EXHIBITION RUNS: 20th October – 10th November
CRAFTED WITH INTENT is a group exhibition that seeks to question the barrier between ART and CRAFT, while exploring the varied social, historical and political reasons for its existence.
The divide and debate that exists between the concept of ART and CRAFT is a long standing one, with a history of contention. Definitions of each topic are inherently subjective, making it difficult to draw boundaries around what is a constantly shifting practice, while similarities between these two creative outputs are often overlooked. The six artists represented here deliver artistic intent while exploring, and championing, craft mediums.
While ART can be seen as impressing ideas, emotions and expression, CRAFT is often viewed either industrially as work and toil, or domestically as a hobby. ART is intellectual. CRAFT is physical. ART is expensive. CRAFT is affordable. ART is complicated. CRAFT is easy. ART is elitist. CRAFT is accessible. Both practices, when viewed separately, suffer from these perceptions. The works included in this exhibition expose nuances in contemporary creative practice that unite the two, while highlighting perceived differences.
EXHIBITION PREVIEW: 20th September 6-9pm
INVISIBLE is a photography exhibition of artworks taken by vulnerable people whose lives have been affected by homelessness.
In partnership with local charity The People’s Kitchen, System Gallery has been handing out disposable cameras to people in Newcastle. Through a weekly photography club, members are given lessons on photography as well as the opportunity to connect and share stories. Over time, each of these artists have found their own ‘voice’ through photography; capturing everyday moments filled with vulnerability and tenderness.
“What Egle and Jacob from System have done is remarkable. We all take “selfies” for granted and probably don’t think twice about photographing our friends and our environment but when you are homeless or vulnerable and you have very little possessions or friends then it becomes a lot harder to express yourself through photography. This project has brought out a lot of positives literally from the negatives.”
David Yellowley, trustee from The People’s Kitchen
The artists in this group show use a variety of media including sculpture, print, paint and text, to point back out to the every day. Based across Newcastle and Manchester, they were drawn together by a collective aesthetic of the bright, the absurd, the almost-ugly, the outlandish, the pixelated and the artificial.
Frankie Casimir re-incarnates objects that belong to the category of the throw away, remoulding them and giving them a new body. The bright colour palette that runs through their new skin connects them as a group, enhancing their individual attributes. Seeing how these objects interact with one another brings them together, like a family. She takes viewers on a journey through the placement of these objects, an expedition of connectivity.
Tommy Keenan’s practice initially stems from the repudiated notions of ambiguous sexualities in binary gender. These notions have led to the reflection of scenarios experienced in relation to what modern day society often avoids addressing. Through the expression of sculpture, a manipulation of both ready made materials and blatant suggestiveness form to create an amalgamation of an incoherent whole.
Grace Denton weaves performance, text, video and sculpture to explore personal facade, authenticity, artifice, and imposter syndrome within the art world. The work often borrows the imagery of clowning and slapstick to complicate the actions seen within the work, and hint at layered meanings. Her works walk a line between absurd humour and serious enquiry.
jawbone jawbone are habitual re-users of imagery, generating motifs that appear in various forms. They take elements from previous works, jostling and repurposing them into new forms. They refer to these ‘elements’ rather than specific mediums, allowing a multi-disciplinary approach to material and collaborative making with a strong sense of freedom and playfulness at its centre. Working in the space between 2D and 3D, their work appears to have fallen out of a digital screen or been illogically flattened.
Joe Shaw’s installations and sculptures deal with the acceleration of forced obsolescence of technology post 2000. Central to the themes in the work are notions of liquidity and transience in our environment and the confusion that we face in a world of broken technology and fake realities. Shaw’s work employs a lo-fi aesthetic and black humour to comment on this instability and the resulting distrust it brings about in both individuals and of objects.
Pippa Eason makes sculptural/digital observations of the abstraction or perception of technology, social media, and accelerationism within the young contemporary art scene. They act as outlandish props for the near fictional imagery displayed on screen; they characterise themselves, crumbling from the cocoon of reality, into the pixel generated sub-human culture. The multi layered objects/digital counterparts serve as a signifier for the aesthetics of contemporary commerce, and internet scroll culture.
