Only In England

Today I’m stewarding at Palace Arts in Redcar, this exhibition is a great coup for a small, regional gallery.

‘Only in England’ has photographs from two of my favourite social photographers, Martin Parr and Tony Ray-Jones.

The photographs from Martin Parr are selected from his Non-Conformist project, centred in Hebden Bridge not long after he finished college.

The Tony Ray-Jones photographs have been selected by Martin Parr from a couple of thousand contact sheets and are photographs not previously printed.

There is another exhibition at Kirkletham Museum on the outskirts of Redcar where the photographs that are being shown were printed by Tony Ray-Jones himself.

Both of these photographers studied a very English way of life with warmth and honesty, and the selection of images that are in the exhibition are great examples of this humour and warmth.

Palace Hub Gallery in Redcar

After a lot of thought I finally decided to submit some of my photographic work to the Palace Hub Gallery in Redcar to see if I could get some exhibited.

The series was photographs of Redcar beach on a wintery dawn, which gave a really lovely blue cast to the sky.

I’ve had three accepted for the group exhibition 🙂

This really means I have to get more work done on my website in preparation for these being shown, and to keep moving forward with my practice.

Annoyingly though I had forgotten that there was also an alternative process exhibition which I could have submitted Cyanotype images into.

Gallery visits

I was in Edinburgh today and took the opportunity to visit a couple of galleries, one was specifically to view a painting that had been discussed at the tutorial previously. This was Allegory of Melancholy 1528, by Cranach the Elder.

The first exhibition was at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and was called Witches and Wicked Bodies, a depiction of woman as other, temptress, seductors, fornicators and consorts of the devil. Still playing on the depiction of women as the loss of innocence and of temptation away from the path of righteousness.

This was all done without a critical deconstruction of the power imbalance inherent in the propagation of images throughout the time period looked at in the exhibition. This imbalance excluded women from developing their own narrative and constantly reinforced the mainstream narrative.

This aside, the hanging was well conceived and had a flow, though at times the sectioning of the works seemed a tad forced and unneccesary.

There were some works that I found in the exhibition apart from the Cranach that could be of interest to the course and the possible EMA question.

The Witches Rout [The Carcass] c.1520, Augustino Veneziano (c.1490 – c.1540), an engraving which is usually found in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

The Temptation of St. Anthony c.1500-20, Jost de Negker (c.1485 – c.1544), a woodcut which is usually found in the British Museum, London

The Four Witches 1497, Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528), an engraving which is usually found in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat 1500, Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528), an engraving which is usually found in the British Museum, London

Witches’ Sabbath 1510, Hans Baldrung Grien (1484 – 1545), colour woodcut from two blocks, tone block orange-brown which is usually kept in the British Museum, London

Allegory of Melancholy 1528, Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 – 1553), oil (and tempera) on panel which is usually found in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Melancholy is depicted as a sumptuous angel, whittling away as the world happens around her. ‘Melancholy is distractedly whittling away‘. Nude flying witches and beasts, flying toward what is possibly Venusberg, the mountain on the right, from German mythology.
‘all sadness, plagues and dejection come from Satan’ – Martin Luther
Beasts: Stags, goats, cattle, boar, strange beasts on a horse, cats, chickens – one of the beasts was flying backwards
Objects: Chisel, protractors, awl, perfection of the spheres, glass of wine (1 empty)
boats on lake/sea, very detailed backgrounds
Toads and bees/flies on the upper banner

Gib Frid (Let Me Go) early 1500s, etching which is usually found in the British Museum, London

The Three Fates 1513, woodcut which is usually found in the British Museum, London

MFA Hatton Gallery 2013 – Newcastle University

Again I came across this by accident, and again it was the last day so I really couldn’t dedicate as much time to looking at the works as I would like to. Disappointingly there didn’t seem to be a catalogue of the works as in the earlier BA show had.

Information was much harder to come by this time as well, fewer of the artists had cards or flyers to even give contact points, I eventually found the site for the show but that wasn’t that easy either.

