Friday, 21 December 2012

Advent Thanks!

There are just two days left of Advent + Adventure. Thank you to everyone who came out to the Advent Preview and to everyone who visited the exhibition over the past few weeks.

Congratulations to Kay Steven who won Best in Show! And to Omi Pharncote, James Sebright, Jayamini da Silva, who received Honorable Mentions, from the jurors at situationRHUBARB. We look forward to planning a show with Kay Steven in the New Year!

A final thanks the fine local businesses who sponsored the prizes: Pink Lane Coffee, the Biscuit Factory Kitchen, and Teasy Does It. Support your local businesses!

There are a few more great photos of the preview by photographer, Andy Barker after the jump!

Monday, 3 December 2012


“For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the site of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory, and the glory of your people Israel.” Luke 2:30-32

Friday 7th December, 18.30-22.00

The Christmas tinsel monster is looming, and while the festive season is an exciting but busy season for many,  we invite you to join us in to taking some time out from the endless shopping lists and parties to reflect on what Advent and Christmas might really mean for us all. The evening will be an opportunity to corporately and individually respond to advent as a time anticipation for Jesus’ coming, his life and his ministry, but also his return and our preparation and expectation for this. There will be space engage with each other and God through music, discussion, drawing, dance, prayer, food and the scriptures, all the things we love at the Holy Biscuit!
We will be praying specifically for
  • God's blessing in the arts in Newcastle and for the work of the Holy Biscuit.
  • Cuts by Newcastle City Council to Arts Funding
  • Christian artists in the development of their professional practice
  • Greater collaboration in the arts scene in Newcastle
We would love to see you there! There will also be an opportunity to see our ADVENTURE & ADVENTURE exhibition, which is currently showing. Go to our Facebook event and let us know you are coming.
If you have anything that you think we should be focusing our prayers on, do get in touch.

For more information email 
The Holy Biscuit, 1 Clarence Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1YH

Saturday, 1 December 2012

'Christmas is happening' is happening

It's happening indeed.

The project, in it's third year, pairs one artwork with one piece of music, for each day leading up to Christmas day.

Enjoy this kickoff to the advent project with a futuristic interpretation of Christmas in 2040. The Earth as we know it is no more, and neither is Christmas. There is no snow or Christmas trees because we all live underwater, though some festive traditions are still kept in this post-apocalyptic underwater encampment.

Christmas is Happening

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Advent + Adventure - sneak peek

Andrew Barker, Approach, 2012

My, my! Advent is nearly upon us and we're *almost* ready to start warming that mulled wine! There's some real gems in this exhibition and we're pleased with the way the lovely ladies of Situation Rhubarb have put it all together. It's a really diverse collection of work with some profound and challenging approaches to expectation, waiting and adventure.

Make sure you come down tomorrow evening to experience it in full and to see who made it to 'Best in Show' as well as have your ears caressed by the Alex Ross and the Sons of Encouragement. It's sure to be a real nice start to the weekend.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Invitation to Advent + Adventure

I know we've been harping on about this. But we wanted to officially invite you the exhibition preview for ADVENT + ADVENTURE, on FridayNovember 30, at 6:00pm, for which you can look forward to some great art, music, mulled-wine, and seasonal treats. Artists from all backgrounds have been invited to explore the Christmas season through themes of waiting, expectation, and preparation. This year's exhibition will be juried by Newcastle-based curators Sheila Gonzalez and Hannah Marsden of Situation Rhubarb

Submissions for the exhibition are due this Monday, November 19. We are accepting a wide range of work. Prizes will be given and Best in Show will have the opportunity to exhibit their own work, or to curate a show, in our gallery space. There are a range of additional prizes from local sponsors around the city so why not submit some work or encourage artists you know to do so.

For more information on how to submit click here

You have the weekend to create something seasonally grand!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Silver & Gold

It's here! Silver & Gold: Songs for Christmas, Volumes 6-10, Sufjan's followup to his 2006 5-EP compilation, Songs for Christmas. It all feels like forever ago and that's probably because I've listened to it every December for the last five or so years.

American friends, Sufjan's North American tour, "Surfjohn Stevens Christmas Sing-A-Long: Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant on Ice," kicks off at the end of this month. If you can still snag tickets, why not take a chance and check it out?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Guerrilla Knit:Yarn Bomb Incoming!!!

