What's On - Art & Exhibitions
Challenging the notion that creative radicalism is the preserve of youth, Received Wisdom brings together a vibrant body of work created by older artists. Dynamic, innovative, and wide-ranging, the exhibition challenges our assumptions about ageing and about what is expected of us at the different stages of our lives.
Explore a world of medieval myths and legends, of tales of heroic deeds and chivalric honour in The Bowes Museum’s newest exhibition. For the most part, the knights depicted by the Pre-Raphaelites in the 19th century were lovers as well as fighters, and world-class artworks by Rossetti, Millais and Burne Jones will help bring these many myths.
They say a picture tells a thousand words, so prepare to be met with fascinating stories at every turn from the South Shields Photographic Society & South Shields Digital Group’s latest exhibition. Chasing The Rainbow brings together more than 200 captivating photographic images on display, ranging from landscape and wildlife to architecture, fashion and personal portraits – so there’s sure to be at least one that piques your interest.
Bringing together works from three award-winning photographic series – Built on Grass (2014), Chernobyl: Still Life in the Zone (2010) and Khainaliq Village (2006) – this exhibition of photographer Rena Effendi’s images document the back-breaking chores of farmers working the land in traditional, almost medieval, fashion in meadows and hills in Romania, Azerbaijan and Chernobyl.
For renowned North-Eastern artist Norman Cornish MBE, sketching was second nature and an inherent part of his everyday life. This exhibition of his little-seen sketchbooks will present a new dimension to the artist’s practice, focusing on his observations of life, landscapes, and family, revealing the inner artistic processes behind some of his most iconic works.
Although we rarely stop to acknowledge their presence, windows are part of our day-to-day life and, for the majority of us, they are our most regular connection to glass as a material. In this exhibition, Caroline and Maisie Broadhead present a body of work that considers how we perceive what we see when we look into, or out of, a window.
In 1962, Norman was commissioned to paint a 30-foot mural typifying life in County Durham for the new County Hall in Durham City. This building was a showpiece: a symbolic act of defiance by a county whose livelihood was increasingly threatened by the escalating pit closures, and was officially opened by Prince Philip in 1963. This fascinating exhibition in Norman’s hometown tells its story.
Wilhelmina Barns-Graham was one of the foremost painters working in St Ives, having moved there from Edinburgh in 1940. Her paintings, alongside those of her contemporaries that comprise the St Ives School, contributed greatly to the development of Modernist British painting in the mid- to late-20th century. Ranging from remarkable on-the-spot pencil drawings to bold and colourful abstract paintings, this exhibition focuses on the artist’s tours across Europe over a 50-year period and the impact these journeys had on her practice.
Bringing together an outstanding selection of artworks across media – including film and video, drawing and sculpture, installation and sound art – this exhibition invites visitors to rethink the human position in the world, its relationship to all other life forms and to the various complex ecologies that bond beings together.
Celebrating the centenary of acclaimed mining artist (and North East native) Norman Cornish MBE, this major retrospective tells the story of his enduring career with the most comprehensive collection of his work ever assembled, including a number of previously unseen pieces.
Glass and ceramics have long been used as materials to make objects that contain light. These objects are practical – they keep us safe from open flames or they diffuse the glare of electric bulbs – but many artists have also used glass and ceramics to create beautiful light sources that also reflect cultural or religious significance, design styles of a particular time and the skill of mastering different techniques associated with glasswork. The National Glass Centre’s newest exhibition, consisting of works from National Glass Centre’s collection and loans from the V&A, aims to illuminate that lightbulb of an idea in the next generation of designers.
The Enchanted Interior will explore the sinister implications of a popular theme in 19th century painting: the depiction of the interior as a ‘gilded cage’, in which women are pictured as ornamental objects. Iconic Pre-Raphaelite paintings by artists such as Edward Burne-Jones and William Holman Hunt will be shown alongside works by their female peers, such as Emma Sandys and Evelyn De Morgan, who challenge and subvert this ideal. Meanwhile, installation and moving image work highlight the duality inherent in the interior, as a site that can be a sanctuary or a threat.
This display of new work by artists Susan Aldworth and Andrew Carnie is in response to groundbreaking research led by Newcastle University into developing a new treatment for epilepsy. Using a range of artistic techniques, including large scale video and sculptural installations, to explore the complex scientific, emotional and ethical issues that impact how people live with epilepsy today, both Susan and Andrew investigate the potential impact of technological interventions within the brain – with fascinating consequences.
