I still haven’t got my head round a poem/a performance piece winning the neo:artprize last month. Tonight was the opening night of the Python Art Festival and I have no complaints this time about the winner – Angela Fox’s ‘Misplaced’.
Angela said that “Misplaced is a map made of found objects and mixed media combined together using techniques such as machine sewing onto acetate, letraset and transfer printing. Initially my aim was to create a map of Salford and its surrounding area. During the making process, I couldn’t stop the emotional connections and memories of first moving to the city of Manchester and my connections with Salford, the flashbacks of both good and bad memories, an awareness of place with sadness containing fragility and vulnerability.”
The real reason it won was that one corner of the work features Cow Lane and even has the building which houses Hot Bed Press, where I screenprint! Fantastic!
Python Properties have redeveloped four buildings, two on Teeside, one in Warrington and one in Bolton. Each has an art gallery on the ground floor with offices on the upper floors. All four galleries are taking part in the Art Festival, with one winner from each. The four winners will have an exhibition next year which will tour round the four venues.
The standard was high and I can only show a few of the many works.
I immediately recognised this as Phil Davies’s work. He likes to use oil bars/very stubby oil pastels. Not many people like using oil pastels – I certainly don’t – but I love Phil’s lively, spontaneous creations with them.
I know Phil from a life drawing class we both attended. There were a couple of other life drawings which I liked.
Nude on Cushion – Stan Harland
Kneeling Girl – Anthony Barrow
Another Phil, Phil Pye, had two pieces in which he described as having “something in common with children’s colouring books” but which a number of people thought more Patrick Caulfield. I like Patrick Caulfield and I liked Phil Pye’s work, especially ‘View of the City’, the city being Liverpool with the Three Graces seen thought the windows of the new Museum.
As well as 2D works there were some ceramics and I particularly liked Siobhain Moakes’s ‘Janus’ which, as she said, had a ‘dichotomy between the implied motion (a Janus looking forward and back) and the static appearance of a ceramic piece.’
John Bentley, whose photographs featured in the landscape exhibition at St Georges House earlier in the year, said that one of his favourites was ‘S.W.A.L.K.’ by Jen Orpin. Her work features either red post boxes or telephone boxes. As she explained “There was time when the effort to communicate was reflected in the means of communication; walking to the phone box, scrabbling for 10ps, writing a letter. It was said and sealed, stamped and posted, the pips went and that was that. Now the phone and post boxes are in our pockets, contractually obliged to say hello but not free to say goodbye.” I wondered how many of the younger visitors to the exhibition would know what SWALK stood for.
S.W.A.L.K. – Jen Orpin
There was one unfortunate work which John, being a photographer, spotted straight away. The title was ‘Finishing Straight’ but unfortunately the mount round the painting was not straight! We debated whether it was a deliberate ‘ironic’ title but decided it wasn’t.
The usual suspects were in attendance! I think it was the champagne on offer from Ms Kelly!
But finally I can prove I’m an artist! Here I am with my flat cap! Yeah!