Thursday 1 December 2011

Quire Exhibition Opening night- tonight!

Just a few hours until Quire Exhibition 2011 opens!

Artworks by people active in the music industry...including me!!

Pete McAdam - Front man for Washington's noir swamp blues rock group, Monumental Gurus.

Tom Hoad - Guitarist in Sunderland's heavy rock group, Ashes of Iron.

Kenny Sanger - Director of the Bunker, Sunderland.

Lin Li - Vocalist in Glasgow's Russkaya Cappella Choir.

Pete Brewis - One half of Field Music.

Pete McAdam - Front man for Washington's noir swamp blues rock group, Monumental Gurus.

Tom Hoad - Guitarist in Sunderland's heavy rock group, Ashes of Iron.

Kenny Sanger - Director of the Bunker, Sunderland.

Lin Li - Vocalist in Glasgow's Russkaya Cappella Choir.

The show includes painting, photography, sculpture, digital and interactive art.

Studio Q, 2-4 Nile Street, Sunderland.

Open 10-5 Mon-Fri

2nd – 20th December.

Northern Exposure

So much going on in Newcastle at the moment! Last weekend's Ouseburn Open Studios! The Baltic housing The Turner Prize!
The Young Artists of the Year Show, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.
 I was thrilled to be shortlisted for the Young Artists of the Year show at TheBiscuit Factory, Newcastle. Really great to see my work amongst the other entries, fantastic gallery, some stunning work there...4 days left to vote for 'The People's Choice', so if you visit feel free to make me your choice!
My selected piece for the Young Artists of the Year Show, The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle.

Amazing Winter exhibition there too, in particular loved Mark Rowney’s beautifully crafted, gorgeous leatherwork and stunning paintings, and such a lovely chap!
Mike Healey’s ‘Gardens of Persephone’ exhibition impressed also. Multi narratives and techniques created surreal, ‘stage set’ paintings. His works felt decadent, sumptuous, but not safe...ominous.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

The Biscuit Factory - Young Artists of the Year Award
Rhea has recently been selected to exhibit work at
The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle for their Young Artists of the Year Award, 2011, in association with Culture Magazine. The competition is an opportunity for emerging artists as well as young established artists to engage with the art market and receive exposure and promotion.

The exhibition opens 18th November, 2011 at The Biscuit Factory.

Quire Exhibition, Studio Q Sunderland.

Quire Exhibition 2011, at Studio Q, Sunderland, will showcase works by people active in the music industry who also explore and reveal their creativity through visual art. Rhea, who forms one half of electro indie pop duo B E A U X, has a number of works in the exhibition.
Amongst the exhibiting artists are:
Peter Hince - Former head of road crew for Queen.
Pete Brewis - One half of Field Music.
Pete McAdam - Front man for Washington's noir swamp blues rock group, Monumental Gurus.
Tom Hoad - Guitarist in Sunderland's heavy rock group, Ashes of Iron.
Kenny Sanger - Director of the Bunker, Sunderland.
Lin Lee - Vocalist in Glasgow's Russkaya Cappella Choir.

The show includes painting, photography, sculpture, digital and interactive art.

Opening night - Thursday 1st December 6-9pm
Exhibition open 10am-5pm Monday - Friday 2nd - 20th December

Saturday 24 September 2011

For Artistic Impact: Shout Loud Or Whisper Softly: Louis Smith's 'Holly', and Matthew Schofield's 'Six Decades'

Went to  the BP Portrait Award 2011 last month and only just got round to blogging, such is rural tinterweb. As usual, was mightily impressed with most entries. Possibly just my perception, but there seemed to be a greater number of realist pieces this year. Technically, flawless, but I got sucked into analysing technique, focussing on detail and brushstroke (or invisibility of brushstroke!), but some of the paintings as a whole, left me cold. I can't really remember a lot of them!

I have two favourites. One shouted One Whispered.

