December is almost upon us, that most hollow and crappy of months where town becomes filled with zombie like mums and dads, desperately trying to find that perfect present or perhaps they just enjoying being surrounded by hordes of people, but something happens to them, they go blank behind the eyes, stopping for no apparent reason to contemplate their existence, causing a bottleneck on the tiniest piece of pavement they can find. You might have guessed I'm not a huge fan of Christmas. Or at least what its come to represent. However I do love buying gifts for other people and as I'm sure many local business will tell you, shopping local at Christmas could be make or break for them!
The oil downturn isn't just hurting those who have been laid off although they're definitely at the sharp end of the stick (a pal just got laid off this week) but everyone is effected to some degree by it. Whether its a slight increase in the food shopping, a downturn in customers at you're local boutique or one plus for some being a slight drop in property prices. So with that in mind I give you 'Printland!' Every year Peacock Visual Arts put on a special show for the Christmas period and this year looks to the past with their extensive archive of prints going on show and on sale! With almost 40 years of screen printing history there's a few treasures to be seen.
'Printland' is a little bit more than just a print show though. Firstly its a chance to raise some funds to help Peacocks as it transitions into a new chapter under the guidance of new director Nuno Sacremento. Nuno has an extensive background in the arts, most recently helming the Scottish Sculpture Workshop. Plans are a foot to help improve Peacocks high street presence, or lack thereof and that's going to require a bit of money to help get things going. The show is also a chance to see some incredible prints by artists like Toby Paterson, Adam Bridgland, Satterugly, Katie Guthrie and Peacocks own David McCracken, many of which have been hidden away in those lovely deep plan chests. Finally its a chance to grab an absolute bargain, who doesn't like a cheap deal! Many of the works for sale have been reduced in price, some were going for £1, I picked up 3 and many were almost half price. Also many of the larger and more expensive works are marked with "Make Us An Offer" so you might just get that Ralph Steadman you've been after at a knock down price, depends how cheeky you want to be! I know you can pick up cheap art in ASDA and other big retailers but its about quality. Of course taste's vary and if you're looking for a dusky sunset picture, well Brian Ross has you covered too!
With big plans for the coming year, a new director it feels like now is a time to take stock and almost in a sense, out with the old and in with the new! Its been great to see Peacocks going back to its print roots over the past few years although its offering of world class contemporary art has always been a valuable part. It'll be interesting to see how that develops with the loss of their current gallery space in 2017, perhaps its something to contemplate once the new space 'Out of the close' is up and running with a coffee in one hand and some fine reading material in the other, a taste of things to come. Also with spaces like The Anatomy Rooms potentially expanding there's a lot of potential for the creative sector to work together and build on each others strengths which can only be a good thing.
Be sure to check out 'Printland' which runs til the 14th January. 2017 is sure to be full of challenges but its looking good too, really good.