Friday, 14 November 2014

What happens if.....

I am taking part in a group exhibition at Solihull Arts Complex with three other artists. We call ourselves ‘Four Seconds’ because we all graduated from Solihull College with Second Class Honours degrees in Fine Art.  This is our first collaborative exhibition bringing together a diverse collection of sculpture, painting and textiles.  What happens if…. sets out to explore themes of bereavement, personal emotions, observations and social comment.

My work is titled Fag Break. I got the idea because each morning from when I get off the train at Snow Hill Station and walk up to Ikon Gallery where I work my path is littered with smokers, banished from the warmth and comfort of their offices and forced out on to the streets.  Fag Break is a stitched narrative of my journey.  They stand huddled together sheltering from the rain or enjoying the early morning sunshine. They are perhaps chatting about last night’s TV or complaining about their new boss brought in to reduce headcount.   

For the lone smoker too it’s a chance to chat on Facebook, email or text, to maybe ring their other half to discuss whose turn it is to cook dinner.  For them their mobile is as much of a habit as their cigarettes.

The fag break is a by-product of the smoking ban, a necessary part of today’s changing office culture and the water cooler of today for smokers. 

Most of my resource material was from photographs I took on my way to work of the smokers standing around which was difficult without them knowing they were being photographed. However,  I found this chef having a crafty fag break sat outside the fire exit of the restaurant where he worked and he seemed quite happy after I told him what it was for, to pose while I snapped away. As an aside why is it that so many chefs are smokers as I so often see them and their kitchen staff hanging around out back of their pubs and restaurants in their chefs whites and chequered trousers. 

This is the work of Pamela Gregg whose personal experience of bereavement informed her work. 

Amanda Elliott's work focuses on personal emotions and her amazing sculpture made of layered plywood explores feelings of vulnerability and exposure.

Gareth Jones is a painter who draws on his own observations of the landscape.

Here Gareth has created a very textural abstract interpration of a waterfall.

Last night was our private view and thanks to family and many friends for coming along to see our work. The exhibition continues until 15 November.

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