Louis Smith's 'Holly'
'Holly' by Louis Smith was a huge pre-raph style painting, of a naked, ivory skinned beauty, chained to the rocks, inspired by Greek myth Prometheus. Kinda pseudo pre-raphaelite, or post-pre-raphaelite. Parody? Sincere? Anyway I kinda like it. I think it's grandeur is tongue in cheek. Jonathan Jones' review of Louis Smith's 'Holly' terms it as ‎'Retro- academic painting becomes the new outrageous...soft-porn fantasy...' I agree with the retro academic/the new outrageous comment. It's outrageous in size, bold in composition, lighting, the huge, hefty frame is unapologetically lavish, grandiose religious/mythical references. (He also tries to say it has Nazi connotations- I really don't agree...that's reading into it a little too dramatically in a political sense)

The pornography comment though...really?? Jones believes that Holly '...creates a tension between art and pornography...there's something sleazy about it all...' Recently, I've become aware of a lot of people commenting on nudes or sensuality in art as pornography. A lot of the people that seems to be making these comments are males- maybe a coincidence? I don't know, but I'll stick my neck out so far as to say that the people terming a beautiful painting of a nude such as this as porn, is probably due to the fact that they associate the naked body with sex. To me this painting is sensual, her body is beautiful, her vulnerability, the contrast of her soft luminescent skin against the dark, ominous, threatening rocks is epic and romantic in the 19th century sense. Is this because I'm a heterosexual woman? Afterall, audiences view art as individuals, not as a collective with shared backgrounds and beliefs. I don't see it as overtly sexual, its a bit sexy I suppose, but I see it as sensual, kitsch, retrospective and very powerful. Jones believes that 'the urge to dismiss it as kitsch may be a defence mechanism, to avoid confronting its uninhibited sexuality'. Yes, it's sexy in a sensual way. But it's also just very kitsch! Perhaps the urge to dismiss it as porn says more about his perception of the naked body.

Now for the painting that whispered. This piece grabbed me by the heart and squeezed...'Six Decades' by Matthew Schofield, 6 tiny oil on panel works. Very small, 102mm x 737mm. Unassuming, humble and very 'human'. Shows his Dad in family snaps through 6 decades. I really don't think much needs to be said, no point waxing lyrical about its merits, it is not befitting of this piece. It's about one thing. Love.

That's it. So simple. So much love

Matthew Schofields 'Six Decades', Oil on Panel, 102 x 737 mm.
So I guess the lil' trip to the BP Portrait Awards 2011 taught me that artistic impact can be made with the boldest, controversial statements, that are self aware, comment on art history and provoke questions about sexuality. Conversely small pieces that whisper an eternal truth, document a simple thing can really connect with an audience emotionally.

I guess I'll have to start whispering loudly.

Friday 9 September 2011

I've fallen in love with Richard Saja's Work, Embroidered lovers and Freak Shows!

Malice In Wonderland Works (selection)

'Black Butterflies', mixed media on canvas 2011

'The Bats, The Birds and The Beasts', mixed media on canvas, 2011

'The Prestige', mixed media on canvas, 2011

'The Trophy', mixed media on canvas, 2011.

'Utter Destruction As Beauty', mixed media on canvas, 2011.

'Utitled III', mixed media on canvas, 2010.

'The White Rabbit Takes Time Out', mixed media on canvas, 2011.

'Waste Place', mixed media on canvas, 2011.

Thursday 4 August 2011

Ronald B. Kitaj exhibition

Ronald B. Kitaj Exhibition, 'Portraits and Reflections'. Kitaj has always been a massive inspiration to me, really can't miss this

Monday 1 August 2011

Malice In Wonderland Finishes...

Leanne Broadbent and I are taking down and packing up our works from our Malice In Wonderland Exhibition today. It's been a really great exh., thanks to all who came and saw or supported us from afar. Lots planned- watch this space...

Thursday 23 June 2011

Hull and East Riding Article

Bridlington artist Leanne Broadbent. Picture: Simon Kench
Together with her friend and fellow artist Rhea Sherriff-Hammond, who lives near Whitby, Leanne has spent two years creating a series of mixed-media canvases for the exhibition.
"It just occurred naturally," Leanne said. "We were meeting in Scarborough – which is the central point between our homes – and I mentioned I was interested in doing something about Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.
"Rhea said she had been looking to paint something inspired by the character of the White Rabbit.
"It was strange how we had both arrived at the same point – I think we're of a similar mind with our work."
The exhibition, at Sewerby Hall, has been planned since 2009. While Leanne and Rhea have been friends since 2002 – they met as art students at the Scarborough campus of the University Of Hull – this is their first joint showing.
"We instantly became friends," Leanne said. "We had an interest in similar artists and got on like a house on fire. It's surprising that this is the first exhibition we'll have done together."
Their shared interests include the work of Sigmar Polke – an experimental German artist whose mixed media works included the use of fabrics.
Among the 37 pieces being shown is Leanne's work Alice – which uses pieces of fabric to create a layered, and unsettling, take on Lewis Carroll's story.
"For me, it is great to get contemporary artwork into a venue such as Sewerby," said Leanne. "Most galleries are commercial – they do not want to take as many risks – but with Sewerby being a council property, they are willing to take that chance."

