Nigel Tooby’s thought-provoking exhibition at The Ropewalk

By janetuplin |

A thought-provoking exhibition by Wakefield based photographer Nigel Tooby is on display at The Ropewalk arts centre in Barton upon Humber until March 1.

The exhibition in the Artspace, Of Our Times – 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.

“Nigel’s 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,” explained The Ropewalk’s Exhibitions Officer, Richard Hatfield.

“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.”

Until fairly recently, Nigel specialised in contemporary travel, documentary and reportage and joined the Royal Photographic Society in 2009, gaining his Licentiate a year later.  He was awarded Associateship of the Society (Contemporary Panel) for a submission drawn from his project “Mi Familia”; an intimate monochrome documentary of family life and was made a Fellow of the Society (Contemporary Panel) for his book “Of Our Times – The Price of Money”.

This work marked a major departure in his photographic style, leading him to explore images which were pre-designed, staged, and intricately drawn to link together and which can thereby communicate information in a way which a single image cannot.  This is not just apparent in the theme and the body of work as a whole which is not uncommon in contemporary photographic practice, but very specific parts of one image may be designed to directly link with a separate image; the linkage providing the crucial information.  This goes a step beyond the norm and the linkages can be very subtle; all the more rewarding when they are spotted…

Nigel’s interest in photography began in the 1970s when he was 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.

“Nigel creates artwork using images as a medium, to encourage debate through purposefully choosing controversial and sometimes difficult/uncomfortable subject matters to share a message,” Richard explained.  “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.”

“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,” Richard added.

The exhibition can be viewed from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 5pm and on Sundays between 10am and 4pm.  Admission to all The Ropewalk galleries is free.

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Box Gallery

Spring Awakening

In the Box Gallery this month we have been inspired by the weather, and have put together a display celebrating spring. The focus is on the rebirth of nature, selecting pieces which represent the bloom of new flowers and joyous animals. The range of work within the exhibition is from a variety of makers working in different crafts all embodying our theme of spring.

Here is just a selection of the pieces we have on display in the Box Gallery.

 

By devonb |

Agitated Presence

Paul Collinson | Gary Saunt | Kat Saunt | Steve Upton

This exhibition shows work by a group of East Yorkshire and Hull based painters whose practice involves, either incidentally or wholly,  the used of photography or computer software.

This can be in the organisation of the idea, the capture and use images as subject matter, or in the very creation of the artwork itself.

What all the painters do have in common is that need, the “agitation”, to produce something that has a presence.

By richardhatfield |

Andrew Adair

Obviously my specialisation is in ceramics, but over the last 3-4 years I have diverged into 2D abstract and flitted back and forth between the two often combining techniques across both. A constant theme throughout has been the printed letter/text and the interplay between positive and negative space therein. The older letter bottles are relief printmaking in clay and from them blossomed the larger industrial 2D abstracts onto old metal shelves and disused wooden pallets. Another ever present has been my trusted blowtorch, which has enabled me to produce interesting surfaces and textures in the clay through forced drying and also letting me introduce dirt into the painted surface in the form of trapped carbon. It is important for me to be true to the material and allow it to be inherent in the final pieces.

Topics and style vary, from heavily textured, distorted pots, to letters bottles discussing elements of jazz, to political and social commentary and stuff about bikes? The large abstracts initially explored the rhythms between the letters but then began to migrate into the self-portrait in the form of big selfies and some of these themes then translated back into the pot form.

Throughout my career my work has cycled back to the same themes – surface and form – and these are essentially what this exhibition is about.

By richardhatfield |

MODJOOL

Customisable jewellery by Jackie Selcraig

Jackie Selcraig does not abide by the taught rules of creative design, for her it is very fluid and unstructured. Governed instead by play Jackie begins by siting down and experimenting with the composition of the bits and pieces she has collected over the years. Enjoying mixing colours, textures and materials, the aim is always to create something different, unique and unusual.

Modjool started with the Build Ring, since then, it has grown into a whole family of interactive jewellery, attracting fashion conscious customer eager to take advantage of the versatility of the range. Modjool is a system of statement jewellery, which features ranges which can be worn individually, mixed and matched or combined magnetically. The wearer can adapt the appearance by simply changing colour, shape, size, material or style all within the same jewellery collection.

Shape is bold, geometric, statement jewellery. The pendants can be magnetically attached to any of the colourful Click Range using a special bail.

Build is fun customisable jewellery. The silver ring and necklace base pieces can be transformed by adding a variety of colourful beads and stoppers. You can create a different look every day. Mix the colours up or choose a neutral palette for something more sophisticated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By devonb |

Jill Stewart

Metal Clocks

There’s something about the contrast of textures of the different metals and etched parts that is so compelling. Metal is not always a hard shiny intractable thing – it can have a softer look, have variable colours created by the act of heating, can be a way of drawing in the air.

Jill Stewart was brought up in rural Northumberland, surrounded by nature and colour, always noticing the tiny details that surround us. After city adventures and unsuitable jobs, she started to make things, and developed unique ways of working in brass, copper, silver and titanium. The clocks developed after she was challenged to make larger items than jewellery, and to really develop a colour palette using the effects of heat on different metals. After cutting out the shapes, a large flame is used to solder parts of the design together, but also makes copper go beautiful unpredictable shades of dark red, and changes the look of other metals, especially the etched parts. The handmade look is important, that you can tell an actual person worked closely with their materials here, not absolutely sure how each process would turn out.

 

By devonb |

Luke Jerram

Harrison’s Garden

If John Harrison had a garden, how might it have looked?

In 2017, artist Luke Jerram took that thought and turned it into an amazing and imaginative exhibition that has been touring the UK. His idea was to create a ‘an imagined garden’ of clocks clustered into species, forming ‘flowerbeds’, ‘islands’, ‘pathways’ and borders’. Luke’s array of around 3000 timepieces has now visited the beautiful National Trust properties of Nostell Priory, Gunby Hall and Penrhyn Castle.

And in January 2019, Harrison’s Garden will reach its final destination at The Ropewalk. Bringing Harrison’s Garden home has been organised by the Better Barrow Community Project and Luke has kindly offered to donate the clocks to their fundraising cause to erect a statue of John Harrison. The clocks will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition – for further information visit betterbarrow.org

Harrison’s Garden was originally commissioned by Connect! and presented over 5 days at Devon’s Thelma Hulbert Gallery in 2015.

By richardhatfield |