Hereford Dead presents: Vision Quest, Fetus Christ, New Cowboy Builders, Black Boxes, and Brunel: Booth Hall, Tuesday 18th October
“There was something of The Fall in there. The uncompromising angularity of the guitar and perhaps the vocal delivery too, which despite not being Mancunian, has a certain confident disarray of inflection.”
I’m probably not the right person to write this article. I saw a tshirt with a Nirvana smiley that had been changed into a drugged out cat and asked what it said. It said ’52Hz’ which is a name of a band apparently. I don’t know any new rock bands. I listen mostly to folk music now. This evening I’ve been listening to the new Leonard Cohenalbum (R.I.P). I used to listen to louder music a lot, but any of my frames of reference predate 1999, when I used to hear Steve Lamacq before the John Peel show and buy alternative CDs from Magpie and go to punk nights at the Jailhouse. Now I listen to Radio 6, which despite any cool credentials it seems to have acquired, is about as challenging as magnolia on the whole. The paint, not the film.
The other reason I’m not the right person to write this article is I wasn’t even there for half of it. By the time I got through the door Fetus Christ had finished playing, and I totally missed Vision Quest because I was stuffing myself with a beef burger that had macaroni cheese in it at The Beefy Boys. You might not believe it but I had been looking forward to this night for about a month. I’ve seen Fetus Christ before a number of times, and their energy and intensity drags me out of my mental quicksand like a well-aimed branch handed by an unusually angry man without a shirt on. It’s visceral and authentic.
Hereford College of Arts, College Road Campus, College Road, Hereford, HR1 1EB
The exhibition “Our Own Value Range”runs until March 31st Monday – Thursday 9.30 am – 4.30 pm
Well then, I have just been lucky enough to have been invited to the ‘Our Own Value Range’exhibition at the Hereford college of Arts, which is, so I am reliably informed, a “Nourishing exhibition of contemporary fine Arts” by the talented and varied students of the foundation and portfolio courses.
It is my humble opinion that you should make the climb up College Hill and go get some culture into your minds and eyeballs. Now as I said, this is only my opinion, but that’s Art darlings. So just go and see for yourselves and make up your own damn minds! (But wear something nice and make a day of it.)
However, since I was there, I would like to draw your eyes and minds to the work of some
THE EXHIBIT REVIEW
I arrived at the gallery at my favourite time for any event, a tad early (that is about 15 mins before it Is open (finishing touches are being applied and there are no punters to make the place look untidy) to witness such wonders as Omar Majeed having a few trifling technical gremlins with his in-depth installation piece; a few last minute adjustments ensured his presentation of a thought provoking arrangement of seemingly random objects that come together to tell the story of a story.
The exhibition is themed on Values, hence the name, (see what they did there) and each artist has been put through their paces by the tutors, as well as guest speakers, including social anthropologist Audrey Nunn. I was lucky enough to speak with her, including many of the artists and tutors I could collar on their big night, and found all interesting, and rightly so…excited.
Being a bit of a goth, I found myself drawn to Jenny Papworth’s‘Faustus’ piece, an altar-esque arrangement of beautifully hand lettered bones and skulls. Also tickling my “gothbone” was Frank Hearne’s fearless wander into the monster ridden imagination of a child.
Jake Morton raised a few eyebrows with his ‘Handle with Care’ porcelain piece, bringing new meaning to “come and look at my etchings”. The sparkly shod, and splendidly hatted Will O’Leary managed to make us feel both welcome, and yet outsiders, with his ‘Nurture/Refuge’ – an outstallation (it’s a word) that is definitely food for thought.
While Mario Candeias‘ piece ‘Corruptiela’, a video and golden sculpture, forces the observer to address the values forced upon them by the media…also it is shiny too, so WIN!
Leading me to the “tent of wonders” (my name for it), a collaboration between Pearl Jackson-Payen and Athene Pringle, an immersive piece well worthy of immersing oneself in, if only for a few moments. Step through the curtain, take a deep breath, and stay awhile, then go find Pearl and Athene and thank them.
Trish Marsh scored extra points by accessorizing with an op art frock that complemented her piece ‘Simply Black and White’, which dominates the space with monochromatic layers of wandering wonder.
Erin Jaques technically excellent sculpture perfectly captures a moment, as well as, fitting neatly into Niel Gaiman’s definition that “Real Art is something you can stun a burglar with”. Also the artist inspired extreme jacket envy in me as I said nice things (can I have the jacket? ah…well worth a try ). All sartorial issues aside, it is a very clever piece.
Arthur Simpson insisted that I think. Damn you Sir! Excellent work nonetheless. There was Alice Ormerod, who did her own damn thing, (You Rock!) and Jak Dargie, who is a man after my creative heart, varied and thought provoking all.
Well now, there is a thing! Sharon Bradford’s work is, and is titled, ‘For a Friend’, projected on a living shroud, is in her own words,”an alternative death bed scene”. It explores how surrounding situations and values become “nucleated” in the implacable face of terminal illnesses and death itself. A deeply moving, and serenely beautiful piece (also she gets a triple word score for nucleated).
When I first arrived in the quiet/hectic bit, I was drawn to two artists work. One of which was highly praised by Audrey Nunn. Unaware the artist herself was 3 feet away at the time, we were treated to Sally MacLachan beaming expansively as her work was referred to as not only Audrey’s favourite, but also as “Cohesive”, which it is, along with Eleanor Carty’s work, subtly exploring individuality with a delicate breath-moved laser cut wonder. If I had to pick a favourite it would be this.
Later, in conversation with Miss Carty and friends, I was informed that “everyone calls her ‘Minnow’….like the fish”. “Is there any other kind of minnow ?” I enquired.
“Theres a kind of Daffodill”
You learn something new everyday or at least you should, so go and visit the exhibit, or we will send the boys round and teach you the hard way.
Thanks to all who were involved with the exhibition and courses for a swathe of fine Arts. I look forward to further forays into Hereford College of Wizardry and Magic.
Review by Simon Rogers, Art Director @ Hereford City Centric and Multi-Media Artist
“Omar Majeed has had a long lasting interest in writing, design and photography that formed working on the school newspaper and crystallized at art college. Having a creative outlet is important to him and comes in several guises, from poetry to painting. He has studied photography and graphic design and is currently on the portfolio course learning how to use new techniques and materials. He has worked sporadically as a copywriter, recently on an art blog.”
Gravity zine is a DIY publication based in Hereford. It has its origins in a title called Gravity Serpent which came about as a result of a late night conversation with my housemate Stu when I was living in Kingston, Surrey.
We had been watching The Baader Meinhof Complex and were somehow stirred into creating something. We didn’t know if we wanted to make an experimental film, or write a collaborate novel.
When we thought of making a zine, that was it. The title was his idea, appropriated from a Medusa Cyclone track. Mike from Medusa Cyclone would later contribute photography to the zine.
I have made zines on and off since my first time at art college in 2003. I like the immediacy and accessibility of the format. I like my zines to be collaborative, showcasing artists and creatives whose work I admire. It becomes something of a community.
When I moved back to Hereford, I wanted to shorten the name to Gravity. The first 3 issues were purely photocopied and stapled. After that we started letterpressing the covers under stewardship of Liam Bromage. It was refreshing to have a bit of colour on the front and the printing process gave a cleaner impression that was still handmade. We also started hand binding the pages with coloured thread.