Nigel Tooby’s interest in Photography began in the 1970s inspired by music album cover art and in particular the work of Aubrey Powell and the late, great, Storm Thorgerson. Although the years that passed saw him absorbed into the world of business he still found time to record events around him in an uncompromising documentary style.
Tooby creates artwork using images as a medium, to encourage debate through purposefully choosing controversial and sometimes difficult/uncomfortable subject matters to share a message. He shuns the single visual for a network of linked pieces in which the connections between pictures – as well as what is left out – contain information which then springs from an apparent void to provide messages which transcend the ability of any single image to communicate. The use of found materials and installations, as in his recent acclaimed exhibition “Eye Spy”, (In aid of a Homeless Charity) adds a fourth dimension and enhances surface to further expand his visual vocabulary.
As a consequence, he produces work which is current, inspiring, original, and, photographically speaking, quite different to the norm. His work is direct, occasionally brutal, creative of opinion and sometimes shocking, but it leaves little doubt as to where his own opinions lie. Thought provoking; his work invites the viewer to accept, reject or else debate that opinion.
The Price of Money was originally conceived as an art book and because it is based, in part, on his own experience of business it inevitably contains veins of autobiography. His assertion that rampant greed sowed the seeds of the 2008 credit crunch is clear from the work, but the effects of the greed-associated business paradigm reaches far deeper levels, perverting politics as well as the lives, relationships and health of those involved to varying degrees. He implies that enterprise doesn’t have to be conducted that way – that commercial activities can be carried out ethically and can, as a result, provide a more stable and productive business.
I am sure that anyone who sees me will wonder what I am doing, but if I am very lucky I can spend several hours in one place just looking and drawing. The more you look the more you see, shapes fit together in unexpected ways, colours shift and change, there is an excitement in trying to echo and explore this richness; and where is all this wonder? The wonders are everywhere in the quiet things that we pass by each day, things glanced and apparently familiar and for me very often they are literally just down the garden path.
That in essence that is what the show is about, the small things, and the calmness of simply looking and seeing.
The drawings start as a response to the special almost heart stopping moment when some relationship between shapes and colours just shouts out to be explored, this morning it is the low sun finding the maples in the hedge with their buttery yellow leaves. The paintings are developed directly on the paper I have drawn on, and most are worked in acrylic. The work is not a representation, rather in musical terms it’s a variation which respects and explores.
The work tries to leave space for the viewer to bring their own visual memory and experience. In the same way that railway posters of the 1930s could trigger remembered landscape from simple blocks of colour. If am very fortunate the shapes within the work will resonate with the viewer’s own experience, and as they do and their own recollections fill the space the work becomes theirs, they are part of the creative process.
The pictures are a mixture of very recent work, and work drawn from the past few years. There is an emphasis on seasonal change, a reminder in the depths of cold grey January days that light and warmth are on their way.
I believe that the power to wonder is fundamental to all of us, and that the process of wonder is truly enriching, lifting us away from immediate cares and encouraging us to think about our relationship with the world. I hope in seeing the work visitors will be encouraged to pause and find their hidden wonders.
The Ropewalk Printmakers
As the year moves slowly towards the return of the sun and the promise of lengthening days, the Winter Solstice brought celebrations of feasting, festivals and rituals, Christian, Pre-Christian and Pagan.
The Ropewalk Printmakers are a small group of artists, from both sides of the Humber, who have been working together for over a decade at The Ropewalk Printmaking Studio in Barton on Humber. Meeting at regular weekly sessions, the group work in a variety of techniques across a broad range of subjects. Members have exhibited and received awards in local, regional and national shows, and their prints are on permanent view and sale in a number of galleries.
The annual showcase of Ropewalk resident artists featuring work from:
David Alcock, Richard Hatfield, Neo Heny, Gill Hobson, Janine Knight, Darren Langton, Tim Needham, Melanie Rainbow, Micheal Scrimshaw, Shirley Trumble and Keith Woodcock.