Tuesday, 20 September 2016

'Trust Your Hands' by Will Barras at Stolen Space Gallery!

As a blogger I've always done my best to focus on all the amazing things which are happening directly around me whether its a show in Aberdeen, a gig I might go to in Glasgow or a trip abroad. Its almost always something I've experienced first hand but I've found myself being increasingly drawn into exhibitions and shows via the internet and platforms like instagram. So I've decided to expand my view a bit further and to feature more art that floats my boat beyond all the talented folks I meet in Aberdeen. So....

'Trust Your Hands' is currently on at Stolen Space Gallery in London and features a selection of new works from Will Barras. I've been a huge fan of his work since the heady days of the Addict Artist Series t shirts along with Mr Jago and SheOne. I've been seeing a lot of Wills recent work via Gamma Proforma who have utilised his powers to create incredibly dark and lush artwork for a slew of musical releases including Divine Styler, DefLon Sallahr and Juice Aleem. Gamma Proforma have also produced an incredible book 'Yeah Man' which delves into the world of Barras, his first tome and an essential book for any arts library.

Even viewing Wills work online you can see his masterful use of colour and tone, creating distinctive characters whom inhabit a slightly skewed and noirish world although there's less high rises and urban sprawl in 'Trust Your Hands', instead more focus is put on individuals and smaller scenes. It would be great to see the show first hand but Stolen Space have done a good job of documenting the show and you can take a dip into Wills world via his instagram and tumblr!

Monday, 19 September 2016

'Qualia' by Toni Harrower, Charlotte Johnston, Izzy Thomson & Katie Watson at Seventeen!

'Qualia' is a group exhibition from 4 recent graduates currently on show at Seventeen. Toni Harrower, Charlotte Johnston, Izzy Thomson and Katie Watson all showed great promise during the degree show and 'Qualia' is great first step or perhaps final step with regrards to Aberdeen as some of the artists are off to pursue new opportunities in Edinburgh and London but its great to see their work side by side for now.

'Qualia' is a philosophical term which means "a quality or property as perceived or experienced by a person" and fits the show perfectly. The show is a mix of older works and some new pieces the artists have been working on as they navigate a new path post art school and its great to see such an array of talents striking out. Each artist has brought their own unique quality to the show from Toni's meticulous and colourful block paintings, Charlotte's lush ink drawings, Izzy's semi dream like paintings and Katie's well regimented landscapes, each feels embodied with a story which only the viewer can decipher.

The show runs til the end of the month at Seventeen on Belmont Street, you can also check out some work by Gabi Reith in the upstairs space so be sure to pop down!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Painted Doors Aberdeen Project!

By some cosmic power shift it appears that Aberdeen City Council has finally seen the light and has rolled out a couple of public art initiatives which bring some colour and vibrancy to the Grey City. And don't get me wrong, I find the granite of Aberdeen beautiful, we have some incredible architecture and a heritage to be proud of even if the council doesn't think its a heritage worth investing in (ahem, Rubislaw Quarry). Politics aside, Aberdeen Inspired have spearheaded a couple of initiatives in the form of both the Painted Doors Aberdeen project and the recent graffiti / street art event Release The Pressure.

I'll cover Release The Pressure in a separate post so lets look at the Painted Doors Project. The concept is pretty simple, select a bunch of doors along a certain route and get local artists to paint them The chosen route stretches from Boozy Cow up on Langstane Place right the down to The Green. There's certainly enough back doors along the route that's for sure but who's actually going to paint them? This is where local artist Mary Butterworth comes in. I recently met Mary for the first time despite having probably crossed paths hundreds of times. Mary has been tasked with co-ordinating the artists for each door and curating what will become a new art trail through the city centre. And its no easy job, making sure the artists work will fit with the doors, gaining permission from the various local business to paint the doors and also making sure the different artists work sits well together is no small feat but luckily we have an incredible wealth of creative talent in the city!

So who are the artists? So far around 11 or 12 doors have been painted but not all of them are complete. Shelagh Swanson kicked things off with a burst of colour on Windmill Brae followed by Sam aka Cosmic Nuggets and Katie aka KMG Yeah with 2 super fun doors on the green, each emblazoned with their own unique characters and styles. Mary herself has taken on a door next to the stairs which bring you to the green while Ade Adesina has made a start on a door right up on Langstane Place, just across from his studio in Wasps. Last week saw Caitlin Hynes and Tomasz Wrobel both tackle spots at The Green while Stuart Allan and Ugly People completed some joint doors up on Windmill Brae. A pretty solid selection so far and all artists I've featured on the blog in the past with more artists and doors being lined up for the coming weeks.

Also as an add on some of the artists from the Release The pressure jam decorated a few doors down at the back of the Trinity Centre with some of the UK's top graff heads creating beautiful works including Inkie, Elphone and Betarok75. Its been great to have so much happening in and being able to stumble across fresh artworks by some of Aberdeen's hidden talent and other well known names and hopefully it can set a precedent for future events and public art walls. In the mean time keep an eye on the Painted Doors Aberdeen instagram, thanks to Mary & Aberdeen Inspired for making it happen and here's to more street art in the Grey City!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

'The Narrowing Sky' by Catherine Ross at Newave Gallery!

Its hard to believe its been a year since Catherines first solo show at Newave Gallery but sure enough, 12 months have elapsed and what a time its been! Since graduating from Grays School of Art it seems like a non stop rollercoaster for Catherine with work in numerous exhibitions up and down the country and now a full new body of work based on a recent trip to her ancestral home land of Cananda.

When I filmed Catherine about her last show 'Snowblind Eyes' Canada came up quite a lot and seemed to hold this magical place in her heart. So of course a visit to the scenic homeland was going to be inspirational and the resulting paintings seem to have a brought a little of that magic back to Newave Gallery. Although still portraying Catherines distinctive style the new work feels like a progression from where she was this time last year and gives a sense of an artist finding the space around her and enjoying it, much as she did in the Canadian mountains.

'The Narrowing Sky' runs until next week so  be sure to pop into Newave and check it out and follow Catherine on facebook.