For this week’s episode the girls have a chat about when they went to go see the fab photography exhibition ‘Observe. Experiment. Archive.’ at Sunderland Museum and Winter Garden.
This is a group exhibition that explores paralells between the science, history and photography, and is curated by the North East Photography Network (NEPN). There’s such a wide range of subjects explored, and some pretty amazing things to be seen – you’ve got until the 5th January to go check it out!
For this week’s episode we had a sit down and a chat with the wonderful Ellen Ranson and Elaine Robertson from Conny Art Festival to discuss the most recent edition of the festival. Conny is a two week long arts festival which takes place all over the town of Consett, in County Durham. There was workshops, exhibitions, live events and all sorts, and now it’s all over for this year we wanted to hear all about it from the festival’s two founders.
In this week’s episode the girls got invited back to The Laing to check out their newest exhibition The Enchanted Interior (spoiler: it was mint). This is a massive and amazingly curated exhibition that looks at the problematic and popular theme in art of the interior as a ‘gilded cage’ for women, which inhabit the space as ornaments.
For this week’s episode the girls went back along to the wonderful Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art and had a chat with Senior Curator Elinor Morgan about their newest exhibition, For Many Voices by Mikhail Karikis. This exhibition is a survey of Karikis’s work over the past 10 years, and it massively employs the use of sound, documentary-style video, and a community focus.
“He employs listening as a form of activism, tuning into voices that operate beyond mainstream frequencies. In the past decade, he has shifted how he works, from creating a space in which others participate in the work to one in which they become co-producers. The resulting projects highlight alternative modes of solidarity and action, while nurturing attention, dignity and tenderness. “
A few weeks ago Alice and Rosie got to check out this year’s #Untitled10 exhibition at the Bowes Museum over in County Durham. #Untitled10 2019 saw 10 artists and craftspeople undertake a residency at the museum and respond to it’s history in a creative way. There was some fab stuff and it was all so different! It was spread out throughout the entire museum within the pre-existing pieces on show, so we had a great time just exploring the entire place and contextualising the newly made pieces.
For this week’s episode Alice and Amy popped back along to the Tyneside Cinema to check out the most recent event in the Projections programme: Visions of Collisions by FilmBee. FilmBee is a collective based in the North East who experiment with all things film: shooting it, developing it, screening it and creating fab events with it, like this one! This was a weird and wonderful collaboration of ideas and source material, and we learned about the concept of agonism and how that can be thought of in the cinema space.
In this week’s episode we have a continuation of our conversation about Middlesbrough Art Weekender 2019 – this time with Rosie! She exhibited with HUN this year so she tells us about that process, some of the problems she ran into (and overcame), and what her experience of the weekender was.
In this week’s episode Alice and Amy have a chat about their experience checking out this year’s Middlesbrough Art Weekender that was on last weekend. It’s a wonderful three-day festival of art that takes over the city of Middlesbrough, and there was just so much to see!
Hi there, Alice here! As I said I’d do in this week’s episode, here’s a blog post about one of the cool exhibitions I saw when I visited The Finnish Museum Photography in Helsinki last month. So, here we go.
Some Observations on the Political System in Finland by Sakari Piipo is exactly that: some observations on how politics and politicians are conducted/conduct themselves in Finland. But before you think about the red-faced, emotive paparazzi shots of politicians you’d see adorned on the front pages of a tabloid, think again. What we have here is a fantastic mix of the mundane. Things like the crumpled suits and ties of politicians after a long day, and the types of shoes that some of them choose to wear. These two themes specifically have been curated into very visually-appealing displays.
What I found so compelling about Piipo’s work is the flash photography element. A style often reserved for the more paparazzi-style shooting where good lighting is necessary to capture the subject, here it makes the normal and the uninteresting stand out. People behind laptops and enjoying a sit-down between meetings become more coveted and exciting moments, not just an everyday activity.
My favourite section of this exhibition, purely for the aesthetic of the subject matter, is the section about voting. These little Finnish voting booths, not too dissimilar from the ones we’re accustomed to in the UK, are just adorable. Their delightful pastel colours, accentuated by the flash of Piipo’s camera, contrast with the pair of legs you see of the anonymous voters. Simply put, it just looks so bizarre, and that’s why I love it.
An interesting part of this exhibition is the one titled ‘Sensorship’. Not long into this 3-year documentary project, a government official dictated that Piipo was “in possession of property belonging to the Prime Minister’s office”. The argument was, despite Piipo’s lawyer arguing to the contrary, that the rights to the photos they had taken “are silently transferred to us [the Prime Minister’s office]”. This, of course, is nonsense as the photographer always retains the rights to their work. Sure, a motion could be filed to prevent them from being shown in a public forum. But the rights would not be transferred to the government. What a weird thing to say. Either way, despite Piito going though and censoring every identifiable image of a politician (see below) no agreement was ever reached, and one can see these photos in the exhibition or in Piito’s book of the same name.
I was very pleasantly surprised by this exhibition and glad I popped along. Whilst it’s on for a while I can’t really recommend you go see it because it’s all the way in Finland. Of course, if you’re in the area then absolutely go for it! There were two other fab exhibitions on as well for you to sink your teeth into!
On our summer break we still went out to see some cool art around the North East and whilst most (if not all) of the stuff we went to go see has finished now, we think they deserve a mention. So this episode is a short but sweet little recap of some of the cool stuff we saw this summer.