transmission 2...Works and Artists

Elin Ahlberg

Fine artist from Bristol, working in video and other media to create installations which explore the human experience of digital technology.

Shared Stuff

Single channel video installation, depicting deficit and excess through the flow of assets.
Everyday objects transfer between three spaces.

Digital video.  1 minute. 2010

Elin Ahlberg. Shared stuff. Digital video still. 2010


Steve Fossey

My arts practice is interdisciplinary in its approach, but rooted in site specificity.  I use elements from video, installation, and performance as supports for my questions.  I attempt to capture and rework observations of everyday life in a process of layering knowledge creatively as it is revealed.  The form of this layering is a palimpsest of moving image, audio and text that asks the viewer to dialogue experiences that foster a shared sense of Site.     

Berlin - The Space Between

This video was shot on a train above ground in Berlin. The experience of being in Berlin contains an inescapable duality of a resonant past and an immediate sense of an unfolding present. Behind the newly converted exteriors of buildings that will become apartments, shops and bars, there are creative ambitions to forge an exciting future that belies the bullet ridden exteriors that neighbour the developments.
The histories of Berlin fluctuate between the hidden and the revealed. As one travels between places on the S-Bahn and U-Bahn, a sense of suspended time occurs as the sound of the voice announcing approaching stations blends with the hum of the electrics. Shapes pass by and views of the city formulate histories in the minds of the traveller that produces a sense of space between points in history. As these sounds and shapes merge, an abstraction of location is caused and colour, perception, time and space become a moving image that allows the traveller to be lost in this space between.

Animation.  10 minutes. 2011

Steve Fossey. Berlin – The Space Between. Digital video still. 2010


Jonathan Kelham

My work is based in drawing and spans painting, sculpture and film.

Jonathan Kelham was born in1986, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, UK. Receiving a BTEC Foundation Studies in Fine Art from Hull Collage [2006] & subsequently undertaking a BA [Hons] in Fine Art at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design [2009], being awarded  the Sir Whitworth Wallis Art Prize and Artwise Curators/British Airways Award. In 2010, Jonathan completed a MFA at BIAD, gaining a Distinction for both art practice ‘Leaders Of Men’ and research in the ‘Subjectivity of Utopian Philosophy: within the Realms of the Unreal and Nobson Newtown’. During 2010-2011, Jonathan completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education which included a Research Residency at Meantime Independent Project Space, Cheltenham, UK on Art & Education’. The ongoing Leaders Of Men have been exhibited nationally including: Surface Gallery, Nottingham, Oxford House, London Flatpack Festival, Birmingham & BIAD/The Lombard Method [for The Event 2011], Birmingham, whilst being printed internationally in publications including: Yuck n’ Yum [Dundee, UK], Impulsive Random Platform  [London, UK] and Potroast [Auckland, NZ]. Forthcoming projects include: Leaders Of Men: Village Tour, [2012] Residency, MEANTIME Independent Project Space, Cheltenham

Leaders of Men

The hand drawn and rudimentary Leaders Of Men Animation incorporates the development of the juxtaposition through montage of specific English figures and the awkward, bumbling cartoon characters to develop this notion of the creation of alternative worlds, narratives, dialogues and spaces with a concern for a particular sense of the intentionally constructed portrayal of a romanticised Englishness. Whilst the use of the record by post-punk band Joy Division [An Ideal For Living EP, 1978. from which the work takes its name] references another nostalgic and specific English social and historical period, which provides a potential for creating a ambiguous narrative or contextualisation of the hybrid characters, generating a contradictory dynamism to these lumbering figures.

Animation.  3 minutes. 2010

Jonathan Kelham. Leaders of Men. Animation still. 2010


Duncan McKellar

My work is based in drawing and spans painting, sculpture and film.

The scale of my work ranges from single line drawings capturing a moment to paintings and sculptures which can take years to complete, acting as physical and mental challenges. These large pieces form a constant from which other work can evolve. I find great satisfaction in both extremes, from the immediate to the obsessive.

