Artists // Holly Argent, Emily Hesse, Joy Labinjo, Toby Phips Lloyd, Gayle Meikle, Kuba Ryniewicz with Deborah Bower, Jo Coupe and Janina Sabaliauskaite, Mark Pinder, Matt Antoniak, Jade Sweeting, Women Artists of the North-East Library
The Everyday Political brings together artists and art collectives from the North East of England. Expanding on Holly Argent’s Women Artists of the North-East Library (Workplace Foundation, Gateshead, 22 June – 9 September), elements of the library will be exhibited at CGP London alongside new work including audio, text, painting and photography.
The exhibition, curated by George Vasey, resists neat thematics and foregrounds a series of questions: how can we articulate a strategic regionalism? How do we frame the messiness and intimacy of the social? What are the current and localised urgencies felt within the North East and can they be transferred to another city? And where is North from here?
These questions form a metaphorical metronome for the exhibition; if the curator establishes a rhythm section, then the participating artists provide the melody. This is further articulated through the conversational and collaborative nature of the group show. By inviting artists to suggest other participants from the region, intergenerational voices echo throughout the show in different guises. As such, The Everyday Political becomes a fragmented and particularly subjective travelogue – a letter written from the North by the artists who live there.
Taking inspiration from Joy Labinjo’s paintings of her family, the exhibition forms a type of portrait of this art scene. Central to the exhibition is a series of photographs by Kuba Ryniewicz who has created a set of new narrative portraits in collaboration with the artists Deborah Bower, Jo Coupe and Janina Sabaliauskaite. These artists were nominated by Holly Argent and Jade Sweeting as influences on their respective practices and, through citation and homage, articulate the core values of the exhibition. Photographer Mark Pinder will be presenting images from his archive dating back to 1987, forming a fragmented portrait of the region during that period.
Conversations had by the curator whilst undertaking a Teaching Fellowship at Newcastle University are manifested in The Everyday Political – developed by Vasey in conversation with Holly Argent and Workplace Foundation in response to the Great Exhibition of the North (June – September 2018).
About George Vasey
George Vasey is a curator and writer. His writing has been published in Art Review, Art Monthly, Frieze, Kaleidoscope and Mousse. He was Co-Curator of the 2017 Turner Prize, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull and was curator at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland from 2014 to 2016. He is currently a Teaching Fellow in Curating at Newcastle University and Curator at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Recently selected curated exhibitions include; ‘Potholes: Drawings by Eric Bainbridge, 1981-201 at Workplace, London’ and ‘These Rotten Words’, Chapter Art Centre, Cardiff (both 2017), ‘Breakin’ Up is Hard to Do’ (co-curated with Ned McConnell) KARST, Plymouth (2015) ’Jo Spence & Alexis Hunter’, Richard Saltoun, London and ‘A Small Hiccup’, Grand Union, Birmingham (both 2013).
About Workplace Foundation
Workplace Foundation is a Charitable Foundation that promotes Contemporary Art for public benefit and supports under-represented and emerging Contemporary art practice through a rigorous and engaging programme of exhibitions and events. The Foundation aims to enrich the cultural life of the North of England by creating opportunities for the public to engage with art of exceptional quality, and to create a much larger audience for art through the Foundation’s local and international networks.
Workplace Foundation serves the communities of Gateshead and the North of England and aims to contribute to the regional art scene, and establish the area as a vital cultural centre within the UK. Workplace Foundation is part of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of Organisations.