#onlyhereforthewine – Simon Rogers Reviews the HCA ‘ Our Own Value Added Range’ Exhibition On Opening Night

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 

'Handle with Care' by Jake Morton Hereford Art College
‘Handle with Care’ by Jake Morton

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
extraordinary folk.

'For a Friend' by Sharon Bradford Hereford College of Arts
‘For a Friend’ by Sharon Bradford


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.

Willow O' Leary outstallation Nurture/Refuge Art College
‘Nurture/Refuge’ an outstallation by Will O’Leary

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”

Me “……”

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.

Simon Rogers, art director hereford city centric

Review by Simon Rogers, Art Director @ Hereford City Centric and Multi-Media Artist




Artist Simon Rogers creates David Bowie Tribute

It’s always interesting to catch up with local artist Simon Rogers to see what he is up to in his Bastion Mews studio, which also consists of the walls and businesses around the mews.  Bastion Mews is home to several interesting businesses including, a locals’ favourite – The Shack Revolution, Temple Records and Hereford Cycle Hub.

Simon has begun to leave his mark on this community hub hidden away from the mainstream of Hereford foot traffic.  You will find Simon’s David Bowie tribute behind The Shack Revolution.

Hereford artist Simon Rogers, David Bowie tribute
Simon Rogers spreading ashes around his tribute to recently deceased legend David Bowie.

This piece of street art began as a skull and cross bones, then evolved into a David Bowie tribute after hearing the news of this heroe’s passing, moving Simon so much, he also performed an ash ceremony on the ground around it (view photograph).

Simon is also creator of Temple Records cosmic façade, as seen in this article.  His next project is Temple Records shop sign.  I have had a peak, and am excited to see the finished product.  I won’t spill the beans.

I can’t help but feel that since Hereford Council is choosing to pull out of it’s £130,000 support for The Courtyard, Hereford artists will forever remain obscure.  They should offer its citizens more then just cider farms and cows, industrial estates or a brand new shopping center lacking in any kind of architectural pride (they really need to do something about that…perhaps hire some of our fine artists to do murals)

It is home to many artists, writers, musicians and other creatives who choose to make this beautiful county their home, yet find themselves having to leave for greener pastures where there is an opportunity to create their way into a sustainable salary.

The speed of the Council’s inconsiderate axing and lack of vision is dizzying.  I can’t help but feel that the only way a creative in this county will make a living is by having succeeded elsewhere, only to return when their fortune is made.

The lack of hope for future generations is despairing.  This county is a middle-aged (like myself, yet so unlike myself),  and a cranky, classist senior citizen’s wet dream (yes I actually did just say that).  We can only hope that our local food and entertainment culture continues to be driven by young entrepeneurs who are not afraid to upset the boys at the club.  This is not an ageist point of view, just an honest observation.

chopper with custom box Hereford, England
Chopper with custom boom box arriving on the scene.

Regardless, this will be our first great summer in many years thanks to these business-minded, driven twenty somethings, bringing us a high standard of food, cocktails, and who thankfully are keen to support local musical acts, while allowing their walls to double as art galleries.

HUGE KUDOS to artists like Simon Rogers, who are loud and proud about their craft, and keep this way of life alive.