Friday, 16 December 2016

'Winter Exhibition Group Show' at Newave Gallery!

Another essential stop on my weekend of art show visits was to Newave Gallery. For the last two years they've curated a fine group show during December, pulling work in from the artists they've shown over the course of the year and some hand picked extras. As always Sylwias fine tuned eye has brought in a great selection with work by Ade AdesinaColin DunbarRebekah Hill, Tracy LittleGeorgia MurrayHannah MurrayMartin NelsonJulie-Ann SimpsonKate SteenhauerMario Sughi aka nerosunero, Catherine RossJenny RossKatie WardTomasz Wrobel. A damn fine selection indeed.

The Winter Show has been curated with the price of the work playing an important part. Everything is for sale and priced at under £500 with many works costing less than £250. Some might gasp at the prices, be astounded even. £250 is after all, a lot of money. But for that you're not just buying a piece of disposable wall art and you're not putting money into a multinational company. The money goes to an artist who has spent years honing their style, craft and skill to produce the work. To see Ade working into his etching plates is like poetry in motion, Catherines ability to conjure the most serene images of nature from her imagination is in my opinion well worth the price tag. But also, and this bits important, any sales help the gallery. I know there's usually a hefty mark up with galleries often taking a healthy wedge when a piece is sold but in Newave that's not really the case. Firstly co owner Tomasz has put his own money into paying for the space. Secondly apart from the commission they make from selling a piece the gallery receives no other financial support. No funding from Creative Scotland, no local council funding, nada! 

But there in lies a big part of the problem. Both Sylwia and Tomasz started Newave because they love art and appreciated the wealth of talent that is often under represented in Aberdeen. For years only a lucky chosen few were able to show work post degree show in Aberdeen, a lack of opportunity often being cited as a reason to leave Aberdeen for the central belt or the big smoke. But Newave have cultivated a space and given a platform to so many graduates from the art school and helped build great links with the VAU artists collective in Glasgow and a host of international names. They've done more for the local art scene than most and they're not even from Aberdeen. Not that it matters where they're from but its interesting to me as the catalyst for starting an art blog was to rally against anyone who said Aberdeen is shit and nothing ever happens and most of those people were Aberdonians, who accepted the status quo. But blood, sweat and a love of what you do does not always pay the bills and it doesn't put food on the table. If you walk past Newave its hard to miss the 'To Let' sign in the window. The gallery and attached studio space are available come April next year, undoubtedly a tough decision to make. With a trade that can take him across the globe and no real ties to Aberdeen he'd be stupid not to get out there while he can. Nobody could fault them for wanting to do that and depending on how things pan out we might see Newave continue on but in a different guise, an online art hub perhaps. I really selfishly hope so.

I don't like to get on my high horse about these things but it does make me sad when money has to be the key factor but sadly thats life. In the mean time you can see the 'Winter Exhibition' which runs until the 23rd December and then from the 3rd to the 10 of January. In the age of mass consumerism and consumption, why not buy something that actually means something. The spirit of Christmas and all that, you might even be someones Christmas miracle! Here's hoping Newave, here's hoping!