After the success of 2017's, “How to Cut Your Losses and Make a Prophet - Seeing the Future and Making Money off It.” Guernsey born artist Andy Smith AKA Smithsonian Rösterino returns to the Gate House Gallery to exhibit his unique blend of collages, assemblages, digital media, paintings and mixed media installations. In this exhibition Rösterino addresses the subject of the climate and ecological emergency.
The exhibition title references John Steinbeck’s, 1961 novel ‘The Winter of our Discontent’ and the ‘The Winter of Discontent’ which was the period between November 1978 and February 1979 in the UK characterised by widespread strikes, exacerbated by the coldest winter in 16 years, in which severe storms isolated many remote areas of the country. The title also references The Umbrella Movement, which was a political movement that emerged during the 2014 Hong Kong protests.
Andy explains… “Steinbeck’s dark novel condemns the increasing materialism and social acceptance of dirty business practices that he saw infecting American society in the late 1950s as it moved from a values-based culture to a materialist one - this allegory is one still relevant today and is the root cause of the lack of climate action coming from our governments - they are simply putting selfish materialistic greed ahead of human life.”
All of the work on display responds directly to Andy’s experiences protesting on the streets with Extinction Rebellion and the wider impact of the climate and ecological crisis.
“Art has always acted as a mirror to the world; as we continue our descent into climate breakdown, we’re going to see more and more artists reflecting the social struggles we’re all increasingly facing on a day to day basis in the same way Picasso responded to the Spanish Civil War.”
The exhibition will feature examples of Andy’s complex hand-cut geometric collages alongside sound installations, video and assemblages made from found and recycled objects and materials.
“I have been experimenting with augmented reality and have been attempting to add additional audio and animated layers into the 2D collages that I’ve been producing - these are accessed via your smartphone and headphones - If all goes to plan the exhibition will feature some of these new works.”
In this exhibition Andy analyses his relationship with the climate movement and how it is policed. The new politics of the culture war has spawned a wealth of artists and activists who want to respond to a wide range of injustices, driving for positive change through art and creativity.
Andy states… “Meaningful artistic dialogue is just as important as the right to protest; culture helps shape humanity, communities can connect and unify through art which leads to empathy and empathy leads to justice. I really welcome healthy discourse around these subjects, so that we can understand the world in a different way and better understand ourselves and our place in it - art can inspire change.”
The Opening Night / Private View of the exhibition is on Friday 10th November: 6:30pm - 9:30pm and the Exhibition Continues / Meet the artist Saturday 11th November - Sunday 12th November: 10:00am - 5:00pm at the Gate House Gallery in the grounds of Elizabeth College, La Grange. You are encouraged to bring smart phones & headphones as some works have accessible audio content.
Smithsonian Rosterino was one of Extinction Rebellion’s key action planners and has been involved in some of the movement's most memorable creative visual actions. He is also an artist. In this talk, Guernsey born, he will discuss where art and protest meet and how his own work has influenced his activism and vice-versa.
Art has the ability to raise awareness and to tell stories; art can reflect back at us the world we live in, oftentimes with greater clarity or nuance. Art can also depict visions of the future, and shed light on histories and cultures gone by, both key to reimagining the world we want to create. But beyond raising awareness and contributing to storytelling, art can play an active role in effecting change. ART CAN DISRUPT!
Entry is FREE, numbers will be limited, please arrive in good time to ensure entry.
This event is supported by Guernsey Arts.
Thursday 2nd November: 7:00pm - 9:00pm
2 Market St
Facebook event can be found here.
“People Using Umbrellas Always Seem to be Under The Weather - The Winter of Our Discontent.” an exhibition by Smithsonian Rösterino.
After the success of 2017's, “How to Cut Your Losses and Make a Prophet - Seeing the Future and Making Money off It.” Guernsey born artist Andy Smith AKA Smithsonian Rösterino returns to the Gate House Gallery to exhibit his unique blend of collages, assemblages and mixed media installations. In this exhibition Rösterino addresses the subject of the climate and ecological emergency.
This event is supported by Guernsey Arts.
Friday 10th November: 6:30pm - 9:30pm
Exhibition Continues / Meet the artist
Saturday 11th November: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Sunday 12th November: 10:00am - 5:00pm
Gate House Gallery
Elisabeth College Grounds
You are cordially invited to the opening night of “When We Talk About War, We're Really Talking about Peace” an exhibition of collages and mixed media works by Smithsonian Rösterino on FRIDAY 15th MARCH 2024 from 6:30pm - 10:30pm.
This exhibition is supported by www.revolting-artists.com
Friday 15th March 2024 - 6:30pm > 10:30pm
Saturday 16th March 2024 -10am > 5pm
Sunday 17th March 2024 -10am > 5pm
Saint Nics Gallery
11 Nicholas Street
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." By Smithsonian Rosterino, is a small diptych composed of two matchbooks. The title is a quote by U.S. President George W. Bush, post 9/11 at the height of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden during the “War on Terror!” Each matchbook is cut to resemble the New York skyline, with the iconic ‘Twin Towers’ being the only two ignitable matchsticks left whole. The owner of the artwork has the choice to light them; to play god, to destroy art!
One matchbook is from the presidential aircraft; ‘Airforce 1’, the other is a ‘bounty’ matchbook given to U.S. troops to distribute in Afghanistan, featuring a reward for the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden. One is white, the other is black, one exudes wealth and opulence, whilst the other promises wealth by betrayal and submitting to the ‘American Dream’, one is “good”, one is “evil”, one is right, one is wrong and both are terrorists in the eyes of the other!
