Archive for January, 2013

January 30, 2013

Laura Lancaster Workplace Gallery

Preview: Friday 1st February, 6 – 9pm

Workplace Gallery is pleased to present Conversations Behind Glass our third solo exhibition of work by Laura Lancaster.

Through a new body of large-scale works Laura Lancaster continues her ongoing investigation into the relationship between the photograph and human presence mediated through painting. The exhibition is comprised of two distinct and complimentary series of works: Lancaster’s paintings of text written upon found photographs, and a recent series of paintings extracted from an ongoing collection of anonymous photographs of gravesides.

In Lancaster’s ‘Text series’ the informal captions or notes made upon the backs or margins of photographs are raised to monumental status. These works are reductive in terms of their pictorial content, focusing upon the painting of the handwritten mark of the photographer within the physical properties of the printed photograph. Lancaster’s ‘Graveside series’ further examines the problematic correlation between the human, the referent, and the monument and the slippage between representation and abstraction. On the relationship between the two series Lancaster writes:


    I was interested in the idea of taking away all extraneous information from the source material and arriving at a visual summary of the image and our associations with them – a whole complex moment in time and relation between the photographer and subject summed up in one statement. On a formal level it was a new kind of linear mark I was making on a field of colour, which connects with the idea of remembrance through me re-enacting the movements of someone else’s hand through their writing. The writing on the photographs reminds me of the Victorian cult of remembrance, and their trend of mounting or collaging photos with pressed flowers or with bracelets made from loved ones hair. As with the text, these are all attempts to make a memory more real, as if the photograph won’t be effective enough. These works also highlight the photographs as objects that have experienced their own time evidenced by wear and tear and marks on their surface. They have been owned by loved ones and carried around in wallets and albums, in a life that we can never know, so there is a sense of compounded time a moment held and suspended within the image, and the span of time that the photograph itself has existed. The economy of a moment in time becoming one line of text relates very strongly to headstones, where a whole life lived becomes a name and two dates and a summary of all their relationships in one line. I don’t see this as morbid, but instead find this simplicity reassuring. 

I chose to paint from anonymous found snapshots of gravesides as I had gathered a number of them and was curious to know how the feel of my work would change if I took on the relationship between painting, photography and death in a more direct way. It seemed odd to me to take photographs of gravesides and I wanted to investigate why these images intrigued me so much.  I was drawn to the idea of a lack of a central figure, and how the monochrome nature of the paintings would relate to my interest in the push and pull between figuration and abstraction. These paintings are an attempt to investigate the relationship between photography and death in a direct way – Roland Barthes quotes: ‘he is dead and he is going to die’ referring to a photograph of a prisoner about to be hanged and the idea that a photograph holds the subject in suspension, forever alive, and yet as a viewer with hindsight we know that that subject has since died. In my previous work my concern was with the idea that the painting process could somehow resurrect forgotten subjects whilst also dealing with the dead matter of paint becoming alive at the same time. Reinvigorating these ‘dead’ photos with life and movement whilst at the same time acknowledging their own failure as effective aide-mémoire. With these graveside works the failure of the photograph to accurately re-invoke the person is central and the headstone becomes symbolic of this failure. The headstone will probably outlast the photograph, whereas the photographs that I have collected outlast their subjects. Both the photograph and the headstone are emotive points of contact for those out of reach, yet they are equally flawed, as is a painting. 


In both of these series the paintings are not figurative, but are a kind of portrait. The usual central figure is replaced by a monument to a person leaving the feeling of a presence twice removed. For me this sense of absence highlights our human need to be remembered and our fear of being forgotten.  Perhaps these graveside photos are also symbols for something unreachable, unknowable and abstract.


Laura Lancaster was born in 1979 and lives and works in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. Recent Exhibitions include: John Moores Painting Prize, Liverpool Bienalle 2012, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle, Kunstmuseum Bern, Switzerland, Museum of Modern Art St Etienne, Palazzo Della Arte Napoli, Museum of Modern Art Oxford, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art.

January 28, 2013

Dr Chun-Chao Chiu will be exhibiting a collection of a Chinese Brush Paintings.

