Episode 5 – 1UP North Gaming Expo

The girls are down one this week so got our friend David, a Front End developer at the wonderful Nebula Labs and Game Design graduate, to come and check out the 1UP North Gaming Expo, which was part of the Great Exhibition of the North.

Blog Posts Curation Corner

Curation Corner: The Power of a Frame

Hi guys, what’s good? In this week’s episode about James Unsworth’s ‘Girth and Mirth’ I used Curation Corner to explain how framing an image changes what it is and how it is perceived. Here is a hilarious example:


Story time:

My dad, Papa Stronach, is a lover of the arts and has helped instill a love and respect of art within me from a very young age. I once walked into his house to see this framed on the wall. This. Framed. On the wall. Make no mistake, this is exactly what you think it is. This is the flat-pack instructions for an IKEA toilet brush.

My dad, probably amused by the absurdity of this image and its existence (perhaps thinking about the artist who was given the task of illustrating this) decided in to pick up one of the many frames lying about his house and mount it on his wall. After doing this and stepping back, what started as a joke became quite a humorous, but pleasing, aesthetic. The act of framing this image had changed what it was by giving it value and inviting people to spend a moment looking at it. It is within this that the humour lies as, upon further inspection, one realises that this scrap of paper was once packaged with a Swedish toilet brush. A viewer may even spend a moment to look again and just double check that it is not in fact a piece of pretentious contemporary art that they simply misunderstood. But no. It is exactly what it is.

Who the hell would frame that!? My father, everybody.

But I can’t say I disagree with him. I enjoy the humor of this object and yet there is also something I find quite appealing about the minimal aesthetic, the balance of the composition, the size of the image and the way it sits in the frame. I like it so much in fact that when Papa Stronach did a bit of a declutter recently, I tool it off his hands. He gave me the frame, thinking I could use it for some of my own artwork, but once I got it home I couldn’t help but feel that I was going to end up hanging this on my studio wall. Not to get too artsy-fartsy (but I have to use my art degree for something, right guys!), this object feels like a post modernist comment on global consumerism, capitalist culture and the profound stupidity this appears to breed. Again, someone explain to me why this had to exist. And I am sure that is exactly how it would be read if it was hanging on the wall of the Tate Modern, the Saatchi or our very own BALTIC. In my dad’s flat in Percy Main or my studio however, one is able to appreciate the hilarious and downright odd power a frame can have over the value of an image.

– Rosie Stronach


Episode 4 – Girth and Mirth by James Unsworth

This week we checked out James Unsworth’s fab exhibition Girth and Mirth back at Abject Gallery.

Exhibition: 29 June – 8 September 2018

Opening Times: Wed – Sat, 11:00am – 5:00pm

Location: Abject Gallery, 8th Floor, Bamburgh House

Find out more:

James Unsworth

Curious Arts Festival 2018

Breeze Creatives // Abject Gallery


Blog Posts Exhibition Further Thoughts

Some Further Thoughts: Sembalance

When you look further into something, things are never as they seem. This was certainly how I felt when researching further into material surrounding the aptly named Semblance, an exhibition by Mani Kambo that recent appeared in our very own Hey Art, What’s Good? podcast (If you haven’t had a chance to hear the podcast you should first go ahead and do that!)

In general, the exhibition featured themes around the ritual and the occult with tools often used for divination, such as tarot cards, incense, palm lines and symbols such as snakes and eyes. Part of the exhibition included handmade paper made by the artist which had been made with lavender. Lavender itself is associated with calming properties and used in creating a peaceful environment for dreaming. Its physical effects have also been used to treat inflammation and may even help to create a positive mental state with its scent. However, the act of the artist putting a herb used for dreaming into a physical object (the paper) reminded me of turning your dreams into something that is physical. Along this same thought, the exhibition also featured incense made by the artist that was burned and filled the air with heavy, pleasing scents. Incense can also be used to induce specific emotional and spiritual states or the future. Unfortunately I can’t remember which herbs were burned (sorry guys!), but again, this ties in with the action of making a spell into a physical object or response.

Another aspect the exhibition explored was the future. This was shown largely through clay models of the artist’s hands that had some detailing of the palms and knuckles creases, and these palm lines were also present in some of the digital prints hanging on the walls. Surrounded by incense, in a ritual circle, the artist’s right hand (which I assume to be the dominant hand) can be perceived to represent conscious future or your future as an adult. The main lines highlighted on the print show the head, the heart and the life line. The depth and the continuity of the lines and how they intersect can be looked at in a number of ways depending on the ‘seer’. However, an interesting thing about reading palms is that they don’t stay the same. As you age or go through life, your hands and the predictions they hold change, so your reading of the future can also change. This was also present in the artist’s own maze necklace and what she talked about: that life always moves either forwards or sideways and never backwards which is similar to how you walk through a maze.

Overall, these things inspired me to look further and engage more with the art. The ways the exhibition, the artist’s words and the divination tools wove together created a story of how things such as dreams, reality and the future all move and transform in many directions and that whilst they may not move linearly, they never revert backwards.

– Ellie Clark

Articles used:


Episode 3 – Sembalance by Mani Kambo

This week we went to see Mani Kambo’s amazing exhibition Sembalance at System gallery in Newcastle.

Give it a listen!


Episode 2 – Body, You Are Not Me by Oliver Doe

For our first proper episode we all went to see Oliver Doe’s exhibition, titled Body, You Are Not Me at Abject Gallery in town.

Have a listen.


Episode 1 – Introductions

Hello there! Welcome to Hey Art, What’s Good?, a new podcast where we like to ask art ‘what’s good?’

We’re a group of friends from Newcastle Upon Tyne in the North East of England who regularly go to art exhibitions and fun shows, and we thought it would be a good idea to turn it into a podcast, so every week (hopefully), we’ll be getting together to talk about the most recent thing we’ve seen in our home town.

Have a listen to our first episode where we get some introductions out of the way, and let you know who we are!