NEWS: Carl Gregg/ Amy Hiley @ Newcastle Arts Centre | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ever since Fordism and the writings of Walter Benjamin, the often negative correlation between technology and art has been explored by numerous theorists and artists. Some have completely shunned machinery in their art, creating their work with more traditional methods, while others have embraced the advent of the technological era and used it to their advantage. This month Newcastle Arts Centre are hosting exhibitions by two artists who work on the idea of the automaton in very different ways, creating unique works that question the relationship between the machine and the body.

Machine Drawing, the latest exhibition by Carl Gregg, almost does what it says on the tin. Gregg has been using machines – deliberately assembled to be imperfect – that design and sketch out various drawings. Even when they are given the same data to draw, the results are different each time, giving a fascinating insight into the nature of mechanical reproduction. Machine Drawing is almost a comment on the state of modern art today and its often-criticised ‘commercial’ and ‘factory-made’ nature, showing that machines can be prone to error just as much as humans.

Amy Hiley’s exhibition, meanwhile, presents us with something entirely different. Her work Yma Yelih (see what she did there?) runs on the philosophy that to draw is to channel the inner self in an almost automatic fashion, not steer the pen or pencil with thought. This results in often dark, Blakean visions from Hiley’s subconscious which are in turn fascinating, detailed and just that little bit dark. Blurring the lines between automated machinery and the body, Hiley and Gregg’s works will no doubt provide an intriguing counterpoint to each other.

Carl Gregg and Amy Hiley present their exhibitions at the Newcastle Arts Centre from Friday 11th September until Saturday 10th October.

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