Cuba In Waiting Solo Show In Autumn Programme At Dean Clough Galleries In Halifax, UK

 

Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax
AUTUMN EXHIBITIONS
Private View: Saturday, 18th October 2014 from 12 noon to 3.00pm
 
(Main shows continue until Jan 3rd 2015)
 
Dean Clough Autumn Show Invitation
 
Photography Gallery
Erik Knudsen: Cuba in Waiting
October 18th 2014 to January 3rd 2015
 
Film maker, photographer and University of Salford professor, Erik Knudsen was invited to see Cuba ‘before Fidel Castro died’. That was in 1998 and Castro (albeit ghosted by his brother Raul) is still, very much, alive. Knudsen’s thoughtfully constructed, colour-bleached photographs have been amassed over the last four years and depict a string of poised yet static incidents in bars, paddocks and arenas across Havana Province. While acknowledging the genuine reverence that Castro commands, Knudsen also lays bare the poverty and repression that hold a renownedly educated and energetic people in check. “Everyone”he says, “is waiting for change”.
 
 
Crossley Gallery
Jo Brown: Open Pathways
October 18th 2014 to January 3rd 2015
The last element to fall into place in this substantial show of abstract paintings and drawings was the title. Most conceptual artists know exactly where they’ll end up before they open their studio door; but when Jo Brown (b. 1945 and a ‘Dean Clough artist’ for some two decades) starts a painting, she doesn’t know what it will be. “This ‘not knowing’ is very important to me,” she says “because of the improvisatory, intuitive way in which I work, which depends on being sensitive to what is happening as a painting unfolds. The natural world is always there somewhere in the background as I explore the feeling of landscape through colour. So, my use of colour is much more about feelings than figuration”. The fact that Jo is widely collected (by municipal galleries as much as private collectors) and pays homage to Turner, Matisse, Heron, John Hoyland, Gary Wragg and Paul Tonkin offers a reassuring set of imprimaturs to those made nervous by abstract work. However, all they really need to do is access the paintings in the same disembarrassed spirit that Jo creates them. Here is pleasure, excitement and joy. So it was heartless of us to laugh when she dialled the title through. It reminded us of the remark by ‘Yogi’ Berra the baseball player – ‘When you come to a fork in the road, take it’. “Oh I like that,” said Jo. “Can we get it into the invitation?” Almost certainly not, we responded.
 
 
Upstairs Galleries
Chris Cullen: The Ingenious Gentleman
October 18th 2014 to January 3rd 2015
Todmorden-based artist Chris Cullen (b. Chorley 1948) has been carrying around Cervante’s satire on chivalric conventions  – ‘El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha’ – since 1982. He’d even convinced himself that he’d read it… until in 2010 someone presented him with the full text (the remarkable 2nd volume of which was printed exactly 400 years ago). Since then Chris has been compulsively generating scenes from the book in both paint and ceramics. Given that even Picasso and Dali couldn’t dislodge the hegemony of Gustave Doré’s 19th C. illustrations, you might wonder what Chris was hoping to achieve. He’s the first to admit that his oil paintings owe everything to Doré’s imagery and reveals that he found a forgotten copy of Dali’sQuixote in his teenage sketchbooks. And while it is evident that (unlike the many sentimental, theatrical adaptations) Chris has grasped Cervante’s uncannily post-modern epistomology; there is no intrusive literary exegesis in this extensive show. “I just had the book in my head. I wanted to elaborate it, to see it in full colour, to get the full tilt of Quixote, to get that roundness… what I really wanted was a pop-up book!”. It’s an unapologetic celebration, then; and an exhibition as much BY an ‘ingenioso hidalgo’ as it is ABOUT one.
 
 
Illustration Gallery
David Roberts: Tales of Terror
October 18th 2014 to January 3rd 2015
 
David Roberts (b. Liverpool, 1970) studied fashion design at Manchester Metropolitan University and recalls working (hyphen-etically) as a hat-maker, shelf-stacker, egg-fryer, hair-washer, film-extra and coffee-maker before illustrating his first book (‘Frankie Stein’s Robot’ by Roy Apps) in 1998. Equally at home with colour as he is with black-and-white, David has gone on to visualise the scribblings of many leading children’s authors. Collaborators include previous children’s laureates, Jaqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson, among many others. Roberts cites influences from Heath Robinson, Edward Gorey and Gustave Doré. In this beautifully mounted show (curated by Chris Mould) he displays an impressive aptitude for the monochrome image as he brings Chris Priestley’s chilling ‘Tales of Terror’ to life with a mesmerising array of minutely detailed drawings.
 
