Toby Heaps & The British Science Festival

Posted by Adam Hicks on Tuesday, September 10, 2013



 The twisted, surreal world that is “The Monster Club” came out of Sage Gateshead artist in residence Toby Heaps’ mind, straight onto the white walls of the Globe Gallery. The work displays gnarled, urban landscapes inhabited by the aforementioned “Monsters” – dark, almost comic-style individuals and creatures from all walks of life.

A live DJ playing throughout accompanied the preview event, on The 31st of August, which added a whole new level of depth to the work. The atmosphere created by the nature of the exhibition and the music invited members of the public to not only view the work, but also feel like they were walking through Heaps’ imaginary landscapes. It was a pleasure to watch the whole piece come together. This was the first event I attended as a volunteer since starting at the gallery, so from working on the build up of the event through to the preview night was really satisfying.

The exhibition is open from the 7th – 14th of September, including the Electromagnetic Pulse Party.





 On the night of the 7th of September, The Globe was host to the opening party of this year’s British Science Festival. The “Electromagnetic Pulse Party” displayed beautiful audio-visual installations, including the HeliOscillator – created by the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind. The guests were invited to take part in a series of interactive experiments, including contributing their own glowing artwork to the Invisible Garden (which was housed in one of the galleries vaults!)

Other experiments included adding food colouring to marshmallows and micro waving them to discover the results – experimenting with duration and colour to gain different outcomes – and looking at the effects of temperature on an infrared camera. The overall atmosphere was incredibly exciting, combining science and art in a light-hearted yet interesting way.

On the top level of the gallery, four bands provided live music, surrounded by Toby Heaps’ Monster Club. The first on the bill was Emma Hooper’s solo project ‘Waitress for the Bees’, a wonderful performance using a variety of instruments, including an accordion and a saw, to provide an incredibly quirky yet beautiful sound. Other acts included The Turing Test, and Razzmatazz Lorry Excitement. It was really exciting watching the event come together, from behind the scenes to the opening of the party. I had the opportunity to participate in some of the experiments and to see the collected finished results, too, which was a really wonderful experience. Overall, it was a fantastic event.

The gallery will host the HeliOscillator for the duration of the festival, from the 7th – 12th of September.

Tags: science festival  toby heaps