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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Stephen Todd – Humber Estuary: Inner Landscapes

“Landscape is what we make of it”.

We absorb the landscape through its sights, its sounds and our senses. We observe its present and glimpse its past. But we construct it from the thoughts and emotions we bring.

The Humber Estuary is rich with places to go to: to think, to draw, to remember. The broadening skies, the relentless shifting and eroding tides, the industry of ships, of docks, of power generation, all watched by vibrant wildlife.

But this is just a start. All is riddled with marks and memories of its past: the concrete gun emplacements falling into the sea; forts rusting in the estuary, the memorabilia of a whaling industry. Then there is personal history: my mother, born and raised in Cleethorpes, catching the ferry to Hull; and great uncle, Captain Ernest Fall, with a naval history going back to the Battle of Jutland.

This makes me think how places change in mood and spirit as times change and eras pass. Beauty becomes threat. Turmoil becomes tranquillity. The stillness and cries of curlew are interrupted by bombing raids. The North Sea winds turn to drive an offshore army. The rhythmic tide becomes a tidal surge.

All this becomes a reason to search for the landscape of the Humber Estuary.

But there is something else. I saw the sun setting over the Estuary. It turned the landscape into an inferno. I thought of other histories being acted out on the horizon: the sacking of Troy, the destruction of Palmyra. I don’t know why, I just did.

Stephen Todd

2019

By richardhatfield |

Re-Tellings – Sue Stone

Re-Tellings is a solo exhibition by Grimsby-based artist Sue Stone whose work is inspired by people, place and time. Hand embroidery plays a big part in Sue’s work sometimes mixed with machine stitch and/or paint and there are also some digital prints and new iPad drawings.

The pieces in this exhibition are part of an ongoing series of narratives inspired by memories; both the artist’s own and those of others. Members of the public were invited to take part by sharing memories of themselves and their relationships in the form of anecdotes, and images and Sue has now collected stories from all over the world.

The common link in this particular selection of work is that of family and friendship. Many of the stories focus on relationships between family members; the bonds between siblings and cousins, mothers and daughters, grandparents and grandchildren. But there are also tales of imagined journeys and that illusive dream of a Desert Island.

Then there’s the epic chronicle of the artist’s own life story told in a series of self-portraits one for each year of the artist’s life so far. 3 new self-portraits bring the installation up to date.

 

Sue Stone is an exhibiting member and former Chair (2013 – 2018) of the internationally renowned 62 Group of Textile Artists and a Fellow of the Uk Society of Designer Craftsmen. Since 2006 her work has been exhibited widely throughout the UK and Europe, and in Japan, Pakistan and the USA.

By richardhatfield |

Coastal

Throughout the summer in the Box Gallery we are showcasing work from makers who are influenced by the sea.

Featuring in Coastal are ceramics by Tregear Pottery from the Isle of Wight, Rebecca Harvey from St Ives, Pru Green from Essex and Dianne Cross from Yorkshire. A new collection of work by Tony Bellars of King’s Lynn brings a bright splash of colour, looking at his fishing boats and gulls you can almost smell the salt air and hear the unmistakable cry of the gull.

By richardhatfield |

Nautical Exhibition

This month in the Box Gallery we are celebrating everything nautical with a range of makers from around the UK. Their pieces aim to represent the fun of the ocean and the curious creatures that live within it.

We have a range of ceramics and prints to transport you back to the seaside or give you gift inspiration for that perfect someone who is never far from the beach. So why not come and visit the Craft Gallery today and start your holiday early with a piece from our exhibition, transforming your home into your very own seaside escape.

Here are just a few of the pieces we have on offer in the exhibition.

 

 

 

 

 

You are probably wondering why we have a boat within the Box Gallery exhibition!

Not only does it match this month’s nautical theme in the gallery it also promotes Barton’s Heritage Open Days and the free tours taking place from September 14 to September 22 in the neighbouring Barton Haven Shipyard.

Don’t forget to book your free ticket today along with many more events on offer at The Ropewalk.

By devonb |

North Lincolnshire Print Open

Selected by Rob Moore and Melvyn Petterson, this biennial exhibition aims to show the best of our region’s printmakers.

By richardhatfield |

Tregear Pottery

Situated on the rugged south coast of the Isle of Wight, Tregear Pottery produces a beautiful range of handmade stoneware pottery. Each piece is made from fine white stoneware clay. The work is hand decorated in a variety of designs – all drawing their inspiration and influences from the exceptional beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

Trained in Kyoto, Japan, in porcelain throwing, Neil’s passion for pottery has seen his work travel across the globe. He continually pushes and challenges the work at Tregear Pottery, refining glazes, developing new designs and expanding the studio. Neil has been awarded with a number of grants, international show selections, and other accolades for the quality of his work. The work is sold in several galleries and shops on the Isle of Wight as well as many well-known outlets across the mainland and now at The Ropewalk. Come in to the Craft Gallery during the month of June and admire the coastal bliss that Neil Tregear’s pottery creates.

By devonb |