Kathryn Wakeman & R.D. Wakeman
Toby Blackman – See – Through
See-Through is a body of work that attempts to break the fourth wall of photography. Why make the idea of the photograph two-dimensional? Why is the physicality of the photographic process masked by the subject of the image? Through exploration, this work comments on the very nature of the photograph, using landscape imagery to encourage a neutral ground that is not too expressive. All images have been taken in and around the lake District National park.Exhibition preview: 7pm, 20/04
Exhibition dates: 21/04 – 13/05
Craig Knight – Rimultaneously Sidiculous
Invisible Fun Razor
We are excited to announce the INVISIBLE FUN RAZOR, a whole day of music, arts, food and dance to raise money to raise funds for the Peoples Kitchen. There will be live music acts through the day and evening, and then DJs on the mighty Coalescence Sound System till the wee hours.
INVISIBLE is a community arts project being run by System Gallery in partnership with The People’s Kitchen. The aim of the project is to help people affected by homelessness to reconnect with the wider society through photography. INVISIBLE seeks to make their lives visible, only shown from their own point of view.
Entry is free, but there will be pots so donate as you feel.
LIVE ACTS TBA
DJS (Roots, Dub & Steppas on Coalescence Sound System) :
ZOOB AKA THE TROMBONE TROUBLEMAKER
HOWARD B2B KATIE, THE COALESCENCE HEAVYWEIGHTS
Vault Collective: Transcribe/Translate
SYSTEM GALLERY and VAULT COLLECTIVE present TRANSCRIBE/TRANSLATE, an exhibition bringing together the artwork of 8 practitioners, developed through various disciplines, to create re-interpretations of pre 20th century artworks. These artworks are not direct copies, but instead have been produced as a reactive creation, inspired by the original. Incorporating new contexts, elements and themes, these artists have formed new artworks very much their own, whilst also shedding light on their personal response to the work of old masters.
The process of transcribing artworks has been ongoing for centuries. Used as a way of learning and developing technique, whilst also gaining insight into much admired practices; it is an opportunity to make connections with the past, and for artists to consider how their work sits within the context of art history.
Each of the artworks featured within TRANSCRIBE/TRANSLATE have been selected based upon how they took inspiration from the past in order to push their own practice forward. This collection of reinterpretations works to challenge our perspective and understanding of what has been before, using the original artwork as a foundation for further practical research and development.
Featuring – Shanna Soh, David Foggo, Rachael Eden, Linda Ingham, Gregory Hayman, Cath Walshaw, Daniel Goodman and Biserka Stringer Horne.
Gary Wales Wonky Art – 30th September
This first major solo exhibition by Gary Wales will introduce you to the world of Wonky Art. Taking what is considered by most as a normal reality, and combining it with the absurd and the surreal, Gary Wales’ sculptures and one-of-a-kind pieces force us to consider a new, distorted way to look at the world around us. Found objects, roadkill, and an extensive appropriation of collected items all come together in this truly off the wall exhibition.
Ola Kozlova – Solo Exhibition
Hannah King – I Can’t Do Anything
Thursday, 9th June – Thursday, 21st July
‘I Can’t Do Anything’ is a series of paintings by Hannah King exploring female instincts, introspection, and the wildish nature of women. Originally inspired by an X-Ray Spex song of the same name, this exhibition tells a story of creativity, and fighting the urge to conform.
Hannah King is a painter and illustrator from Gateshead. Having studied illustration at Middlesex University, she has exhibited work at the London Poetry Society Café and Kingsgate Gallery, Holborn. Since graduating, Hannah has been nominated for an Association of Illustrators award and subsequently shown a piece at Somerset House, been featured in the Stool Pigeon magazine and enjoyed working on commissions.
Mainly inspired by everyday, almost mundane, thoughts, feelings and experiences, Hannah then combines these with vivid dreams, books, music and cultural icons. Covering themes of sexuality, growth, and femininity, these bold pieces combine tongue-in- cheek humour with strong, thoughtful intentions.
