Pleased to say the painting titled: ‘Bite‘ 51 x 40 cm, o/c on gesso ground, came together in a convincing way. Sufficiently so to give me a working title for this current series and pave the way into demanding a more ambitious scale. My dealings with the legacy of abstraction, finding a different order and logic from the drag of times past, seems indelible. Bite manages to engage with the geometries of fear that feed frenzy into my/our everyday.
Perfectly timely, and very pleasing, to say ‘Bite’ is selected to be part of a show titled ‘Legacy’ opening on 15th November at The Auxiliary, in Middlesbrough. A remarkable eventuality to evolve in Teesside that means I do not need to journey by train or ‘plane to appreciate how the autonomy of painting continues to thrive.
Ideas often seem to resist being entirely resolved, sometimes the object forms suggest themseves as complete sometimes not. Too often the space that grounds the object serves to nullify the entire intent. Figuring a way further into this complexity is a wonderous intrigue and may well be the hook that ties me into this approach to practice. My attraction to pinning the canvas items on top of pink broadsheets has something to do with avoiding the tyranny of the white box and teasing alliance with trickster illusion running in parallel. Exciting times.
The curious case of abstraction? Confronting ideas that can at first sight, come across as rather tricky, unexpected and may seem perversley resistent to easy literalism? Pleasingly this is not always so. Visitors to the show presented themselves as willing co-participants whose knowing intent was to discover something new, keen to decide for themselves where the attributes of virtue, value, function and usefulness may reside.
Talking with visitors and guests in this public exhibition is more than a fond memory. The priveleged opportunity to share ideas in the informal setting of a public exhibition venue with ‘people and paintings’ on-site is wonderfully real.
Descriptive terminolgy such as ‘a site for primary research’ though accurate may nonetheless infer a lack of authenicity? By contrast, this conversation was free flowing, sometimes tentative in its query sometimes assured and thereby memorably engaging. The images detailed above give a sense of the manner of discussion.
Public galleries offer a mode of safe space where choice, perception and reflection is expected and, in the context of viewing the outcome of current cultural production, is actively encouraged.
Conversations in Painting: ‘if it fits in the Fiesta you’re in…’ present an exhibition of new and recent paintings at Crown Street Art Gallery, Darlington – open to the public on Saturday 14th October until Thursday 9th November 2017 – showing work made by a group of practitioners distinctly placed in their personal trajectory who sustain a direct connection with the Tees Valley.
A collaboration of emerging, established, national and international artists whose collective expertise represents a diverse range of interpretive approaches. Artists commissioned to make work for this show are: Sarah COONEY, Deb COVELL, Gordon DALTON, Philip GATENBY, Remy NEUMANN and Alicia PAZ.
This project seeks to understand more about how visual arts culture operates in the Tees Valley, especially so through its focus on painting. Conversations in Painting… is an artist led project initiated by Sarah Cooney and Philip Gatenby in partnership with the independent curator Kerry Harker, a co-curated selective review of non-representational approaches to fine art practice. The exhibition is set in the conventions of the white box gallery as a ‘performance space’ for shared conversational dialogue between participant artists and the public. Public events and workshops scheduled throughout the duration of the gallery show will host visitors, guest practitioners, curators, writers, students and invested members of the public as co-participants in panel discussions
Conversations in Painting is an artist led project to encourage dialogue with artist practitioners, especially so for artists based in Teesside. The banner image is the social media notification for the first studio visit event in January.
The project intends to schedule a series of six more studio visits in a range of artist led venues. If you are interested in attending any of the studio visits scheduled throughout this year, typically every six weeks, please contact me direct for details. The next studio visit event is in May…
Gallery photograph by Jules Lister detailing: ‘Madama Butterfly’, 2013 Alicia Paz; ‘Will The Night Last Forever’, 2017 Gordon Dalton; ‘Station 6’, & ‘New Cross’ 2017 and Tight-fit, 2016′ Deb Covell; ‘The Curious Case of Disallowance: Ground’, 2017 Phil Gatenby and ‘Amazonas’, 2015 Alicia Paz.
Artist Hosted Sessions in the Gallery
11.00 am – 4.00 pm on:
Tues 17, Wed 18, Thurs 19, Thurs 26, Fri 27, Sat 28 and Tues 31 October.
Wed 1, Thurs 2, Tues 7, Wed 8 and Thurs 9 November
Visitors and guests – are invited to offer their thoughts and ideas in response to the work on show by sharing Conversations in Painting… with artist exhibitors in the informal setting of the gallery.