Staying Alive

We've been working together since meeting in 2000. It was kicked off by a shared interest in the day to day behavior of contemporary adventurers, fictional representations of endurance or isolation and the compulsion to keep busy and customise your surroundings. The title that we have stuck with for this ongoing research, Staying Alive, reflects the mix of survivalist desperation with implied boredom of a static existence, the melodramatic tone also suggesting the absurdity often evident in our work.

Our time together has lead us to 'Manhaul' car tyres across a London park at dawn, erect a 'Whittling Station' from scavenged furniture and offcuts, decant vinegar and ketchup into our 'Wetherspoons' Complimentary Condiments as Free Natural Resource' stand, manufacture our own table and chairs, laboriously fill in woodchip wallpaper to imitate the night sky, mark out gallery walls in bin liners for our 'Mock-Mock Tudor', train with an airpistol, march and hide.

We are continually fascinated with the latent potential in extreme landscapes and the vicarious appreciation of epic human endeavour. However, recently we have retreated back into the studio, taking the book 'Passing Time in the Loo' as our guide. Replacing our usual library of influences - Survival manuals, camping guides and explorer's biographies - we have been relying on this anthology of abridged classic novels, life stories, lists, hints, quotes and self-help bullet points.


(Scroll down for Barry Sykes)

Sean Parfitt
Lives and Works in London

Tel: 07714249366

10.2004 - 12.2005 PGCE 14 to 19yrs Art and Design (Training at Chelsea School of Art, King Alfred School London )
09.1999 - 08.2000 MA Fine Art, Chelsea School of Art
09.1995 - 06.1998 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Coventry University - First Class
09.1994 - 06.1995 Foundation in Art & Design, North Herts College

Recent Employment
2006- Ongoing Head of Lower School Art, King Alfred School London
Ongoing Artist (individually and in collaboration with Barry Sykes)
Ongoing Comedy Writer and Performer (with Alasdair Hopwood)
Ongoing Visiting Lecturer, Coventry(HE), Plymouth(HE), Llandrillo(FE), Prince's Drawing School(FE)
Ongoing Freelance Curator
Ongoing Freelance Tutor/Visiting Artist in schools (rising 5 to 18 yrs)
10.2003 – 08.2004 Gallery and Project Manager, Spike Island , Bristol
07.2001 – 08.2003 Exhibitions Director, Letchworth Arts Centre

Recent Exhibitions, Events and Curatorial History
10.2005 Notion Nanny, (with Barry Sykes) Studio Voltaire, London
11.2005 With, (Comedy performance written with Alasdair Hopwood), ICA , London
07.2005 ‘With Cocktails' ,(Comedy Performance written with Alasdair Hopwood), Beaconsfield , London
12.2004 Romantic Detachment, (with Barry Sykes), Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
09.2004 Romantic Detachment, (with Barry Sykes), PS1, New York
07.2004 Staying Alive: 90 minutes of Whittling (with Barry Sykes), Museum Van Nagsael, Rotterdam
12.2003 Spike Christmas Fayre, Spike Island , Bristol , (curated)
09.2003 Brand New Letchworth, Letchworth Arts Centre
06.2003 Artist as Entrepreneur, Letchworth Arts Centre
06.2003 Art of Survival, (with Barry Sykes), The Prague Biennial, Veletrzniho Palac, Prague
06.2003 Et Tu Billy Buzman, Nancy Victor, London , (curated)
05.2003 Model, KIAD, Rochester
04.2003 Happy Birthday Dragon, Letchworth Arts Centre, (solo show)
01.2003 Beautifully Ordinary, Letchworth Arts Centre, (curated)
06.2002 Doubles Collection, (with Barry Sykes), Lenbach Museum , Munich
06.2002 Bright Homes and Gardens, No Smoke No Slums, Letchworth Arts Centre
06.2002 Resolution Way , Deptford Arches, London , (three person curation)
06.2002 Arcadia in the City, Marble Hill house, London
06.2002 Club, Centre for the Arts, Poitiers , France
05.2002 three times twelve is nine, britart.com galley, London (curated)
02.2002 Doubles Two, (with Barry Sykes), Jeffery Charles Gallery , London
01.2002 No Timewasters Please, Kent Institute of Art and Design
08.2001 Faith in Fakes, Letchworth Arts Centre, (curated)
05.2001 Sean Parfitt, Forde Gallery, Geneva (solo show)

2004-05 Grizedale Arts, Cumbria
02.2001 Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno

2005 Nominated for The Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award

Publications and Reviews
06.2003 The Prague Biennial (catalogue)
06.2003 Time Out (review of Et Tu Billy Buzman)
06.2003 The Guardian Newspaper (preview of Et Tu Billy Buzman)
07.2002 AN Magazine (review of Bright Homes and Gardens…)
06.2002 Arcadia in the City (catalogue)
06.2002 Club (catalogue)
06.2002 Evening Standard (review of Resolution Way )
07.2000 Parallel Lines (collected artist's writings)

Barry Sykes
Born: 26/05/1976
Lives and Works in London

t:020 86918420
m:+44 (0)7951039663

1999 - 2000 MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design
1995 - 1998 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Liverpool Art School

Selected Exhibitions
06.2006 Deja Vu, Group Show, Pro Artibus, Elverket, Finland
03.2006 Putting Spark in your Relationships, (with Sean Parfitt), Gallop, Deptford, London
10.2005 Notion Nanny, (with Sean Parfitt) Studio Voltaire, London
02.2005 Pestilence , Limehouse Town Hall , London
12.2004 Romantic Detachment, (with Sean Parfitt) Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
09.2004 Romantic Detachment, (with Sean Parfitt) P.S.1 MoMA , New York ,
09.2004 Brixton Village Market, (with Sean Parfitt) Brixton, London
08.2004 John Wynne / Barry Sykes, 2YK Galerie, Kunstfabrik, Berlin
07.2004 Staying Alive: 90 minutes of Whittling, (with Sean Parfitt) Museum Van Nagsael, Rotterdam
06.2004 Itchy Park, Limehouse Town Hall , London
12.2003 Christmas Fayre, Spike Island , Bristol
07.2003 Exhibition of Findings, (with Sean Parfitt) Czech Centre, London
06.2003 The Artist as Entrepreneur, The Place, Letchworth
06.2003 Prague Biennial, (with Sean Parfitt) National Gallery, Veletrzni Palac, Prague
05.2003 Model, (with Sean Parfitt) Kent Institute of Art and Design, Rochester , England
04.2003 The Poster The Show 1,2,3, Hoxton Distillery, London
02.2003 PrintROOM, ROOM, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
09.2002 MAIS4: The Good The Bad, Duke St, Liverpool Biennial
06.2002 Doubles Collection 1998-2002, Lenbachhaus, Munich
05.2002 three times twelve is nine, britart.com Gallery, London
01.2002 Doubles II, Jeffrey Charles Gallery, Whitechapel, London
06.2001 Faith in Fakes, The Place, Letchworth
04.2001 Record Collection, VTO Gallery, London , toured to Geneva and Manchester
12.2000 Fate, Beaconsfield, London
07.2000 MA Show, Chelsea College of Art & Design, London
06.2000 Staying Alive, (with Sean Parfitt) Chelsea School of Art project space, London
06.2000 Year, a year long curatorial project featuring 365 artists
05.2000 democracy?, Royal College of Art, London
03.2000 Vim and Vigour, S1 Artspace, Sheffield
04.1999 Marks Out Of Ten, S1 Artspace, Sheffield
02.1999 Grand Prix, Parking Space Gallery, Liverpool

Staying Alive: Lessons in Boredom and the Outdoors. Incorporating ‘The world's longest list of uses for vinegar'. Designed and edited by Simon and Tom Bloor (with Sean Parfitt). 2004
All I Can Remember I Know – in five days, Artist's Book project. 2002
Clip City, review for Italian website designboom.com. 2002
Parallel Lines, devised and edited, collected writings of the Chelsea MA. 2000

Curated Projects
07.2002 Resolution Way , Deptford, London . Three projects by Bob and Roberta Smith, Cesare Pietroiusti, Semloh Bbew &Artlab. (Co-curated with Emma Ridgway and Sean Parfitt).

Residencies and Awards
03.2006 two week residency, 'Gallop' design studio, London
07.2005 Nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Arts (with Sean Parfitt)
07.2004 Two month residency, 2YK Studios, Berlin
2004-05 Grizedale Arts Research and Development Bursary (with Sean Parfitt)
10.2003 Shortlisted for Bookworks Emerging Artists Commission
09.2002 GARBA Residency, Montescaglioso , Italy 

Talks and Presentations
Visiting Lecturer at The City Lit, Adult Education College (twice a year since 2003)
09.2004 Lessons in Boredom…, Artists Talk, PS1, New York (with Sean Parfitt)
03.2004 JG Ballard's ‘The Smile', White Out , Spike Island , Bristol
07.2003 All I Can Remember I Know , Artist's Talk, CBA Studios, Deptford
06.2002 Artists Talk, The Place, Letchworth