Liam Collins – Audiotypes
Thursday, 9th June – Thursday, 21st July
Audiotype images are created using a unique photographic process; they are a combination of a long exposure portrait and a visulisation of a recording of the subject’s speaking voice. The images contain more of the person than a traditional photographic portrait; they contain their voice and their mannerisms captured through sonic visualisation.
Liam Collins (b.1993, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK) is a recent photography graduate of the University of Cumbria. He has been involved in several group exhibitions in Carlisle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, London and Berlin. In 2014 he was awarded the Young Cumbrian Artist of the Year award for the series Audiotypes which is presented here.
Urban Junk – The Late Shows 2016
Saturday, 14th May, 7pm-11pm
Smoothies? Art & music? Cocktails? If any of these sound like your sort of thing then visit our urban junk project space!
System is joining forces with the Ugly Ducking pop-up bar to create a space where art and ‘waste’ collide. All drinks, whether they are beer or juices, will be made from up-cycling edible food waste.
Experience the Arthur’s Hill-Billy sound system, playing tracks from local DJ’s. To add to this madness we will be celebrating the end of the CUT exhibition, where you are invited to take part in creating a vibrant collaborative collage, as well as the up-cycling workshops.
CUT – Exploring Collage, Part 2
Exhibition preview: 7pm, Thursday 28th of April, 2016
This second installment of CUT opens at 7pm, Thursday 28th April featuring work from Paula Adams and Pipi Lovell-Smith.
Paula Adams makes work that is at once sculpture, painting and photographic print. Using what is available (a room, a photograph, personal possessions) paring this down, cutting it up, re-assembling it, drawing onto it – getting past its surface appearance to create different sets of visual meanings. The work resonates with Duchamp’s comment that, to ‘create’ is to insert an object into a new scenario, to consider it a character in a narrative, which gives objects an anthropomorphic connotation and implies that a particular relationship is generated from the simple positioning of one thing next to another.
Pipi Lovell-Smith’s focus is to explore narrative, and how we tell stories about ourselves – both in the past and present tense.
She uses travel and tourism as the basis to investigate how our experiences as tourists are situated within specific cultural narratives around looking and site-seeing, as well as within expectations of how to be a tourist. By reappropriating her own travel photographs and videos, Pipi hopes to reconstruct a new narrative, blending fact with a fictionalised version. These works look at these intersections where our behaviour in a public place collides with our understanding of history, cultural identity and travel.
Immersive light art installation by Justas Bø
18/03/16 – 29/03/16
Exhibition opening: 7pm, Thu 17th of March, 2016.
Randomly flickering space surrounded with metal mesh structures, like a stripped down brutalism uploaded to the internet.
RESTLESS is the most recent immersive light art installation by Justas Bø. Postmodern light art installation is adjoining two characteristically opposing worlds: fluid and diversified digital culture with rigid and monumental urban architecture.
CUT – Part 1
Exhibition preview: 7pm, Thursday 7th of April, 2016
‘Where is the artistry in the representation of a facsimile? It is the act of selection, in the moment of choice, in the significance of the act of the artist” – David Thorp, art critic.
This first installment of CUT opens on Thursday 7th April until Thursday 21st April featuring work from Graham Watson and Izzy Mills.
Graham Watson’s practice is a continuation of the Surrealist practice which aims to resolve the contradictory conditions of dream and reality. Using image appropriation and traditional cut and paste techniques to create collages primarily concerned with the evocation of the magical, a childhood sense of wonder, and possibility and consequently nostalgia, it’s power both equally ecstatic and melancholic. Watson embraces free association in his practice and avoids narrative an underlying impetus often pervades the work.
Isabel Mills is an artist studying in her second year at Newcastle University. Recently she has been working extensively with collage, more specifically with images of space and goldfish. These playful collages are inspired by the absurd writings of Douglas Adams, where improbable things and objects pop in and out of existence. The juxtaposing imagery of fish, living and swimming around in space, whilst impossible somehow become believable. These surreal collages merge and confuse fact with fantasy, reality with dream.