Natasha Brooks - Collectivity

26 July 2014


Originally from Yorkshire, Natasha Brooks is a local artist based on the Isle of Anglesey. Whilst recently studying a B.A in Fine Art she has increasingly come to use video and photography as means of her expression, although still classes herself as a mixed media artist.

Having extensively travelled over the past decade, she has drawn from her experiences and chooses to focus on the uniting characteristics of humanity that span the globe despite geographical and cultural divides. Because of technological bridges that have been created in the modern world, the chance for connectivity, empathy, and understanding have never been experienced on such a scale before. In this increasingly small world Natasha believes that it is important to focus on unity to tread a sustainable path through our increasingly precarious future.

Natasha chooses to look within, to deeply understand and express the human condition. Her work is highly personal and visceral, placing herself in, and highlighting the fragility of the natural life cycles that encompass all. She often uses water to symbolise the barriers observed between the physical and the spiritual, the internal and external. Her work is influenced by the ideas and works of Marcus Coates, Joseph Beuys, James Turrell and the Psychologist Carl Gustav Jung.

Since graduating this year Natasha has exhibited in Cardiff for the Modern Alchemists. She has been selected, and is currently exhibiting for the National Eisteddfod, Llanelli, and will shortly be exhibiting in West Yorkshire. Collectivity is her first solo exhibition.

Artist Statement

Language, the thinking on the problem, is a more important sculpture even than the end process existing in tools or in paintings, or in drawings, or in carvings. This transcendent character of information, in an invisible world, gives us at the same time the proof… that we are not only biological beings, material beings, but first spiritual beings, not existing on this planet”

Joseph Beuys

With modern technology, forever at our fingertips, stimulation and bombardment from external forces is ever present meaning that peace and solitude are a rarity. Even when time and space is made for mindfulness and the spiritual, true stillness is fleeting, as we are always catapulted back into our chattering individual selves. I am fascinated with this internal battle, the veil that lies between the internal and external, spiritual and material. Within my work I often use water to symbolise this veil that is temporally permeable. Water has the obvious multi faith connections with spiritual cleansing and baptism. It is completely immersive, all encompassing and has a powerful effect on our physical and mental states. Long distance swimming shuts out the external world and allows me a meditative state. When surfing I find that the speed of action required to harness the waves energy results in a take over of an instinctual reflex, a focus that is so strong it eclipses all other stimuli. In this primeval state, personal energy is so wound up in the energy of the surroundings, the two are harmoniously intertwined.  I have also attained elevated states of mind through free diving, not only because the lack of breath, but because of the experience had in the water, the deeper you go, the more ‘other worldly’ it becomes. Whilst the physical pressure felt on all the body makes you extremely aware of your physical self, being surrounded by the beauty of such an expanse of heavy water around and on top of you allows an incomprehensible, yet deep understanding of our fragile personal existence and eventual unity with all existence.

This body of work has been heavily influenced by the works of Marcus Coates, by both his attempts to blur the barrier between human and animal, but also by his more recent ‘communal works’ which emphasise a needed yet weakened connection between people. It is this connection that I explore in my work. Believing that we are all individual expressions of a single divine source, I feel it is essential to unite with this divinity that is collectively at the heart of us all. I am interested in Jung’s ideas of the ‘Collective Unconscious’ and ‘Individuation’. The idea of the uniting of a persons conscious and unconscious mind so that their original unique promise might be fulfilled. For this to be possible it has to be realised that the larger conception of the self is also based on the idea that humans are expressions of a deeper layer of universal consciousness. To grasp the uniqueness of each person, paradoxically we have to go beyond the personal self to understand the workings of this deeper collective wisdom. As Jung states with ‘Individuation’ The deeper we understand our collective unconscious, the more we can flourish as our individual expression.


The exhibition opens on the 7th of August at 6pm. Attendance is free, but please register here for free drinks and snacks.

Workshop and talk

The artist’s workshop in Shadow Photography will run on the 16th of August at 11am, followed by the talk at 1pm. Please book your places for the workshop by following this link.

Patrick Queen - May We Find The Language

25 June 2014

Originally from Dumbarton Patrick Queen now lives and works in the city of Glasgow in Scotland. A recent graduate from the sculpture department at the Glasgow School of art his work explores the processes of transformation, conversion, metamorphosis and transfiguration within life; the potential that people and objects have to change and to become something new. Working interdisciplinary through painting, drawing, sculpture and photography his work examines this core concept of change aiming to make sense of past, present and future events and the role that they have in shaping who we understand ourselves to be today in the here and now.

