Episode 23 – North Tyneside Art Studio

For this episode the girls wanted to talk about the GeNErosity Festival and North Tyneside Art Studio, an organisation that offers a safe, non-judgemental environment where people can explore their creativity at their own pace, to help improve and sustain good mental health as part of a friendly and welcoming community.

(Don’t forget we’re also on iTunes!)

Some more information about the studio: here

Further info on GeNErosity Festival: here

Episode 22 – Hard Craft by Juliet Fleming and Sarah-Joy Ford

On the 100-year anniversary of partial women’s suffrage in the UK, this exhibition of collaborative work draws upon the material histories of dis-obedient craft.

This week the girls popped back along to Vane Gallery to check out the newest exhibition ‘Hard Craft’ by artists Juliet Fleming and Sarah-Joy Ford.

(Don’t forget we’re also on iTunes!)

Exhibition: 15th November 2018 – 15th December 2018

More Information: here

Location: Vane Gallery

Opening Times: Wednesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 17:00

Art Daze: A Place to Recharge during an Art Day (Part 1)

Avoiding art fatigue is an important part of any art enthusiasts’ life! No matter what you call it (‘museum overload’ and ‘museum feet’ to give a few examples) the struggle is real. Art fatigue is a phrase that we have created to describe the feeling of exhaustion unique to a day traipsing round museums and art institutions. Everyone has their limits. After absorbing so much art, supporting documents and forming opinions and ideas surrounding these sources, it is easy to feel drained.

This can be particularly true when visiting open studios: So much to see and do! But also a lot of ground to cover! While reflecting on the Gateshead Open Studios featured in this weeks episode and with the Ouseburn Open Studios fast approaching, we felt it was important to make a public service announcement addressing this.

Time can fly in an art gallery, particularly the larger institutions such as the BALTIC or the Hancock Museum. Many times on their travels the ‘Hey Art, What’s Good?’ gang have lost track of time in the V&A, The British Museum or the Tate and have been struck down with art fatigue, wishing only for a helpful guide to lead them to a nice, affordable place to go for a brake. We do not wish anyone to feel this way in our very own Tyneside and so we have given this issue some thought…

The best medicine, we have found, is a sit down and a beverage. Like a fine wine to a meal, we have paired up gallery spaces to different bars and cafes which could provide you with a moment of refuge. Heading to a bar or café can provide an opportunity to have a think about the art you have just seen and let your reactions clarify. You can do this solo, perhaps perusing the free literature you picked up in the gallery over a brew and perfecting your Instagram post about your cultural experience, or among friends discussing the bits you enjoyed and the bits you didn’t. We have tried to choose pleasant and affordable establishments that are within walking distance of the art galleries we have included, so that if you need to take an emergency brake you need not fear. We enjoy cafes and bars which have a creative feel, so that they do not detract from your art day. No Wetherspoons will be found on this list!

We want to support the arts and creativity in Tyneside and feel that small, local and independent businesses fall under that. It is important that we give these places our support as they are helping sustain our local economy, are more environmentally sound and are bringing some diversity to Newcastle and Gateshead. These businesses are what makes Tyneside what it is. The bars and cafes we have chosen are by Geordies for Geordies. The businesses we have included in this list are places we actually go to and enjoy spending time! Let us know what you think and if you know of any good local bars and cafes near some art institutions please let us know! You can leave us a comment or reach out to us on:
Twitter and Instagram: @heyartwhatsgood
Gmail: heyartwhatsgood@gmail.com

 

Baltic and Sage

The Baltic and the Sage are two of the most important art institutions in the North East and represent a large part of the Northern arts scene. We expect that you may have been to both but if not we would strongly recommend!

