Saturday 19th May
7pm until 11pm
23 May- 30 June, 2018
Paintings by Robert Soden
Robert Soden makes paintings of the places that people live, work and play and is best known for his paintings of the post-industrial city. His affectionate observations of unloved areas often make the viewer take a second look and see them anew.
Leisurelands offers a glimpse of his fascination with the seasonal delights of fairs, circuses and other public events. There are paintings of the Hoppings in Newcastle, of the seafront attractions in South Shields, Houghton Feast and of Sunderland’s Winter Festival. All his paintings are made outside, in front of the subject in all weathers and seasons, he even paints at night if there is enough light. As a result the paintings are always vivid, lively and surprising.
The Leisurelands paintingsshow Robert’s love of the timeless and endlessly re-invented fairground attraction; their iconic forms, their daring colours and their annually updated decoration. These paintings, made over the last 25 years, chart fairground art as fashions change and new generations of punters are attracted to the thrills of the helter-skelter, the Ferris wheel and the Ghost Train.
Liketoy animation by Amy Whitfield
We are delighted to be premiering Amy Whitfield’s new commission: ‘Inside Liketoy Land’, a contemporary take on Punch and Judy. Amy’s sculptures are a reflection upon figures of popular culture, exploring the social responsibilities associated with the design of playthings and the representation of people. Vladmir Putin, wikileaks founder (Julian Assange) and other politically influential figures are gathered in an unspecified playspace. Trump is building a wall, Nina Simone casts a spell, the Iran Nuclear Deal has ruptured and Russell Brand reminds us that we are living in a “post apocalyptic world”. They are calling it the ‘post-information’ world: Access to more information and less clarity. Our ever struggling perception of reality is steeped in images: in motion, still, on our phones and forever in our periphery. It is like a non-stop carousel ride; focus becomes blurred and we see spinning forms blend into atmospheric gradients, immersing us in a spectacular smog of text and images. Behind the saturation, motion sickness and undemocratic insanity, oil is the blood that runs through the machine.
Amy is originally from Blyth, Northumberland went on to study at Chelsea College of Arts, graduating in 2016. She frequently exhibits between Newcastle and London organising group events such as Snap Exhibition and the Artist’s Boot Sale @ Globe Gallery 2017.