Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Two for One; the Twin Talents of Two North East Artists Make for a Rewarding Show beside the Tyne, as David Whetstone Explains

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Two for One; the Twin Talents of Two North East Artists Make for a Rewarding Show beside the Tyne, as David Whetstone Explains

Article excerpt

Byline: David Whetstone

WHEN the Mushroom Works opened a few years ago as an artists' studio and gallery complex, it seemed a bit off the beaten track.

Proprietor Nick James saw the potential in the building, snapped it up and turned it into a hive of cultural activity.

The latest exhibition opened last weekend and can be viewed again today and tomorrow - and no longer does St Lawrence Road, Byker, seem quite so remote.

Northern Stage's rehearsal rooms are just up the road and a few weeks ago some of the biggest names in pop music (Duffy, Kate Nash and others) were performing at nearby Spillers Quay as part of the Evolution festival.

The new Mushroom Works exhibition is called Ourspace and it features the work of two of the resident artists - furniture maker Michael Armstrong and painter Eva Bauer.

Twinning artists in dual exhibitions is a bit of an art in itself. The work has to be complementary but different enough to generate interest.

Michael, who established a company called Afid Design in 2005, says he and Eva first exhibited together last year at the Art Expo on Newcastle Quayside.

Candidly he explains that the prime motive was to share costs.

But both were pleasantly surprised at the reaction of the public, some people suggesting it must have taken ages to work out which painting to hang above which bit of furniture.

There were similar reactions last weekend at the opening of Ourspace. Michael says of his furniture and Eva's paintings: "They almost sell each other."

This is true. A large, red, highly varnished painting by Eva screams for attention but also draws the eye to the legless and cornerless coffee table below, what Michael terms his T4 coffee table.

This is an extraordinary item and probably not quite like anything you have seen before. "It does have a flat top but I wanted to make a piece where all the edges are curved and where you didn't really see any straight lines," says Michael.

"I wanted to create a really organic form which most people probably wouldn't expect to see made of timber."

Michael has also made an acrylic version of the piece, a glossy piece of functional furniture with no visible joins at all. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.