         Block and Bottle   –

After spending time in the large and impressive art institutions along the river you may benefit from scaling down and enjoying the services of a small indie business. Rather than taking out a bank loan to afford a couple of pints at the Sage or Baltic bars (or even the rather pricey shipping container village) head on over to the Block and Bottle! Block and Bottle is a bottle shop and butchers combo which offers fridges packed with interesting cans and bottles that you don’t come across in your average shop. B&B also have a couple of taps so if that’s more your style don’t despair. Although at first it can be a bit strange to sit at the singular table among the meat counter, the place has good vibes, friendly staff and an impressive selection of drinks.

This is a foodies dream as you can grab a can and talk to the folks behind the counter about their produce, which Ellie almost always takes the opportunity to do!

We are also big fans of the art that can be found on beer cans! We have all been guilty of choosing a beer based on the art it features, but what can we say – we are slaves to the aesthetics! We recommend keeping the cans and upcycling them into plant pots or pencil holders. Just use a can opener to take off the top, give it a sand to avoid any sharp edges and give it a clean.
Distance from gallery: 13 minutes, 0.6 miles
14 Wellington St
Gateshead
NE8 2AJ

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         Station East      –

If you fancy a more traditional bar, Station east could be the place for you. With many nooks and crannies, this pub is perfect to settle down for a moment, rest your aching feet and enjoy a local brew. There are pies and pastries available behind the bar and this pub offers a loyalty card so that you can earn point for your beer (truly the perfect system!). Friendly staff are always happy to give a beer recommendation and feel free to ask for a taster so that you know which pint will pair correctly with your day of culture.
Distance from gallery: 12 minuets, 0.5 miles
Hills St
Gateshead
NE8 2AN

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          Grumpy Panda

Grumpy Pander may be one of the best kept secrets in Tyneside. Hidden just off the Gateshead high streets it offers an impressive selection of vegan cuisine. None of us here at ‘Hey Art, What’s Good?’ are vegan, but the food is so good it doesn’t matter! The diner offers hot and cold drinks and a fairly extensive menu of delicious food stuffs both sweet and savoury.
Distance from gallery: 21 minutes’ walk, 0.9 miles
14 Regent Terrace
Gateshead
NE8 1LU

 

System

System Gallery aims to provide a space for local up and coming contemporary artists to exhibit their work. This white gallery space usually has quite a fast turnover so it’s likely that you will see a different show each time to visit. The work is quite varied and so part of the excitement is not quite knowing what you’re going to get, but that is will probably be new and interesting!

         Bar Loco   –

Bar Loco is the obvious choice, seeing as you have to walk through the establishment to get to the gallery. However just like System, Bar Loco provides a space for the creatives of Newcastle to meet and showcase their ideas. Many a time have the girls of ‘Hey Art, What’s Good?’ wandered into a free gig, an open mic night and once a double bass practice. The bar is a space where political and activist groups meet and the space is oozing with art in its aesthetic.

We also believe that Bar Loco serves the best nachos in town, so grab a beer, order a sharing portion of nachos and talk about some art!
Distance from gallery: 0 minutes’ walk, 0.0 miles
22 Leazes Park Rd
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4PG

         Tea Sutra   –

Just down the street from System Gallery is Tea Sutra Teahouse, a tea lover’s haven above the joke and costume show Magicbox on Percy Street. This café provides a space to meet with friends and family or simply have some time to yourself! The environment is cosy and the tea menu is extensive. Tea Sutra is a café which encourages you to enjoy a moment a stillness. Patrons can relax as they wait for the tea to brew and become cool enough to drink. If you ask nicely the employees also give out free refills in the form of a flask of boiling water that you can pour into your teapot to make the most of your tea leaves.