The artwork is about dilemma. How do you assign the roles of “good” and “evil”, and who do you trust to give you the context of that judgment. Who is responsible for the atrocities that happened on 9/11? Who is responsible for the ongoing death and destruction that has happened in the name of oil driven capitalism in the middle east since March 3rd 1938? Whose side are you on?
about the matches
The mighty matchbook has a long and quite successful history in the world of marketing. There was a time in our history when matchbooks were the most popular advertising medium in North America. They were inexpensive, colourful, persuasive, and highly mobile. The simple matchbook links the tragic events of 9/11 with President George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden.
There are various different designs of matchbooks associated with the U.S. presidential aircraft, Air Force One. From piecing information together about all the various designs, it is most likely that the matchbook design Rosterino has used is the style that would have been used during George W. Bush’s term in office.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush traveled to Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota, Florida, where he received news that two planes had flown into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. He had travelled to Florida on the presidential aircraft, Air Force One. President Bush was rushed back to the airport where he flew to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. While enroute from Florida to Louisiana, the pilots were told there was a plane approaching. Fearing the unknown plane was hijacked, Air Force One altered its course; but ultimately, decided to continue on to Barksdale. (The second plane turned out to be harmless.) The President went from Barksdale Air Force Base to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska; however, he insisted on returning home to the White House, where he addressed the nation from the Oval Office. Many of the important decisions made that day were made on board Air Force One. President George W. Bush was a smoker and could very well have used these type of matches to light his cigarettes during this stressful time.
After Bin Laden's suspected involvement in the Sept. 11, 2001, matchbooks were put into circulation offering a reward for his whereabouts. The thinking was this: many of the rural people of the Middle East don't have access to radios or internet. But research showed that a high percentage of people in those regions were smokers. Matchbooks are an interesting item. Heavy to moderate smokers look at a matchbook 20 or more times a day. Up to eight additional people are exposed to a single matchbook. They get borrowed and shared. Every time a matchbook got pulled out of a pocket, the owner was reminded of the bounty. Matchbooks were an inexpensive, yet effective way for the State Department to get the word out to remote regions, and to keep it top of mind.
Unfortunately, as it turns out, the matchbooks weren't effective in bin Laden's case. Many people in rural areas can’t read and the reward amount on the matchbooks was missing a zero – it said $500,000 instead of $5 million. Also, the matchbooks were green, a colour Muslims associate with Islam, so many Afghans would interpret it to mean bin Laden was a holy man. And lastly, the website on the matchbooks was also incorrect – so anyone wishing to leave a tip just got an error message.
"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
U.S. President George W. Bush, 5th Aug 2004
I took the opportunity to paint two BT Boxes in Weymouth last month, seemed a good time as the gas company had fenced them off. It's been a while since I've painted anything, but soon got back into the swing of it. Obviously climate themed... because nothing else is as important. Some of the black and white images were borrowed from Miles Glyn... check him out here...
If you visit Weymouth, you can find them located here...
I'm very pleased to announce that I have some work featured in the "You May Find Yourself" Just Stop Oil Group Exhibition along with Gavin Turk, Andrei Molodkin, Boy George, Jamie Reid, Peter Kennard and many others.
You can bid on available works via the Auction Collective.
Music, soundscapes, field recordings and audio collages have always played a big part in my visual artwork and gallery installations. I have now set up a Bandcamp page as I plan on merging more audio work into my visual practice.
A massive thank you to the 63 people, from 9 different countries who joined my Collage Composition workshop on World Collage Day. It was a wonderful celebration of the diversity and global reach amongst the collage community. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to join us - you are all beautiful people. Keep on cuttin' and stickin'. Here are a few of my favourite outcomes from the attendees...
As part of World Collage Day on Saturday 9th May I will be hosting an online 1-hour Collage Composition Workshop via this Zoom link...
Who is it for?
This 1 hour long workshop is for artists and students aged 16+ and of all abilities: it is a good workshop for anyone wishing to learn more about composition and how we look at and understand art. The workshop has something for beginners right through to advanced artists.
What is this workshop about?
Aim: To learn about composition and how we might use collage to explore composition within other aspects of art production.
We’ll discuss the rules and mathematics of composition and the golden section before undertaking a very simple exercise in composition.
What you will need?
Please have available a collection of collage materials. These can include plain coloured paper, newspapers, old books, magazines, wallpaper, stickers, labels, thin cardboard, tin foil, parcel tape, other tapes, photocopies, photographs, old/foreign bank notes, wrapping paper, paper doilies, tickets, receipts, leaflets, posters, old envelopes, postcards, stamps, etc, etc.
You will also need blank paper, a pencil, scissors or a knife, a way of making and cutting various sized circles, a ruler and glue.
This is a single one-off event on...
Saturday 9th May - 7pm GMT/BST (UTC +1) (UK)
Example start times in other time zones...
Saturday 9th May - 2pm EDT (New York)
Saturday 9th May - 11am PDT (Los Angeles)
Saturday 9th May - 8pm CEST (Berlin)
Saturday 9th May - 10pm GST (Dubai)
Sunday 10th May - 2am AWST (Perth)
Sunday 10th May - 4am AEST (Sydney)
Simply click this link 5 minutes before the workshop starts...