48 Hours in Moscow.

A Pantoscope was a pre cinema entertainment device enabling a theatre audience to watch a continuous panoramic painting scroll by on tremendous rollers. For hours audiences would watch as scenes unfolded before their eyes. I created a portable version of this public entertainment device that uses a ten-meter scroll of cartridge paper measuring 28cm in diameter. Like handmade videotape, the paper scroll is wound from spool to spool and a drawing is created on each visible section as it passes by. This device enables a continuous image to be produced. When the drawing is complete, watercolour is added from memory and documentation photographs. 

The finished scroll is then recorded rolling passed a digital video camera. The animation can then be viewed as if riding the journey, continuing the tradition of an informative, entertaining public travelling artwork. 

Animation.  4 minutes. 2010

Duncan McKellar. 48 Hours in Moscow. Animation still. 2010


Eleanor MacFarlane

Founder of theViewergallery and theProgressiveImage, I am an artist interested in Moving Image and art contraptions, scientific and optical ideas, and their meaningful implications.

I have a first-class BA in Fine Art and am currently undertaking an MA. I am an Artistic Assessor in             Visual Arts for the Arts Council, an arts book reviewer, an Arts Mentor for the Koestler Trust, and an            occasional tutor.


Insects behave in ways which reveal deep parts of human psychology. Motives and anthropomorphisising aside, insects react to forces, they interreact and respond. They have the basic instincts of flight or fight. It is as if humans retain a primitive insect part of the brain, and so although we have a basic understanding of their behaviour, there is an inner conflict as insects are also linked to our repulse mechanism.

Digital video.  5 minutes. 2006

Eleanor MacFarlane. X4. Digital video still. 2006


Wednesday, 14 March 2012


Moving Image may be described as Video Art, terms overlapping into narrative areas, and into documentation of studio practices and events. Video Art may encompass experimental happenings and ephemeral events captured on video. The Moving Image also suggests Cinema, with its larger scale of filmic and collaborative concerns. Moving Image can comprise everything that moves in a film-type medium, including animation, home movies, historical street scenes, vintage broadcasts, early shorts, use of found footage, and more. Moving Image artists themselves borrow and use any and all of the media mentioned, and define themselves variously.

Multitude is a theViewergallery project, part of theProgressiveImage exploration of Moving Image.


Multitude- a great number; a crowd; an assemblage; the vulgar or common people; the state of being many; a great number of individuals; numerousness.

Moving image and video art presents multiple views.

Different train journeys are juxtaposed, creating dual visions as if on inner and outer journeys.
Objects appear and reappear between screens – a contemporary take on one of cinema’s oldest tricks.
Cartoon figures morph through aspects of character and caricature.

Are insects individuals, or one unit of a unified multitude?

theProgressiveImage seeks to define Moving Image, and explore why artists use the medium. Why a photograph that moves? Why a film without a story? Perhaps artists use Moving Image to work with time, exploring the pace of thought - moments which can stretch out, and which journey on through the mind.

Digital video, film and animation techniques usually play at anything between 24 and 60 frames a second. They trick us into seeing a continual flow of movement, but really, they reveal to us that reality is similar – a series of events which our brains piece together into a sequence. Moving Image artists make and show a version of reality. 

Thursday, 24 November 2011

theLongLine online

theLongLine. theViewergallery. 2011-2013
15 minutes

theLongLine is also on YouTube: youtube theViewergallery theLongLine
(Sadly, each time I update theLongLine on YouTube, the previous link is replaced)

I have animated theLongLine and add each batch when there is another event.
Many more to follow in time........

Music to accompany theLongLine: Left Bank Two, by Wayne Hill, played by the Noveltones, 1963, otherwise known to generations of British children as the Gallery theme to the TV programmes "Vision On" and "Smart."

I have currently not attached the music so as not to infringe copyright, but here is a legitimate link: left bank two


The Polyorama is an eighteenth century idea, a never-ending, ever-changing continuous landscape, made up of multiple drawings.  As long as the horizon lines match up, the landscape can be rearranged endlessly. It’s a panoramic view of an imagined world, where ancient ruins can sit next to space ships, dreamy scenes or infested waters.

theLongLine invites participants to create a continuous landscape, matching three elements – Sky, Land and Sea. Whose drawing will yours sit next to – a famous artist, a child who will grow up to be a famous artist, someone from the other side of the world, a visionary, a scribbler?

theLongLine has ambitions to become a very Long Line. Started in 2011, when the world record for the longest drawing in the world stands at 9,154m (India, 2009), theLongLine will take its time, appear and reappear, tour and pop up occasionally, all the while adding to its length, its store of ideas and contributions. It all starts with one line. Where will it travel, where will your part of theLongLine be shown. How long will it all keep going?