Friday 10 June 2011

Whitby Gazette Article 10/06/11

Media Artist Rhea Sherrif-Hammomd at work in her studio near Roxby. Picture by Neil Silk 111906b 10/05/11

Take a look into the looking glass through the eyes of two Yorkshire artists in their exhibition at Sewerby Hall.
“Malice in Wonderland”, is a collection of new media artworks, by Rhea Sherriff-Hammond and Leanne Broadbent which will be showcasing in Bridlington tommorow until the 31st July.
Former Whitby Community College student Rhea, of Roxby, met her colleague, Leanne, at Hull University whilst studying Fine Art (BA Hons).
The pair hope their collection will transport viewers into a surreal world where scenes of Yorkshire are skewed with wonderland imaginings.
Rhea, is a fine artist and works from her farmhouse studio in Roxby, and primarily works on canvas in oils and mixed media.
She said: “ My work is about conflict, contrasts and subversion. Living rurally, I often experience inner conflicts between feelings of peace, revelling at the majesty of nature and conversely, feeling overwhelmed and isolated by the vast expanse of nothingness encompassing me.
“In the series of paintings I wanted to explore these and other conflicts of opposites- town and country, masculine and feminine energies, innocent themes subverted by dark, sinister undertones.”
Taking their inspiration from the likes of Lewis Carroll, author of children’s novel, Alice in Wonderland, and also from The Grimm Fairytales and children’s folklore.
The exhibition will be open from 10AM- 4.30PM, for more details you can contact Sewerby Hall on (01262) 673769.

Wednesday 27 April 2011

Ellie Langley- Felter, Craft Tour

Get yourselves to this if you're in the area, Ellie is a felter using wool from her own sheep and donated fleeces from friends and family. She makes everything from tea cosies and babies booties to wedding dresses and coffins. She has, as of late, had quite a few orders for coffins...not that you have to die to appreciate or enjoy her work...
Other amazing crafters and artists to see too- find out more at Fleece With Altitude.

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Thought I'd better post up a finished painting...

It's alright babbling about what you plan to's a finished one for 'Malice In Wonderland'

'Captive', Rhea Sherriff-Hammond, mixed media on canvas, 70cm x 70 cm, 2011

Works In Progress April '11

The ideas are flowing in at warp speed, my hands are taking a little longer to catch up...I seem to plan all of my paintings with a concept in mind, but very little drawings and preparatory sketches.  It’s involuntary and seems to be necessary to allow my pieces to come into fruition as quickly as possible, I feel as if the idea will lose momentum if I don’t attack it quickly. It’s my ‘White Rabbit’ syndrome!
It seems to make sense I include a piece about this in my forthcoming exhibition with Leanne Broadbent, ‘Malice In Wonderland’, Sewerby Hall and Gardens, West Wing, Bridlington, 11th June-31st July 2011. I won’t explain too much- concepts are boring without a visual reference, but basically, it explores the White Rabbit Syndrome, how sometimes our aspirations are scuppered by the limitations of reality, lack of time etc. Check out this pie chart. See?! I love a good pie chart.

The Trophy picture is coming along well...found an amazing ‘Bambi’ children’s bed linen set in my favourite charity shop that I may use to provide some contrast to the Red Deer Heads I plan feature on the wall behind the figure. May use this for another piece, but pretty in love with it- I revel in objects that have a definite ‘identity’, this one being cutesy, Disney, kitsch. It allows me to pitch it with something significantly darker/more sombre.

Then I have the ‘Waterfall’ piece. Things fall in it. Not just water. Kind of inspired by my piano. In a way. Feels as if it will develop into a piece about the fluidity of change, age and dilapidation.
‘The Prestige’( inspired by the 2006 film starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and David Bowie as ‘Tesla’ about magic, illusion, trickery between friends, rivalry and one-upmanship) and also posters from a bygone age of illusionists and magicians.
I guess this piece is about cynicism as regards to art- is art a gift or a skill? Trickery, illusion, ‘the reveal’, ‘The Prestige’. Again, images of finished piece to follow...

