These days there are all sorts of places for exhibiting art, outside of the traditional gallery. Pop up Galleries, Art Fairs, Open Studios, Pubs and cafes etc are all possibilities. But it’s not always easy to know what is going to work best for your work. There are definitely pros and cons, and often there appear to be positive and less positive experiences for any one of these! Therefore, I am taking the approach of keeping an open mind and just going with what feels right. This spring, I have a small exhibition planned for the new Market Gallery space in the Market Hall, Ashton-Under-Lyne. It’s a smart space, entirely connected with the market and its associated footfall. The exhibition will be titled: About Ashton.
My About Ashton Series: The place
I am interested in capturing the special qualities of places and my feelings about places so I often draw on location. These drawings can be illustration pieces that are completed in situ, or material for my studio-based mixed media work. Last summer I shared some of my drawings of people in the market hall. Tameside council, approached me to present some of my work in an exhibition at the new market gallery. Sharing my finished works, in a location that I spend time drawing in seems a good fit to me, so I said yes!
I grew up in a market town (Bury St Edmunds) in the south of England, with a twice weekly outdoor market. The market was part of weekly life and an important connection with the place and its traditions. I’ve loved them ever since! Therefore, when I moved from Manchester up to the hills, just outside of Ashton two years ago, I visited the town often. I got to know some of the streets, some of the special buildings. I was immediately drawn to the outdoor and indoor markets: Their history, the friendliness of the people, the feeling of connection and belonging, the visual richness and the stories. Stories of place, of people- all about Ashton.
My About Ashton series: The Exhibition
The exhibition will include several different strands of my illustration and mixed-media works. There will be pieces focusing on the streetscape of Ashton, illustrations created on location. I will also include a set of mixed media collage works about the market hall, created from drawings on location. I am now exploring a more abstract approach in my studio-based paintings. They focus upon my feelings of place and I will be sharing some of my new works about cotton mills. The later fits entirely with the history of Ashton and its strong cotton mill heritage!
My About Ashton Exhibition will be on show from 16th March-8th June 2020. I do hope you will be able to visit. Please do sign up to receive my newsletter (a pop up box will appear when you enter my website), where I will keep you updated on this and other art news.