Tooled Up: Neasden Control Centre
"The idea of teeth. The tool as a musical object. The influence of folk art as an object crafted for it's visual pleasure rather than its practical nature. An illusion based on it's shape." Neasden Control Centre's rationale for his adaptation of an old saw is similar to a number of the involved artists, in that the form is re-appropriated to create a visual and interpretative framework quite distant to the intended purpose of the tool. However, with each evolution the tool takes on a new purpose and a very different set of connotations emerges, reflecting the artists hand, process and referencing their wider work and creative technique.
Reminiscent of the classic folk art crafted signs you would find above shops to identify their wares, the saw has humorous connotations as well as literal - a tool, an instrument and also the illusion of caricature teeth that wouldn't go amiss on a friendly crocodile or tiger.
Stephen Smith is an illustrator / artist based in the UK who has been working under the name of Neasden Control Centre since 2000.
Stephen has published publications as Neasden Control Centre with Gestalten, Mu and Rojo as well as contributing to many group publications most recently The Age of Collage Art, Contemporary Collage in Modern Art, Gestalten.
He has also exhibited his installations internationally including More with Less MU, Netherlands, Now Jump! at Nam June Paik Centre, South Korea and Spank the Monkey Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, UK where he was one of 3 UK artists selected alongside Banksy and David Shrigley. In 2011 he was invited by Liam Young as artist in resident with the Unknown Fields Division (Architectural Association, London) on a field trip to Chernobyl, the Aral Sea and Baikonur Cosmodrome (Russian Space Centre). He continues to lecture, lead workshops and present his work at Universities, Institutions and conferences such as Semi-Permanent in Los Angeles and Portland and Pictoplasma in Berlin. In 2014 he was invited to lead a workshop to students at Calarts, California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles.
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