Henry Moore Foundation February 2017


Yet another first visit, this time to the Henry Moore Foundation, hosted by East Street Arts staff colleagues in the company of artist studio holders at Navigator North. Very much looking forward to seeing this show as a way of thinking again about my tenure in Platform Arts artist studio group in Peterlee and the particularity of civic ambition through the acquisition of public sculpture in the late 1960’s and 1970’s (Apollo Pavilion – Victor Pasmore 1969).

Surprise, surprise (again). Pleased to notice Anthony Stokes name in the narrative text wall signage leading into the ‘City Sculpture Projects 1972’ exhibition (see above) and thereby prompted to recall the generous curatorial advice he gave to fine art students at Teesside University when they were preparing for and installing their degree show. Splendid times, 2009 I think?

Vane Gallery MA Show Newcastle February 2017


Several years since I have journeyed to Newcastle, too long a gap perhaps, and my first visit to Vane Gallery. This MA Show is an unexpected treat, very professional and assuredly on message. Lovely to meet up with Rashida Davison again who I had not seen since the 1990’s and likewise David Butler, not seen for ten years or so. Very enthused audience albeit three of the four photographs detailed suggest otherwise. Ready mades predominate. My favourite piece is the ever so tiny camera on the floor behind the two central figures (photograph lower,right) filming a fluorescent light tube vertically suspended on the rear wall. It would be wonderful to see a screening of this film at some point. Lovely to be nudged into discovering the explicit difference between the view through a digital lens and the way the mind sees through the eye. Impressive.

Paola Ciarska ‘Coming Along Nicely’ Exhibition at Globe Gallery February 2017


The feeling of being lost in Newcastle is a pleasingly timeless mystery for me. Lots of architectural changes, new buildings, new vistas, reconfigured city lights and pedestrianised walkways. Eventually, by chance, found myself standing outside the entrance to Globe Gallery and delighted on entry to meet the Director of the gallery, Rashida Davison, who I had not seen since my post graduate studies in the late 1980’s when Rashida was a visiting tutor into the MA Fine Art programme speaking of her ambition to run a fine art gallery. This night is my first ever visit to Globe Gallery and a pleasure to awaken latent memories in my conversation with Rashida whilst seeing the Paola Ciarska show in-situ.

The miniature paintings in the show titled ‘Coming Along Nicely’ are compellingly soft surfaced gouache works, all memorably exceptional and literally gorgeous on the eye. Lost count of the extent of works displayed – twenty plus? Very, very special indeed. Also brilliant to see the outcome of Rashida’s ambition and determination to succeed. Well done both.

Artist in Residence Exhibition (2016)


Always an exciting prospect to host a presentation of work made in the context of being a guest artist in residence, in this case two residents together. My work (above) and the work of Remy Neumann (below) is a delight to hang as a single work rather than two discrete shows. Doing so proved to be a well made curatorial choice for the invited guests at the opening and the ‘on spec’ visiting audience over the week-end to enjoy. Pleasingly way more people than had been anticipated.



Starting work at Das Spectrum (2016)

Starting out is always the tricky bit and for me the best way forward is to ‘get busy’ in the studio each day and stick with it until ideas arrive more readily and momentum begins to build. It really is smart that the AIR studio I was gifted is located on the ground floor next to the kitchen area, social space and garden used by all the DS artists. It was especially useful to me that other painters in the group shared conversations about the work they were making and the work being made by artist residents. Lovely to experience a much more direct and less defensive manner of discourse about work in progress. Such a contrast to what I had imagined and thereby made it really easy for me to settle in. Exciting stuff. An additional bonus was to quickly know that the art supplies branch of Peter Van Ginkel is nearby the apartment I was renting, everything I would need and more is in place. The second artist in residence is shortly to arrive on site and to know in advance that Remy Neumann (from Limburg) is a painter is terrific news. And to top it all the weather is relentlessly hot and considered the best summer weather for ages…