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I’M STAYING Survey Paintings
Annka Kultys Gallery
27 MAY – 25 JUNE 2016

Opening reception: Thursday, 26 May, 6 – 8 PM

Press preview in presence of the artist: Thursday, 26 May, 5 PM

Annka Kultys Gallery is pleased to present its first solo exhibition with Shaun C. Badham. The London-based artist presents recent survey paintings produced in response to I’M STAYING, the artist’s ongoing participatory project. Since May 2014, I’M STAYING’s large-scale, eponymous, neon sculpture has appeared on a range of buildings in and around the city of Bristol in West England. Each location for the sculpture has been determined in advance by a popular online vote, with the final round of voting, which will determine the ultimate location of the sculpture, being timed to coincide with the opening of the exhibition.

Each member of the public who had voted for one of the sculpture’s winning locations was invited to participate in a survey commissioned by the artist, the final question of which asked ‘What does I’M STAYING mean to you?’ The public’s various responses to the question lie at the heart of the I’M STAYING: Survey paintings.

The exhibition comprises a series of 29 monochromatic red UV neon paintings. Each painting bears its title (gleaned from a particular public response to the survey) on the base of its canvas, complete with the time and date that the survey was completed; for example, Sticking something out, 11/12/2014, 10:11AM; refugees, 11/12/2014 9:53 AM; Resistant to Late State Gentrification, 10/22/2015 8:36 PM. Reminiscent of the seminal Japanese conceptual artist, On Kawara (1933-2014), and his ‘date’ paintings, which featured only the date on which the painting was made, differentiated simply through format and colour, Badham’s I’M STAYING paintings move beyond Kawara’s deliberately one-dimensional preoccupation with date-specificity via the participation of the survey’s respondents. No two survey statements are exactly the same and hence no two paintings in the series share the same base or are realized in the same size, expressing their singularity. While Kawara’s date paintings meditated upon the individual’s place within our era and confronted the daily events of the world, Badham’s paintings question our personal relationship to place and change. Since their meaning resists predetermination, Badham’s work positions itself prospectively, looking ahead to the encounter with the viewer when the visitor questions him or herself as to the meaning of I’M STAYING.

Like Badham’s neon sculpture, his UV paintings possess a duality, a binary existence that oscillates between darkness and light. Darkness allows both the sculpture and the paintings, either via an ultra-violet torch or a simple switch, to activate their inherent luminosity. In day-light, each medium presents a sense of journey or highlights its construction in some form, while simultaneously making patent its imperfections. This alludes to both the aspiration that there is an ideal viewing point or environment in which to encounter these works, but also to the realization that such points are not always realistic or, at best, are a negotiation. The viewer is encouraged to adopt an up-down motion as they encounter the work hanging at different heights within the gallery space – an experience not unlike to that occurring when the originary neon is seen in the Bristol skyline.

The paintings featured in I’M STAYING: Survey paintings are part of the artist’s on-going series, of which there are currently over fifty survey responses. The final set of surveys will be sent out at the beginning of June 2016 and is expected to be the last of the series.

Out of 51 surveys recieved 29 have been transformed into Survey Paintings, the remaining 22 will be come completed in the future which will complete the series.

Installation view of Shaun C. Balham, ‘I’M STAYING‘ at Annka Kultys Gallery, London, 2016. Photo: Annka Kultys Gallery (Damian Griffiths)

Survey Response's
1.permanence, solid, resilient 11/12/2014 8:48 AM
2. Questions of permanence or impermanence, opposites: solid and transience. Commitment. 11/12/2014 8:52 AM
3. Permanence; a base. 11/12/2014 9:09 AM
4. refugees.11/12/2014 9:53 AM
5. A firm declaration of intent 11/12/2014 10:10 AM
6. Sticking something out. 11/12/2014 10:11 AM
7. I'm not going anywhere. 11/12/2014 10:15 AM
8. A defiant statement that whatever goes on around me, I'm not going anywhere. 11/12/2014 11:28 AM
9. It means that we are telling people how important our arts and culture venues are to Bristol. 11/12/2014 12:42 PM
10. A feeling of security. 11/12/2014 8:02 PM
11. It means 'I'm home'. 11/12/2014 11:33 PM
12. Commitment Continuity Defiance. 11/13/2014 2:16 PM
13. I like it here. 11/13/2014 9:10 PM
14. Words come to mind such as stability, consistency, being home, being solid, being strong. 11/14/2014 9:09 PM
15. I'm a Bristolian back in my town. 6/27/2015 11:38 PM
16. You can't make me. I am Me. I'm not going. I am free. 6/27/2015 11:41 PM
17. A beautiful neon artwork that looked particularly fetching at Bristol Folk House. 6/28/2015 8:05 AM
18. Arts are important. 6/28/2015 8:45 AM
19. Reassuring phrase. In this context I think of it as related to Bristol as home, and that it's staying here in Bristol. 6/28/2015 9:42 AM
20. Can mean many things depends on context for me as its currently in Knowle West it sends out a clear message that KWMC is not temporary or our work a passing phase its a committment to our practice and to the community if Knowle West. Its also a celebration. 6/28/2015 9:50 AM
21. Listen up "I'm not going anywhere"!! 6/28/2015 12:52 PM
22. I'm going to be around for a while/not going anywhere
6/28/2015 7:26 PM
23. I'm not leaving / I'm committed to this. 6/28/2015 10:44 PM
24. It means that it's not going away, it sort of reminds me of my squatting days! 6/29/2015 10:39 AM
25. determination. 6/30/2015 12:03 PM
26. Resistant to latestage gentrification. 10/22/2015 8:36 PM
27. Don't know. 10/22/2015 8:48 PM
28. I wasn't born here, so it affirms that i am not going anywhere else right now, and its ok...10/22/2015 10:55 PM
29. not much with no context. 10/23/2015 7:29 AM