Our current fine art exhibition Black Sheep Clever Monkey is showing at New Heritage Gallery until the end of January 2014.
This tiny, gem of a gallery is on historical Heritage Square, tucked into the inner courtyard with its door under a 1771 grapevine.
This is our first solo collaborative exhibition and we worked towards it for quite some time. There are 4 separate series within the exhibition and between 40 and 50 individual pieces plus products for sale. Works include digital paintings by Pete, comic/vintage photo-montage works by Elaine and Pete, and pop sculpture by Elaine.
POP ART SCULPTURE
Pete is a caricature artist and has drawn literally hundreds, even thousands, of people. Over the years he has seen the many connections between each individual, their faces, personalities and character. After looking at pictures of monkeys and apes the two started blending into one in his mind. Soon he was creating human-like portraits of imaginary old world monkeys and great apes. Pete has always been fascinated with our primate relatives and how much we share with them. Old world monkeys have lovely, agile bodies with wonderful coats and whiskers that are great to illustrate. By giving the monkeys professions (each is titled by its occupation) Pete could convey their identities and play with stereotypes about profession. The monkey portrait series will grow to fill a book and you can see more of them in Pete’s personal portfolio.
Elaine became fascinated with sheep in the North of Scotland where she encountered the Cheviot – a sturdy, handsome breed. Their odd combination of solidity and sensitivity in contrast with the harsh landscape seemed to capture something of the human condition. Sheep embody opposing ideas that are universal: the flock vs the individual, security vs anxiety, defensiveness vs curiosity, and persistence vs insignificance. Elaine had gone to Scotland to attend a challenging master class in glass, at Northlands, and when she sometimes felt skittish she would draw comfort from the sheep in the surrounding fields by retreating there to watch them and gather her woolly thoughts. She spent many windswept hours crouching behind wiry hedges waiting for just the right moment to creep out and snap the jumpy creatures.