25th JANUARY to 9th MARCH 2013
Newcastle Arts Centre,
67 Westgate Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1SG,
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January 25, 2013

Paul Merrick – new work on website

Still Life (Chrysanthemum)2012

Still Life (Chrysanthemum) 2012, Ply, powder coated steel, melomine, magazine, pins
Photographer: David Lawson

Paul Merrick   has added a series of new work on to his website.

 Completed at the end of 2012, the work was exhibited during  Ouseburn Open Studio weekend 2012 at 36 Lime Street in November.

January 25, 2013

36 Lime Street Gallery 2013 Programme Opportunities

36 Lime Street Gallery are now seeking proposals for our 2013 programme.
This year’s programme will allow for 6 exhibitions to take place between May and December 2013. This space is available for artists, students and studio members to exhibit in. Any art form is welcome.
• Exhibitions will run for a maximum of two weeks, with one week installation in advance.
• 36 Lime Street will publicise the programme via its website and emarketing platforms.
• Exhibitors are able to arrange a preview for their exhibition, in consultation with 36 Lime Street.
• Artists and curators are also responsible for invigilating their own shows – each show must be open to the public for a minimum of one weekend ( 11am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday).
• 36 Lime St Gallery has no direct funding, therefore artists and curators are expected to fund their own shows.
• Artists must note that 36 Lime Street cannot insure any work while it is in the Gallery.
• Exhibitors must return the space to its original condition after finishing exhibitions.
There are 6 ‘slots’ available for the exhibitions which can be: May/June, June/July, July/Aug, Aug/Sept, Sept/Oct, Oct/Nov, Nov/Dec. Applicants are asked to state a date preference within their application.
Proposals can be submitted by email only. Applicants should send 6 relevant of recent work (72dpi JPEG), a C.V., an outline of intention for the space (including preferred dates), and a link to website or online portfolio if available
The deadline is 5pm, Friday 8th March. All artists will be informed of our selection by Friday 22nd March.
If you have any further enquiries, please email us at
January 20, 2013

First solo Chinese Brush Painting Exhibition at the Newcastle Arts Centre

The first solo Chinese Brush Painting Exhibition at the Newcastle Arts Centre by Chun Chao previews this Thursday 24th January 6-8pm.

The exhibition is starting from 25th of January till 9th of March.

Dr. Chun-Chao Chiu
Mobile: 07913159817(Uk)


January 20, 2013

New blog for DIY Make Your own book kits

Make Your Own Book Kits are an ideal way to begin making your own creative books.

I have set up a new blog to record the work made from these kits

The Book Kits retail for £7.50 and can be purchased in Newcastle @Northern Print Studio or The Biscuit Factory or from this site +P&P 50p just email

make your own bk kit make your own book kit make your own book

I teach regular workshops @36 Lime Street and use something called ‘a rummage box’ which contains a selection of special papers, card, slips and sachet that I am not sure what I can do with, so it goes in the rummage box for a course participant to use and find inspiration.

Make Your Own Book Kits

Make Your Own Book Kits

pamphlet stitch

For a while now I have wanted to get feedback from people who buy the kits to find out what exactly they are doing with them – so over the Christmas period, I had a couple of emails from individuals who were bought the packs for Christmas.  This started me thinking this new blog would be a great way to collate what kind of work people are making and inspire new ideas, providing a showcase to share ideas.  So, if you have been bought a pack and have made some work email me with your finished products or if you are thinking of making something, but not sure how to start check out the DIY Make Your Own Book Kit blog.

January 12, 2013

Make a placard for the anti cuts march & rally 16th February @ 36 Lime street

Saturday 16th February 12noon starting Centre for Life there is a march organised to protest against the cuts and austerity measures, including Library closures, arts & culture spending, respite and Youth provision and much much more.

If you want to get involved and make your own protest placard, I am organising  an afternoon placard making session at 36 Lime Street Friday 15th February 3pm onwards in the Gallery space.  Bring ideas, paint, card board, light weight wood, whatever you like and I’ll make sure there are hot drinks and biscuits.  I am starting to collect materials now, so if you wanted to leave anything before that date, leave it in the Gallery at 36 Lime street and I’ll make sure it is available to use.



Stop the Cuts - Save Our Services - March & Rally