Arts Review: Summer 2014

Amy Smith rounds up four of this season’s off-the-wall exhibitions for leftfield art lovers

Message in a bottle

Artist Tania Kovats has been collecting messages in bottles from around the world for the past two years, but instead of written notes, the bottles contain samples from the world’s oceans and seas (it turns out there are no customs or environmental health issues sending seawater by post). All The Sea displays 365 bottles, each one containing the unique biological make-up of that area, but also the unseen experience of the collector: bravely wading out, dangling over jetties, teetering on slippery rocks or gingerly stepping on shingles to scoop a minuscule measure of the planet’s vast pools. It’s not too late to get involved – Kovats is yet to receive samples from 37 seas, represented in the show by empty bottles.

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Staying by going

Shaun Badham’s large neon sign declaring ‘I’M STAYING’ will be moving around Bristol for the next two years. It begins its journey on the wall of the Arnolfini gallery from 3 May, where it will face onto the harbour. The beauty of the project is that such a simple declaration will take on a multitude of meanings as it travels through the city: it would be hard not to consider Bristol’s industrial history, the people who have moved and settled in the area, and also notions of civic pride. The public are invited to suggest future destinations.

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Copy cats

The first rule of The Photocopy Club is to print all photography on a photocopier – and that’s pretty much it. Each month, the Doomed Gallery in Dalston’s busy Ridley Road, London hosts a for-one-night-only exhibition of black and white photocopied snaps, each available for £5. Founder and curator Matt Martin started the project in 2011 with the hope of taking photography offline and celebrating the cheapest method of printing and distributing artwork. The concept has exploded – Martin is inundated with submissions and invites to exhibit around the world.

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Lonely as a cloud

The Cloud Appreciation Society currently has over 34,000 members, all people who prefer a day heavy with altostratus and cirrocumulus rather than the tedium of clear blue skies. They might just love the new Spencer Finch exhibition at Turner Contemporary in Margate, where Finch will create an indoor suspended ‘cloud’ made from translucent filters that catch and reflect even the most subtle changes in natural light. Catch it between 24 May and 21 September.

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