There is a small food menu which offers vegetarian and vegan curries, soups and wraps. It is also well worth trying the chi-of-the-day. There is a ritual to drinking tea this was that nurtures meditation. If your art day has you a bit flustered we recommend you pay Tea Sutra a visit.
Distance from gallery: 1 minute walk, 348 ft
1st Floor
2 Leazes Park Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 4PF

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The Great North Museum: The Hancock

 

         The Hancock (Pub)

With the very same name as the museum, it would be hard to avoid talking about the Hancock pub. Best known for its deals on alcohol and its student clientele, this bar is better catered to those on an art adventure with friends. The bar has pool, a decent smoking area and very reasonable prices on both the food and drink menu.
Distance from gallery: 5 minutes’ walk, 0.3 miles
2A Hancock St
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE2 4PU

         Quilliam Brothers’ Teahouse

Quilliams could be described as a creative space in its own right and so makes a wonderful addition to any art day. This family business (actually set up and run by three brothers) offers a vast selection of tea and coffee as well as a great food menu and a mouth-watering selection of sweet treats.

Kitted out with its own small cinema and frequently exhibiting artwork you can take this opportunity to have a break from one art day and browse through the Crack and Quilliams filers to see if there are any film screenings coming up that take your fancy.
Distance from gallery: 4 minutes’ walk, 0.2 miles
Claremont Buildings
1 Eldon Place
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 7RD

IMG_20181122_151013Photograph: Dylan McKee (@djmckee)

WOMEN IN ART: where to find out more…

For this week’s episode the HAWG? gang went to see the exhibition ‘WORTH’ by the wonderful Lady Kitt at Praxis Gallery (link to episode here!). The exhibition addressed the representation of women in the everyday. This got us thinking: like art, the fight for equality should be inclusive rather than exclusive. The point of equality is that it is for the benefit of everyone! But just like art, so many times we see feminist (and various other social movements fighting for equality) divided into the ‘right’ way to fight for equality and the ‘wrong’ way. Sometimes this can bog down the fight, making it unapproachable for those on the outskirts of the battlefield, wanting to join in but not knowing how and worried they might take a wrong step.

Our attitude to this, just like with art, is to start a dialogue. We are here to educate and debate. We know we do not have all the answers, but through conversation and debate we are eager to learn and grow. We’re all entitled to our own opinions, not everyone has to agree with them but we do have to respect them.

We have collected a few different resources with regards to feminism within the context of art. The links provided have information on feminism, activism, the male gaze vs. the female gaze and female artists generally doing cool things. We wanted to make sure that you have some materials to help maintain your arsenal of knowledge, or give you a starting point if you are interested but don’t know where to begin! To make sure there is something for everyone we have provided a variety of different formats so that you can choose to have a casual browse or a full-on deep dive.

And as always, please feel free to get in touch if you would like to continue the conversation!

 

To Read:

The male glance how we fail to take women’s stories seriously // Long read

www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/06/the-male-glance-how-we-fail-to-take-womens-stories-seriously

 

From Trump to Brexit: how bad graphics triumphed over slick design // Medium Read

Political art is on the street, in public space, made by the every-man and in plain sight. And in today’s political climate we have been seeing more and more of it. I am of course referring to the banners and placards used in marches. This article by Oliver Wainwright for the guardian explores how the art of the people resonates more than that of sleek and expensive political campaigns.

This article is not specific to women, but it addresses how our art and our images can be used to empower our fellow human and communicate a message of justice and equality…

www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/28/posters-protest-artworks-hope-to-nope-pink-pussyhat

 

In today’s art auctions, the ‘male gaze’ is going out of fashion // Short Read

Is the problematic male gaze finally becoming unpopular in the art market?

www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/art-auctions-male-gaze-national-gallery-artemisia-gentileschi-me-too-a8469716.html

 

This art project shows men what it’s like to be harassed on the street // Short Read

www.indy100.com/article/art-project-shows-men-what-its-like-to-be-harassed-on-the-street-8284051

A classic role reversal – art that puts men in the position of women who are cat called and harassed on the street. It’s not a complement

 

To Watch:

Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict // Film

Saw this in university with my fellow artist (then fellow art student) Sinead Whelan and it honestly changed the flames artist I wanted to become. If you want to know about a fucking cool art bitch, Peggy Guggenheim might be the OG

www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/peggy-guggenheim-art-addict-film-review-an-unlikely-sexual-allure-an-amateur-collector-and-gallerist-a6768336.html

