Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Catherine Bertola, Cath Campbell, Joe Clark, Paul Merrick, Richard Rigg and Wolfgang Weileder: 'MOVED' Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK


Catherine Bertola, Cath Campbell, Joe Clark, Paul Merrick, Richard Rigg, Wolfgang Weileder
28th July – 31st August 2007
Thurs - Sat, 12 -5pm (or by appointment)

Preview: Friday 27th July, 6 - 9pm

Workplace Gallery are pleased to present MOVED a group exhibition of new and existing works by six gallery artists.
This will be the last of a series of exhibitions in 34 Ellison Street Gateshead, beneath Owen Luder’s ‘Get Carter Car Park’.

MOVED shows works by artists who each reveal a tendency towards the uncovering and exploration of architectural form, site, and ideology.

Catherine Bertola has methodically filled and gilded a crack in the concrete floor of the Gallery. Bertola’s intervention is predictive of the fate of the surrounding building, and significant in its symbolic function as a ‘Seam’ - a stratum of a mineral embedded as a distinct layer or vein in other layers of rock. Bertola’s choice of material – Gold – is rich in meaning, symbolic for wealth and class, as well as alchemy and religion. The base standard for the international monetary union Gold is a material that is irreducible, basic, yet arguably lies at the heart of the motivation and aspiration for many, perhaps all, things.

Cath Campbell’s drawings and architectural models take modernism as a point of departure. Her cutout works begin by constructing a complex grid structure on a two-point perspective system within which Campbell builds her drawing before cutting away and removing vast areas of work and labor. Campbell’s architectures are constructed either from memory, imagination, or from an encounter with plans of places that are closed off and inaccessible. Titled with popular love songs such as ‘If You Leave Me Now...’ or ‘All I Need Is The Air That You Breathe’ the works occupy a space both poignantly romantic and pointlessly throwaway representing secret and intimate spaces, into which we are granted entry though acts of disclosure.

Joe Clark’s photographic works take the spaces bordering urban dwellings and industry as their subject. Taken at night on long exposure with a large format camera, Clark spends his time walking away from cities, getting lost in his explorations of places foreign and unknown to him and often returning empty handed. Once photographed Clark’s work is then subjected to a lengthy, filmic, post-production. Perspective and symmetry are subtly altered before being sealed behind acrylic; serving to further dissociate the viewer from a ‘Real’ place and push the viewer towards experience. In Clark’s work the viewer is confronted with a scene, dramatically lit, yet without event. These are works that occupy and explore the memories experienced primarily through the dramatic mode of cinema and film rather than reality.

Paul Merrick’s practice is notable for his ongoing investigation of surface and substance through repeat procedure. In previous works the impasto mark is sanded back to an absolute flatness at odds with its own image. Built from sheets of aluminum scavenged from junkyards and riveted together, Merrick’s recent work has taken a darker turn. Moving beneath the surface Merrick’s enquiry concerns itself with the raw matter of the supporting plane. Paint in these new works acts as a blanket material to conceal and hide, to bond together, or to be scratched back and reveal. As Merrick pushes the entropic logic of his new method towards collapse and dumb-down, something base is touched upon…embodying a state that can’t be easily put into words, Merrick’s new paintings nod toward redemption through their materiality and simplicity.

Richard Rigg’s work conflates the object and its ideal form (or use). Merging our ideas of ‘things’ with their physical limits Rigg finds the reflexive crux point in his self-referential sculptures. In ‘Piano’ he has retuned a domestic Piano to the note ‘C’. The mid point of the stave, ‘Middle C’ represents compromise and balance, a middle way. Conforming to this ideal the Instrument is placed under extreme tension, making it a dangerous object ready to spring. Rigg’s work functions like a trap, catching us somewhere between object, definition of object, and use of object. His work can be both tautological and contradictory at the same time, inhabiting the realms of paradox. For Rigg, everyday objects become a proposition or conundrum that ultimately (and unnervingly) unpick and destabilise themselves, and us.

Wolfgang Weileder's latest photograph and film ‘Transfer’ derives from an architectural project commissioned by Milton Keynes Gallery, wherein each of the four walls of the white cube space is built and unbuilt - one at a time - in white concrete block work. The optimism of building and its oppositional force of demolition and deconstruction dissolving together into an eternal palimpsest maintained through Weileders photography: Super long exposure images burnt through a pinhole lens onto film during weeks. Through his practice Weileder challenges us to accept activity and project as photograph, and thus accept photograph as sculpture. Weileders works bleed into each other; documentary and actuality substitute one another. Interrogating architecture and the impulse to build Weileder renders buildings as object, and therefore invests them with the same values, inadequacies, and impermanence’s, revealing the sad truths intrinsic to the spaces which we inhabit.

