Newcastle graduate Joy won the prestigious Woon Art Prize in 2017. Since then, she’s opened her first solo shows in London and Newcastle – a collection of paintings exploring her British-Nigerian heritage – and exhibited at Durham’s TESTT Space. Her work draws on family photographs, taking everyday scenes and shots from special occasions and turning them into abstracted colourful canvases. Joy is now living and working in the north-east. Catch her paintings in an upcoming group exhibition at the Bonington Gallery in Nottingham and in her new solo show at Newcastle’s Baltic 39.
Narbi Price, The Ashington Paintings
Painter Narbi Price lives and works in the North East, and his latest exhibition at the Woodhorn Museum, Ashington, explores the history and identity of a Northumberland mining town. Part of 2018’s Great Exhibition of the North, Narbi’s works are inspired by The Ashington Group, a collective of miners who began painting together in the 1930s and held their first exhibition in Newcastle. The Ashington Paintings document former colliery sites, previously the heart of the town’s identity, now transformed into bus stops, garages, parks, houses and roads. Narbi completed an MFA at Newcastle University in 2010. He is now completing his PhD there in partnership with the Woodhorn, home of the original Ashington Group artworks.
Catrin Huber, Expanded Interiors
Two Roman houses in Herculaneum and Pompeii are the surprising sites for the latest works of visual artist Catrin Huber. Catrin, a senior lecturer in Fine Art at Newcastle, assembled a team from across the University. Professor Ian Haynes, Rosie Morris, Dr Thea Ravasi and Alex Turner have combined their skills in archaeology, architecture, 3D scanning and fine art to help research the houses and sites, which informed Catrin’s site-specific installations exploring Roman objects and wall paintings. Contemporary paintings and replicas of everyday items, such as oil lamps and religious artefacts, bridge the Roman and contemporary worlds, and suggest designs for the future. The Expanded Interiors installations are on display until January 2019.
Women Artists of the North East Library
Founded in 2017 by Newcastle University graduates Holly Argent and Rene McBrearty, the Women Artists of the North East Library uncovers the often-overlooked history of female creatives who’ve worked in the region. A collection of art, photographs, letters, oral histories, music and books illuminates a heritage today’s local artists can draw upon. The library took up residence at Gateshead’s Workplace Gallery until September 2018, as part of the Great Exhibition of the North, and elements of the collection also appeared in London’s CGP Gallery over the summer. Holly, Rene and other members of the collective take the project out into the world too, organising talks, walks and other events to spread the word.
Lucien Anderson and David Lisser, Last Ditch Attempt
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is a store of the world’s plant seeds, an insurance measure against global disasters that could wipe out plant species. But when it flooded in 2017, putting the seeds at risk, Newcastle University graduate artists Lucien Anderson and David Lisser had an idea. What if seeds were stored in individual pods and distributed more widely, among members of the public and keen gardeners, creating a seed and information-sharing network? They built a tandem tricycle with space to carry pods around the North East, and have been setting up pop-up events, where they hand out seeds and offer advice on seed preservation.
Newcastle Poetry Festival
This international festival was established in 2015 by two professors of Newcastle University’s pioneering Centre for the Literary Arts – Professor Linda Anderson and its Director, Professor Sinead Morrissey. The collaborative celebration stages events in Newcastle and Gateshead and brings together poets, writers and artists from the UK and beyond. The 2018 festival asked contributors to respond to the theme of ‘crossings’ – exploring borders, communication and travel. The fifth annual festival will arrive in spring 2019, but you can enjoy poetry in the city at any time with the free app Steps in Time, built for the 2017 festival. Take a walk across Newcastle, accompanied by 16 regional poets who reveal lesser-known landmarks.
Breaking artistic ground
Professors Jane and Louise Wilson are twins with an enviable reputation in the art world.
Meet the two people revitalising the Hatton Gallery
The Hatton Gallery recently underwent a multi-million-pound redevelopment. One year on, Professor Eric Cross and Professor Richard Talbot talk us through the improvements and the impact theyʼve had.