The Old School Gallery’s Spring Exhibition this year promises a celebration of all things paint-related: from the geometric-infused landscapes of Deborah Grice to the vibrant minimalism of Heidi Langridge, Cat Moore’s linocut prints to Adam Higton’s more playful paintings.
Bob Olley started work at Whitburn Colliery when he was 17 years old, became an artist 11 years later, and has since captured the heart and humour of the North East in his work. From the Blaydon Races to the devastating miners’ strikes of the 1980s, the mural of the region’s famous faces at Monument Metro Station in Newcastle to the statue of Stan Laurel in Bishop Auckland, Bob’s oil paintings, sculptures and sketches are legendary. This exhibition is a fitting tribute to his talent and influence, celebrating his 80th birthday and his achievements during nearly half a century as a professional artist.
Chad McCail has spent three years developing a single, monumental new work for the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art. And here it is: an enormous, three-dimensional cityscape that fills the entire gallery and, like any city, contains all of the institutions we are familiar with: schools, factories, offices, hospitals and military sites. Full of extraordinary detail, Chad’s work transfigures realistic scenes into almost science-fiction scenarios, challenging all we think we know about our world.
The 27ft tall sculpture is made from over 100,000 seized blades and was created to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour. It symbolises a call for change whilst acting as a national memorial for victims of knife crime. Local charity Samantha’s Legacy secured the display for the region as part of an educational campaign taking place throughout February.
A book of reflections will be available by the East doors of Sage Gateshead for visitors to leave their messages and thoughts.
The sculpture was designed and created by artist Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre.
Drawing is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity, with artists increasingly choosing the medium as a means to examine the modern world. Illustrating how artists have experimented with the power of paper to express their ideas, and how they have pushed the medium in new directions over these last 50 years, this touring exhibition highlights the breadth and quality of the British Museum’s collection of modern art, as well as its global scope.
The Biscuit Factory will launch its brand new season this March, featuring the work of more than 250 artists and makers from across the region and beyond. Spring’s headline collection promises to be a particular draw, showcasing the shortlisted artists from the Factory’s Contemporary Young Artist Award 2020.
Having produced commercial work for everyone from GQ to FILA, illustrator Pointer is now bringing a collection of his original work to B&D Studios in Newcastle – and it promises to impress. Revolving around the common themes of social media and life in the digital age, Pointer’s mixed-media pieces hint at Roy Lichtenstein-esque pop-art, but have their own brand of bold dynamism and tactility – combining print, paint, perspex and wooden sculpture to stunning effect.
This group exhibition showcases the work of six international artists, who all draw their inspiration from an eclectic mix of sources: employing ideas found in aspects of the Renaissance, the depiction of women in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, the examination of form and structure by colourists such as Mattisse and Hockney, and source material from modern illustration. Blurring the edges of figurative painting while challenging its very tradition, Mark Demsteader, Ron Hicks, Quang Ho, Chris Gambrell, Elizabeth Power and John Smyth confront politics, society, storytelling and gender in this imaginative display.
Otobong Nkanga prompts us to think about our relationships to land and the extraction of the world’s natural resources. Her tapestries, drawings, photographs, installations, videos and performances reflect on the environment and global systems of production and consumption, and offer a thought-provoking experience for young and old alike.
William De Morgan was perhaps the most intriguing ceramic designer of the late Victorian period. He was life-long friends with William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones and created elaborate ceramics to complement their fashionable designs. In 1887, he married professional artist Evelyn Pickering, whose paintings bear the influence of her Pre-Raphaelite contemporaries, yet have a distinctive style and clearly projected her own political concerns. This exhibition explores the exceptional work of these two fascinating artists, described by Sir Edward Poynter, President of the Royal Academy, as ‘two of the rarest spirits of the age’.
Bringing to life the fascinating story of Viking life in Northumberland, this exhibition explores how they lived, how their arrival impacted the way of life on our shores, and what their legacy has been – and promises to impress with a number of original items on display from JORVIK’s unrivalled collection. Plus, there’s the chance for younger visitors to dress up as a bona fide norseman or woman and take part in a number of craft activities.
Spring is a time of rebirth and revival – the perfect time of year to celebrate our local landscapes. And this exhibition at No. 42 promises to showcase some of the finest work inspired by nature from the North East’s most exciting local artists. You never know, you might just discover your new favourite piece.