The Guerilla Knit is fast approaching, and with it our knitting needles are clicking together at an ever-increasing pace! Hope you can make it on the day, we can't wait to see your contributions (and our fence can't wait to be wrapped up in time for winter, it's a little on the blue side).

As we all know, no knitting event is complete without afternoon tea. Please feel free to demonstrate your baking prowess and bring cake contributions too!

For more details visit our facebook event

Monday, 29 October 2012

Young David Picturebook Exhibition

Exhibition Preview: Friday 9 November, 7-8.30pm
Exhibiton: 12-25 November

The Holy Biscuit is excited to be hosting a Children's Picture Book exhibition, by our very own Intern and illustrator, Amy Barnes! The exhibition will feature original illustrations from the Young David Picturebook series by Fiona Vietch Smith and will also include a sneak preview of work in progress for the upcoming title David and the Lonely Prince. For more details on the series go to Crafty Publishing

At the exhibition preview on Friday 9 November, there will be free cheese and wine, and if that's not enough to tempt you, there will also be an opportunity to buy signed copies of the books (by Amy and Fiona). They are ideal Christmas presents for children 4 - 7.

If you can't make it along to the preview, please come down and have a look at the exhibition which runs from 12-25 November, gallery opening hours are 11.00-16.00.

For more details, go to the Facebook event

Friday, 19 October 2012


Hello biscuit bloggers, first off let me introduce myself.

I’m Andy Barker, an intern here at the Holy biscuit, a Fine Art Graduate, photographer, music lover and someone who believes that art and God, or to put it another way, art and faith, can work together to form something beautiful. Not only that they can, but that they should work together, in conversation, but it seems to me that all too often Christians don’t like to engage with art, but why?

Well, “Faith” and, to a slightly lesser degree, “art” are words that bring to mind dusty rooms full of mystical things. With faith we think of monks reverently going about their holy duties, or if new-atheism’s definition is more your thing then we imagine someone choosing to close their metaphorical eyes and ears to logic and leaping forth into fairy tales and ancient myths, but faith is far more relevant than you might think.

At its most basic, faith is simply believing in something, whether that be a deity who we entrust with all aspects of our life or the chair I trust to hold my weight. Both are acts of faith based on a belief we hold in the object of that belief. We all exhibit faith to some degree.

Now art is a muddled subject at the best of times and as soon as you prefix it with “modern” “postmodern” or “contemporary” then God help us if we want to understand what it’s going on about… right?

Art, as seen in the Tate modern and Turner prize lists, may appear to be non-beautiful, elitist and confusing but art, like faith, points to something other than itself. If, for instance, the object of one’s faith is God, so, in much of today’s art, the object of one’s art is an idea or concept. Both Art and Faith direct our attention to something beyond themselves.
Let’s take an example we might recognise; Damien Hirst’s “The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living” aka his Tiger Shark in formaldehyde is a piece of art which conveys a concept. Hirst aimed to use the preserved shark as a way of forcing us to consider our own mortality. A shark, one specifically chosen because it is capable of eating a human, is suspended in a life like state in a way that allows the viewer freedom to observe it, all the while knowing that were we this close in the shark’s natural habitat things wouldn’t end well for us. This is art as a vehicle for a concept, regardless of your view of this work’s merit or its effectiveness at communicating its chosen concept, we can begin to see how faith and art are not worlds apart; they both draw our gaze past themselves and onto their chosen object.

Art has always dealt with concepts, some big, some small, some commissioned by monarchs and some dreamt up by surrealist revolutionaries. But a concept without a vehicle for engaging with it is nothing more than a thought, and the same applies for faith without an object.

I guess what I want to ask is: If art is accustomed to dealing with concepts, why, when it comes to concepts of faith and belief, are they often presented by those who believe them, in thinly veiled and shallow ways? Mr Hirst may have posed the question of death and mortality to his audience with his suspended Shark but he didn’t offer any answers. He simply (and effectively) asked big questions. So where are the debaters, the philosophers, the thinkers and the believers who could rouse our thoughts and feelings by posing their own ideas, their concepts, their questions and their faith in equally engaging and compelling ways?

