Grey Area Exhibition

It’s that time again!

SPAM Art Collective have been hard at work to deliver to you a new exhibition with some new works and some faces you should recognise. This time we are moving the part to Edinburgh; yes that’s right we will be in the big city this month!

Our exhibitors this time around will be… drum roll please!

Harmony Bury , Claire Burnett, Shelagh Brown, Andrew Matheson, Hannah Halliday, Sean Wheelan, Ane Smith, Margaret Preston, Nick Cronin, Rebecca Grant, Devin Evans, Chloe Wilson and Will Vernon.

Our artists have given themselves the task of looking at the ‘Grey Area’ and what it means to them and their practice.

Opening night is the 21st of July 6-9pm at Patriothall Gallery, Patriothall, Edinburgh, EH3 5AY.

Exhibition is on until the 31st of July!

Please also see our workshops that we will have throughout the exhibition.

See you then!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Suplexing the Black Dog (Over and Over Again)

‘Suplexing the Black Dog (Over and Over Again)’ is a series of monotype prints for the upcoming exhibition, ‘Artless’ with SPAM Art Collective. Always opting for sculpture in the past few years, it is quite refreshing to return to drawing (with a dab of watercolour) to add a new spin to my practice.

The creation of this series is simply my coming to terms with depression.

It was a subject I would rather have avoided previously as frankly I did not wish to be defined by mental health issues, however there are some things you can’t avoid and facing it head on creatively has helped. Creating a series of drawings/prints reflecting my satirical take on the subject has been rather therapeutic as I have been able to laugh at myself and the situation at hand. Of course depression is a serious matter but recently this is how I have approached the subject and made it something I no longer fear.

Winston Churchill made the term ‘Black Dog’ famous when discussing his battles with depression. The phrase makes the subject more accessible as there is still some apprehension to folk actually saying the word ‘Depression’ in public. For example, I find myself referring to my prescription as my ‘happy pills’, which makes it more comical. I don’t want to be upset by using them as I know that I am making the steps to feeling better. However, being happy and at ease with myself doesn’t come easily and that is where the ‘Black Dog’ comes in. You will have good days and just out of nowhere suddenly there is a dark cloud over your head and there is the dog by your side reminding you of your problem.

What does wrestling have to do with this?

Vertical Suplex colur
‘Vertical Suplex’ (2017).

Well frankly being a closet wrestling fan since I was a wee boy (Ultimate Warrior and The Undertaker were my favourites), has led me to fantasising about these over the top, bright and wonderful characters as if it was a comic book brought to life. The dreaded ‘F’ word (…fake) is apparent but who cares, it’s entertainment. Everyone knows it’s all scripted with larger than life story lines but to me it is more like a violent soap that you get invested in as it is ultimately escapism where normal folk can watch two men throw each other through burning tables.

I don’t wish to harp on in the defense of wrestling as an illustration of my fight with depression, but it has significantly shaped my creative practice over the last year. As depression still continues to be a taboo subject, for many men in particular, I want to break down the boundaries through artistic absurdity. By combining the pomp and circumstance of wrestling with a mix of grotesque humour, I have created an ongoing match between myself and the overpowering ‘Black Dog’. Playing the underdog (because why not?) I struggle to keep the opponent at bay, but as the fiery babyface I make the comeback to overwhelm the opponent….or so I hope. There is no end to the series. The match doesn’t end on a pinfall or submission. It is a bout that goes on until the end of time.

You never know, there might eventually be a ‘Loser leaves Town’ match at some point.

 

Sean Wheelan, 2017.

 

Artless’ by SPAM Art Collective preview night is on Thursday 18th May 2017 (6-9PM) at ‘Hatch’, Belmont Street, Aberdeen.

Exhibition open from 19-21 May 2017 (11am-4pm).

 

Guest Artist – John Morrison

The 14 members of Spam become 15 for our show ‘Artless’ at Hatch, as we welcome guest artist John Morrison.

John Morrison is a painting graduate from Gray’s School of Art. He has exhibited works in London at exhibitions such as Braveart and at Northcote Gallery in Chelsea, as well as having works at mixed exhibitions in Aberdeen. He is currently Marketing & Communications Manager at Peacock Visual Arts.

