Yesterday, I had a couple of hours to kill in Newcastle between meetings and so popped into the University Gallery to look at the Jane Brown exhibiton. Jane Brown has taken black and white portrait photos for the Observer for about 60 years and this exhibition contained 100 portraits of famous people. The subjects ranged from The Queen to Iris Murdoch, Philp Larkin, Sinead O’Connor and Quintin Crisp. The beauty of these portraits were they caught the people posing wonderfully through their eyes, quite often. My personal favourite, I think, was the portrait of Iris Murdoc which the blurb said had taken a while to take due to Murdoch’s shyness. There is a beauty in vulnerability I think, which this picture captured. Whilst the blurb said Crisp was a far more willing subject it also had a similar type of vulnerability to it, which some other pictures didn’t. It is, I think, one of the reasons Bjork also stood out.
Also on my way from a to b I caught “crunch” which is an exhibition in a disused shop window, and is Viz meets Globe Gallery in the local community. Can’t explain this one fully….and haven’t gotten the pictures I took of it uploaded, suffice to say this series of cartoons is an excellent critique on the current recession from a range of angles.
Site blurb explains it by saying “Crunch! is the culmination of an exciting shop window participatory arts project that began in June 2009. Over 100 participants worked with Viz co-creator Simon Donald and playwright Lee Mattinson to produce their own responses to the credit crunch. Participants ranged from local school children aged 13 to a retired pensioner aged 67, proving that art can be accessible to everyone. The results are amazingly varied, with cartoons from several of the participants as well as from Simon and Chris Donald, and script produced by the volunteers and edited by Lee Mattinson”
Jane Brown exhibition on until 19th Feb and Crunch is there until 25th Jan. And of course being Newcastle not London I didn’t have to pay a penny to see any of this stuff 😀