But we cannot (and shouldn't) all be Damien Hirsts; even Damien Hirst is no longer the same man who pickled a shark and a few farm yard animals. We need artists, art lovers and creative folk who ask the questions that matter to them, hold out the answers they think fit and do all this in a way that reflects who they are, that fits their ideas and that fits, or fights, their culture.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Guerrilla Knit: Calling all Knitters, Yarn-bomb incoming!

"Our street art does many things. It takes a woolly hold on forgotten public spaces and gives them soul. It treats the whole world as an art gallery. It encourages others to bring their own city to life in ways only they can imagine." -Knit the City

The Holy Biscuit are commissioning a piece of public art and we need the help of your knitting group!  
We need people to knit and crochet coverings for our fence to celebrate our green space and to bring a dash of colour and creativity to our community.

Our 'Guerrilla Knitting' event will take place at the gallery on Saturday 17th November, 1-3pm where we will assemble our pre-knitted coverings as well as taking some afternoon tea. We have 224 fence posts to cover so get started as soon as possible.

Do spread the word to all Tyneside knitting groups and anyone else you think might like to be involved and if you have any questions do not hesitate to get in touch! 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Missa: Contemporary Dance @ St Dominic's Priory

The Holy Biscuit is delighted to be writing about Missa, an upcoming dance performance by the Elliot Smith Company. Having premiered in Westminster Cathedral last year, Missa is a contemporary dance work inspired by the structures and gestures of the Mass.

Our good friend Dominic White (founder of Cosmos Dance) is patron of Elliot Smith’s Company and is excited about contemporary dance in the Ouseburn area. He is hosting the performance, this Saturday the 17th October, 7.30pm, @ St. Dominic’s Priory, Newcastle.

Why not come and catch this one off performance in the beautiful priory? With contemporary dance accompanied by live music and lighting within stunning architecture, this is a show not to miss!

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Call for Entries : ADVENT & ADVENTURE

Exhibition: December 1-20  
Opening Reception: Friday, November 30, 6.00-7.30pm

The Holy Biscuit is invites artists to participate in our second annual Advent exhibition, ADVENT & ADVENTURE, exploring the season of Advent and Christmas.

Advent is a season of expectation and preparation. For Christians, it is to commemorate the coming of the Messiah and the anticipation of His return. For the Western consumer it is the beginning of the hustle and bustle of the festive season. For some it is both and for some it is neither. We invite you to submit art works that explore these ideas of Advent, anticipation, and adventure this time of year.


We are open to submissions of art works in any form however in some cases, we may not be able to accommodate extra-large paintings, sculptures and installations due to space and hanging capabilities.
D-rings are preferred for 2D works; picture wire is acceptable. Artists working in installation will be responsible for installing their work and coordinating with members of Holy Biscuit staff.

Please submit JPEG images of original works to
The deadline for submissions is Monday, November 19. Artists will be notified by Friday, November 23. Accepted works should be delivered to The Holy Biscuit by Monday, November 26, and must be ready to install.

If delivering by post, our address is:
The Holy Biscuit
1 Clarence Street
Newcastle upon Tyne


This year's Advent exhibition will be juried by emerging Newcastle-based curators, Sheila Gonzalez and Hannah Marsden. Sheila and Hannah founded Situation Rhubarb, a unique non-venue based visual arts organization in 2011. They are currently working with artist Rebecca Travis to produce a site-specific exhibition at a home in Heaton. Sheila and Hannah are active members of the Newcastle arts community and are alumni of Newcastle University's Art Museum and Gallery Studies MA program. 
More information about Situation Rhubarb and their work can be found at their website.


Jurors will give awards for Best in Show as well as other honorable mentions at the opening reception. 

Best in Show will be given the opportunity to have a solo show, or to curate their own show, at the Holy Biscuit. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us directly with any inquiries or concerns, at

Monday, 1 October 2012

Risking Mystery: Contemporary Arts & Sacred Worship

Our new friends at Arts & Christianity Ireland are having a conference on Art and Worship. This would be something great to check out if you are able to get over to Ireland for the weekend. For more information and see their Facebook Page.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Sacred Harp Workshop with Cath & Phil Tyler

It is a privilege to welcome Cath & Phil Tyler back to Holy Biscuit as we host a Sacred Harp Singing Workshop in the Vestry. Sacred Harp Singing is a very special type of acapella, polyphonic, communal singing which is rooted in the rich cultural traditions of the Southern United States. 

