Hidden in a creative crease of Newcastle, are a series of studios in basements and the back of cafes. Secreted inside are separate, tiny kingdoms of art. Each studio contains an artist (or a few of them) and walls splattered with their creations; shelves with their materials. Some are kept immaculate, whilst others are wildly chaotic. Their space is as unique as their art, and the artists themselves.
If Newcastle is as vibrant as it is supposed to be, it is because of the industrial artists based around the city, such as those in the Ouseburn studios.
Here are the details of a few of the artists:
SHEELAGH PEACE makes haunted paintings in grey and black, with occasional dashes of colour. Her gothic characters have dreadlocks and elegant tattoos. They also have patterned butterfly-wings strapped to their backs; and unwieldy, but intricate jewellery hanging from their necks.
IAIN CLARK There weren’t many of his paintings on display on the day, but enough to get me curious. Having also looked at his online page, Clark’s paintings proved to be highly intriguing. They are covered in colourful spectres, and twirling thickets of shapes.
KEVIN DAY paints large oil paintings in a fairly conservative style. However the clothes worn by his figures are unmistakably modern. His paintings often reflect on relationships. “All You Need” is an especially powerful example, showing a couple kissing: the privacy of the moment concealed because their lips are only just hidden by the man’s shoulder. Meanwhile “Father Sun” depicts the relationship between father and son. In the background is a symbolic sunset.
LORNA BEASLEY makes ceramics covered in neat and detailed shapes. They are beautifully highlighted with the gentle addition of colour.
FRED AND ELSIE make cute, humorous, cards and bags. They are black and white prints of animals, with occasional patches of colour. The result is both creative and quaint.