Thursday, 6 August 2015

Shadow Play: Bringing people together through light and art

Photo: A Barker Photos











This Summer, we were excited to collaborate with artist Frances Arnold for Shadow Play, a project aiming to bring light into our community through art. Fran responded to the theme by creating playful activities for children at Hotspur Primary, members of our Painting for Fun class and visitors to Heaton Festival, where participants used light and shadow to explore their use of public space. Images created in these sessions were transformed by Fran into a paper and light installation reflecting the people that helped make it and bringing the life of the community into the gallery.

The different elements of the project had varied outcomes, and the flexibility of the activity helped us to fulfill our aims for each. We were pleased to provide a creative activity exploring light at Heaton Festival, run by a group of local churches aiming to bless the community. This was primarily about raising the profile of The Holy Biscuit as interactions with members of the public were engaging but short-lived, allowing us to sign-post many of the festival visitors to the work we do. Festival organisers were pleased to see the park animated in an 'enchanting and wonderfully simple way,' and we hope this is a partnership we can develop in the future.
"It is always a joy and a pleasure to have The Holy Biscuit involved in Heaton Festival, as a local Christian organisation who understand the desire to bless the community"  
Hannah Clarke-Stamp, Festival Director
Photo: Lorna Bryan                                       Photo: A Barker Photos                                 Photo: A Barker Photos          

The Painting for Fun session had a very different feel. As members of the group were already engaged with The Holy Biscuit, we were keen to use a more in-depth workshop to build on this existing sense of community. By beginning with a lunch, we were able to get to know the participants and establish a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The activities encouraged the group to have creative fun and develop their skills, whilst complimenting their usual painting activities. Kim Todd, the coordinator of the group, said that she had never heard them laugh so loudly, and it was a great afternoon for everyone involved! Throughout the year we have been encouraging group members to take part in projects outside of their usual sessions, and Shadow Play has been a great opportunity to continue this. The way we have seen them develop creatively and embrace new experiences clearly demonstrates the value of the arts in helping people to grow in confidence, and the role the Church can play in supporting this.
"They were laughing so much and having so much fun. They still talk about that day! It was good to see friendships deepened and new ones being made." 
Kim Todd, P4F Co-ordinator
We also enjoyed a visit to classes at Hotspur Primary. Unfortunately, rain stopped 'Shadow Play' on the  day, but we had just as much fun drawing and creating silhouettes inside! It has been a fantastic experience working with Fran over the past few months, and Shadow Play has provided a platform on which to build future projects exploring ideas of purpose, belonging and belief through creativity. In doing this we continue to fulfill our long term vision to help increase the Methodist Church's profile in engaging with the Arts and the Community.
"The project has furthered my ideas about the role drawing can take in public art - both as a means to engage people in the arts and challenge our preconceived notions of how we use public space. The project engaged various community groups with the arts activity and The Holy Biscuit. I think there is a lot of scope to develop the ideas from this project into a long term vision for THB's engagement with local community groups." 
Frances Arnold, Lead Artist
Photo: A Barker Photos
Amy Warmington, Events & Outreach Manager
The Holy Biscuit

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Shadow Play: An exhibition with the communities of Shieldfield and Heaton


OPENING: Thursday 2 July, 6pm - 8pm
EXHIBITION: 2 - 11 July (Gallery open 11am - 4pm, Tuesdays - Saturdays)

We are excited to launch details of our summer project! The Holy Biscuit is collaborating with artist Frances Arnold for a community project and exhibition as part of our ongoing programme to mark 2015 as the UN International Year of Light.

Shadow Play responds to the theme of light by creating playful activities for visits to local primary schools, community groups, and Heaton Festival, in which participants use sunlight and shadow to explore their use of public space. Residents of Shieldfield and Heaton will capture fleeting silhouettes through outline chalk drawings on pavements, walls and yards. These images will be transformed by the artist into an evolving art work in our gallery, resulting in a paper and light installation reflecting the community who created it. We will be visiting classes at Hotspur Primary, as well as running a session for our Painting 4 Fun class, who meet regularly at The Holy Biscuit.

