Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Fang Qi exhibits in Newcastle University Summer exhibition

'Fang Qi is a Chinese artist and illustrator currently undertaking a practice-based PhD at Newcastle University on the relationship between illustration and installation art. Her research will contribute to new visual narrative strategies in illustration which aim to reconstruct the self and identity.

Fang Qi’s works encompass drawing, illustration, video, animation, installation and creative writing. She has been deeply influenced by the artists Song Yongping, Francis Bacon, David Hockney, Marc Chagall and novelist Woolf Virginia, as well as the open art theory of Umberto Eco and the power theory of Jean Baudrillard. Her works attempt to arouse audience’s self-awareness and values of their roles in the powers, trying to construct a legal position of “independent self” in modern China.'

"In the dialogues and puzzles aroused in her unsettled shapes and tangled metaphors she unveils the absence of ‘self’ in oriental philosophy and collectivism."



Monday, 18 September 2017

Catherine Bertola, Jo Coupe, Cath Campbell and Jen Douglas, in conversation with Bryony Bond, Creative Director of The Tetley, Leeds at The NewBridge Project

As part of The NewBridge Project's Practice Makes Practice programme, artists Catherine Bertola, Jo Coupe, Cath Campbell and Jen Douglas, were in conversation with Bryony Bond, Creative Director of The Tetley, Leeds.

The artists presented and discussed their recent exhibition In and Out of Sight at UH Galleries, in the context of their individual practices and wider group activity.

Catherine Bertola

Catherine Bertola creates installations, objects and drawings that respond to particular sites, collections or historical contexts. In her new work she will use film and photographic processes to re-animate photographs of empty domestic interiors through the inclusion of her own presence.

Cath Campbell

Cath Campbell’s work encompasses drawing, photography, sculpture, digital printmaking, installation and large-scale architectural interventions. For UHGalleries she is making a new architectural work that will house an ongoing sound installation exploring traditions of social singing and collective voices, using found film footage to provide the lyrical content.

Jo Coupe

Jo Coupe’s work is rooted in a fascination with impermanence. From photography to installation, video, objects and sound, she creates works which investigate transience, precariousness and unpredictability. For In and Out of Sight Coupe will use the human voice to create an immersive sound installation.

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer Douglas creates large-scale paintings, sculptures and installations to explore relationships between inherent function and renewed significance. A new series of paintings will explore the physicality of mark-making and reference the working environments of heavy and light industry and their painterly equivalents within the history of modern and contemporary art.

This group of independent female artists all have their own established successful careers, but come together to exhibit alongside each other and discuss their work together. This form of working together does not have a name as such - they are not collaborating and are not a collective, but support each other and work together on exhibitions. There are links between their work, both formally and conceptually, but these are not forced to produce coherent themed exhibitions. It seems that the group trust each other and know that the work will gel together in the way that they co-operate so well together as a group.

I do not think it is a coincidence that the artists are all of a similar age and have families. Yes, their individual practices have been affected by such factors, but I am eager to refrain from dwelling on these circumstances for too long. I feel the work deserves to be discussed and talked about for what it is, and I do not get the impression that any of the artists are making work about being a mother or because they are a mother.

Naturally the topics of discussion did include gender and parenting, and I began to think about whether this would have been the same if it were a group of 4 artists who were in the same circumstances but were male. Would we have been asking them how they manage their working lives as fathers? Indeed, would their practice have shifted since having children?

Friday, 15 September 2017

Kate Stobbart exhibits as part of Newcastle University Summer exhibition

Outstanding Life Changing Sculptures made by other people (and me)

Sculptures mostly made with other people when talking about something else.

'Without question one of the most indecisive artists of her generation Kate Stobbart is influenced by a strong sense of inadequacy and a deep-seated desire to succeed. Stobbart has had major national and international rejections, including the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2011), SPILL National Platform, London (2011), Bristol Live Open Platform, Arnolfini Gallery (2010), International Streaming Festival, The Hague (2010), New Contemporaries, London (2009), Madrid Abierto (2008), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead (2008), Saatchi Gallery, London (2008). Stobbart has not been selected for the 2012 Daiwa Foundation Art Prize.

Kate is currently doing a practice based PhD at Newcastle University.

Kate Stobbart lives and works in Newcastle and just wants to be loved.


Monday, 11 September 2017

Mehan Fernando exhibits in Newcastle University Fine Art Summer exhibition

"My work explores intricate paintings on objects that portray nature, decay and science. The different images present affinity and symbolism. I am interested in the reactions of viewers when confronted by the beautiful, sometimes horrifying oil paintings on different materials that propels curiosity and thought."

Mehan Fernando


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Anna MacRae - Newcastle University Summer exhibion

"Like a portal, my work for this show was instigated by painting objects and places taken from the inside and outside spaces I inhabit." 

