Saturday, May 30, 2009

Let's give ourselves a pat on the back...

We conclude that PAD's first film screening was a resounding success! Despite a few last minute problems, the event was enjoyed by all and we received glowing feedback, such as :

"Gets people talking about interesting projects and ideas. A great success!"
"Thankyou, it was fantastic."
"FREE IS GOOD!"
"Keep up the good work."


We will be looking at improving the event for the future and will keep you updated about future film screenings. If you haven't already let us know what you think, please leave a comment below.

Friday, May 22, 2009

'Palimpsest' Magda, Tracy & Jane

The definition of Palimpsest is one of previous text or texts having been imperfectly erased and remaining, therefore still partly visible. The works in this exhibition are a culmination of three artists Tracy Griffin, Jayne Simpson and Magda Stawarska-Beavan who have taken the idea that life experiences become erased or forgotten through time but always partly remain shaping and defining ours lives and experiences of the present and future. The common thread through their work is one of motherhood and womanhood – a reflection and visual comment of the ordinary everyday but extraordinary encounters these relationships bring. Griffin, Simpson and Stawarska-Beavan explore the delicate balance of their relationships and the challenge of creating space and time to pursue their work as artists.

Show runs until Saturday 30th May

PAD's 1st Contemporary Film Night!

PAD comes to the New Continental for a dynamite night of contemporary video art! The two-hour-long programme features a varied and dynamic selection of new media, elected and collected by PAD staff. This eclectic screening includes work by Surrealist pioneers like Maya Deren and Jan ┼ávankmajer, early performance-for-the-camera by Bas Jan Ader and Andy Warhol, alongside contemporary video by Pipilotti Rist, animation by David Firth (Salad Fingers) and surprise works by other powerhouse filmmakers. Also featuring new work by lesser-known video artists, this FREE event aims to entertain and engage. Don’t miss PAD’s first instalment of experimental media and the opportunity to let us know what you want to see next!

Thursday 21sy May, 7:30pm - 9:30pm

The New Continental
South Meadow Lane
Preston PR1 8JP
T: 01772 499425

Catriona Stamp 'Interconnected'

Catriona Stamp uses printmaking techniques to engineer the production of artist books. Her recent work examines human interaction within natural and built environments, particularly within local settings. Through a process of observation and identification, she scrutinises the degenerative impacts of the human-nature relationship from an ecological perspective—with a focus on synthetic detritus like litter, pollution and other forms of urban decoration.

Show runs from 2nd June - 27th June.
Preview Night: Wednesday 3rd June, 6-8pm.
Artist Talk: Saturday 3rd June, 1pm FREE!!

Book Making Workshop with Catriona Stamp

Join artist Catriona Stamp in her bookmaking workshop to make your own ‘Tag Book’. The Tag Book is an unusual, interactive book, which has pockets for pull-out luggage labels. The basic format will be taught and suggestions made for later embellishment. Bring scissors and ruler if possible.

Saturday 27th June, 1-3.30pm, £5.00 (15+yrs)

Creative Futures Exhibition

PAD presents a mixed College Show from Newman, Preston, Blackpool and Runshaw. WE showcase the best of Lancashire’s young talent at Further Education Level. The work exhibited is the ‘best in show’ from the college’s summer collections from NewmanCollege, PrestonCollege, Blackpool & The Fylde College and RunshawCollege, Leyland. Creative Futures gives the students the opportunity to show their work in the context of a professional art gallery at a very early stage in their careers.

Show runs from 30th June - 1st August.
Preview Night: Thursday 2nd July, 6-8pm.

Artist Statement Writing Workshop

Struggling to speak about your own work? Having difficulty assessing your work from a new perspective? Want your artist statement to stand out from the rest? Then this FREE workshop is for you! Experienced writer Steph Hurst will be taking artists through a step-by-step approach of to how to write a successful and compelling artist statement.

Thursday 9th July, 6.30-7.30pm, FREE

Thomas Williams

As an abstract painter, Thomas Williams works on individual canvases as well as painting installations. The inspiration for the painting process is to create biomorphic forms. Biomorphic forms which interest the work are wood grains, marble and lava. Thomas will be directly engaging with PAD’s space resulting in a dynamic installation. Thomas will create a painting on site and will react with the area in which it is set. The process involves layering, mixing media, dripping and movement introducing chance into his practice. As the whole installed painting cannot be viewed from just one angle, the concern is to play with the viewer’s single point perspective, the illusion of space in which the work is placed. Thomas Williams has recently completed his MA in Contemporary Fine Art at Salford University and has shown in Manchester, Sunderland and Chester.
Show runs from 4th August - 29th August.
Preview Night: Thursday 6th August, 6-8pm.
Artist Talk: 15th August, 1pm FREE!!

Richard Bannister 'Gentleman's Relish'

Richard Joel Bannister's current work explores the figure. In drawings and paintings of the self, the images render the reading of internal and external conflicts. The work focuses primarily on introverted sensations depicting identity, self respect and sexuality: the relationship between the subconscious and the corporeal, between the subconscious and the environment. Compositional concerns and the visualisation of internal and external boundaries are crucial. There is a strong reflection of melancholy evident in the direction of his enquiry, expressing emotion through mark making and the application of paint.