 

To See:

Dial Down The Feminism // Meme

Memes are wonderful beautiful things. We are big fans. Rosie might use a Curation Corner to argue that they are fragments of a larger post-modernist movement within a digital framework, but until that day, there is this: You may have seen the ‘dial down the feminism’ meme, and here is a small piece on its origin. Feminism is too problematic? Hmmm, maybe it is you that is too problematic.

www.indy100.com/article/dial-down-the-feminism-artwork-viral-alex-bertulis-fernandes-modern-photo-criticism-metoo-times-up-8204126

 

Indian women wear cow masks to show they are less safe than cattle // In pictures

Indian women wearing cow masks on the street to address the fact that they are more at risk than sacred cattle. Using powerful religious iconography to prove their point

www.indy100.com/article/cow-masks-india-women-less-safe-sexual-assault-rape-murder-8375596

 

This artist put Donald Trump quotes on sexist 1950s advertising posters // In pictures

This artist puts Donald Trump Quotes on 1950’s posters, highlighting just how ridiculous and outdated his opinion on women really is (as if we didn’t know already! But still very entertaining)

www.indy100.com/article/donald-trump-misogynistic-vintage-posters-art-artist-satire-7643631

 

Celebrating the female gaze: women photographing women // In pictures

A series of photographs of women by women. A dynamic, diverse and thought provoking collection of images that is worth a look!

www.theguardian.com/culture/gallery/2017/jun/28/female-gaze-women-in-pictures

 

‘Girl on Girl’: Photographer Rose Willoughby explores the female gaze in delicate but deliberate portraits // Artist

www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/girl-on-girl-photographer-explores-the-female-gaze-in-delicate-but-deliberate-portraits-a7423111.html

( Artist: rosemaisiewilloughby.com)

 

To Hear:

Front Row: ‘Women and Sexism in the Arts’ 

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b099v302

 

‘She Who Dares: Feminist Artists’

Elif Shafak a Turkish author and feminist activist celebrates female artists and female creativity

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csvs4q

 

Social Media:

www.indy100.com/article/this-artist-is-turning-all-the-sexist-comments-she-receives-on-instagram-into-art–WkqEwbP5_b

This artist is turning all the sexist comments she receives on Instagram into art.

Instagram Accounts:

https://www.instagram.com/aminder_d/?hl=en

WOMAN WORLD by Aminder Dhaliwal // an ongoing comic about a future world in which women are the only people left on the planet, and the amazing relationships and scenarios therein.

https://www.instagram.com/girlgaze/?hl=en

Girlgaze // a platform to see works and art by women about women. They post great Instagram Stories about some amazing things women are doing and a weekly ‘Not Fake News’ story further exploring some major world events of that week.

Some further thoughts: Tales of Valiant Queens, an Insight into Chila Kumari Singh Burman’s Latest Exhibition

A couple of weeks ago, Alice and I went along to the MIMA in Middlesbrough after receiving an invite to come and check out their new exhibitions. Alice and Rosie had been along before and did a podcast on their initial visit, but this was before their new exhibitions were there.

The three new exhibitions being shown this time were Making, A Life by Peter Hodgson, Living Beyond Limits and Tales of Valiant Queens by Chila Kumari Singh Burman. They were all amazing exhibitions and we spoke about them all in our most recent podcast episode. However, in this blog post I’ll be talking solely about Burman’s exhibition.

While we were there, there were talks by the artists on their exhibitions. We listened to Chila speak for over an hour and a half in what was meant to be a half hour talk, and I only wish she spoke for longer. She told us of how she grew up in a working-class Punjabi family in Liverpool in the 1970s and how the things she grew up with and experienced have influenced her art from then till now.

