In 2016, The Open exhibition prize winners were Peter Davis, Effie Jessop, Sarah Malone, Sandra Robinson and Steph Shipley. Part of their prize was the opportunity to exhibit their work in a group exhibition. One Year On 2017 showcases the best of new and recent works from these award-winning artists.
Peter Davis Not only was Peter one of the prize winners at last year’s Waterside Open, he also came runner-up at last year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival. This year sees him go from strength to strength and has already been shortlisted for the Artist of The Year at the Mall Galleries London.
The majority of Peter’s paintings explore the subject of humanity and our relationship with technology. His aim is to capture the zeitgeist of society today and create contemporary portraiture that belongs in the here and now. He is fascinated with people’s use of personal technology and how it impacts on our world and relationships. Peter believes that “our digital and social mediated world is dominated with manipulated personal experiences, narcissism and false self.” His work poses questions about the alienation of the human being within contemporary society.
There is an intentional dichotomy between the technology-centric images that he observes and his traditional method of painting. Whilst the scenes that he sees can pass in seconds, it can take many days, if not weeks, for him to painstakingly preserve in paint the true essence of that fleeting moment.
Effie Jessop “I have always stitched. The slow, painstaking act of embroidering is a declaration of worth and value for the image being sewn, and as such I find it a very appropriate medium for creating portraits. Working from photographs, I transform the speed of that captured image into an heirloom. I particularly like the pairing of image and text, using these two different means of communication to deepen the understanding.
I was thrilled to have been selected for the Waterside Open exhibition last year, let alone to be awarded first prize. Having had a second child in the time since then I have not completed as much artwork as I would have liked, just some drawing commissions. The approach of One year On has spurred me on to create some original work, using the birth of my daughter as my subject. So I have been stealing a moment here and there when they are asleep and getting out pen or needle.”
Sarah Malone “Driven by the desire for beauty and perfection I utilise throwing, hand-building and slip-casting processes to make ornamental ceremonial vessels such a cups, bottles, lidded vessels, spoons and bowls. I do not make with a function in mind; instead I am ruled by my heart and of being in the moment. I try to be true to the material and the processes and in doing so allow the material to speak for itself. When throwing on the wheel I try to empty my mind of any thoughts, ideas or preconceived plans. This doesn’t always make for a productive throwing session, however I believe this way of working ‘in the moment’ creates the setting for an honest object to be produced - an honest object from natural materials made from the heart.
I have been inspired by the intimacy we have with certain objects ever since visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. I was frustrated that I couldn’t hold the beautiful artefacts housed behind glass. In a world of throwaway products it is precious to find something that stands the test of time. Objects like these hold the imprints of our ancestors, they evoke feelings within us, we have a connection with them, we can be intimate with them. I wanted to connect with the energy of the material used, the maker and the people who have held and loved the piece over the years.
I want to explore this intimacy with objects and the relationship with the past that they evoke. My hands shape and mould the clay and one day another’s hands will hold and caress the piece. Hopefully there will be some connection between the maker and the beholder.
I believe we are drawn to certain objects not just for their aesthetic beauty but the energy contained within them; this is what drives my practice.”
Sandra Robinson Sandra’s work is inspired by places she has visited, journeys within urban and rural landscapes, especially local areas such as Sale Water Park, Tatton Park in Knutsford, and the Peak District.
"I sometimes sketch, write down words and take photographs but when returning to the studio I like to rely on my memory of the experience using the photographs and sketches and words as triggers for the paintings. I enjoy the process of working in layers building up a density of paint which I constantly re-work by scraping scratching and sanding back to reveal some of the layers underneath.”
Steph Shipley “My concerns lie with those public and private spaces where a state of transition or separation exists and where there is a certain temporal or spatial indeterminacy. My practice has evolved in response to encounters with such sites that exist within our everyday culture, familiar but often set aside, simultaneously reflecting and disturbing the spaces that surround them.
I investigate the context and bearings of a specific locus through multiple readings and interpret findings that often emerge as space for the imagined. I mediate these ideas through mapping strategies, theoretical discourse, experimental practice methods and cross-disciplinary approaches, including photography and film-making, projection, printmaking and installation. In the series The Land Behind, the pastoral setting evident and enhanced by the familiar Polaroid palette belies the military purpose of the barely concealed buildings. Traces of analogue origin are retained through the intaglio printmaking process evocative of the sites of heterotopia that were their source and the personal experience of encountering them.”