The Everyday Political brings together artists and art collectives from the North East of England. Expanding on Holly Argent’s Women Artists of the North East Library (Workplace Foundation, Gateshead, 22 June – 9 September), elements of the library will be exhibited at Southwark Park Galleries in London alongside new work including audio, text, painting and photography.
The exhibition, curated by George Vasey, resists neat thematics and foregrounds a series of questions: how can we articulate a strategic regionalism? How do we frame the messiness and intimacy of the social? What are the current and localised urgencies felt within the North East and can they be transferred to another city? And where is north from here?
These questions form a metaphorical metronome for the exhibition; if the curator establishes a rhythm section, then the participating artists provide the melody. This is further articulated through the conversational and collaborative nature of the group show. By inviting artists to suggest other participants from the region, intergenerational voices echo throughout the show in different guises. As such, The Everyday Political becomes a particularly subjective travelogue – a letter written from the North by the artists who live there.
Taking inspiration from Joy Labinjo’s paintings of her family, the exhibition forms a type of portrait of this art scene. Central to the exhibition is a series of photographs by Kuba Ryniewicz who has created a set of new narrative portraits in collaboration with the artists Deborah Bower, Jo Coupe and Janina Sabaliauskaite. These artists were nominated by Holly Argent and Jade Sweeting as influences on their respective practices and, through citation and homage, articulate the core values of the exhibition. Photographer Mark Pinder will be presenting images from his archive dating back to 1987, forming a fragmented portrait of the region during that period.
Conversations had by the curator whilst undertaking a Teaching Fellowship at Newcastle University are manifested in The Everyday Political – developed by Vasey in conversation with Holly Argent and Workplace Foundation in response to the Great Exhibition of the North (June-September 2018).
Southwark Park Galleries
Workplace Foundation and Southwark Park Galleries
Paul Moss and Judith Carlton