Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Great weekend at the Late Shows

Well, the Late Shows is over for another year, and what a great weekend it was. We had alot of people come down to the Mushroom Works, and thanks to everyone who was able to make it down. It was a perfect excuse to drink far too much wine, two nights in a row, and to drunkenly slur unprofessionally at prospective buyers.
The theme for this years event was 'Weird and Wonderful' and we were asking you to let us know who or what is the most weird or wonderful thing [or person] at Mushroom Works, with 2 stickers. I think the winner of a sticker collection for the weekend had to be the unusual woman in a jar, who was accompanied by a man on stilts. Nick James was also there doing his fire breathing.

I got a few stickers of my own, not just for the pieces in the gallery, but also for work in my studio. I got more 61 Weird sticker to 40 Wonderful stickers, is that a good thing to get more weird ones? Probably. Whilst walking in the Ouseburn yesterday, after picking my daughter up from school, I came across a 'Wonderful' sticker on a drain. It was a wonderful drain, and someone obviously thought so! Interesting to think that a drain was chosen over all the work on show at the Mushroom Works. Great weekend, could've done with one more night.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Weird and Wonderful

Just a few more days till this years Late Shows takes place, and the Mushroom Works once again opens its studio doors for an evening of entertainment and several glasses of wine. I'm looking forward to opening my studio doors, drinking far too much, and attempting to talk (possibly slur) about my work.
The theme of this years event is 'Weird and Wonderful', which should be interesting, or a little strange. Guests will be entertained by fire breathers and a lady in a jar - which I'm very curious to see. The exhibition in the gallery will follow this theme, and the artwork (alongside the lady in the jar) will be judged as to whether its weird or wonderful. I think there are prizes, I hope so. Along with a few of my paintings, I've also included a couple of oddities from my studio.

Firstly there's a huge slab of acrylic paint, that has been building in size for years. Whenever paint becomes too dry on my palette or becomes dirty, I scrape it off and add it to this big slab, rather than it going to in the bin. It's important to think how much paint goes to waste, and try and put it to a better use. Well, at least give it a purpose. Eventually, would be interesting to chop it in half and see the different striations of colour, that have built up over the years. In the meantime, I'm just going to let it grow (very slowly). It seems to take on a form of its own. A very slow sculpture. Surprisingly heavy as well. It's positioned on a plinth alongside my paintings, and they seem to complement each other. Not only from the matching palettes, but it also gives the paintings an origin, linking to the process.

My final bit of weirdness in the exhibition, is my unusual collection of washers. Been obsessively collecting metal rings off the road for years now, like finding treasure! Most of the collection picked up on my route to my studio at the Mushroom Works, down St Lawrence Road. Passing numerous garages on route, who seem to part with alot of spare parts, rubbish and oil on the side of the road. Once again, I might as well give some purpose to the waste on the roads. For a while I was collecting cardboard as well, but managed to break that (slightly autistic!) habit.
Spent years wondering what to do with it, and now its 4 metres long, stacked together. Thought it was about time I revealed it. Simply arranged on the plinth, it comes across quite snake like, as the washers taper from large to small. I thought of it more like money being stacked, which eventually collapsed under its own weight and height. I used to love counting out the loose change from my piggy bank as a boy. Stacking it up, the uniformed bands of metal. Similarly with this, there's something really curious about the different bands of rusty and shiny metals. Occasionally a flash of colour.

The Late Shows 2010

The Late Shows 2010
Mushroom Works,St Lawrence Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 1AR, UK
Friday 14th May 7 - 11p, Saturday 15th May 7 - 11pm

The Late Shows, NewcastleGateshead’s legendary free culture crawl, returns THIS WEEKEND for the fourth year running and promises to be bigger than ever! The Mushroom Works will once again be joining in the celebration. We will be hosting a Meet the artists e...vent as well as holding some rather weird and wonderful events. We have invited some very special [and slightly strange] guests to entertain you for the evening, Fire breathers and ladies in bottles will all be there to ensure you enjoy the night. we will be asking you to let us know who or what is the most weird or wonderful thing [or person] at Mushroom Works.This is the perfect opportunity to meet some the regions most wonderful artists and makers and enjoy a drink with them in the comfort of their studio.

Hope you can make it.