Anna MacRae

The Stars squawked in the sky like geese.

The picture itself represents a room. On the the window sill there is a bowl of goldfish. Through the open window a rural landscape can be seen: the soft -blue sky, rounded like a dome, rests along the horizon on the jagged outline of the woods. In the foreground , at the roadside, a little girl, barefoot in the dust.

Georges Perec, Life A User’s Manual

Hearing Voices Doesn't Always Indicate Mental Illness, Study Says


'The study, published in academic journal "Brain," refers to these people as "voice-hearers." Researcher's discovered that those who can hear internal voices are better at deciphering concealed speech-like sounds. They wanted to find more beneficial ways to aid those who find their internal voices alarming.

"These findings are a demonstration of what we can learn from people who hear voices that are not distressing or problematic," Dr. Ben Alderson-Day, Research Fellow from Durham University and the study's lead offer, said in a EurekAlert press release. "It suggests that the brains of people who hear voices are particularly tuned to meaning in sounds, and shows how unusual experiences might be influenced by people's individual perceptual and cognitive processes."

The small study incorporated 17 people who didn't possess voice-hearing abilities and 12 who did, which is also known as auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH). Study participants with AVH did not suffer from mental illness. However, many people who have AVH suffer from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Both disorders are mental health conditions that allow sufferers to can hear internal voices.

Participants were instructed to listen to disguised speech sounds, also known as swine-wave speech, during an MRI brain scan. The voice-hearers detected hidden speech before they were informed it was there. Voice-hearers also noticed the speech at a quicker rate than those who had no prior-history of hearing voices. Exactly 75 percent of voice-hearers heard hidden speech sounds, whereas only 47 percent of non-voice-hearers confirmed these noises.

"These participants showed distinct neural responses to sounds containing disguised speech, as compared to sounds that were meaningless," study co-author Dr. Cesar Lima said in a Durham University news release. "This was interesting to us because it suggests that their brains can automatically detect meaning in sounds that people typically struggle to understand unless they are trained."

Up to 15 percent of the population has the ability to occasionally hear voices in their head without "distress," according to the study. Research also suggests that roughly one percent of the population experience more complex and continuous voice-hearing. Again, this does not indicate the need for psychiatric care.

The research is a part of Durham University's "Hearing the Voice" project. This project aims to gather stronger comprehension of the experience behind hearing a voice when no one else is present. Durham's researchers, who worked with University College London researchers to obtain the study's results, also wanted to increase their knowledge of voice-hearing by examining it through different perspectives.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Newcastle University MFA exhibition - Paul Jex

Paul Jex makes observations regarding the distances and boundaries as to how art is approached.

Jex uses systems of shared knowledge, observations and perceptions to explore authenticity and how an audience engages with art whether this be art institutions, publications, the internet or during conversation.

Paul Jex is focused on the tangential, the liminal spaces and boundaries of art. At the centre of his practice is the act of collecting, appropriating and referencing of art. His selections of artworks are supported by anecdotes that reveal the sequence of the artists’ investigations – the chances and discoveries.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Toby Phips Lloyd exhibits Between Eating and Sleeping at Newcastle University Summer exhibition

Between Eating and Sleeping questions how we spend our time and the value that we place on our activities by asking the following questions:

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

What would you do if you had a year off?

started to hand paint the questions on to the walls of the gallery and completed them during the opening hours of the exhibition to allow visitors to discuss their answers with him.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Julia McKinlay - Newcastle University Summer exhibition

Julia McKinlay was the 2016-2017 Print Fellow at Newcastle University, during which she produced the following lithographs and screen prints.

Influenced by research expeditions to unique landscapes, museum collections and the writings of explorers, McKinlay's work is an attempt to reveal another world within her work. Her sculptures represent individual characters or elements that are found in nature. Specific subjects are collected together to create a balanced fictional environment within the work. 

The prints are translations of observations of the Icelandic landscape.

McKinlay works across sculpture, drawing and printmaking and frequently prints are taken using the sculptures as printing blocks, creating a version of the work that lives as a collection of prints.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Newcastle University MFA and PhD Summer Exhibition - Sabina Sallis

"Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. Essay: "A New Refutation of Time," Jorge Luis Borges.

I have a multifaceted approach to arts provision- as a researching, collaborating, exhibiting artist and as a curator. I use video, drawing, performance, sculpture and narrative in a multimedia transdisciplinary approach that interweaves fact and fiction.

I use poetic, spatial, aesthetic language to explore and present visions of possible sustainable futures and examine what the aesthetics of sustainability might encompass. Using eclectic research themes as a vehicle to promote humane, ecological concepts such as evolutionary transformation, resilience and adaptability, I explore the human embodied potential and complex, transformative aspects of sustainability.

