Last night I attended a couple of exhibition previews that were going on simultaneously. One was in Gallery North and the other in the University Gallery. It was a truly inspiring evening with so many interesting people. And lots of wine. Let’s not forget the wine! The exhibition held in Gallery North was Laurence Kavanagh’s ‘October’. Yes you heard me right, an exhibition called October in October. Slightly misleading for the posters but there we go. It was beautifully presented. It was a collection of purely monochrome works whose textures were so temptingly tactile. The gallery space had been fully utilised and the lighting successfully manipulated to really highlight the work. The lighting was also very atmospheric for the evening, I almost felt like I was in some kind of film where all the characters have flyaway hair, speak fluent french and wear fancy black coats as they scrutinize the artwork. Whilst holding a glass of wine. Although for Kavanagh’s exhibit wine was not allowed into the gallery which I’m assuming was because of some of his floor based works. At this point in the evening I hadn’t got my camera out (stupid I know) but don’t worry, I will be going back and photographing ‘October’ for an upcoming post where I will go far more depth about the exhibition. For now I want to talk more about the evening itself because it was damn good night!
The University Gallery had Hope Stebbing and Oliver Perry’s collaborative work they did for The Great North Run. Having successfully pitched their idea to the Great North Run’s panel they were given approximately a year and £4000 to complete their work. What they created was put at different points of the Great North Run but when run together the words read ‘onward’ ‘together’ ‘as one’. They choose to paint these words in the most gorgeous pastel colours. Honestly, having seen this, pastel is my new thing! The atmosphere across the two galleries was very different I felt. This was interesting and of course inevitable given how different the works and the layout were. Kavanagh’s exhibition was slightly more reserved and serious. People were quieter and observing. In Stedding and Perry’s exhibition people were milling about, laughing loudly, fighting for the incredibly yummy cheese and other nibbles on offer! It’s nights like this where you can learn so much just from looking and being there. Listening is what I did for half the night and some of the things I heard and left thinking about will stay with me.