We also invite members of the community to come and be a part of the project, by visiting our stand at Heaton Festival on Saturday 27th June, 12 noon to 5pm (the Festival itself is open until 7pm) so come and see us and get involved!

Heaton Festival: A community festival organised by Heaton Churches Together





About Frances Arnold:
Frances Arnold is an artist and arts project organiser with an interest in site-specificity and ephemerality, particularly in how we define ourselves through architecture, landscape and shared narratives. Process, materials, people and place are central to her practice. She often works with drawing, printmaking, paperfolding and text to create objects and installations. Arnold's current practice explores the relationships between public and private space; drawing and paper (as object) and ordinary or every day in the creation and exhibition of visual art. https://francesarnold.wordpress.com/

This project is generously supported by The Jerusalem Trust and the Newcastle Central and East Circuit of the Methodist Church. For more information about the project, please contact amy@theholybiscuit.org.uk





Wednesday, 1 April 2015

8 Minutes 20 Seconds

                                                                                                                              Sun Rocket - Helios Rocket 2, Helen Schell

THE LATE SHOWS EVENTS: 15 & 16 May, 7pm - 11pm
EXHIBITION: 16 May - 4 June (Gallery open 11am - 4pm, Tuesdays - Saturdays)

The Holy Biscuit is collaborating with Northumbria University's Think Physics project for an exhibition and events to coincide with the Late Shows. This show will be an artistic interpretation of the science behind the sun, marking 2015 as the UN International Year of Light. It takes 8 minutes 20 seconds for the light from the sun to reach the earth. Forming the basis for life on our planet, this enormous effect has been recognised since prehistoric times. Through artist interpretation and scientific exploration, we will look at how the sun creates light and how we interact with it.

Featuring work from artists Helen Schell, John Jo Murray, Sarah Davis and Emily Simpson, the show will be interspersed with fun scientific exhibits from the Think Physics team. This will be an interactive exhibition bringing both science and the arts to new audiences. Be among the first to see it as it comes alive at night with engaging activities that bring sunlight to The Late Shows on 15th & 16th May. 

THINK PHYSICS
Think Physics is a three year project based at Northumbria University. Their aim is to show students that studying science, particularly physics, opens doors to a wide range of interesting careers. As well as working with schools, they take physics out to the wider public through collaborations with art galleries, festivals and other community organisations. Visit their website for more information.

Helen Schell                         John Jo Murray             Sarah Davis                     Emily Simpson                                                           

HELEN SCHELL - http://thenewbridgeproject.com/portfolio/helen-schell/
Schell specialises in art projects inspired by space exploration and science of the cosmos. This involves collaborating with scientists and takes the form of mixed media installations, large paintings, smart materials, costumes and experimental books. Over the last year, she has been developing artworks about the visual appearance and science of the sun.

JOHN JO MURRAY - http://www.johnjomurray.net/
Murray's work hovers around notions of subtlety, he has been working with subtle errors in production for the last few years but has begun moving back into subtle changes in colour, variance and reflection of colour through light.

SARAH DAVIS - http://www.sarahgdavis.co.uk/
Thematically Davis is interested in Nature and the colossal age of our Earth. Her bright colours and bold motifs chart the Earth's origins and the part the sun and subsequent light played in its development, addressing our scientific understanding of light.

EMILY SIMPSON
As part of an ongoing photographic exploration Simpson has been examining notions of the photographic 'truth', reinterpreting the act of looking. By opening up a discourse between image and referent she gently questions notions of the assumed photographic 'truth', that the photographic image is a stencil of reality. This is achieved through the camera's capabilities, playing upon how the camera filters and processes light as distinct from the human eye.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Call for Propsals: Exhibition Opportunity at The Holy Biscuit


The Holy Biscuit is partnering with Northumbria University's Think Physics project and artists, for an exhibition and events to coincide with The Late Shows. This show will be an artistic interpretation of the science behind the sun, marking 2015 as the UN International Year of Light. We are looking for artists who are interested in exploring ideas of light in their practice.

