A trip to The Biscuit Factory

You’ll probably remember that last year I was invited to show some work at the magnificent Biscuit Factory Contemporary Art Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne. Thankfully the work seemed to go down quite well and they have invited me to show work with them again this year.

2015, 'Passing shower, Lochnagar', Acrylic & Pastel, 2015,  80 x 43 cm

‘Passing shower, Lochnagar’

I was asked to let them have ten pieces for their forth coming “Winter Exhibition” and I spent much of this week making the final selection and getting the work packed and ready for delivery. It sounds an easy job selecting just ten works, but I always find it quite difficult and this occasion was no different. I changed my mine several times and changed one piece on Wednesday at the last minute while I was wrapping everything!

2015, 'Winter afternoon, the Luss Hills' Acrylic & Pastel, 2015, 30 x 30 cm

‘Winter afternoon, the Luss Hills’

I did finally get everything ready and at 06.15 yesterday morning we were down at my studio packing everything into the car ready for the journey across to Newcastle. It turned out quite a pleasant drive over and we arrived at the gallery just after midday and had the work delivered in no time at all….. mission accomplished!

355 'Squall, on the edge of Rannoch Moor', Acrylic &  Pastel, 2015, 30 x 30 cm

‘Squall, on the edge of Rannoch Moor’

For anyone who has read my biography, you’ll know that I studied Fine Art at Falmouth school of Art in the early 1980’s and then moved north to set up a studio in Newcastle upon Tyne in June 1983. I shared the studio with a colleague from Falmouth, a chap called Keith Barrett. While I moved south again several years later, Keith stayed in the North East and over the intervening years has made a very good career as a sculptor. We’ve kept in contact all these years and occasionally meet up for a few days hiking in the hills, a few beers and of course, a lot of talking.

So then, yesterday, once the work was safely delivered, we met up with Keith for lunch….. (they do some great food at The Biscuit Factory) and then drove the short distance to Heaton Park where Keith is working. He has been commissioned to work with a large tree that fell in the park and I have to say that what he has done is really quite beautiful. The work is still in progress but nearing completion. Of course, I forgot to take my camera so no pictures here I’m afraid, but quite simply he has sliced the main tree trunk lengthwise with a chain saw and then spread the five or six slices out where the tree lay in the clearing in the park. It’s so simple but very striking indeed. I’ve known Keith for over 30 years now and some of his work is seriously good. If you live in the area I would strongly recommend a visit to the park to check it out.

356 'Below Beinn Dorain, dusk, January', Acrylic & Pastel,  2015, 30 x 30 cm

‘Below Beinn Dorain, dusk, January’

Anyway, after a very pleasant couple of hours we made the journey back to Irvine and I’ve spent the first part of today sorting the studio out again now that the 10 pieces are away. I’ll post images here of some of the work I’ve taken to Newcastle for the exhibition. The exhibition previews on 13th November I think and runs right through until the end of February 2016….. so plenty of time to see it. The gallery is so big that the exhibition includes work by many artists ….so it would be difficult I’m sure not to see something you like. It’s not just paintings and prints either. There is always a wonderful array of sculpture, glass ware and ceramics and earlier this year they had some amazing furniture created by a sculptor who works in the north of England. One thing that I really like about this gallery is that it has a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere ….you can relax, wander and look…..and when you’re completely boggled by all the work ….you can enjoy some refreshment in their great cafe. I hope you can get along to see the work at some time while the show is on. I’ll be posting full details of the gallery and exhibition in a few weeks time prior to the preview.

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