Friday 25 March 2011

Art and Competition,'Trophy'- To be hung on the Wall, to be viewed by all... Siouxsie And The Banshees, Trophy ( Live 17th July 1981)

This picture gave me inspiration for the next piece...

Some people choose to compete in games, some people choose to play games.

To compete involves risk, a hierarchy of success, we are placed in an order, people may laugh when we fall, which we often do, none of us are above the odd grazed knee from time to time.

To play means we faff, doddle, doodle, laugh, create, spin a tale, weave a story, let's pretend...

Artistic pursuits involve both concepts. Our creativity is our submission to a critic's eye. Our 'play' is our product with which we 'compete'. Are we aware we're in competition? Most likely. Do we want to be in competition? Probably not, for fears of grazes, few of us are blessed with a robust ego. But imagine if just once, it was us holding the trophy...

It seems to be human nature to place things in order and categorize. Art is obviously subjective, but everything needs to be given a value, whether that be in monetary terms or integrity and provenance. It's Darwinism for the culture vultures. The weaker are bred out and the part-time tesco job becomes full time.

Can we refuse to compete? Or are we automatically entered just by playing?
Do you strive for the trophy or are you happy to play the game?
Victory or 'also ran'?

Monday 7 March 2011

Art Is Science- Opposites Attract, The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse, City Foxes, Sigmar Polke...

So. I spent the summer in London. And I just couldn't make. I stopped wanting to create and instead I wanted to live, be out there. An extrovert... so I complied. Topped up my travel card, joined the queues, followed the line, moved down the platform and further down the carriage, visited galleries, adhered to 'critic's shoice', caught some shows I 'simply couldn't miss'. But somehow the sensory saturation left me exhausted. I had nothing to give. And I simply didn't care anymore.

Now I'm back on the farm and it's pretty isolated here. Days replace days. Things replace things. Although my world has become smaller, it is intimidatingly grander. There's no escape from nothingness. Living rurally, I often experience inner conflicts between feelings of peace, revelling at the majesty of nature and conversely, feeling overwhelmed and isolated by the vast expanse of bleak emptiness encompassing me. This emptiness needs to be filled.

I often think about the city fox.  The city fox has always been a creature I admired, flicking the finger at urbanisation. Country fox numbers have been controlled. But the city fox has no predators. We're on her patch. I envy her. She came from the country and thrived in the city, adapted. I see little difference in her opportunistic scavenging, bin raids, slinking sneakily throught the shadows, to our juggling office politics, 'networking', throwing up on the night bus, ascending to the dizzy heights of a grim tower block in a piss stenched lift.
The point is this. As the town mouse and the country mouse discovered, opposites are great. I can't work in the city, I can work out of it. But I'm not sure I could work without the city. I need it to be the spark to my fuel, and conversely, the water to my flame. I have the chemicals but I need a reactor.  Chemistry, biology, sex...
Art is science.
Exciting things happen in the space where opposites meet. My work is about conflict, contrasts and subversion, exploring conflicts of opposites- town and country, masculine and feminine energies, innocent themes subverted by dark, sinister undertones.

I'm under no impression that I have been inspired by a divine source, an artist is no more gifted than a non artist. Sigmar Polke's ''Higher Beings Command'' and ''Moderne Kunst'' (1968) spring to mind, the ridiculing of 1960's art critic obsession with abstract expressionistic urges ordained by a divine source. We have merely developed a visual art is...
a science? A craft? A skill?
to be cont...

Thursday 3 March 2011

Inspiring mixed media artist- Gregory Euclide.

Just stumbled accross this guy on It's so refreshing to find people approaching landscapes and nature in an innovative way. The surface carrier is twisted and torn, creating entirely new perspective lines and aesthetic structure, and you rarely see mixed media done so bravely, yet elegantly. The literal 'destruction' (through ripping and twisting of picture) of nature and beauty creating a thing of beauty in itself, so cleverly crafted, almost a sculpture. These are my gut reactions to his work. I'll have to read up on him

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Art supply shopping. It may not look like much. Just stacks of fabric. But this is 1/16 of the shop's contents and I literally could spend the night here. It is my heaven, and the old ladies that run it, my attending angels. I probably need to get out more.

First post jitters...

This is the first work and starting point for a series of works contributing to the 'Malice In Wonderland' Exhibition in the West Wing of Sewerby Hall.