In the room, her work dominated the walls and took over the senses, printwork in vibrant colours, a video playing with loud music and amazing visuals, and who could forget the beautifully decorated tuk-tuk at the top of the room? Her printworks have been the main focus of her work over the years and each of them tell a different story and showcase different themes.

Some of them are collages that look innocent at first, but upon further inspection they contain some sexual imagery. As Burman explained in her talk, this was her way of expressing her female sexuality in a culture which didn’t allow it. Other prints of hers are much more obvious, including her body print in sugar which was shown in the seminal black feminist exhibition The Thin Black Line (1985). Burman uses her work to fight against stereotypes of Asian femininity and as part of the movement for women to take back control of their own bodies.

Her work also tackles issues of politics and race, with printwork which showcases her feminist and anarchist ideals. Symbols of immigration policies and systematic racism in Britain are highlighted in her works, including a print which shows Margaret Thatcher standing across a barbed-wire Europe and a British passport. It represents issues of colonialism and empire and it  shows the struggle of people coming from Asian countries into Britain and the hardships they faced from the Government.

Her work is incredibly inspirational and frankly very fun to experience in person. Every piece tells a story and I truly believe there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this exhibition. I look forward to seeing more of Burman’s works and after this visit, I’m confident that I’ll be coming back to the MIMA for more amazing works.

If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our most recent episode of Hey Art, What’s Good to hear about more of the exhibitions at the MIMA.

-Amy Smith

Episode 19 – Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art Autumn/Winter 2018 Exhibition Openings

This week the girls went back along to the MIMA to check out their new exhibition openings which was complete with artists talks, curators talks and a community lunch!

(Don’t forget we’re also on iTunes!)

More information: here

Location: here

Opening hours: Tuesday Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10.00am – 4.30pm
Thursday 10.00am – 7.00pm Sunday 12.00pm – 4.00pm. Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays

The Wonder of Documentary Photography

Last week we all went to check out The Last Ships by Chris Killip, a fantastic series of black and white photographs that present the viewer with a multifaceted insight into the declining ship-building industry on the Tyne in the 1970s. (If you haven’t listened to it check it out here). This was an exhibition that really exemplified the power a photograph has to freeze a time in place, and offer a remarkable point of reference for future generations.

Immediately after seeing this exhibition myself and Amy got the Metro over to Byker to check out the opening of another documentary photography series, titled Byker from the 80s by Tom Ingham, who lived in the area at the time and has recently returned. This too was a black and white series, photographed on film I’m assuming given the decade, and sought to document Byker upon the completion of the Byker wall which was a massive change for the area. During the Great Exhibition of the North the BALTIC had a great exhibition called Idea of the North (which we did an episode about), and as a part of it there were several photographs by documentary photographers of the Amber Collective. One of the series here portraits of residents who lived in the wall in around the same time as the 1980s, and I recall reading some information about the intention of the wall’s construction and what it meant to the residents of the Byker area, who lived as a close-knit community in Victorian-era terraced houses (much like the ones seen in Killip’s photographs). The idea was to offer the current Byker residents a modern and nice place to live and to remain as a community, however after the wall’s and the surrounding estates completion only around 20% of the original residents remained in the area, breaking up the community.

The remarkable thing with this series of photographs compared to that of The Last Ships is that I recognise the Byker area very well through them, as it hasn’t really changed at all since Ingham’s images were taken. And it is this that makes me marvel at documentary photography, and indeed any kind of photography of people and places: the images we take today are documenting what we do and where we live, and future generations might see them in a variety of contexts, able to compare and contrast them with whatever comes after us. The capacity to entirely freeze a moment or an era in time is something I adore about photography, and it is something I endeavor to do whenever I take my camera out and start shooting.

I really hope you go check out these fab exhibitions, The Last Ships is on at the Laing Art Gallery until 23rd December, and Byker from the 80s is on at Byker Community Centre, but you might have to get in touch with them to find out when you can visit (here’s a link with some more info).

Thanks for reading!

-Alice