Having been described as "Loud, unrestrained and almost raucous" it is accessible for anyone, from those who have been trained classically and need to be 'liberated' (!) to those of you who are convinced you are tone deaf. (Phil Tyler himself was in that boat before Cath introduced him - and he clearly hasn't looked back!)

Sacred Harp also has a rich tradition of community and friendship at its heart, and I have it on good authority that most of these workshops end with a trip to the pub and for a continuation of the jollity.

So, come down for 2pm on Saturday 29th September - entry is free and refreshments are provided. It looks to be a great afternoon!

Monday, 13 August 2012

An Olympic-size Reflection

oceaniaeuropeamericasafricaasia from gustavo sousa on Vimeo.

For the past sixteen days, the world's five inhabited continents united, to compete and celebrate the athletic achievements of the global community in the Pangaea-like super celebration known as the Olympic Games. London 2012 is over and on August 29, the Paralmypics will begin. The conversations surrounding the long-term sustainability and impact of the games will materialize more fully.

In Oceaniaeuropeamericasafricaasia, graphic designer Gustavo Sousa, uses the iconic olympic rings graphic to visually interpret worldwide data, on statistics such as, obesity, gun ownership, McDonald's outlets, population, homicides, people living with HIV, etc., where each ring represents a continent.

What's most interesting, is that no continent is assigned a specific color, forcing the viewer to give an educated guess to which ring represents which continent. The varying ring sizes and anonymity in each graph and the use of the iconic Olympic logo, underscores some serious inequalities that we share in the face of unity.

In an interview with FastCompany, Sousa says: "The rings represent healthy competition and union, but we know the world isn’t perfect. Maybe understanding the differences is the first step to try to make things more equal."

Friday, 10 August 2012

In His Own Words

David Taylor-In His Own Words from The Austin Stone on Vimeo.

Meet the enthusiastic David Taylor, former arts pastor at Hope Chapel in Austin, Texas, who is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in theology and the arts at Duke Divinity School, in Durham, North Carolina. A friend recently turned me on to his blog on art, theology, and his life as an arts pastor, and at her behest, I've slowly started to make my way through blogposts dating back to February 2006 (let's just say that Taylor is prolific and consistent and leave it at that).

In His Own Words says so much, that it feels impossible to summarize and should be an overall encouragement and an exhortation to everyone who watches it.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices

The Welcome Wagon--Vito Aiuto, a Brooklyn-based Presbyterian minister, and his wife Monique-- released a new album yesterday, through Sufjan's Asthmatic Kitty Records.

Vito explains:
“This album has a somewhat liturgical structure, ordered loosely like a worship service. It begins with the existential and cosmic dread of ‘I’m Not Fine,’ immediately followed by ‘My God, My God, Parts 1 & 2,’ a prayer that rails against God’s seeming absence from this world and our lives. The words are adapted from the prayer of Jesus while he hung on the cross.  
“It continues with the assurance of redemption (‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives’), which then extends to friendship with God and with one another (‘Rice & Beans,’ ‘High’).” 
Listen to the new album and read more about it here.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

My Dog, My House, Our Newcastle Launch

Photo by Richard Fish
We are delighted to be able to invite you to the launch of My Dog, My House, Our Newcastle exhibition on Saturday 23rd June 2012.

Following photography workshops at THB in March led by Richard Fish and Louise Todd, Newcastle-based photographers and Graduate Studio Northumbria artists, children were given disposable cameras and asked to document their lives, finding beauty in the ordinary and everyday. The exhibition will feature photographs taken by Year 3/4 students from St Catherine’s Primary, Sandyford and Christchurch School Shieldfield, alongside the work of the artists.
The launch will begin with a garden party from 4pm which will also feature musical and dramatic performances by the students as well as home-made lemonade, strawberries & cream and garden games. Rumour has it that the circus will be there too!

From 6.30pm there will be a wine reception...and the garden games will continue.

My Dog, My House, Our Newcastle is part Outside/In--a programme of exhibitions inspired by London 2012, involving young people and adults from different parts of Newcastle, showcasing their histories, cultures and communities.

