Yesterday evening I had an enjoyable trip to Mustard Seed for an art exhibition. You may remember the Management and I met Lloyd at New Mills during the Derbyshire Open Arts. He told us he had a studio at the moment at Mustard Tree in Ancoats, Manchester, and we decided that at some point we would visit him there. Last night we had that opportunity as there was an exhibition of work done at Mustard Tree.
Lloyd was there, although was not exhibiting, and I had an opportunity to see his ‘studio’. At Hot Bed Press a large room has been divided with wooden partitions into a set of studios. At Mustard Tree they had garden sheds. This gave a definite unit with an easily lockable door for each artist. I thought it was an excellent idea. The rent seemed high to me, compared with the Hot Bed Press studios, but they are one of the main sources of income to run the many activities they had.
As well as the visual art hanging on the wall, there was a film produced by one group. Unfortunately we arrived at the tail end of it (thinking everything started at 7.30 rather than 7.00) so I’m not able to pass any comment on it. This was followed by a series of performances by the drama group on the theme of What is Art? This included a courtroom-style discussion on whether boxing is an art, and an interview with William Shakespeare.
Later there were musical performances.
However, I was interested in the art on the walls. Matt Tierney had been at Salford Uni at the same time as Lloyd, but had had problems since. You know what I think of most Artist Statements. Well I thought his statement was one of the best I have read. “… [My work] helps me to articulate issues especially in times of crisis. While work goes on I shut the door. By the time a piece is complete that problem has usually resolved itself…”
Matt’s painting Black History Month was for sale at £60.
I particularly liked this impressionistic painting by Derek Thompson.
Thus abstract by Albert Dale was called Razor’s Edge and priced at £20. His statement said that “I enjoy the fact that I can get lost in my paintings.”
Shakeela Ramzan paints “to release my inner child … Sometimes I paint to release my emotions … this is my new medicine.”
Shakeela discussing her work.
John Bottomley uses stamps as pixels on his works such as this one of Elvis.
Gina Roberts stated that she was influenced by Picasso and this painting was marked as After Picasso.
Steve Scanlon was asking £40 for his painting Broken Dreams.
Peter Chadwick is off to do a diploma in art as a result of his experiences at Mustard Tree. His painting of the Stone Roses was marked as sold.
I must apologise to Graham Hudson Jnr and Bev Slate. I thought I had photographed at least one painting by each artist bust seemed to have missed these two. One of them, I now realise, was showing on a wall in the middle of the room. They can be seen in the background of this shot of The Storyteller, one of the drama performances.
I must thank everyone who I spoke to during the evening, especially Carolyn of the Turnkey Trust and Graham, the creative programmes manager at Mustard Tree, for such a pleasant time.