Thursday, August 28, 2008

"All my favourite singers couldn't sing ..." Workplace Gallery, Gateshead, UK

“All my favourite singers couldn’t sing...”

Dan Arps, Tanya Axford, Darren Banks, Sophie Lisa Beresford,
Hugo Canoilas, Marcus Coates, Jo Coupe, Ashley Hipkin,
Graham Hudson, Laura Lancaster, Rachel Lancaster, Ant Macari,
Paul Merrick, Eleanor Moreton, Melanie Schiff, Cecilia Stenbom.

Preview: Friday 29th August 6 – 9pm

30th August – 27th September 2008
Tues - Sat, 11am -5pm (or by appointment)

“All my favourite singers couldnʼt sing…” is the first exhibition at The Old Post Office, the new home of
Workplace Gallery in the heart of Gateshead Town centre. This group exhibition includes works by
represented gallery artists alongside new local talent and invited international artists and spans all 3 floors of
the 18th Century red brick building.

A weird abstract painting hovers above the after swing of a Golfer in a palm tree landscape, silhouetted in
front of a sunset sky. Dan Arps makes additions to found posters by gluing and tacking painted symbols and
shapes to their glossy surfaces. The resulting images occupy a tense position between expectation and
fantasy, In Arpsʼ work the promise of the perfect feel-good moment is thrown into doubt.

Tanya Axfordʼs ʻHulaʼ is a Super 8 film installation documenting the artist Hula Hooping in a blacked out
room whilst being randomly exposed by a series of oversensitive ʻslaveʼ camera flashes triggered by an
intermittently firing strobe light. The random strobe effect creates a film that through its intermittent and
abrupt exposures circumnavigates performance, animation, memory and dislocation. ʻHulaʼ is shown for the
first time at Workplace Gallery, the film looping up through the three floors of the building through the

ʻPublic Sculpture / Private Radarʼ by Darren Banks is a looped excerpt from a found video of a heroic Cold
War era Moore-esque figurative sculpture slowly turning from left to right like a radar sweeping the horizon to
a wailing siren-like soundtrack. Shown on an upturned found 80ʼs plastic TV set Banks combines past
signifiers of progress and modernity whilst confronting them with their own obsolescence to create a tense
object that reflects our desire for power and fear of collapse and knowingly sends up Public Sculpture (past
and present) in the process…

ʻPizza Shop Danceʼ by Sophie Lisa Beresford is a video of the artist dancing manically to a hardcore
Makina dance track in her local Pizza shop in Sunderland, a regular occurrence that the Artist documented
for her recent degree show at Sunderland University. Beresfordʼs work emerges from deep within the
ʻCharvaʼ culture of the North East of England to be mixed with her own take on aspects of Hinduism,
Mysticism and New Age Philosophy.

Since his epic solo installation “Propaganda” at Workplace Gallery in 2006 Hugo Canoilas has continued to
make artworks that explore art and politics whilst fluctuating between the formal and the figurative. His new
sculpture ʻSit down and try another chair (To J.M.J.)ʼ presents us with a “Sexy/fashionable intervention on a
red square by Malevich” in which a seat less chair frame painted flame red is bisected by an elegant, but
nevertheless dislocated, shiny black mannequins leg.

Marcus Coatesʼ ongoing investigation into the natural world and its problematic relationship to society is
evidenced here in two works. ʻBlue Footed Boobyʼ was made by the artist whilst on a research trip in the
Galapagos Islands, the artist dressing up in a colourful outfit handmade and painted from found cardboard
boxes, photographed outside a human dwelling in one of the Galapagos more impoverished
neighbourhoods. ʻBritainʼs Bitternsʼ is a folk song written and sung by Coates lamenting the demise of the
rare bird from the British Isles.

Jo Coupeʼs new work told her to give it some of her favourite jewellery. Wall mounted Bronze castings of
Chickens Feet and Anthuriums, (also known as Painter's Palettes) support rotting fruit and brightly coloured
necklaces, earrings and trinkets to form a sinister looking talisman. Coupes ongoing research into chemistry
and natural sciences is seemingly leading us towards a darker Voodoo like visual language in which
Witchcraft and so called ʻPrimitiveʼ cultures are assembled from the detritus of our own.

Ashley Hipkinʼs discrete wall mounted sculptures in highly finished and luxurious turned hardwoods are
taken from the profiles of the nose cones of Fighter Jets. Serving as both a lexicon of boyhood fantasy and
taxonomy of the sculptorʼs craft these works are a persistent and intruding reminder of worldwide aggression
and the machinations of war.

Graham Hudson uses the tools of his trade, a jack saw, a tape measure, a cardboard box to assemble a
precarious minimal sculpture held in tension by a reflexive assertion of the functional aspects of its
constituent parts. As the saw bites into the top of a high wall its handle forms a fulcrum for a tape measure to
spool through and counter balance the box by its own weight high up the wall as if ready for a prat-fall prank
of slapstick nature. Its title ʻBlackmail Spectacleʼ implies the exchange, interdependency and implicit failure
within the relationship of one object to another.