A few photos after the jump:

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Call For Papers: Arts & Christianity Ireland

Risking Mystery: Contemporary Arts and Sacred Worship

Arts & Christianity Ireland seek abstracts for their upcoming one-day conference, Risking Mystery: Contemporary Arts and Sacred Worship to be held 20 October 2012 at Avila Carmelite Retreat Centre, Dublin. The fourth in a series of conferences focusing on contemporary arts and Christianity, we are interested in submissions from across all artistic disciplines as well as relevant theological papers. The conference, while primarily aimed at contemporary artists, seeks to speak also to pastoral leaders, theologians and members of the public interested in the intersection of faith and contemporary arts. In conjunction with the conference, there will be an exhibition and a recital/performance.

Possible questions to consider:
How do we speak of mystery in relation to contemporary arts? How is sacred mystery revealed/explored/expressed in contemporary art? Is there an intersection between worship and contemporary arts in mystery? Do contemporary arts have a role in unveiling sacred mystery in places of worship?

Abstracts of no more than two pages double-spaced for 35-40 minute presentations (followed by panel discussion) should be submitted along with cover letter and C.V. to Committee Secretary Donna Mae Linton ( The deadline for proposals is 22 June 2012.

Arts & Christianity Ireland is a burgeoning organisation whose mission includes nourishing artists who create works inspired by Christian themes; promoting these works in the public domain; and fostering dialogue with Churches on the role these contemporary artworks can play in the faith lives of their members. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

PlayToon & PlayOut - Outside/IN

Sebastian Messer of Northumbria's School of the Built & Natural Environment installs the exhibition. Image Courtesy PlayToon.

This week marks the official launch of Outside/IN. The PlayToon exhibition is installed in the Sanctuary and preparations for this weekend are going forward. The official launch of the project will be this
Friday at 6pm and the PlayOut event will run from 4pm - Late on Saturday.

PlayOut will be hosted by Urban Games. There will be a half pipe in our back garden for skateboarders and BMX, Parkour by North East Parkour, street dancing, DJs and more.

The exhibition features photography, video, words and more mysterious objects from Tyneside skate, BMX and PK scenes: work from Bish, Peter Greaves, Ben Larthe, Jacob Garthwaite, Liam Whitfield, Adam Thirtle, Sam Hutchinson, Daniel Dale, Johnny Haynes and many others. All welcome, free event.

The modern Olympic games as we know it, provides a platform for not only excellence in international sport, but also for social and cultural regeneration. Outside/IN is inspired by the Olympics and Paralympic values of courage, determination, inspiration, and inclusivity, Outside/IN Project provides a space for the community of Newcastle to share their lives, histories, and cultures.  

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

'Our Newcastle' + Richard Fish

Richard Fish, Photographer. from Richard Hirst on Vimeo.

Preparations for 'Our Newcastle,' THB's photography project with local photographers, Richard Fish and Louise Todd, and students from Christchurch Shieldfield and St. Catherine's Primarys, are coming along nicely. Cameras have been collected from both schools and are getting ready to be sent off!

Enjoy this short film Fish by local filmmaker, Richard Hirst.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Cosmos Dance Workshop - This Saturday

Come down the Holy Biscuit this Saturday for the Cosmos Dance Workshop, led by Fr. Dominic White and hosted by THB. The workshop will be an introduction to the Cosmos Dance, an innovative project that seeks to reconnect the arts, spirituality, and the environment.

10.30 - 2.00 pm

Film, presentation, dance improv class, and discussion over a soup lunch! £5 / £3 for students and unwaged.

Learn more about Cosmos:

And listen to Dominic's presentation from Recreation 2012:
Sacred Dance: Can Spirituality Be Fun? (Updated--25 April 2012)

Monday, 23 April 2012

Recreation: Writing Workshop Links

For those who participated in Fiona Veitch Smith's writing workshop, here are some links to online resources she recommends:

Free online Christian Writing course:

Other free courses:

Other free resources on the business and craft of writing:

Recreation2012 - Thank you!

Recreation 2012 was a success this year! We were able to Reflect on Recreation as a whole, as we took down the show last week. A big 'Thank you,' to everyone who participated in the conference and came to see the exhibition, and especially to Morphe Arts. We hope you enjoyed the lectures and discussions. 