So onto the artists (in no particular order);

  1. Lyn Hagan (in collaboration with Agustin Fernandez
    ‘Tony and Angela – The Opera’
    sound work with embroidered dress, referencing Maxican drug culture and cartels, murder, hail terms, romance between Tony and Angela – the ‘soap’ opera
    Also ‘Drug Tales’, ‘Love Tales’, and ‘Crime Tales’
  2. Vivianne Chatel
    ‘Whence comes the light’
    large cardboard structures intersecting with the space of the room, making new spaces and habitations within the installation – entrances and exits through the structures inviting exploration, layers
  3. Gareth Hudson
    ‘In Ecstasy’
    large video/light/sound piece – visceral, mythical, ecstatic, using choral sounds linked with slowed video from a heavy metal concert – passion
  4. Zoe Allen
    ‘Genius Loci’
    found object sculptures, exploring spatial relationships/juxtapositions
  5. Bex Harvey
  6. Lorna Bryan
  7. Kevin Christensen
  8. Imogen Coates
    fantastical creatures – anime, disney, mythic
  9. Iolando Rocha
    ‘Interweaving and crisscrossing’
    raised shanty town structure – reminded me of the bridge from William Gibson – overhanging, accretion – growing through the structure of the exhibition space – barred on the inside – no thoroughfare
  10. Scott Aaron Tait
    ‘We are the forest dwellers’
    sound and video – dodecahedrons – private mythology
  11. Jennifer Prevatt
    papercut forest with sound piece – alluding to Sleeping Beauty, roses and thorns, an inked forest
  12. Kate Liston and Dan Wilde
    spatial sculpture with sound and video – reimagining of domestic/office spaces
  13. Theresa Poulton
  14. William Flynn
    pencil exploration of textures, quite lo-fi, inhabited the long gallery really well
  15. Joshua Ipoot
  16. Rebecca Woods
    ‘Story House’
    dark, wondrous, childhood – lamps, magic lanterns, whispered words
  17. Samantha Cary
  18. Sam Thorpe
  19. Kathryn Brame
  20. Katie Dent

If I’ve missed anyone, either the room wasn’t open or I just couldn’t find it in the lovely maze of the department rooms and corridors.

Newcastle University Fine Arts Degree Show 2013

NEWCASTLE : Fine Art Studios & Hatton Gallery
Newcastle University, NE1 7RU
31st May (private view 6pm) – 14th June

LONDON : Embassy Tea Gallery. 195-205 Union Street, SE1
26th June (private view 27th. 6pm) -29th June

Hatton Gallery
Hatton Gallery

After visiting the MA show for the past two years I knew I wanted to visit the degree show as well.

There is a long list of finishing student, I will provide links for contact, site and if you click on the artist’s name it will take you to their show page.

Azim Abas
Kirsty Alexander       website
Martha Aynsley
Robert Battersby       website
Mark Bleakley       website
Rebecca Blessington
Milly Carter Hepplewhite       website
Imogen Coates
Dean Crawford       website
Freya Cromarty      
Hannah Denney       website
Amy Dix
Iona Dunsire
Oscar Eaton
Naomi Elliott       website
Faye Green
Calum Greaney
Eleanor Hargreaves
Katherine Hayward       website
Isobel Hindhaugh       website
Susannah Horowitz       website
Sarah Illing       website
Dennis Isou       contact : website
Charlotte Kell
Rachael Kidd
Alexandra Knox       website
Adam Laing
Megan Lagrue       website
Conor Lightfoot       website
Dan Linden       website
Alexandra de Lusignan
Louise Mackenzie       website
Ellie McCulloch       website
Finn McCullough
David Mills       website
Siti Munirah Yusop       website
Robyn Nevison       website
Claire Newton
Charlotte O’Shea
Eleanor Parr       website
Harry Peck       website
Rebecca Powell
Sam Purcell       website
George Quiney       website
Beth Ramsay
Sherene Scott       website
Beatrice Searle
Mike Sprout
Cody Sowerby       website
Harriet Sutcliffe       website
Genevieve Stone
Jessica Townsend       website
David Tweedy
William Vinegrad       contact : website
Chantal Ward Mercer       website
Josh Wilson
Lilly Williams
Georgina Witts       website
Patrick Wu

When I arrived it was to find the main gallery closed due to water damage on the electrics, this means I didn’t get to see all the artist’s works, so the review really is only for half the show. I will try to get back to have another look before it goes to London and edit this post with any other thoughts and views then.