Show runs from 1st September - 29th September.
Preview Night: Thursday 3rd September, 6-8pm.
Artist Talk: 12th September, 1pm FREE!!

Pricing & Costing Workshop with Jenny Rutter

Learning your value in the market place is one of the hardest issues when starting & running your creative business. Too many creative people undervalue themselves and their talents thus causing confusion for customers buying their products and services. So how do you decide what to charge? This interactive workshop will offer some simple models and tips and advice about where to start, what to take into consideration and how to be confident in your pricing strategy!

Wednesday 16th September, 2-5pm, FREE

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Review: Safer With Strangers


Review by Elaine Speight

Safer with Strangers is the final show in Preston’s PAD gallery before it relocates to a new venue in the city centre, yet it feels like a beginning. Since its opening in May 2006, the gallery has hosted a number of interesting and high quality shows. None, however, have approached the space and opportunity with the same energy, ambition and irreverence as artists Alex Baggaley, Maryjane Chapman, Martin Hamblen, Rachel Lowther, Mike Russell and Fritz Welch.

The concept for Safer with Strangers developed from a conversation between Hamblen, the show’s curator, and Baggaley who, after 15 years in London, was planning to return to Blackpool. Hamblen wanted to explore the reality of being a practising artist in a small town; how the lure of the big city seduces many emerging artists and what such migration means for those left behind. Each artist has, at some point, made a conscious decision to move from a small to a large place or, interestingly, vice versa and collectively the artists have lived in London, Preston, Blackpool, Birmingham and New York.

During a public discussion Welch referred to the process of making the show as a ‘mash up’; a fitting description for the five days in which the artists worked, ate and in some instances slept in the gallery. This intense experience is evident in the crossovers within the work and the sheer energy of the show which, unlike previous exhibitions in PAD, explodes out of the designated exhibition space, subverting the architecture and, most exciting of all, invading the shop which occupies half the venue.

The accompanying blurb promises to 'compare & contrast' the practice of these local, national and international artists, yet the show is less academic and more affecting than this. The exhibition explores the dreams and frustrations which, whether based in Preston or Paris, are surely familiar to every artist, and it is impossible not to relate to some aspect of the show; Chapman’s exquisite and worryingly obsessive drawings suggest spatial limitations, whilst Russell’s weird characters and sculptural dreamscapes form a world in which the artist can escape his increasing cynicism of the commercial world.

Surely, there are times when we all feel that we’re missing out and begin to dream of the bright lights of London, New York, or – let’s face it even Manchester. Yet, Safer with Strangers proves that you needn’t travel further than Preston to be inspired. It also hints at the reality behind the dream; Chapman’s model island, with its backdrop of romantic sunsets, suggests a miniature paradise, but as the artist admits, “being stranded on a desert island is a nice idea, but after a while you’re bound to go mad and start talking to coconuts’”. Be careful what you wish for.

Elaine Speight is an artist living and working in Preston.

A longer version of this review along with photos of the exhibition will be published in the May issue of a-n magazine.
Reports and Reviews
ArtLab
An Exhibition of Printmakers from Across the Region
PAD Gallery, Preston
Review by Harry Ball

It was good to see this exhibition of work by members of UCLan’s Artlab group in what is a great central location in Preston.

Artlab, the brainchild of Professor Lubaina Himid, was set up to allow local artists of all abilities, including complete beginners, to make use of the University’s extensive printmaking facilities for a small annual fee. It is run by the skilled and creative duo of Tracy Hill and Magda Stavarska Beavan who cover a wide range of printmaking skills between them. This scheme has really taken off and there is now a large, lively and very productive group of enthusiastic printmakers at the Victoria building. Artists are able to make prints with the assistance of Tracy and Magda who also give frequent technical demonstrations on various techniques. In a new collaboration between LAN, UCLan staff and Artlab, there is even a programme of invited master printmakers in place who are to give talks and technical demonstrations during the coming year.

This particular exhibition of three dozen or so works showcases prints by twelve members of the group. Work on show has been made, as would be expected, by a wide range of methods, from traditional techniques such as etching and silkscreen to mixed media and digital prints. The work is all small in scale and hangs together well. The prints are affordably priced (as prints ought to be). Here, for instance, you have the opportunity to purchase a silkscreen by an artist with an international reputation for only £80.

What I particularly enjoyed was the thread of humour and irony which ran through the prints of a large part of the group. (Is this something engendered by working at Artlab?). I felt that ideas were carried with a lightness of touch, using techniques that seemed appropriate to the artists’ aims. In particular I enjoyed the ‘edge’ to work by Julie Saul, Angela Presnail and Emma Gregory. Also demanding a return look were the deliciously coloured botanicallyinspired monoprints by Ann Marie Foster.

This exhibition is enjoying an extended run until the end of January. Go and have a look.

Since retiring from teaching Fine Art at UcLan, Harry Ball has been making paintings and has set up a lithographic press at his workshop in Arkholme, Lancs.