His sculptures primarily composed of welded unfinished steel overlain with raw and fired clay explore the physicality of materials and their nature and propensity to break down over time. This dual nature and meaning can be seen as a metaphor for the life process and cycles found in nature - a building up and nurturing followed by decomposition and recycling of form and energy. Formally the work is often inspired by found materials from nature collected in locations ranging from Israel to Sardinia, all ending up inevitably in his studio in Glasgow to be explored and dwelled on intensely over long periods of times. Picked apart by hand and eye, again and again, he understands that what he sees and feels before him he will never have full grasp of intellectually -  the infinite potential of objects to give new meaning and direction to life. Each study reveals before unseen lines and forms to become shapes in a future piece of work, old memories combined with focused meditation in the here and now to create something new out of something bygone.

To be shown for the first time in the show are collages containing film photographs of past journeys and travels juxtaposed together with new and old drawings in gouache, charcoal and pencil. Text pieces from past diary entries and quotes from books which have shaped and continue to shape the life direction he takes are also incorporated into the collages. Books, much like the found objects, which have been visited again and again, left to penetrate deep into his mind before surfacing weeks, sometimes months later to inform new direction within his life and work. The overlaying of text with image over image hints at this multilayered experience of his mind, and of his memory, and the struggle sometimes which ensues in attempting to understand and place both in the moment of present experience. The collage work then is a visual representation of this complex course into understanding his mind and memory and of the subsequent process of yielding, of letting go and being okay with not knowing.

And sometimes if you sit, close your eyes and just feel who you are - where are you?‘  -Osho

The work on show is the result of ongoing research into the themes of time, location and movement and the influences they have in shaping and changing human identity. Central to these themes are questions relating to change and stasis, past and present and the nature of self and other - where does the past end and the present begin and where exactly am I able to locate myself within these moments? The work aims to explore the relationship between these themes and to make visible the moments of overlap and tension that can arise when exploring a possible consolidation to these questions.

Patrick Queen’s exhibition will open on the 3rd of July at 6pm.
The opening is free to attend, but drinks are free only if you book here or bring flyers you found or have.

Workshop on 05/07/14, 11am-12:30pm; Talk 1pm-2pm.
Only a limited amount of places is available!
Workshop is free if you book or bring a flyer, otherwise £10 for adults, and £5 for children on the door.
Book online or call 01286 671 366

The exhibition and workshop is sponsored by Bruce Edwards Jones Commercial Brokers and Ty Siocled

Check out Patrick Queen’s exhibition on Google Open Gallery

Rebecca F. Hardy - neuroanatomy

21 May 2014

The contemplation of the human mind, the conduct of human nature, its behaviour to perform consciously and subconsciously and the complexity of these emotions upon the individual and within society - this is Rebecca’s visual exploration and journey into understanding the dense sociology, psychology and biology of this process.

She works in a range of materials and projects, from mixed media, collage, sculpture, installations and photography.

Her sculptures/installations are from the series Tuccia are loosely based on the renaissance painting ‘The Vestal Virgin Tuccia’ by Giovanni Battista Moroni around 1560. Inspired by the tale of Tuccia an ancient Roman Vestal Virgin whose chastity was questioned by a spurious accusation and how she proved her innocence by carrying a sieve full of water from the Tiber to the Temple of Vesta. The sieves in Rebecca’s artwork act as vessels and metaphors of the mind and these metal objects co-exist with the repetitive motion of winding and stringing the chosen coloured thread. The work touches on feminism and mental health issues.

Her photography from the series Bodlondeb plays on the subconscious of grief and is mixed with the conscious of intentionally appreciating the importance of a memory, object, smell, or photograph. Her artwork encompasses these ideals through using personal autobiographical images in which she explores their representation with other surfaces and narrative objects. It is the passing of time and Rebecca’s own acceptance of her own grief; it is her contentment with this acceptance.

Her assemblages, collages are expressive, obscure and surreal and the contribution of text in the work, written in English and Welsh adds both conflict and augmentation. This method and style has been present in her work since her university years at Howard Gardens, Cardiff but has evolved and expanded through subtext and medium. Rebecca states “like many of my pieces it looks aesthetically pleasing could almost say pretty but then there are undertones of quite dark and unearthed themes”.

Within the past 8 years Rebecca has been involved in several group exhibitions in London and in Wales. Selected exhibitions include Works on Paper, Elysium Gallery, Swansea; In a State of Flux, SOUPgallery, London; Y Lle Celf 2009, The National Eisteddfod of Wales, Meirion and District, Repeat & Reprise, East Gallery, London; Wunderlust ll, tactileBOSCH, Cardiff and recently Ffoto Alternative: Time at Castell Bodelwyddan. This year her second solo exhibition will be held in the contemporary and experimental art hub, Bocs in Caernarfon.

Rebecca’s exhibition  opens on the 29th of May at 6pm and runs until the 29th of June. Attendance is free, but please register here to get your free drink.

