Palimpsest – Part The Second

Yesterday I posted about four of the eight artists at Palimsest, the new exhibition at neo:gallery22 in Bolton. I mentioned that I’d seen Alison Timmins’ work at the Bolton University Degree Show in early summer. I’d also written about Karen Markham and Donna Dowd as well.

Karen’s work here, as in the Degree Show, were pencil drawings about the homeless. At the Degree Show, the thing I liked most was the fact that the drawings were mounted high up so you were looking up at the same sort of angle as a seated homeless person. This time the drawings were at a more normal level and concentrated on the hands and possessions of Alan, a musician.


Alan – Karen Markham

Donna Dowd used found objects as the basis of a couple of her works, which she says “are triggers that prompt the viewer to bring their own associations to the object and its new context.” There was some discussion about Donna’s choice of the pastel colours used on Tack. I’m sure she will tell me via Facebook and I will pass her comments on.


Tack – Donna Dowd

Steph Shipley had two approaches to the theme of the exhibition. The first one I eventually worked out myself, but the second she had to explain to me.


Steph with Dennis (not showing any of his text prints this time)

Just inside the door, Steph had four digital prints which seemed to have no bearing on the theme. However, her video was of the archaeological excavations in Moss Bank Park in Bolton, and the prints related to the findings there. The surface which has been erased was the green green grass of the park.


From Steph’s video Hiding Place


Hiding Place – Steph Shipley

I had to ask Steph about her other works which seemed to be just painted abstracts. In fact, these were probably the closest to the original palimpsest idea in the whole exhibition in that she had painted onto the canvas, them wiped off the paint before repainting and rewiping several times, building up the layers. This reminded me of Callum Innes’s work which I’d seen recently.


Dwelling Place – Steph Shipley

The eighth and final artist was Esther Pilling who had a series of very small digital prints on acetate. These were based on photographic snapshots from childhood. She explained “I highlight concepts surrounding the deterioration of memory over the passage of time. I explore the parallels between photography and memory, and how one may affect the other.”


I spent quite some time chatting to Jason who runs the gallery. He was telling me that the people who run the Market Place shopping centre where the gallery is based are now prepared to take more risks with artistic ventures as a result of neo:artists professional approach. They see it as a way of getting more people in, and enhancing their shopping experience.

Sure enough, as I left, I found myself near work by pupils and students from Harper Green, a local school and arts college. It was interesting to see the work they had done and the use that was being made of it by both the school and the Market Place.






About notes to the milkman

I'm a printmaker based in the North West of England, living in Bolton and printing at Hot Bed Press in Salford. Please visit my website
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