Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Love and Loss in 'A Minor Place'...

'The Road', oil on canvas, 15 x 15 cms, 2015
Private Collection
I was packing up my small paintings on Tuesday evening in the Upper Gallery at The Artists Workhouse at the end of the ‘A Minor Place’ exhibition when I noticed that there was a red dot on the label for ‘The Road’. My heart beat a bit faster as I went through my box, which I thought I had been packing with this and the other small canvasses that had accompanied it. It wasn’t there but I hadn’t noticed until now. My heart now sank. Not that one, I thought. ‘The Road’ was my personal favourite, one of those paintings that only come along every few years, and a painting I had deliberated for ages about before putting it in the show as to whether I should label it ‘not for sale’.  But I hadn’t and now it was gone.

And I never had chance to let it go personally as it had been sold by Dawn at the gallery just five minutes before the exhibition ended altogether on Sunday afternoon, so it had been wrapped and taken away there and then. I’m aware now of sounding a bit mawkish, and it is great Dawn managing to sell it; to an Australian visitor who lives in Stratford but works in London, the painting reminding her of her commute but also possessing something unidentifiable that drew her in. The same unidentifiable quality I loved about it too. It’s nice that someone else ‘connected’ with it enough to want to buy it.  ‘Just do another one’, joked Andy and Hugh. 
'The Wait', oil on canvas, 15 x 15cms, 2015
Private Collection
I also did a nice swap with Hugh with ‘The Wait’, another favourite from this series, for one of Hugh’s artworks, so now, having sold another in January from my ‘The Lie Of The Land’ exhibition, with this set of paintings being now quite depleted it does feel the time is right to do another one. Or more. It’s always best to look forward, not back.

As Hugh, Andy and I slunk to the pub after packing up our respective artworks, with each of us having sold a few pieces, and the positive reception the exhibition has received, there was a pleasing satisfaction with the whole experience felt between us and a feeling that we had pulled something off, with a little help, that had been really good. 

I could write more about it all, but I never took many photos, so I think it might be better to direct you to some great posts by Hugh on his blog about it. He shares some great photos and as ever, some thoughtful ruminations about it all too:

Thursday, 1 September 2016

'A Minor Place' by Hugh Marwood

'Vestige 8', Hugh Marwood, 
Acrylics, Paper Collage, Ink, Spray Enamel, French Polish, Misc. Solvents& Decorator's Caulk on Panel, 60 cm X 60 cm, 2016

I'd like to share the text that artist Hugh Marwood has written to accompany the exhibition, 'A Minor Place' at Artists Workhouse, Studley...

A Minor Place

Wandering and wondering in a minor place.   Bathed in the sick glow of industrial light and irradiated sky.  Be-totemed with blank Cadmium.  The high-tension hum within the skull, where purpose falters - adrift in the amnesiac zones.

Night falls in through particulate dusk, and the ticking intervals of cooling diesels.  Looming tractor-units corralled in galvanized stockades.  The petro-dollar trail of oiled tarmac and the iridescent film on a sluggish canal.  An economy falters.  Cargoes at statutory rest - just in time.

An ice field of clustered cabs.  Blue TV flicker through a screen of filth.  The camera, winking red with each passing.  The parasite whine of servo motors - high above the city’s distant quake.  Remotely monitored, Auto-land.
'Artic Landscape', Shaun Morris, oil on canvas, 200x150cms, 2015-16

And on - drifting, disembodied amidst dirty render and cataract panes, in an endless Now of abandoned occupancy.  The scraped palimpsest and wiped window.  Vestigial frames and the petrified squiggle of redundant mastic.  Searching for anagrams amongst scattered shards of signage.  Take no notice – the passage is redacted.  Your name erased – wiped in solvent.  Listen for the echo of lost voices – dying away in haunted spaces.
 'Wiped Windows 15, Hugh Marwood, photograph

Nothing left now, but the assemblage of new fictions.  Erect a pin-board of forgotten dreams.  Memos of abuse on adhesive notelets.  Navigate with new, bogus mythologies – rejecting useless maps of uncharted territories.

Salvage these halftone tatters and discarded communiqués.  Compose a fitting memorial.  Only collage serves now – if new clues are to emerge.  Gather the lost, plastic cattle, herding them indoors, and into pastures new.
 'What Makes You Act So Cruely and Violently Toward The Children?'Andrew Smith, collage and acrylic on canvas 

There is abundant birdlife beneath the interchange.  And a warehouse of meaning out there, somewhere - on a permanently illumined trading estate.  It hums softly, in the shadow of the motorway, at 3 am.

Hugh Marwood, 2016

The exhibition opens on Saturday morning 3rd September. Hope to see some of you there....

'What Am I Doing Hangin' Round?

We worked hard last night to install ‘A Minor Place’ at The Artists Workhouse Gallery in Studley. When I say ‘we’, I mean myself and my fellow artist friends Andrew Smith and Hugh Marwood, with Hugh travelling down from Leicester.
None worked harder though than the gallery director, Dawn Harris and her partner Martin, who patiently and without complaint to physically hang each piece, giving us invaluable advice and guidance.
Due to our respective work commitments, we couldn’t start till in the evening at six, working through until 10.30. A celebratory pint at one of Studley’s seventeen pubs(!) later was incredibly welcome later.
I think the show looks really good. I’m incredibly impressed by Andy and Hugh’s respective paintings and other artworks, and felt a bit wobbly about my own work in comparison. It felt rather unsophisticated and clumsy. A bit like me. It will be interesting to see how it is received on Saturday evening’s Private View…