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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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

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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 |

Chrissy Collinson – Sites Unseen

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As a keen walker of the Tenfoots I am never without my camera. I observe and record the fragility of rotting wood, holed by worm and beetle alike. I find the ad hoc nature of Hull’s Tenfoots fascinating: the make do and mend fences; the mock Tudor and Swiss chalet style garages; patched up boundaries and beguiling attempts at security. It would seem that Hull’s Tenfoots appear to be held together by flaking paint and rusting hinges. My paintings are as varied in subject matter and colour as the Tenfoots are in diversity.

Back in the studio I use photographs to compose and decide the subject matter to be painted. The resulting compositions are intended to concentrate the viewer’s gaze to a certain mark, form and/or structure of, or upon, a surface that initially caught my eye. There is no visual clue of a horizon or vanishing point. Nor are they meant as decorative shape and colour. The Tenfoot Series is an expression and first hand exploration of a familiar (to me) landscape through the concentrated and detailed process of painting in oil paint on an intimate scale.

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Studio Artists’ Show

The annual Ropewalk Studio Artists Exhibition features work from

David Alcock
Sally Beaumont
Emily Connor
Deborah Grice
Gill Hobson
Richard Hatfield
Judith Land
Tim Needham
Michael Scrimshaw
Reginald Swinney
Shirley Trumble
Keith Woodcock
85 Fathoms

By richardhatfield |

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‘Fairground Fables’ was conjured to question the satirical and moral ambiguity of fringe entertainment presented behind the curtains of Vaudeville theatres and Victorian Side Shows. Michelle draws from idioms and fables that play with tales of tragedy and fortune as well as the traces of life that befall the discarded or well loved, by enlivening everyday objects with an air of uncertainty.  She assembles things left behind on dusty shelves, creating magnetic forms that encourage the viewer to take an encounter with the apprehension of things.  ‘Fairground Fables’ is bent with a nostalgic and melodramatic allure that bestows something provocative and enchanting.

 

On November 24 Michelle will be running a workshop teaching participants how to make their own Fairground Fable. Bookings can be made in the Craft Gallery.

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I paint out of doors and in the studio. Landscape embodies form, colour and light. Painting can reflect these primal elements and leave us with an object akin to poetry. I play with the picture plane and use paint on various surfaces, abstracted to convey feelings and form with a sense of the drama of the place.
Tim Needham

The subjects are the amalgamation of the remembered, the fleetingly observed and the repeated, emblematic motifs left, like an afterimage imprinted on the retina. I look for a sense of the unfamiliar in the ordinary – a gentle disquiet. Some pieces recall a particular moment or episode, often dramatic and transient such as the effects of light or weather, frequently in the extreme. It is at these times that nature can reassert itself into our consciousness and provide us with a taste of something that is awesome in the true sense of the word. Other paintings are less dramatic and conjure up emotions and associations of particular memories and universal fears from early childhood.
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By richardhatfield |