The Scarborough News
New art on newsprint is making the headlines
The consistently enterprising Chris Shaw detonates yet another new exhibition at his Three Works Gallery, South Street, Scarborough, writes Mike Tilling.
The genesis for the show was an open call for works on newsprint, issued in 2020.
Obviously, the latest lockdown interfered, but when the dust settled, Chris found himself with more than 90 contributions.
Most are from the UK, but some come from as far away as USA and Europe.
Most artists chose to draw or paint on blank paper, but others took the opportunity to incorporate actual newspapers into a collage of news and comment
Given events in America and Donald Trump’s demise, the fake news issue is no longer as relevant as it was, but our newspapers still court controversy and sell sensationalism.
Katy Hordern’s The Times Can Only Get Batter – acrylic on newsprint – is one such punning contribution.
Painted over actual pages of The Times, is an equivocal representation of a fish and chip supper, but is it a fish?
Why the reference to DReam’s 1993 hit/Labour Party campaign tune? Or should that be Dylan’s The Times They Are A’Changin?
When Chris publishes the statements that accompanied the works, perhaps we will find out.
Melanie Jones’ The Organiser – mixed media on newsprint – is an affectionate portrayal of Chris himself, although his gaze is distinctly aloof, looking vaguely like an ancient philosopher divining the meaning of existence.
The picture has some prophetic power as it is a mystery how the 94 works were curated into three rooms.
One of the most atmospheric pieces is Francesca Aikman’s Forest, Italy – ink printing on newsprint – which tends toward the abstract, but has a very clearly defined path running between trees.
The most disturbing may well be Jonathan S Bennett’s Benevolence Embracing Barbarity – charcoal and dry pastel on newsprint –where
a roll-top bath seems to have taken on the persona of a robot and gazes towards some kind of mechanical offspring.
As you can see from the above, there is an immense range of work to view, and the same is true of the quality of the pieces.
Chris Shaw was determinedly democratic in guaranteeing every entrant some wall space.
However, a public vote for the three best works will result in a commission from Three Works for a solo exhibition next year.
The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Christine Fiedorczuk who entered two pieces, but died of lung cancer in February.
Chris Shaw opened Three Works Gallery three years ago It was a car park.
The building has been completely refurbished and contains three galleries.