Sunday, 11 September 2011

A busy day at The New Walsall Art Gallery

Cameron Galt WatercolourWorkshop

Early start yesterday to be at Ther New Walsall Art Gallery to attend the workshop at 11.00 given by resident artist Cameron Galt who is a member of the Royal Watercolour Society.  About 10 of us were in the artist's studio painting watercolour studies of pomegranates and pears.  Cameron is just such a nice, funny, friendly man. He gave us some good advice on watercolours and the use of masking fluid which I have only briefly used before.   He gave a talk later in the afternoon about the paths he took (some good, some bad)  and how he became an artist. At one point rubbing shoulders with Lucien Freud who had attended one of his exhibitions (although it turned out that he was only there to see his fellow artist who was also exhibiting in the same show) he thumbs his nose at the art establishment and the likes of Charles Saatchi who actually did buy a few of his pieces at one time but then ended up selling them on.  We really could have gone on listening to him for ages if it hadn't been for the gallery assistant telling him that they were due to shut in about 20 minutes so he needed to wind his talk up - a truly remarkable, modest and entertaining man who has hit highs and lows in his 21 year career but has lived to tell the tale.   



Went along to the Mark Titchner talk at Walsall Art Gallery which I had been looking forward to for a while.  Booked it ages ago.  Felt we knew him more because Laura had studied him during the first year of her degree.  Very agreeable, modest man - only in mid thirties (and good looking to boot). He spoke of his work as part of Home of Metal.   He uses text a lot in his work - slogans and lyrics and particularly liked his metal construction of words.  He didn't seem at all pretentious like some artists we have seen.

Mark Titchner works in a wide variety of media, often combining new technologies with more traditional craft techniques.  An overarching interest is the ways in which communication engenders belief.  Text commonly features within his work and he draws from a wide range of sources including song lyrics, advertising slogans, corporate mission statements and political manifestos. 

Newly commissioned works will be shown alongside key works from the artist’s past practice.  Amongst the brand new works will be a video portrait of Nicholas Bullen, a founding member of Napalm Death, and an enormous banner that combines digital image manipulation with the raw structure of a breeze-block wall.

The exhibition is presented as part of Home of Metal, a celebration of the music that was born in the Black Country and Birmingham.  Created and produced by Capsule, the project brings people together to share their passion and to explore themes of Heavy Metal through exhibitions, film screenings, live events, a conference and family friendly activities.  Four decades since Heavy Metal was unleashed onto an unsuspecting world, Home of Metal honours a truly global musical phenomenon.

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