Far away from the Midlands, Matthew Macaulay who is normally based in Coventry is currently on a residency in Aberystwyth.
Matthew, who is originally from Shetland, gained a BA Hons in Fine Art at Coventry University in 2010. He has worked in the city since, most recently from a fantastic studio at Pluspace Radio, overlooking Broadgate, where he is also the director of the Pluspace Gallery, which is taking a holiday.
It’s possible to travel a long way from Coventry – and still find a familiar image on show.
On a short break in Pembrokeshire I discovered a fantastic exhibition of Graham Sutherland landscapes and other works in the Oriely Y Parc Landscape Gallery, a lovely light and airy space in a well-designed building which also houses the information centre in St Davids.
This seems to be the year to see Graham Sutherland, following the exhibition curated by George Shaw at Modern Art Oxford. That focused heavily on Sutherland’s Pembrokeshire landscapes, and some of them feature here too – along with a map suggesting places to visit inspired by the works! The Coventry connection was a practice image for the crucifixion for the Coventry Cathedral tapestry.
On my occasional trips away from Coventry, I like to see whatever exhibitions are on in the place I go to visit. Belfast is usually pretty reliable for a good selection but sadly not on my recent trip.
Turning up at the Ormeau Baths Gallery on Friday 13th was obviously a bad omen. The door was shut, boards were piled behind it and there was post inside the door. I had thought it was odd the website was out of date, but should have looked further – the gallery closed in October, blaming a reduction in income from sponsorship and corporate events, and a rise in costs.
It had shown exhibitions by Yoko Ono and Gilbert and George before, and a lot more obscure artists, and was a bit like the Ikon in Birmingham – an old brick building and big white spaces inside. It’s a sad lost to the Belfast art world.
If you’re in London in the next couple of weeks, don’t miss Building the Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935, at the Royal Academy.
It might sound more like an essay title, but it’s a fascinating exhibition in the top-floor Sackler Rooms at the gallery.
Timing is everything, and you can’t predict the future.
So five years ago to the week when Rosie Addenbrooke, The Herbert’s Senior Events and Exhibitions Officer asked George Shaw about staging an exhibition in his home city she couldn’t have known the opening of the exhibition would coincide with his nomination for the Turner Prize.
So just 18 days before he finds out whether he has won or not, the exhibition finally opened tonight, with hundreds of people there to quaff champagne and celebrate.
George’s paintings focus on the Tile Hill estate where he grew up, and have been shown in London, hugely-successfully at the Baltic in Gateshead, and elsewhere – but never in such number in Coventry,
IN The Herbert gallery in Coventry the paintings are on the wall, and the final preparations are being made for George Shaw: I woz ere to open to the public.
It’s the first big home-town exhibition for George, born in the city in 1966, and he’s here overseeing the work and admitting to feeling a little anxious about how it will be received.
“It’s all right doing this, thinking about it before I came to do it wasn’t. Without Rosie’s [Addenbrooke, senior exhibitions and events officer] enthusiasm and commitment it wouldn’t have happened. It was something I was avoiding. You are always afraid of doing something you haven’t done before.
“I was slightly anxious the reality of the situation would take over from the work. In many ways it has but not in a negative sense.”
IF you’re lucky enough to be in Cornwall this summer then don’t miss a truly hair-raising exhibition at the Tate St Ives.
The gallery is showing a series of independent one-room displays from different eras, concentrating on the theme of space, structure and light.
The shortlist for art’s most prestigious award, the Turner Prize, is due to be announced tonight – and Coventry-born artist George Shaw is among the contenders.
The list is due to be announced on Channel 4 news from 7pm tonight, but several leaks on Twitter and on various websites name Karla Black, Martin Boyce, Hilary Lloyd and George Shaw as the names up for the award this year.
They may not be on the doorstep, but if you find yourself in Belfast for a few days and need a respite from Troubles tours and Guinness, there are several great galleries worth checking out.
I went to see two ice hockey games but spent as much time in different galleries as the rink.
Three small galleries have often-changing exhibition. (more…)