Calx Creo

28 April 2014

Calx Creo

Calx Creo is a group of artists who like to express themselves through a variety of mediums, yet find common ground in aesthetics and style. Sevan Nigogosian, Mick Brown, Chris Higson, Gethin Wavel and Sadie Williams.

Mick Brown brought 4 mostly unacquainted former students of his together for a short exhibition over the Easter weekend of 2012, in the character filled stables and Barn at his Anglesey home, Bryn Eglwys. The group bonded over mucking out and painting the stables in Lime Wash, a few dry pairs of hands and sore splashes of lime in the eyes later the group had given themselves a name, Calx Creo, latin for ‘lime’ and ‘create’, both originating from the process in which the group were first formed. This process of preparing the stables at Bryn Eglwys still continues annually, every Easter weekend the group put on a short exhibition at their ‘home’. The group are now into their 3rd year with exciting plans afoot for the near future.

Mick Brown

My paintings are an essential part of my life.  They are expressive works in which I create a dialogue with the world both material and spiritual.  The paintings have a narrative element that may evolve during the ‘conversation’ which is the process of the painting.  I ask the viewer to rest and consider my paintings as the interaction between materials and processes become a vehicle for reflection. The language of mark and colour convey the energy within the paintings.

The work acts as a diary within a sense of autobiography, of living through textures of selected and censored world news, the horrors as well as the joys of being part of the ever-changing and transforming earth and the participation in its destruction and recreation on the relatively small scale of the paintings. The paintings exist between the representational and the abstract surface.

They have immediacy that communicates their vital nature and only at the point of the coherent statement is the work finished.

Sevan Garo

Sevan Garo’s entire practice is routed in painting and drawing. The works on display are a series of preliminary sketches for his new Glacier Works, which alongside his paintings, focus on the Deconstruction/Reconstruction of a geological, political and sociological landscape.

‘I often start with a certain tradition but my work really begins when I start breaking down the formal elements of painting and drawing and combining it with sculptural techniques and materials, this juxtaposing the Two and a Half dimension of painting and sculpture.

Gethin Wavel

In my work I try to capture a narrative in a moment of intense practice. I try to make my work as raw and honest as possible. I inject a lot of colour and humour into my painting then juxtapose that with my vigorous and sometimes violent mark making. My work can be taken as a form of communication or expression, but at its core, it is the end result of my obsession with paint.

My main subject over the last two years has been the national welsh flag. It has been the focal point of my feelings of shame, disappointment and disgust at what I see as a lack of culture and understanding in an ever increasingly isolated, fake and hypocritical wales.

Sadie Williams

Sadie Williams is a young Welsh artist currently studying BA Fine art at Coleg Menai, Bangor. Her work varies in materials and processes from sculpture, painting and film, to collage, ceramics and installation. Working with themes influenced by surrealism, philosophy, astronomy and anthropology.

A collection of paintings and collages created in the past year influenced by South American dreams. Including collages of ‘Y Gwladfa’ in Patagonia to paintings ranging from surreal still lifes and desert landscapes to the lost Nasca city of Cahuachi.

Chris Higson

My practice focuses on degradation, chance and abandonment. Qualities such as decay, light, historical graffiti and ephemeral detail remain untouched and honest. Interests in colour and ancient cultures combine to create a background influence on my work, whether photographing dereliction or decaying nature or large work on found materials.

This Series of work focuses on the delicate textures, marks and colour’s that have built over decades on derelict walls, creating an almost atmospheric and universal quality. This feeling of space and depth is what really appealed to me when forming these compositions.

Bocs Presents : Mr Kobo

28 March 2014

Mr Kobo is a local visual artist based in the beautiful Snowdonia region of North Wales, who is quickly gaining recognition for his unique and imaginative artwork.

The images he creates contain strong symbolic elements and are typically orientated around a central character. Some of his works express his personal experiences in life, whilst others are based upon inspiring myths and legends. Many are also heavily influenced by the people he has met throughout his journey through life.

Drawing influences from art forms such as the Graphic Arts and Graffiti to art movements such as Pop Surrealism & Art Nouveau, his work treads the borders between fine art and illustration.

Over time his work has shifted and changed to express new ideas and allow him to experiment with different media, whilst always keeping a recognisable signature style.

His distinct and contemporary illustrations are typically produced in graphite to capture delicate and subtle tones, whilst his bolder and brighter painted works are created using combinations of aerosol, acrylic and emulsion paint on a variety surfaces. He is also accomplished in the art of pyrography and continues to experiment with the medium and its application to his artistic work.

After exhibiting in various cities across the UK, Mr Kobo’s first solo show in his homelands of North Wales will be presented by Bocs, where a collection of his works will be on display at the gallery between 4th and 27th April, 2014.
The opening night is on 3rd April and includes a private view of Mr Kobo’s work, along with visuals and sounds by local creative music producers, LSN.