Of the artists I did see I found the following artists to be the ones whose work excited me the most:

Rebecca Blessington
I really loved the strong graphic element to these works and the obsessive quality that the close-ups give. In a way they remind me of Edward Weston’s black and white photographs of fruit and vegetable, but in a much more distilled fashion. The images also talk about representation of the human form through photography and how this can be interpreted in many ways.

The group together was visually striking and when looked at as whole seemed to transform into landscapes and geographical features.

Freya Cromerty

Freya Cromerty
Freya Cromerty

Freya’s interventions into the fabric of the Hatton Gallery were at once, humorous, unexpected and vaguely alien. They kept appearing in the most unexpected of corners and would catch your attention out the corner of your eye almost as they were following your progress around the galleries.

Once the humorous aspect wore off the more alien aspect came out, were these encrustation growing? Were they following?

An excellent use of material, shape and structure to take the viewer outside their normal expectations of buildings.

Hannah Denney

A lovely surprise as I was getting to the end of my explorations of the galleries to come across this random mark making hanging in the air.

The installation ‘owned’ the space and seemed to coalesce into a poem of marks that could almost be interpreted, but never quite grasped/

Genevieve Stone

I loved the concept of using the air as a material, didn’t take me long to grasp the artist’s intent and 20 minutes later I broke off to have a look at the physical structures this piece was composed of.

MFA Hatton Gallery 2012 – Newcastle University

After the wonderful show that I visited last year I thought that I would make a visit to the MFA at Newcastle University an annual event.

The artists involved in this years exhibition are: Julia Heslop, Francisca Alsúa Morchio, Sean Maltby, Isabel Lima, Lyn Hagan, Toby Phips Lloyd, Bernie Clarkson, Gareth Hudson, Sara Borges, Rosie Morris, Harriet Plewis, Joshua Ipoot, Rebecca Woods, Ruth Brenner, Elena Koch, Rosalind McLachlan, Iolanda Dias, Katie Dent, Sam Thorpe, Samantha Cary, Zoë Allen, and Theresa Poulton.

I was really looking forward to the show and set aside a day for the visit so that I could write my thoughts down as I did last year. Unfortunately I found the show lacking, in that I wasn’t caught up emotionally or intellectually with much of what was exhibited. There were two or three pieces that I felt more attuned with, but not in the same way as last year where a few rooms actually excited me and got the pulse racing and/or took my breath away.

One piece reminded me very much of Ana Mendieta’s “Silueta Series”, where Mendieta uses her body as an intevention in the natural landscape. The piece worked on a certain level but was too similar for me to be comfortable with.

The one which I felt the most for, was;

Ruth Brenner: This was an installation of wonder, using materials which gradually became liquid from a perceived solid state, moving through the space that they weren’t meant to inhabit plays with the liminal quality of life. There seems to be sculptural form, but this form is not frozen in the traditional state of wood, metal or stone. These materials are used, but as a support rather than the constituent parts. I wanted to be able to watch this to see the movement but the movement is almost epochal rather than the transience of human perception.

It felt as thought there was a strong movement of large, architectural installation pieces. I don’t know if this was due to the influence of a tutor or it was just a vagary of the group going through the MFA at this moment. Though the structures were both technically excellent and filled the space, they didn’t have the feeling of ‘inhabiting’ the space, they felt a little out of joint.

Still looking forward to next year and to see how some of these themes develop and to see the new interim works.