MOVED marks the end of Workplace Gallery’s occupancy of 34 Ellison Street in Owen Luder’s Trinity Court Shopping Centre, better known as the ‘Get Carter Car Park’ after its prominent appearance as the backdrop to Mike Hodges’ ‘Get Carter’ (1971) starring Michael Caine. Luder’s ‘Trinity Court Shopping Centre’ is exemplary of a key point in the architectural landscape of the UK and the development of ‘Brutalism’. Deriving its name from ‘Béton brut’ (French for exposed concrete) a phrase coined by the influential Swiss Architect Le Corbusier, In Post-war Britain ‘Brutalism’ became synonymous with socially progressive utopian ideology, and in the coming years with the failure of that ideology to develop fully and positively. Only in recent years has Brutalism been re-examined and reinvigorated as a significant and important Architectural style in the UK.

Brutalism is characterised by raw and unadorned functionality and a rejection of decorative superfluity. It’s internationalist modernist forms stand as a counterpoint to classical architectural form, which represent an imperialist dialogue of centre and province. Locating itself within such architecture, Workplace Gallery has found this building paradigmatic of our position as a group of artists initially living and working in the North East of England and our conviction to reassert our position within the mainstream of international culture, outside of any notions of provincialism.

Trinity Court is due to be demolished later this year by Tesco’s and Gateshead Council. The ‘Get Carter Car Park’ will be replaced with a new supermarket development as part of Gateshead Town Centre’s regeneration strategy.

Workplace Gallery will continue to deliver a programme of exhibitions, and we will be announcing our new location soon…

Monday, July 16, 2007

Miles Thurlow: "Morro", Projecto 270, Lisbon, Portugal

Untitled 2007 Miles Thurlow, Melamine and Chipboard
"New State" 2007 Miles Thurlow, Graphite on Paper, Chicken Coop


Pedro Barateiro
Hugo Canoilas
Vasco Costa
Nuno Faria
Teresa Gillespie
André Maranha
Pedro Tropa
Francisco Tropa
Ruben Santiago
Sancho Silva
Miles Thurlow

Press release

Projecto270 has the pleasure of announcing the project Morro, happening in our organic farm, at Costa da Caparica, until October 15th.

The Morro project was developed by Vasco Costa and Hugo Canoilas starting from notions of construction, popular architecture, of the historical references of K. Schwitters’ Merzbau and the work of Helio Oiticica. From these initial premises, was then formulated the project of a temporary construction to be developed in this space as an artistic intervention, through the collaboration with 7 other artists.

Starting from a common base structure, each participant will develop his intervention on the work of the previous artist, carrying on with its work as a creative capital to offer the next one. The barriers of authorship and the notions of an art of the need are here well present in a project that involves: Pedro Barateiro, Hugo Canoilas, Vasco Costa, Nuno Faria, Teresa Gillespie, André Maranha, Pedro Tropa, Francisco Tropa, Ruben Santiago, Sancho Silva and Miles Thurlow.

Each author will develop his project during a period of fifteen days. Between each intervention there will not be any period of interruption of the works, by which we invite you to visit the work in progress every day between the 10 and 18 p.m., until October 15th.

Subsequently it will be developed a DVD edition by Nuno Faria and Pedro Tropa on this project.


O projecto Morro continua a decorrer na exploração agricola do projecto270, na Costa da Caparica.

Artista residente de 01 a 15 de Julho: Miles Thurlow

O projecto Morro foi desenvolvido por Vasco Costa e Hugo Canoilas partindo de noções de construção, arquitectura popular, das referências históricas da Merzbau de K. Schwitters e da obra de Helio Oiticica.
Apartir destas premissas, foi formulado o projecto de uma construção de carácter provisório a realizar neste espaco como intervenção artística, através da colaboração com 7 outros artistas.

Partindo de uma estrutura base, cada participante desenvolverá a sua intervenção sobre o trabalho do artista anterior, realizando o seu trabalho como capital criativo a dar ao próximo.
As barreiras de autoria e as noções de uma arte da necessidade estão aqui bem presentes num projecto que envolve:
Pedro Barateiro, Hugo Canoilas, Vasco Costa, Nuno Faria, Teresa Gillespie, André Maranha, Pedro Tropa, Francisco Tropa, Ruben Santiago, Sancho Silva e Miles Thurlow.

Cada autor desenvolverá o seu projecto durante um periodo de quinze dias.
Entre cada intervenção não existirá qualquer periodo de interrupção dos trabalhos, pelo que convidamos a visitar o trabalho em processo de desenvolvimento todos os dias entre as 10 e as 18 horas, até 15 de Outubro.

Será posteriormente desenvolvida uma edição em DVD por Nuno Faria e Pedro Tropa em torno deste projecto.

Mais informações: Tânia Simões
Telefone: 91 824 1550