His work draws influenced from his urban environment and his fascination with typography. Living previously in Glasgow, then moving back to Aberdeen to study at Gray’s, he began using photography to gather images of the post-industrial city, of typography and decaying patterns, posters and forgotten abandoned text.

His influences come from a range of styles, such as Rodchenko, Rauschenberg, abstract expressionism and typography designers such as Neville Brody. His new work presents a new suite of paintings that realise his studies from around the city of Aberdeen.

Rather than focus on the clean and modern city, he is more interested in the forgotten underbelly and run-down areas, where he finds most of the typography and decaying patterns he uses in his paintings. The urban decay represents a pattern of life that affects everything in life, nature has a hold on everything and that is where he finds the most random beauty – a collaboration between man and nature, so in one respect nature plays a big part in his art.

His work is a revolt of the idea that modern has to be new and clean – removing the old, and that no matter how hard we try, there is a beginning, middle and end to everything. The typography then becomes devoid of meaning, lost in time somewhere and forgotten.

He often uses wax in his paints and the raw canvas as a colour, along with wooden frames to give new life to the image and materials, giving a natural authenticity to the finished work.

‘Artless’ opening night 18th May 6-9pm.  19-21st May 11-4pm.

Hatch, The Academy, Belmont Street, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

John_Morrison

‘Untitled’, John Morrison.

APRIL 23, 2017 | MARGARET PRESTON
I have now got all the bits for making my Peace piece. Exciting packages have been appearing on the farm over the last week! Hopefully a lttle more Art time in the next couple of weeks will stop it remaining in pieces! As a teaser, it is text based, iconic, includes rifle cartridges and perspex and no doubt a lot of blood sweat and tears over the next few days! I was going to do a lantern, but a chance conversation with a new contact set me off on Text. It’s been six years since I used words in Art!

The only thing I’ve drawn so far is half the “pelmet” of the icon. I’ll upload it later! This will be simplified no doubt as I haven’t ever used a scroll saw!

My next task over the week is to bore out lots of cartridges so I can fit the wee LED’s I bought..I’ll then experiment with exactly how the LED’s will work best. .I’ve never done anything so fiddly! Maybe I should get Harmony Bury on the job!

Peace

18198295_10154773659561519_4444648884923483674_nIMG_2004

APRIL 23, 2017 | MARGARET PRESTON
I have now got all the bits for making my Peace piece. Exciting packages have been appearing on the farm over the last week! Hopefully a lttle more Art time in the next couple of weeks will stop it remaining in pieces! As a teaser, it is text based, iconic, includes rifle cartridges and perspex and no doubt a lot of blood sweat and tears over the next few days! I was going to do a lantern, but a chance conversation with a new contact set me off on Text. It’s been six years since I used words in Art!

The only thing I’ve drawn so far is half the “pelmet” of the icon. I’ll upload it later! This will be simplified no doubt as I haven’t ever used a scroll saw!

My next task over the week is to bore out lots of cartridges so I can fit the wee LED’s I bought..I’ll then experiment with exactly how the LED’s will work best. .I’ve never done anything so fiddly! Maybe I should get Harmony Bury on the job!

My Florentine visit continues to inspire – I saw so much, I’m sure it will pop into everything I do!

APRIL 23, 2017 | MARGARET PRESTON

Hatch

artlessHello!

What a treat we have for you come 18th of May. SPAM Art Collective will be exhibiting in the Hatch project space on Belmont Street from the 18th of May till the 21st of May.

Our members have been hard at work, hoping to try out some brand new work and are anxiously waiting your feedback. So if you are in Aberdeen and fancy a night of contemporary art and free drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) then please come down and see us!

We are also having special guest artist John Morrison exhibiting with us, John who works at Peacock Visual Arts in Marketing and Communication is going to be exhibiting some new work. Exciting!

Shelagh Brown one of our members is hoping to do some performance art for you all to enjoy, so don’t miss out.

Love, SPAM