NEWS: From Spiceworld to Brexit @ Vane | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Jock Mooney, ALLSPICE (detail), 2019, digital drawing, fabric design, 150x300cm. Image courtesy of the artist and Vane

Taking nostalgia as well as the ongoing ‘will they won’t they’ saga of Brexit as his cue, artist Jock Mooney’s new exhibition From Spiceworld To Brexit debuts at Newcastle’s Vane Gallery from Thursday 14th November-Saturday 14th December.

Mooney reflects on the optimism of his 90’s adolescence when New Labour had taken hold, the Spice Girls were at the pinnacle of their career and Cool Britannia was channelling youth culture. Twenty years later – and after a global financial crisis, international terror incidents and the fear of global warming – it’s difficult to equate the two worlds. Jock Mooney aims to re-examine the Britain of his youth with an older and possibly wiser eye.

The exhibition features sculptural tableaus as well as films revolving around the figure of Geri Halliwell as the personification of Britannia, in situations that can often seem bizarre and menacing. A case in point is the unique collaboration with Halliwell-inspired drag queen Just May in Mooney’s fascinating video You Can’t Polish A Turd, which references amongst other things the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Tori Spelling and Spaghetti Westerns.

This song is part of an eleven-track soundtrack which has been specially compiled to accompany the exhibition, and combines soundbites of recognisable public figures such as Theresa May and Boris Johnson alongside droning synths and bird song.

From Spiceworld To Brexit is at Vane Gallery, Newcastle from Thursday 14th November-Saturday 14th December


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