As we look forward to next year, feel free to send us any feedback and thoughts about this year's conference, or any recommendations for next year.

More pictures after the jump

Monday, 26 March 2012

Recreation Exhibition 1st-18th April

Here at the Holy Biscuit, we've been so busy getting things ready for the Recreation conference, that it might seem that we have forgotten to promote our three week exhibition of the same name. Curated by Morphé Arts, the show will feature some fabulous work by London-based artists, Liza CuccoAlastair Gordon, and Lucinda Metcalfe, and Scotland-based artists Owen Daily and Cully

The Recreation Exhibition preview will be on Saturday 31st March, at 6.30pm. There will be wine and cheese, and live music from Cath and Phil Tyler!

Come back and see the exhibition, April 1-18, open daily from 11am-4pm.

Check out more work by exhibiting artists...

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Conference Programme Fri 30th March - Sat 31st March 2012

The second annual Holy Biscuit Conference, in association with Morphé Arts, will explore art as 
recreation. Early definitions of the word 'recreation' often include the word refresh. Who or what is being refreshed as we recreate? And to what end?

Friday 30th March

19.30 - Welcome, coffee and cake
20.15 - Fr. Dominic White - Sacred Dance: Can Spirituality be Fun?
21.15 - Making Faces - Award Giving Comedy

Saturday 31st March
09.30 - Welcome, coffee and cake
10.00 - Andrew Jones, The Unravelling of Creation: Sin and the Artistic Task
11.00 - Workshops
Fiona Veitch Smith - Writing as Worship and Witness
David Lisser - A Playful Experiment in Making and Re-making
12.30 - Farmhouse Lunch by Teasy Does It
14.00 - Alastair Gordon - Strange Place: How Does Contemporary Art Function in the Kingdom of God?
15.30 - Andrew Jones - The Reweaving of Creation: Christ and the Artistic Task

Recreation Exhibition PreviewFree and open to the public
Work by, Liza CuccoAlastair GordonCully, Lucinda MetcalfeOwen Daily
with Wine, Cheese, and Music by Cath & Phil Tyler 

Read BBC's Review of Cath and Phil Tyler's album, Dumb Supper.

The cost of the conference is £15 (£12 concessions) which includes a beautiful soup sit down lunch on Saturday. To book for the conference please email (or tel. 07525644703) by Friday 23rd March!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

New Music + A Love Supreme

John Coltrane at the Guggenheim, William Claxton, 1960

It's been an amazing week in music. Beach House confirmed their new album Bloom, a summer tour, and yesterday, they released their lead single "Myth." Sufjan and Rosie are collaborating on a Split 7", half of which, titled "Where Were You?", was released. Sufjan/Son Lux/Serengeti have released a track called "Museum Day." Poor Moon currently has their Illusions EP free on their website.

Yet in the midst of all of the new, I was called back a classic: the John Coltrane classic, A Love Supreme.  NPR's All Things Considered features the story of A Love Supreme as a part of NPR 100.

I'm now jazz aficionado, and for a long time, the only thing I knew about Coltrane was that he was a legend. I don't mean to undermine the music; but learning of this suite's deep personal significance for Coltrane, as a reaffirmation of faith, and a declaration of the marriage of music and faith, has given new ears to listen, to not only his mastery of his instruments and of his genre, but also the story of his journey.

Listen to The Story of 'A Love Supreme'

Friday, 24 February 2012

'recreation': Line Up Announced

Owen Daily, Restoration, 2011

We are very happy to announce that the exhibiting artists for recreation are:

Cully McCulloch

recreation: 1st April - 18th April 2012
Preview: Saturday 31st March 2012 6.30-8.30pm 

In addition, we are also very pleased to announce our recreation conference speakers for 30th/31st March:

Alastair Gordon - Director of Morphé Arts and painter
Andrew Jones - Hackney based Anglican minister and lover of art
Fr. Dominic White - Contemporary dancer, composer and priest
David Lisser - Newcastle based contemporary sculptor and bread baker.

The cost of the conference is £15 (£12 concessions) which includes a beautiful soup sit down lunch on Saturday. To book for the conference please email (or tel. 07525644703) by Friday 23rd March - book early to avoid disappointment!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Interview: David Lisser - 'The Future 2, 3 & 4'

The Midgecatcher's House detail, 2012.