Who is the artist of theLongLine – is it the artist who thought up the idea, the unnamed person who invented the form, all those who actually do the drawing, or whoever arranges how they are shown? Just 10 different sections of theLongLine could make 3,628,800 different landscape variations – I read this, but I still can’t believe it! Out of all those multiples of choices, how does one piece end up next to another – and will they ever meet again?

Thursday, 6 October 2011

theViewergallery report 1

Despite unexpectedly and unseasonably turning into one of the hottest days of the year, nearly 100 people attended the launch event of theViewergallery on Saturday 1st October 2011, held in The Original Gallery, London N8.

Seven of the ten exhibiting Moving Image artists attended, some of whom helped enormously in setting up and taking down.

 Three artists talking

theViewergallery is all about being resourceful and adaptable. We made a makeshift screening room using available partitions. I had brought my projector and also backup technology in the shape of a TV, and showed the screening on both simultaneously, starting at different times. I love multiple screens and hope to show more in this way. The eye moves from one to the other, makes choices and connections.

Transmission 1 Drawing

Heather Barnett

                                                                                                                                                                       Rachel Evans

Parul Gupta

  Parul Gupta. Hairfall. Digital video still. 2011

Paul Harrison

     Paul Harrison. Away From the Unknown. Animation still. 2011

Jacky Hutson

Spread Beauty. Jacky Hutson. Animation still. 2010

Colin Legge

    Unit. Colin Legge. Digital video still. 2011

                                                                                                                                                                        Eleanor MacFarlane

 Eleanor MacFarlane. Personification. Animation still. 2010

 Eleanor MacFarlane. Drawing. Digital video still. 2006

Duncan McKellar

 Duncan McKellar. 48 Hours in Moscow. Animation still. 2010 

                                                                                                                                                                                       Michael Szpakowski


Tom Walker

theLongLine has made a magnificent start in its quest to grow. This was really its trial run, and everything went smoothly, apart from next time I will have somewhere for all the pencil sharpenings to go. Even the youngest children got what they had to do. I was amazed by how much time people spent on drawing their part of this project, and then enjoying adding their piece to the line. My next big task is to scan each piece and create a moving Image from them, which I will show and add to every time I repeat this project. I have a system to record names and contributions, but also have several anonymous pieces.

The Moving Image will be on theViewergallery virtual space - this site.

We had a couple of extra drawing activities – one set up by a helper for the day, Anna Rootes  – a roll of paper taped to the floor, which started off with people tracing their feet and drawing their journey to the gallery. It was very popular and gathered some magnificent and anonymous contributions.

We also made a wall-based Post It Notes Portrait Gallery. I had collected a multitude of shapes, sizes and colours of post it notes. Again, there were some wonderful pieces. I have them all still, and will certainly in time make something with this magnificent resource – perhaps an animation.

We had a pop up shop selling theViewergallery handmade-corporate items – badges, magnets, bookmarks. I had produced a printed catalogue for the Transmission 1 screening, and had small framed stills to sell, and exhibiting artists brought other items. Again, this is a venture I will repeat, as I love making objects and devising multiples, and have concocted many devices and prototypes over the years. I am planning my next batches of art objects, and will also set up a facility to sell online.

The other piece of the day, Absolute Magnitude, I am not as yet adding to this report, as we MA students are keeping it secret from each other until we have all shown it. However, I’ll just note that one lady pulled up a chair and spend at least 40 minutes in front of it, just looking, looking, looking.

Overall, theViewergallery made a satisfying debut, creating connections between artists, furthering the cause of Moving Image, launching ongoing projects and enterprises, and celebrating Drawing in many forms. It’s a wonder how many signs, stands, easels, blackboards and so on I already had around my home, and how much now belongs to theViewergallery, waiting for its next occasion.

Many thanks to
Magnus Hannah Jon Liam Anna Colin Duncan Paul Heather Terry

 Eleanor MacFarlane 2011

6th October 2011