Contemporary painting, photography & sculpture... its the time of Warrington Arts Festival 2014

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery 'Open Part 1'

Spanning three venues and incorporating a film installation, a modern art talk, numerous performance pieces, creative clubs and... a noisy ping pong table, its seems hardly real that there's also space for contemporary painting, sculpture and a Photography Open. Yet this is what the team behind this year's Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival has done and what a show it is.

Being one of their artists-in-residence I may be a little biased towards the painting side of the Open
Gallery at Bank Quay House
but there is a plethora of artist activity to press your 'artistic buttons' this month. Running until the 1st November (so get down there quick!) you have 'The Gallery at Bank Quay House' opposite the town hall which has a pleasing selection of paintings and sculpture to tickle your taste buds, along with the hot tea, coffee and cakes due its being a coffee shop so you can lounge til your heart is content eating cake and looking at all the chosen exhibits. A favourite of mine is 'Fragmented Mire' by Tracy Hill, a softly flowing etched piece whose individual screen printed elements move by any incoming breeze.

Next stop is the Warrington Museum and Art Gallery which houses the majority of this year's contemporary paintings. A mezzanine level of works showcasing the finest local talent and includes the winning painting 'Time Waiting' by Manchester artist Tim Rayer-Smith. A meaty, gestural abstract
'66' Deborah Podmore
painting combining oil and mixed media techniques. Followed by fellow Manchester artist, runner-up Lorna Fellas with her eclectic acrylic and ink painting which looked to me to be a small mummified body in a glass bottle... you'll have to see what you think. Both pieces are definitely different and stand out as well considered works. Alongside them you have another commendation to Wigan artist, David Stanley for his sublime 'Ludlous Summer Shallow' abstract painting. There are a lot of superb offerings on show including a David Bowie piece made from dice and a ceramic installation by Deborah Podmore containing ceramic cups embossed with poetic war messages.

Last but not least, the Pyramid culture centre is hosting a wide variety of installation pieces as well as
'Time Dilation' John Hipkiss
the Photography Open, including the splendid runner-up, Hannah Cawthorne with her mysteriously derelict image. Alongside Will Nash's 'Noisy Table' and 'Time Dilation' by John Hipkiss. Both immersive installations, one which the viewer gets to participate and the other where you watch strangers grow old on dozens of reclaimed 'screens' made out of domestic materials... a truly engaging artwork to go and see right on the top floor.

All in all an Open to dazzle the senses.

Warrington Arts Festival
To the 1st November

'Fragmented Mire' Tracy Hill
'Tins: Variation number 53' Matthew Kel

'Brother' Sarah Harris

'Life' Ben Betney

'Abstrakt Lake' (one done by myself)

Winner: 'Time Waiting' Ian Rayer-Smith

Runner Up: 'Ellen Kelly' Lorna Fellas

Commended: 'Ludlow Summer Shallows' David Stanley

'66' Deborah Podmore
'Let's dice' Genevieve Pennington

Please take note that your art may flourish from reading this blog :)


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