My current practise investigates an entanglement between human knowledge and the environment and speculates about an evolving aesthetics of embedded sensitivity towards life. My project introduces the Infectious Agent- Source of Resilience - a virus which affects people with ineffable, trans-formative and creative ideas of resilient, just and positive attitudes.

In my work I enquire into poetic manifestations of life, metamorphosis and visions of reality and imaginary as true objects of contemplation and possible change. I am interested in imaginary as a dynamic force poetically transcending existence and bringing new questions and new solutions. I believe performative and trans-formative actions and poetic experiences to be tools for socio-political change. 

”The displacement of anthropocentrism and recognition of transspecies solidarity are based on the awareness of ‘our’ being in this together; that is to say, environmentally based, embodied, and embedded, in symbiosis with each other. Bio-centred egalitarianism is a philosophy of radical immanence and affirmative becoming that activates a nomadic subject into sustainable processes of transformation. Becoming animal/nonhuman consequently is a process of redefinition of one’s sense of attachment and connection to a shared world, a territorial space. It expresses multiple ecologies of belonging, while it enacts the transformation of one’s sensorial and perceptual coordinates in order to acknowledge the collective nature and outward-bound direction of what we call the self. The subject is fully immersed in and immanent to a network of nonhuman (animal, vegetable, viral) relations.” Rosi Braidotti

Sabina Sallis 2017

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Wildlife Discotheque at the Great North Museum:Hancock

Tyneside Sounds Society and Devon based community radio station Soundart Radio teamed up to present the Wildlife Discotheque at the Great North Museum:Hancock

The Wildlife Discotheque was billed as "a sonic extravaganza and unique listening experience that will guide you through the esoteric and lost world of vinyl wildlife recordings and spoken word albums."

Devon based Soundart Radio founder Chris Booth and DJs Nathan Carter and Tony Whitehead developed The Wildlife Discotheque.

"Wildlife Discotheque plots the course of the often neglected and overlooked history of nature sound recording and the pioneers who spent hours in the field with cumbersome gear and an ear for sound and song. Names such as Ludwig Koch, Eric Simms and the Woodland Bird BBC Series, Victor C Lewisand his Bird Sounds in Close Up. John Burton and David Tombs - British Wild Birds in Stereo, Sture Palmer and Jeffery Boswelland the seminal Field Guide to the Birds of the British Isles. Alongside these, many lesser know names and releases; Ray Goodwin’s - A Gloucestershire Wildlife Tapestry, the delicate sounds of British Wild Mammal and Amphibians and not to forget……Johnny Morris and Animal Magic."

Tony Whitehead, Soundart Radio “Not knowing if there was an audience for such an eclectic, and obscure mix of sounds we were pleasantly surprised when our first night attracted a crowd, an appreciative bunch who filled the room, sat, chatted, drank local ale and cider, listened and had a good time. I didn’t notice dancing, but we did have a couple of requests. We’re really excited to be taking this on the road and Great North Museum will be a fantastic venue for it!"

Author, Sunday Times and Guardian Columnist Tom Cox“Properly Psychedelic!”

Listen to the first Wildlife Discotheque here

Having attended one of the other Tyneside Sounds Society events I was keen to be introduced to a new sonic experience and hear some unusual field recording. Although it was advertised as a family friendly event, I was expecting the audience to consist of others interested in sound and field recording. It was great to see lots of children attending and participating in the craft activities that were provided for them, but I felt that this conflicted with my ability to fully appreciate the sound aspect of the event as the subtleties of the recordings were lost due to the excited children who were running around enjoying the event. Unfortunately, I felt that by making the event family friendly, it actually compromised a major aspect of the event. I would have rather it have been concentrated just on children, or focus more on the sound part and allow those who want to listen to be able to! Another frustration of mine was that I didn't know what I was listening (or trying to listen) to. It would have been good to have a description of what the recording was, or a brief introduction to each piece before it was played.

In theory I think this kind of event is an excellent idea, but I hope that the organisers would consider their target audience and adjust the nature of the event appropriately.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Hania Klepacka - Newcastle University MFA Summer exhibition

"The work of Hania Klepacka centres around the ecological and ethical questions of Man’s Dominion versus Stewardship of the Natural World. Are we held accountable for the welfare of our critter co-inhabitants or is this World ours for the taking?

The replication of a fur-like texture on otherwise accommodating surfaces means that the use of every-day objects (otherwise taken for granted) is subverted. We are presented with a “natural” form that is perceived as having a purpose for us and for our consumption, yet is not practical in the least.

The pieces transcend the realms of practicality and durability, instead evolving into curiosities that are to be observed and handled with care."