Through a series of installations combining found 35mm slides and cine film projected onto second hand
books and picture frames Laura Lancaster confronts us with moments in time that are simultaneously lost in
the anonymity of the found image and ever present in our innate nostalgia. These films and slides are key to
Lancasterʼs practice as a painter, forming the source material of much of her practice over the last few years.
In these works sightseeing, holidays and leisure become silent weighty monuments to humanity and its

Rachel Lancasterʼs paintings, drawings, and photographs use images from paused cult TV and Film. In her
works based on explosions catastrophic moments are frozen in time stripped of scale and context, blurring
fiction and reality. Playing with the periphery of our imagination the images take on an almost pure abstract
absoluteness that points towards the possibility of an ugly endgame.

For Ant Macari Drawing is the most direct and immediate way of sharing both simple and complex ideas. It
is a language of symbolism, significance, instruction and occasionally ambiguity. Posing the question: can
meaning ever truly be known? In a new work for the exhibition Macari works to improvise within the imposed
parameters of the gallery building.

Paul Merrickʼs ʻRaised Painting (#1)ʼ is a continuation of his interrogation of painting and process in relation
to the found object. A scrap aluminium surface is raised above the floor supported by modular utilitarian
fluorescent lighting units, semi clad in sterling board to reveal the innards within. ʻRaised Painting (#1)ʼ is
reminiscent of a defunct and stripped back Donald Judd style minimal sculpture which asserts itself through
challenging and beguiling the viewer to accept it as Art.

Eleanor Moreton paints an imaginary world of princes, anchoresses, and queens and cottages. The princes
come in a range of disguises - their inspiration ranges from Disney to Slovakian puppets. They are always
ridiculous. The fairytale world that Moreton creates alludes to German Romanticism and psychoanalytic
theory, both of which have explored the theme of the unhomely (or uncanny). But her position is always one
of ambivalence, both desiring the imaginary and knowing that it is a desire that cannot be fulfilled.
The still life photographs of Melanie Schiff are composed of objects that belong to human experience. Often
referents of a generation and an American youth: Compact Disc cases, empty beer bottles, blue jeans,
album covers. Schiffʼs subject could be herself, but more accurately they are constructions that point to
romanticised experiences. Exposed in the sobering natural light of the morning after the objects in Schiffʼs
photographs act as props that imply a narrative, conjuring a sense of youthful carefree abandonment for
which we perhaps still yearn.

Cecilia Stenbom's video ʻThe Protocolʼ is a re-staging of an American infomercial, which in turn is an
imitation of a US talk show. An interviewee is selling a book about a weight loss cure; a set of guidelines
explaining how to lose weight without any deprivation or exercise, only occasionally interrupted in her
relentless flow by an interviewer seemingly in on the act. Stenbom performs both characters in a mirror
image that shifts the film away from straightforward re-enactment reflecting back the neurotic inner chitchat
of the consumer, and the perpetual sales pitch cloaked beneath the guise of junk science and daytime TV.

For further information regarding any of the works in the exhibition please visit

The next exhibition at Workplace Gallery will be a solo exhibition by Eric Bainbridge opening on 10th October.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eric Bainbridge: "Forward Thinking 1976 - 2008", MIMA, UK

Workplace Gallery is pleased to announce:

Eric Bainbridge “Forward Thinking 1976 - 2008”
Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
Centre Square
t:+44 (0)1642 726 720

Preview: Thursday 28th August 6 – 9pm

Exhibition Continues
29 August - 16 November 2008

Celebrated for large-scale, everyday objects covered in man-made fabrics, Eric Bainbridge has spent the past three decades investigating a variety of materials and styles. This exhibition will combine selected works from the 1970s to the present, newly commissioned sculpture and a collection of works on paper. Together they will allow the viewer to take a closer look at an artist who has continued to play an influential role in post-war sculpture.

A graduate from the Royal College of Art in 1981, Eric Bainbridge has exhibited extensively on both sides of the Atlantic throughout the 1980s and 1990s including several highly acclaimed exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

For further information regarding the work of Eric Bainbridge please contact

Image: "Vertical Extension" 1987, Eric Bainbridge, Courtesy of the artist and Workplace Gallery, UK

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ant Macari: New Commission for Side Cafe, Newcastle, UK

Side Cafe
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom

Opening of newly commissioned permanent drawing installation (internal doors) at the Side Cafe (quayside).

The work takes as its reference; the polyptych panels of 15th century altarpieces, The Japanese Tea-Ceremony, sumi-e and manuscript culture. The piece also incorporates the 3,000-Year-old technique of Marouflage. The panels on the door contain symbolic narrative scenes illustrating the cross cultural story of Tea, unified by an architectural and decorative system of framing.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Darren Banks & Cath Campbell: "The Golden Record" Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, UK

The Golden Record - 1 August - 13 September

Curated by the Collective Gallery's Associate Producer, Mel Brimfield.

The Collective Gallery are proud to present, The Golden Record - Sounds of Earth, a unique cross platform/cross festival project which is part of both The Edinburgh Art Festival and The Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Artists and comedians will come together to remake the original Golden Record - a phonograph record launched into space in 1997, containing sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth. Over a hundred artists have created new work to be shown in the gallery space.

Commissioned by Collective Gallery in association with Pleasance Theatre, Go Faster Stripe and Battersea Arts Centre. Part of the Edinburgh Art Festival.

COLLECTIVE, 22-28 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh EH1 1NY

Gallery Opening Hours
Tuesday - Saturday, 12 - 5pm