For this week’s episode Alice and Amy finally went on their ‘sister trip’ up to Edinburgh, where they checked out the ‘Beyond Realism | Dada and Surrealism‘ exhibition at The National Scottish Museum Of Modern Art. We do love a bit of surrealism and it was great finding some familliar artists work and learning about some new ones (well, new to us because surrealism is an old movement).
Every year Cheeseburn has a sculpture festival and this was the first time my Dad and I went along to check it out. Spoiler: it was amazing! If there’s one thing we love its a big old stately home, and although we couldn’t go in this one (it’s privately owned), the expansive lands around it filled with amazing art made do.
The grange has over 70 pieces of art by dozens of artists and there was so much in terms of style and variety; truly something for everybody. I don’t really know how to talk about everything we saw so I guess I could just go by favourites, both mine and my Dad’s.
First up, mine: the first thing we saw, because I saw it through the doors as we went to go get a map from the lady, was the lovely Erin Dickson’s amazing Authentic Venetian Chandelier, which we talked about a bit in our Abject Gallery Double-Bill episode a couple months back. It was cool seeing it irl, all lit up in an old stable.
The story behind this is fab: Erin was visiting a museum or gallery somewhere in Italy and when trying to take a photo of a stunning Venetian glass chandelier, she was told she wasn’t allowed. However, one thing she learned she was able to do was to use a mobile 3D scanning app, so she scanned this then printed the whole thing. The result is obviously very unlike the original piece, and goes to show that new technologies aren’t the pinnacle of contemporary ways of making. I do love this chandelier though and would love to have a house big enough that I could have it in a grand entryway or something.
Next up is one of my Dad’s favourites. Following the trail around we went into the game larder, where glass artist Ayako Tani was showing some of her remarkably delicate and detailed glass ships in bottles, which were also available to purchase. These things are absolutely amazing, and one of those things (like most sculpture tbf) that I’ve got no idea whatsoever how you’d go about making. We said hello and goodbye to Ayako, and on our way out she told us she has an exhibition on in the chapel as well, which I for whatever reason assumed was going to be a really large glass ship in a bottle. What’s much more impressive than 1 large ship in a bottle, however, is like 150 small ships in bottles, covering almost every surface of this cute little chapel. I mean just look at this:
Here’s a quote from my Dad: “I’ve always had a fascination with ships in bottles, but this was on a whole other level. It was amazing. It must have been so difficult making it all with glass, even the little ropes and everything.”
We followed the trail around and came to another favourite of mine:
These little monkeys are Brigitte Jurack’sScavengers, and there were a whole bunch of them they were fab. The parts of them covered in yellow look to be some kind of wax, and like at most exhibitions I go to it was all I could do not to touch them and find out. The rock in the foreground there is called The Oxton Rock and reminded me a bit of Elmer the Elephant which was pretty neat.
This next piece is a definite favourite of both myself and my Dad; it’s ‘Enlightenment?’ by Peter Hamner. Anyone who has visited Baltic recently to check out Digital Citizen (or at least anyone who’s listened to our episode about it), would recognise these mildly disturbing figures and dystopian scenes. They’re awesome.
“It was weird like. I know art’s a subjective thing, everyone gets something different out of it, but to me this one showed just how crazy the world is.”
Another fave of mine was ‘Nostalgia de la boue: Plastic Friend’ by Clare Townley. Townley is the winner of last year’s Gillian Dickinson award which enabled her to make this and install it at Cheeseburn. It’s made up entirely of waste and repurposed plastic and transforms this delightful copse of trees into a dystopian installation that makes you consider the impact of plastic on our environment. There’s even a swing you can sit on to do this contemplating, looking out onto the untouched landscape nearby (which my Dad is doing here).
I’m gonna finish up by sharing a favourite of my Dad’s, and something we both had a bit of fun with. It’s this cool glass piece by Cate Watkinson (I’m pretty sure anyway), and we both thought that the little bubbles in the glass were raindrops, however we loved this little convex lens aspect of it because it made our faces look funny from each side.
