Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The oddments of Ella Penn

Ella Penn - Inspired by Mike DiRubbo's 'Introspection'
We've had such a variety of entries already from artists, all listening to the same pieces of music but finding such different imagery and inspiration. An exciting time in itself, comparing the different responses from the artists but sometimes it is the pleasure of seeing such a broad range from just one.

Ella Penn - Inspired by
Bill Mudge 'Murder 1' music
Ella Penn, the Brighton based photographer, has given me many surprises since I first received her submission for the Brighton Open exhibition in 2011. True to the nature of the subsequent exhibitions we've been involved in, she has revealed further snapshots of herself and her work. Here once again for Murder Minutes she presents 4 vignettes, teasing us with the opening lines of narrative.

Ella Penn - inspired by Bill Mudge 'Dancing'
These images are very much consistent with Penn's wider Fine Art work. A trawling of the urban environment, playing with light when its loneliness is the only beacon in a sea of black.
There are forays into landscape and abstraction but it's her documentation of us, the human animal, our scratches, detritus and narratives where she is most powerful.

Ella Penn - Inspired by
Max Luthert 'Murder 3'
Her submissions to Murder Minutes possess both strong design elements and the music's themes and rhythms. I can see the repetitive mechanical swirls in Bill's Mudge's 'Dancing' and the ambiguity and threat in Max Luthert's 'Murder 3' but the romance of Mike DiRubbo's flows through me like that shock of pink, exciting and indulgent.

Half Way Between Normal and Isolated, 2013
Ella Penn
Art:Language:Location Cambridge
The magpie tendencies of Ella Penn are not just contained in her bright and shiny eye but in her mind too. Before we see her at the Shaw Gallery on November 11th she will be showing a body of work at the conceptual thoroughbred Art:Language:Location exhibition in Cambridge. Penn's active mind is trained on the 'Oddment' or simply "Items or pieces left over from a larger set". She spent a day in the city photographing found, fragmented pieces of language and documenting these urban canvases where people's interactions leave their mark.

Ella Penn 'Oddments' is showing at the Norfolk Street Project Space, Cambridge from 17th October to 3rd November 2013 as part of Art:Language:Location

There is nothing too odd about Ella Penn herself I might add, but you can make up your own mind about that. Visit


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Melanie Ezra - Swansea Scissorhands

Melanie Ezra - Inspired by Duncan Eagles
The high priestess of blades has sent an early submission to the Murder Minutes project in her own swashbuckling style. Melanie Ezra is a ferocious exhibitor, most recently beaching her spiked realities on Welsh shores but with regular raids across the Atlantic to breach U.S. defences.

The Ezra Art recipe book is a tapas styled affair, plenty of snappy dishes with a generous sprinkling of artistic flair. Her latest creations are currently being served in the solo show, 'Small Worlds' at The Brunswick, Swansea until the 7th December 2013.

Small World -
Melanie Ezra
Each world starts with a photograph which is spliced and diced as she takes apart her memories and time itself. After this is a period of reconstruction, slotting in sentiments and anecdotal evidence that has become nestled in her brain alongside the freeze frame moment the original photograph was taken. I have to tell you that for her entry to this exhibition she's added some extra ingredients to spice things up. The main dish is a reconfigured photograph of a dead rat seasoned with charcoal ash and incense.

Melanie Ezra on Hasting's Pier, 2011
I first met Ezra in 2011 at the Rarities exhibition on Hasting's Pier and I thought to myself, here's an artist who goes the extra mile. I don't mean just metaphorically but geographically too. She had set out from Swansea that morning and traversed Wales and England to make the grand opening of this outdoor show. She's never far from a pair of scissors, and she was on hand to hold the ribbon as it was cut (left).

Once again she's shown true dedication and will be negotiating the national train networks to be with us on the 11th November for the Private View of this exhibition. So come down and meet her at the Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon and view her cutting edge art. Don't be scared to shake her hand though, our Swansea Scissorhands will be leaving her artistic shears at home.

If you can't wait until then, you can find Melanie Ezra at


We currently have 138 submissions to the exhibition (either entered or spaces reserved), so there are still over 100 places left if you would like to submit work.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Mark Lomax - The Artist's Hand

Mark Lomax - Inspired by Duncan Eagles' Eternal Art
The first submission arrived at Murder Minutes HQ last night just a few hours after the call-out was launched to artists worldwide. Scotland was quickest off the blocks with artist Mark Lomax dipping on the line to win the photo finish.

If this is your first visit to the project then here's a brief synopsis. We have invited artists and writers to make an image/text that draws its inspiration from a piece of music. They will be exhibited at the Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon on 11th November 2013. Links to the eight pieces of music and all the other details are on the Submit page.

Mark Lomax - Peel
Mark Lomax is no sprinter when it comes to exhibitions or album art, more a Mo Farah of assemblage. Although best known for his composite photography and gridded visions of road markings and other urban forms, he recently has experimented by creating a world of blue china metamorphosis.

Ephemera by Attirtion
Artwork - Mark Lomax
It is his past life that rears back into view with his latest submission to the Sound Sight Exhibition. Lomax was the artist behind 9 album images from 1984 to 2010 by the experimental ambient group Attrition. Whose dark waves of sound emerged from the 1980's post-punk world of an unforgiving industrial Coventry. His most famous album cover was his hand for Attrition's Ephemera album (1995) which became their haunting calling card for years to come.

Once again Mark Lomax holds his hand up and is counted. This time he was inspired by saxophonist Duncan Eagles film score, who recorded this composition with guitarist Leo Appleyard for the Murder Minutes project.
If you would also like to be inspired by it then give it a listen. So thank you Mark for firing the starting pistol on what we hope will be an inspirational exhibition.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sound Sight Exhibition - Submit your art

Jaume Gispert's next album artwork
As a young man I always dreamt of creating the art for an album. Now it is part of my work portfolio and a thoroughly enjoyable experience that allows me to think and work creatively. First I listen to the music, then make notes and start developing a range of responses. Now its your turn to see what you would create and show it in an exhibition.

So, it is with great pleasure that we're launching the Sound Sight Exhibition today and hope you will get involved. Follow the instructions on the Submit page to find out how to take part. It's very straight forward. Send a square image to me at
It's totally FREE.

Alan Carlyon Smith - Cuartor
at the Shaw Gallery
Deadline 11th October 2013 (Midnight) although we do operate a 'first come first served' policy and will close submissions early if necessary.

We'll be opening the exhibition on Monday 11th November 2013 at the Shaw Gallery, Trinity School, Croydon. At the Private View 5 musicians will be performing and I will be drawing live as we collaborate with a generous amount of improvisation. We'll also be announcing the winner of our Album Art Award, chosen by the musicians themselves, along with Curator Alan Carlyon Smith. I'll be handing over a cash prize of £100 to the talented artist or writer.

The musicians working on the project include Duncan Eagles (Tenor & Soprano Saxophone) and Max Luthert (Bass) both from trio Partikel. Peter Ibbetson (drums) joins us from the cutting edge S.E. Collective, and finally Bill Mudge, the mysterious Hammond Organ player.

Joining the quartet will be Mike DiRubbo (alto sax) from New York City, USA on his first ever visit to The UK. As part of his UK tour DiRubbo will be first playing Ronnie Scott's and then following onto the Shaw Gallery.
Find out more about these performers on their designated pages (right).

Any questions email me at . We would love to see your artwork and make this exhibition a special one.

Alban Low