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Our first Summer Salon is in progress and you can see it until the 30th July. On that same day, we will be holding a closing party and you will have the opportunity to meet the artists and join us for music, drinks and BBQ. It all kicks off at 6pm.

The exhibition called for submissions from artists from across the North East who were over 21 yrs old and with work made in the last three years. We had a wide selection of works to choose from and a hard choice deciding what would work in a collective show. This was the result.

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It’s been so interesting to review the vast range of disciplines across the North East this year. We wanted to showcase the diversity of the region’s art from some of the more well known local artists to those who had just graduated this year from art school. That’s always a nerve racking experience putting so much together in one space, but the exhibition has definitely succeeded in finding space for all.

On the first wall, Rachel Phillimore’s ‘Split Second’ (textile on board) came from ideas while painting. It follows the sweeping gestures of paint, applied quickly and with no second thoughts. In contrast, textile work is very slow: the dyeing of the fabric and the cutting of the pieces all have to be prepared before the work on the frame and hessian. So the delight of quick statements, full of vitality, is conveyed through the work.

Next to Rachel, Alisha McKnight’s highly detailed ink drawings sit alongside Eve Law’s ‘Salt’ oil and bone on canvas, 2013, that was inspired by several anatomy drawings at the Newcastle University Anatomy rooms. However, the paint has a sense of power and control and all forms and potential images become distorted into one. Areas of detail begin to merge but are quickly disrupted by the voids of darkness around them. The animal bones of a muntjac deer cluster and become one with the paint.

June Drage graduated in Fine Art at Newcastle University in the early 1970s, since when she has worked as an artist and designer exhibiting her work both in the UK and abroad. Her paintings looking out into the world sit between two recent graduates from Northumbria University.

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On one side, Isobel Savage’s intense and complex pencil drawings that focus on the repetitive and obsessive ritual of the making process and on the other Zara Worth’s videos give the viewers a reminder that consumerist joyful desire for new things is fleeting but that desire itself is not new.

In complete contrast to Andrew Crane’s concrete painting and Susi Bellamy’s delicate prints, Thomas F Newell’s sound and video installation on four CCTV monitors is based around music, sound art, sonic manipulations, abstract videos, photography and photographic manipulation.  Thomas works along a very open set of artistic guidelines in that he continually explore, research and experiment creatively with ideas/projects.  He is always looking to find new ways to communicate with the viewer/listener whilst still creating an environment where they are free to make their own conclusions.

Strangely comfortable above this work is Jane Veitch’s paintings. Using a variety of painting and drawing media both out of doors and in the studio, Jane’s practice usually consists of concentrated working expeditions where she encounters and absorbs the experience of place, of wilderness and of being a part of the natural world.  This is followed by a more prolonged and meditative time in the studio where a process of distillation takes place using both memory and collected material.

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Jos Mahon, originally trained as a sculptor, gaining both a BA Hons in Fine Art in 1974 and a Master of Fine Art degree in 1976 at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is inspired by the experience of ‘being out there’ in wild places, especially the remote Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Passionate about hill walking, Jos draws and paints outdoors, braving the elements and the challenges of the landscape. Working by storm-tossed waves, perched on cliff tops and mountain ridges, she aims to convey the raw energy of here experience outdoors and to capture the shifting changes in the weather. Back in the studio, paintings evolve from the emotional recollection of these wild places.

Anne Dodds painting ‘Ski à la Ferme’ 2013, interrogates the dimensions of both the visible and unseen. The source image is a photograph, derived from a ski run during a snowfall. The colour develops intuitively and energetically, through brisk working of the pigment onto the canvas. The final composition resonates light, energy and change, exploring a sense of infinity.

Carol McDermott’s painting Energy, 2011 (mixed media on linen) is part of a series where the inspiration is  often drawn from the abundant and diverse natural wonders that surround her.  Sometimes it is gained from the metaphysical world, sometimes  guided by the natural beauty in flowers and the classical elements, earth, water and air. She approach her work in many different ways, following a flow of feelings or a particular energy pattern and use a diverse array of media to capture those feelings. Great pleasure is taken from a peaceful walk in the woods, collecting herbs, twigs and wild flowers and realising an impulsion to include them on a canvas with her favourite medium, oil.

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Finishing off the show, out in an old Nissen shed in the Yard, Susanna Stott’s video  installation invites the viewer to sit alone. By reduction and subtraction of the source imagery, a space is created for contemplation and slowing down. This threshold or psychological space is where the stable coordinates of time and space are disrupted. The abstractly composed strips of video footage with their cropped and altered pacing, evokes a sense of temporality. The ocean, the edge and the beyond are terms that deal with the unknown.  Similarly to the intangibility of time the edge conveys this contemplative state. The edge, associated with being on the limit of something, holds a resonance of isolation and remoteness. This edge is emphasised through the splitting of screen, which isolates through internal and external perspectives. A transitional space is shaped, through subtle changes in time and colour, referring back to the action of movement and light on the surface of the landscape.

Please check our website for opening times and don’t miss this show!

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