So that just about does it for this blog post. Cheeseburn is free to go to (however they are a charity and rely on donations), so it’s absolutely worth a visit. The only thing is that you pretty much have to drive there, I’ve got no idea how you would even nearly get a bus to this place. If you do head along though let us know, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Cheeseburn is open somewhat sporadically over the summer:
For this week’s episode the girls talk about their recent visit down to Middlesbrough to check out the Creative Factory Middlesbrough art trail on the 24th May. On this wonderful evening filled with art and amazing people, Pineapple Black opened a couple of new exhibitions, ‘Training Montage’ and ‘Renounce’.
Tune in next week for a part two of this episode, where we chat about the opening of The Auxiliary and HUN’s Summer One!
For this week’s episode the girls wanted to talk about that time they went to Barcelona, and their visit to the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art. There were two fantastic and remarkably extensive exhibitions on show, ‘A Short Century: MACBA Collection‘ and ‘Christian Marclay: Compositions‘, so have a listen as we break these down and just generally talk about the trip.
For this week’s episode the wonderful Alison Merritt Smith, director of The Holy Biscuit here in Newcastle, came into the studio to have a chat about The Holy Biscuit and it’s current transition and re-brand into Shieldfield Art Works. We talked about the launch party, the current exhibition, and the effect of the rise of student accommodation has on the community.
Happy Saturday everyone! This episode is coming a little late in the day but it’s worth the wait because we think it’s a good one! For this one we went along to Abject Gallery to check out the preview of Peter McArdle’s exhibition ‘Stories from the Big Flat Now‘. It’s a very surreal and wide ranging exhibition that provoked a whole bunch of conversation from us.
This week’s episode is a bit of a special one! Recently we went along to the wonderful Thought Foundation down in Birtley to host a live podcast and discussion with some amazing ladies all about art and being in the North East, in front of an audience and everything! We sat down with Leanne Pierce, Director of Thought Foundation, Michaela Wetherell, curator at Thought Foundation and Platform A Gallery, and local artists Ciara Lenihan and Erin Dickson. We discussed what it is about the North East that has drawn / kept us all here, and the implications of cultural capital and how institutions like Thought Foundation work to tackle it.
For this week’s episode the girls went along to Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens to check out the Da Vinci drawings, but we were blown away by other exhibitions that were available to see as well! Specifically we loved the body of work by Andrew Tift called ‘One Day You’ll Be Older Too’, which was commissioned by the museum and features remarkably realistic hand-drawn portraits of local care home residents and their stories.
Hey there, Alice here. As you all may or may not know I am an avid photographer, and my main medium is that of analogue photography. Now, a lot of the analogue cameras you may have seen look pretty recognisable, like compact cameras, disposable cameras and slrs, however they didn’t start out like this. After seeing the subject of this week’s episode ‘No Man’s War’ at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, and an old Kodak Vest Pocket Camera in a display cabinet, I was inspired to write a little bit about using the oldest camera I own.
So this camera is a Kodak Brownie No.2, and it’s literally a cardboard box with a spring shutter and a couple of bits of glass/plastic. This model in particular hails from all the way back in 1917 (ish), which coincides with the First World War and the subject of much of the exhibition. Back in the day this type of camera was the everyday camera for families, much like the disposable camera. When you shot a roll of film with this camera you’d just take the whole thing back to the shop, and they would take the film out, develop it, print it and load up a new roll of film, making it ready to use immediately.
Despite its age and ridiculously simple design (its very much the definition of a point-and-shoot camera, there’s nothing by way of settings or adjustments to make), the photos this camera makes can be pretty amazing. A quirk the images have is a really sharp centre, however the edges can be pretty blurred, which I imagine is because of the quality of the super old lens. The negatives you get from this camera are also pretty ridiculous in how big they are: a whopping 6x9cm. To see the comparison between this size and 35mm film, here’s this handy-dandy diagram.
One of the main reasons I fell in love with shooting film was the fun you can have trying out old cameras like this, the ones that you don’t really see anything like anymore. Also you can find them for real cheap on eBay so that’s always a plus!
I hope you liked this little look into my little world of photography, and if you’re thinking of taking up film photography I’d really recommend having a go of a box camera like this – it’s so much fun!