ART REVIEW: Tins of Town by Andy Martin @ B&D Studios | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Tins of Town runs until Thursday 19th September

I love a little visit to the iconic 70s building Commercial Union House. It has transformed over the years from offices into a vibrant creative hub that Newcastle’s art scene is proud of.  Yes, it has dated interior, but masses of heart and soul. Housed there is the effortlessly cool B&D Studios, which offers space for creative people.

Their current exhibition is Tins of Town by Wearside artist Andy Martin, who is an accomplished photographer. What sets him apart is his mastery with wet collodion photography, which harks back to the 1850s where the photographer coats a plate with a concoction of chemicals then slides it into the camera. Any shots need developing before the plate dries, taking years of practice to perfect and all this has to happen within fifteen minutes.

When I enter the gallery, I always admire its relaxed vibe: radios playing, artists chatting and creativity in the air. There is a decent amount of work to view; the photographs on display cover his work from the last ten years; a contrast of modern images presented in an antique style, they’re beautifully haunting with an eerie Victorian feel.

The portraits feature North East faces, some you may recognise yourself; what strikes you is the way the eyes of the subjects pop and shimmer. Andy has also included some landscape work of the local area, which adds another dimension to the display and the exhibition provides an excellent introduction to the medium.

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