NEWS: Selfhoods @ The Constantine Gallery | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Brian Russell, Training friendly 1 & 2 2015

Middlesbrough’s march towards multi-cultural capital of the North is building up a head of steam, and with the support of MIMA, the arts is an area in fine fettle too. This can be seen perfectly in new exhibition Selfhoods, which runs until Friday 27th November, and features new work by members of The Gilkes Street Artists, at The Constantine Gallery at Teesside University.

The Gilkes Street Artists are a voluntary organisation providing funding and studio solutions for emerging local talent. As their name suggests they are based in Gilkes Street in Middlesbrough, right amongst the hustle and bustle of Grainger Games and Wetherspoons and just over the road from the Crafts Centre where they were conceived in 2012. Although they are no longer able to offer their own gallery space, which had been a haven for temporary exhibitions and projects by visual artists, university students and local community groups alike, they continue to offer support and advice to local artists attempting to get their work shown locally and further afield.


Selfhoods is an exhibition of new work from the collective, comprising individual pieces exploring the artists’ inner worlds and their impact on their immediate surroundings. Emma Barnett and Ray Husband tackle issues of physical and emotional engagement with the areas and buildings familiar with them. Brian Russell engages us in his passion for wheelchair basketball and Dot Seddon, while depicting the everyday, dramatises the mundane.

John Wheeler uses old family photographs to show how once recognisable images can become unfamiliar over time. Jenni Thirlwell examines the way films with universal themes evoke personal memories, Dianne Bowell exposes erotic fantasies and Leanne Jackson contrasts individual feelings and social expectation.

Selfhoods is almost a companion piece to MIMA’s current Localism exhibition and echoes current debates about the tension between internationalism and a localised sense of place.

Selfhoods runs at The Constantine Gallery, Teesside University until Friday 27th November.

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