‘They were every extreme I knew’
Preview 23.03.18 / 12.00 – 15.00
Exhibition 24.03.18 – 07.04.18
‘They were every extreme I knew’ is Elaine Robertson’s first solo exhibition in the North East. Born in 1995 in Consett, County Durham, she is in her final year at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford.
Robertson explores ‘feminine protagonists’ through the lineage of painting, drawing her imagery from a mental archive of personal experience, art history and popular culture. She distances herself from source material through drawing to aim to create humorous, often boisterous figures which demand the both the space of the canvas and the space in which they are hung. As a stand up and sketch comedian she is interested in the idea of humour as a device which can disarm the viewer through an immediate emotional response.
The concept of ‘imaginative projection’ or the way in which figures in paintings can be used as a visual que for ‘reality’ is something she considers when making the work. When interacting with a figurative painting or portraiture, our interest with the ‘character’ depicted can strongly precede how we read formal aspects due to a more immediate interest in human relations. She is interested in the extent to which we interact with feminine painterly protagonists as ‘dolls’ or narrative devices to project our own stories and experiences onto.
She is interested in how family, friends, a painting of the Madonna and pop stars all exist simultaneously in our personal mental archives of feminine protagonists, ready to be activated when interacting with certain figurative works.
Painting and drawing is used here as an attempt to disrupt, perform and even subvert this process of association.
The AV Festival
Meanwhile, What About Socialism?
03.03.18 – 31.03.18
George Orwell’s book The Road to Wigan Pier is the thematic framework for AV Festival 2016–2018. Part Two takes place from 3 – 31 March 2018 and presents work by visual artists and filmmakers, who all in different ways answer the question ‘Meanwhile, what about Socialism?’, inviting us to think about alternative futures to neoliberalism. The Festival features work by 21 artists and collectives from 13 countries, across ten venues in Newcastle and Gateshead.