David Lisser is an artist working and living in Newcastle where he graduated from Newcastle University in Fine Art in 2009. He is based at the Newbridge Studios in the city centre where he was recently involved in ‘Response: A Rural Urban Conversation’ with Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC). Since June 2011, he has been artist in residence for Allenheads Contemporary Arts in Northumberland, working under the theme of ‘The Future’. His final show, ‘The Future 2, 3 & 4,’ with Alan Smith and Liam Murray, opens this Saturday 28th January.

How would you describe your current work?

Sculpture is the simplest thing to describe it.  I generally work with wood primarily, but anything I can find – interesting bits of bike, copper. I tend to make things that look like they have a use – technologies or devices. I guess what drives that is technology and human relationship to technology, how it changes society, how we change as individuals what it promises to do to our lives.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Consider the Light

James Turrell from THE VIEWMAKERS' STUDIO on Vimeo.

Without light there would be darkness. Light allows the eye to see and the mind to perceive, color, value, texture and shape. James Turrell's exploration of light as an end unto itself, causes the viewers of his work to consider its power, and to experience its spiritual qualities.

Turrell comes from a Quaker background, spending hours in meetinghouses with his grandmother, learning to "wait upon" and to "greet" the light, in quiet meditation.

Consider Genesis 1, as you listen to Turrell talk about his work.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. (ESV)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Interview: Julia Tryon

THB recently did a studio visit and interview with Newcastle-based artist, JULIA TRYON and talked about her upcoming site-specific installation at Open Shop's Stairwell Gallery, opening this Friday, January 12, at 6pm.

Julia Tryon's work often blurs the distinction between photography, sculpture and painting, through the deconstruction and reconstruction of photographs of the natural world, and of fabricated models she creates in her studio. She investigates the human experience of architectural spaces and explores the interplay between two and three dimensions as well as the real versus the imaginary.

Finding an affinity for painting during her years as a fine art student at Newcastle University (where she earned her degree in 2008), she was encouraged to experiment in sculpture and installation, which led her to the work she does today. Tryon's installation at Empty Shop shows the traces and fragments of an old Hebridean house encountered on a walk on the Isle of Benbecula.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Recreation: A Conference & Exhibition - 30th-31st March 2012

We are pleased to announce that our annual conference title will be 'ReCreation, where we hope to explore the dynamics of art, faith and practice through lectures, discussions and a complementary exhibition. As The Holy Biscuit Community continues to grow to incorporate a wide range of artists from a variety of ages, backgrounds and training, this will be an important weekend to continue to develop a community of people, better equipped and inspired, to transform the North East (and the rest of Britain for that matter) into the new creation that Christ calls us into. Although the conference is primarily aimed at those who are wrestling with what it means to be a Christian and an artist, this is also a space for anyone in the creative arts to further reflect on their making and have the opportunity to ask questions about our responsibility as artists.

We are excited to be co-hosting it this year with Morphe Arts - a national network of Christian artists and designers who are passionate about seeing emerging artists (especially recent graduates) making good work, collaborating and pushing the boundaries of professional practice.

Save the date. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

New Year, Art & Fear

Ten days into 2012 and I've finally laid out my creative resolutions for the year. I recently picked up my copy of Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, by David Bayles and Ted Orland, in an attempt to jump start things. This book was mandatory reading back in uni-days. Although I don't think it says much, overall, I've found this book to be the single most important book for me in my artistic development.

Here's an excerpt from Art and Fear, on failure, process and community:
"You learn how to make your work by making your work, and a great many of the pieces you make along the way will never stand out as finished art. The best you can do is make art you care about--and lots of it. 
The rest is a matter of perseverance. Of course, once your famous [everyone] will circle back in droves to claim credit for spotting evidence of genius…But until your ship comes in, the only people who will really care about your work are those who care about you personally. Those close to you know that making the work is essential to your well being. They will always care about your work if not because it is great, then because it is yours--and this is something to be genuinely thankful for. Yet how ever much they love you, it still remains as true for them as for the rest of the world: learning to make your work is not their problem."
What are your fears in artmaking? Where is your work going this year? What is stopping it from getting there? Answer these questions to yourself and share them with your community.

The year ahead will hold challenges, successes and inevitably, failures. And thank God for the failures, which are essential in development.
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