The Opposite of Vertigo

Untitled (It means It Means; Hiorns, Lozano, Ray), 2013

Karl NattressUntitled (Starfield), 2005



A defining feature of the works included in The Opposite of Vertigo is that means and end are intractably intertwined; drawing is not simply a means to an end but a process that will lead to something else.  Much of the work possesses a tangible physicality, the labour intensive manipulation of materials colliding with complex thought processes. The nine artists are from north east England and are coming to prominence nationally and internationally.

Darren Banks’ ‘blob’ drawings, which reference horror movies,  appear as an impenetrable mass but closer inspection reveals the intensely built up surfaces to be a visual map of their process of production. Graham Dolphin meticulously and obsessively reconfigures the ephemera of the music and fashion industry, for example writing song lyrics onto vinyl where they become mute webs of lines that refute imagery and sound. Catherine Bertola’s working process involves the ritualistic manipulation of found materials and sites to create visceral and uncanny interventions which make subtle comments about their cultural meanings. Kevin Mason uses drawing to highlight the decision making process in works which transcend their physicality to become independent entities whilst remaining true to their material components. Mason’s interest in time as a subject matter is shared by Karl Nattress who makes intense ink drawings, consisting of consecutive tiny circles, which mark the passage of a period of time during which nothing happens – the circles remain the same size, as does the colour of the ink.Peter J. Evans rigorous drawings are built up from line upon line of graphite; each drawn line, as it travels through space and time is a metaphor for the interlacing of all things. Drawing is for Evans a meditative process which has strong parallels with Richard Forster’s meticulous drawings that are studies in observation. Thought and materiality converge during the painstaking process of recreating photographic images in graphite. Within recent drawings, Cath Campbell has created a series of imagined architectures which start as precisely drawn images which are then drawn into and removed, the final structure of the work developing through the process itself. Layla Curtis’ ‘Polar Wandering’ drawings are silk-screened prints, abstract renderings of a trip she made to Antarctica during which her movements were recorded with the aid of a personal GPS tracking device. Alex Charrington’s practice derives from the very foundation processes of making – brush meets pigment meets ground. His drawings, made using a compass, are visual entities that investigate both the arcane rituals of image making and man’s constant pursuit for technological advancement. 

Darren Banks (b. 1978)  solo exhibition at Workplace, Gateshead in 2006; Catherine Bertola (b. 1976) solo exhibitions at Firstsite, Colchester & Fabrica, Brighton in 2006 & at International 3, Manchester, in 2005; Cath Campbell (b. 1971)  group exhibitions at Hales Gallery, London & WASPS, Glasgow International in 2006; Layla Curtis (b.1975) solo shows at The New Art Gallery Walsall, Vivid, Birmingham & Gimpel Fils, London during 2006 & the Polar Wandering web project was produced by Locus+, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 2005;  Graham Dolphin (b.1972) solo exhibition at Seventeen, London; group exhibitions at Stellan Holm, New York & Loewe, Madrid during 2006; Peter J.Evans (b.1976) solo exhibition at Spacex, Exeter,  touring to Gallery Seventeen, London during 2007; Richard Forster (b.1970) solo exhibition at Jerwood Artists’ Platform  Cell Project Space, London in 2006; Kevin Mason (b.1981) group exhibitions at BALTIC, Gateshead, The Collective gallery, Edinburgh & APT Gallery, London; Karl Nattress (b.1966) group exhibitions at Globe Gallery, South Shields touring to Collective, Edinburgh in 2005 & Red Box, Newcastle in 2003.

This exhibition is curated by Jon Bewley, Director, Locus+, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.