In the last two weeks there have been two shows opening at Watt Space Gallery, Newcastle that I have been fortunate (and busy) enough to be involved in. One is Coast to Coast, curated by Danielle Minett. Daniel and I were two of the lucky folk to take part in an art tour conducted by Newcastle University to Los Angeles and New York in June and July of 2015.
AS you can see, there was a good sized list of contributors, including two of the artists that we visiting in their studios - Claudia Parducci and Kiel Johnson. I wold encourage everyone to take a look online of these two artists. That they are radically different in their work and approach is one of the factors that made this tour so beneficial; being exposed to the work of artists who do their thing so differently was one of the most mind expanding effects of this tour.
Other artists we met were Ian Burns in New York and Max Presneill in Los Angeles, again, two very different artists who were able to show and talked to us about different important facets of working as an artist. Again, take a look at their websites to get some idea of the work they do. Coincidentally, Ian was in Newcastle at the time of this exhibition opening and his work will be at the MCA in Sydney very soon.
Installation still shot from Coast to Coast, 2016
A video produced for this exhibition, also named Coast to Coast, was installed in the Window Box section of the gallery, along with photographs submitted to a dedicated Facebook group album collected during the tour. The video and photographs both documented many of the art works seen and communicated the the intense, multilayered experience of the tour, taking place as it did in two very different cities with a number of specific activities packed into most days.
Installation still shot of What is Faith? 2016
What is Faith? was produced as a result of this tour, with impressions left from being present at July 4th celebrations in New York, and various other experiences of the two large cities and their cultures.
I have to thank Dr Kit Messham-Muir for conducting the tour and making it possible for us to meet with the artists on tour; is personal connections and dedication and personal knowledge made the tour a richly rewarding experience.