 
Seminar Gallery
Stephen Weir: And While We Play Tennis
October 18th 2014 to January 3rd 2015
 
Stephen Weir (b. Ripon 1954) has spent a lot of time in the South of France where he paints abstracts under the Languedoc sun. This exhibition, however, centres on his mixed-media, boxed collages. “My collages are about living in a frenzied, media-dominated 21st Century in the UK where we are constantly bombarded by news through virulent electronic media,” he says.“…This is the opposite of life in Southern France”. Weir (who was tutored by Terry Frost at Reading in the Seventies) admits to being drawn to 24hr news coverage but “watches in bewilderment the absurd events that are revealed“. Instead of generating a sense of global inclusion, he argues, the ‘media blare’ creates a sense of isolation and alienation. “These works are secret documents exhibited for you, the viewer, to decode and unravel”.
 
 
Link Gallery
Boffinworld
October 18th 2014 to January 3rd 2015
 
From the dawn of the steam-powered engine to the potentially vivid sunset of the nuclear power station, Britain is justly proud of its scientific achievements. Be it the transistor or the World Wide Web, the nation’s historic contribution to the global supermarket of ideas stands as proudly as any loss-leader should. Today though, as the chill wind of austerity threatens to numb the digits that gave the world its first programmable computer, the cry goes up: “Can we yet use this wind to fan the embers of our inspiration and restore the white heat of technology?”
And for that we need Boffinworld. 
Experimental yet economical, Boffinworld is a heady blend of research and recreation. In a holiday camp atmosphere Britons can relax among the rocketry and LEARN from LEISURE. From the Manhattan project to the Bikini Atoll, extraordinary endeavours have always needed luxurious locations and so it is that ‘from the Big Bang to the tequila slammer’ Boffinworld aims to put the fun back into physics. Realised here is the first Boffinworld project; a response to the L.G.M. question. Its S.E.T.I. project (Send Extraterrestrials Tea Immediately) uses cold war technology to deliver a hot beverage. The ‘Brown Streak’ projectile will deliver a payload of warm, soothing tea to our neighbours in this universe or beyond.
 
 
PLUS…
 
Missing Link Gallery
Ian C. Taylor: Incoming
Ongoing
 
Now and for the foreseeable furore, we’re pleased to announce that the Bradford-based artist Ian C. Taylor (b. Derby 1945) has volunteered to stud the cubic terminus of the Link Gallery with his unique brand of found and occasionally profound art. Ian began working at Bradford School of Art in 1969, was once “a freelance sculptor for TV”, claims inspiration from both Gaudier-Brzeska and Fred Astaire and is collected by the likes of Sir Terrance Conran, Andy Goldsworthy, Stephen Frears and Albert Hunt.  A geyser-ish celebration of the imagination’s fecundity.
 
 
Mur d’entrée
People, Places and Things (Monterblanc and Sowerby Bridge)
October 18th 2014 to January 3rd 2015
A mutual interest in ‘The Stereophonics’ led to a long-lasting friendship between Sowerby Bridge resident, Irene Murphy, and Monterblanc resident, Gaëlle Favennec. Gaëlle recently became deputy mayor of the Brittany town – which precipitated an exchange of digital photographs between the two locales. “We have a new media library,” Gaëlle writes in brave English. “So I thought of my friend, Irene Murphy who paint, and I asked her if she will be interested to exhibit here. She answered me ‘why not’ and all started at this time. She presented me this project of pictures of Sowerby Bridge and Monterblanc and I found it was a really good idea!”. The project is also a welcome chance to celebrate Sowerby Bridge in Halifax; and to reflect on the cultural understanding displayed by Gaëlle who – fortunately – realised that “why not?” is a northern indication of enthusiasm.
 
 
FAQ’s about Dean Clough Gallery Private Views…
 
1.   How do I get to Dean Clough?
See www.deanclough.com for a downloadable pdf map or ring reception on 01422 250250
 
2.   Can I bring someone else to the Private View?
Yes. Everyone is welcome. The Private Views are a major social event in the regional arts calendar which are typically attended by over 200 people – including children!
 
3.   Are the exhibitions open during weekdays?
Yes. The Dean Clough Galleries are open seven days a week from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Entry is free.
 
4.   Do I have to pay for parking?
You do not have to pay for parking on weekends (so the Private View is ‘free’) but you do have to pay for parking on weekdays.
 
5.   Why do FAQ’s never answer the question I really want to know?
Ha! You’re very welcome to email Vic Allen on victorallen@btconnect.com if you have a specific problem.
 
 
Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax HX3 5AX • Tel: 01422 250250 • www.deanclough.com