Artist's Brief

It takes 8 minutes 20 seconds for light from the sun to reach the earth, forming the basis for life on our planet, this enormous effect has been recognised since prehistoric times. Through artist interpretation and scientific exploration, this show will look at how the sun creates light and how we interact with it.

We are inviting individuals of groups to respond to this theme. We seek original ideas for installation, films, paintings, photographs, interactive art or sculptures. This is an exciting opportunity for young, emerging or establish artists to showcase their work to our Late Shows audience and beyond. A fee of £150 is available for selected artists. We will accept submissions of work in any stage of development, but we are unable to cover the cost of materials for new work.

If you would like to be considered, please send two sides of A4 including:
  • CV and contact details (including samples of existing work)
  • An outline of your proposals and how it responds to the brief
  • Details about your piece(s) ie size / media / requirements
  • Supporting images
The call is open until Friday 20th March, work to be completed by end of April, please submit your proposals to:

Amy Warmington, amy@theholybiscuit.org.uk

Please get in touch for further information or guidance.

EXHIBITION: 15 May - 6 June
LATE SHOWS: 15/16 May


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

40 Days in the Dark: Spring Exhibition at The Holy Biscuit


PREVIEW: Thursday 12 March, 6pm - 8pm
EXHIBITION: 13 March - 2 April

As part of our programme to mark 2015 as the UN International Year of Light, our spring exhibition is inspired by a short film 'Return of the Sun'. This documentary by Glen Milner looks at an Inuit community in Northern Greenland, who spend 40 days of their winter in complete darkness. To tie this in with the season of lent, we are curating an exhibition which encourages people to imagine what it would feel like to live in darkness, waiting for the moment when the sun rises for the first time.

For this group show, we have invited artists to respond to the theme by exploring personal experiences of how creativity is a form of expression and hope, which can help us journey through dark places and into the light. Partnering with Newcastle and Gateshead Art Studio (NAGAS) the exhibition features work by some of its members, as well as powerful interpretations by other artists including Lorraine Udell, Fetlework Tesfaye and Kay Steven.

Kay Steven's mixed media installation is triggered by her experience of darkness bringing life and hope. She curates the residual aspects of a time of illness and recovery - handwritten notes, sounds, images and textiles, creating a space in the gallery for people to step into.

Fetlework Tesfaye is an Ethiopian born artist, now living in the UK. Through her evocative ceramics and paintings she explores her experience as a refugee, the anguish of displacement and the hope that helps her journey through it.

NAGAS is a service offering creative participation aimed at enhancing the quality of life, well being and social engagement of members. Provision is for those who are, or are a risk of, experiencing mental health problems and other forms of social exclusion within their communities. For more information visit their website.

If you would like to see the work of all these great artists and more, the exhibition will be open 13 March - 2 April, with a special preview on Thursday 12 March, 6pm - 8pm.

For more information contact Amy Warmington: amy@theholybiscuit.org.uk

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Call for Proposals: 40 Days in the Dark

video
OPEN CALL FOR ARTISTS
Spring Exhibition at The Holy Biscuit

EXHIBITION: 13 March - 2 April
PREVIEW: 12 March, 6 - 8pm

We are launching a programme of exhibitions to mark 2015 as the UN International Year of Light with our spring exhibition, inspired by the short film 'Return of the Sun'. This short documentary by Glen Milner looks at an Inuit Community in Northern Greenland, who spend 40 days of their winter in complete darkness. To tie this in with the season of lent, we are curating an exhibition which encourages people to imagine what it would feel like to live in darkness, waiting for the moment when the sun rises for the first time.

We are inviting artists or groups to respond to this theme by reflecting on personal experiences of how creativity is a form of expression, exploration and hope which can help us journey through dark places, or bring us out of them. We seek installations, films, paintings, photographs, interactive art or sculptures exploring this theme.

The deadline for submissions is 23 February.

Please include images of work and a short statement explaining how it responds to the brief.

If you would like to submit work, or for more information and guidance, please contact amy@theholybiscuit.org.uk.
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