ARChive STories : Pattern, People and PLace
The unfolding story of Joseph Johnson collection by Donna Claypool
Exploring bolton museum archive collection of mid century woven furnishing fabrics, where artist Donna Claypool is creating new work during the exhibition gallery.
To also gather stories from the wider public who might have memories of family members working at the factory, living within the area, or these patterned fabrics within their home as part of everyday life.
These stories and interruption will inform a body of new works for exhibition at the Bolton Museum Temporary Gallery, April 2024.
Paintings by David Gledhill
As we plunge ever deeper into a culture of self-branding, person or persons unknown celebrates unknown C20th citizens who experienced some of the most drastic upheavals in history.
Based on snapshots, studio portraits and official records collected from flea markets across Europe, the exhibition explores the limits of analogue photography as an apparently ‘objective’ medium and its relationship to the portrait tradition in painting.
Drawing on a range of photographic material produced between the 1920s and 1960s, person or persons unknown reveals how, at times of ideological pressure, individuality can be suppressed socially, politically and through representational practices. Reinvesting a sense of human presence into documents and keepsakes that have been lost, misplaced or discarded, it demonstrates the enduring fascination of the human image.
Continuum features the work of artists who have taught or are teaching in the School of the Arts at the University of Bolton.
The show explores the ongoing dialogue between artists and the institution, drawing out correspondences between media, subjects and themes addressed by tutors past and present. At a time of uncertainty in arts education, Continuum sets out a broad range of working practices representing the richness of the art school tradition in the UK.
HIVE gallery is pleased and proud to host Margaret Jackson – A Retrospective.
In an introduction to “Take to the Trees” (a joint exhibition with Julie Levy in 2014), Margaret wrote: “I think of my paintings as poems. In place of words I have developed a visual language, each painting is a poem to be “read” by the viewer. It takes time to “read”, “listen to” and “absorb” a painting. I hope my pieces are about contemplation and the viewer will spend time with them and share with me in the work”.
Margaret’s work can be divided into three phases (though there is a lot of overlap both in the time they were done and the subject matter), each of which is to a greater or lesser extent represented in this exhibition.
Work concerned with “industrial archaeology”, of which she wrote “the work takes me on an internal journey to find out what makes me, as a woman, and a painter, at the beginning of the 21st century so drawn to ideas about death and decay, about the passage of what was so essentially a male society, about a world of dust, grime and grease and to a very local story”. Her work contains many images of Hick, Hargreaves works and the Thomas Mitchell Factory on Derby Street, both Bolton landmarks and now long gone.
Work concerned with environmental issues, ranging from her early depictions of road protesters’ “benders” to the work displayed in “Take to the Trees”. Writing of that work Margaret depicted her response to the natural world, "...like walking along a long narrow ridge between two deep valleys…. On one side is the forest, a place of myth and mystery. At the deepest point of that valley lies the dangerous mire of fairy tale and whimsy. On the other side are the industrial and mechanical processes that turn trees into products. No longer living entities but the flat packs that will make a B&Q shed”.
Finally, there is her celebration of allotment life and her joy in nature and in gardening. In a poem, “Remembering”, she wrote;
Reflections in winter glass, Robin’s Greenhouse in Spring, with fleece hanging from the rafters like a theatre curtain, Lydia and Peter’s matching chairs, each with a pair of gardening shoes tucked tidily beneath, Honeysuckle flowering each year, scented and smothering the old shed The sky reflected in the glass door, all shades of blue, Old doors lying on the ground, unlocking the earth, Fred’s sunflowers, poster plants of the allotments “30 years on the allotment. “Sky, soil, sunlight, scents and seasons.”
For much of her career Margaret worked with “encaustics” a mixture of wax, varnish and oils, which she made herself. Of this she wrote: (quoting Marlene Dumas) “I paint because I want to leave behind a trace of my touch. The content of the painting can’t be separated from the feel of the surface.”
Margaret was born in Bolton, but grew up in the small Northumberland port of Amble. She returned to Bolton in the mid-1960s. She spent the first part of her working life as a primary school teacher in the North-West of England, before leaving teaching in the mid-1990s to take a BA in Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. On completing her degree, she was awarded a Bursary under the NW Arts “Setting Up Scheme” – which supported a Residency in Wigan and Leigh. From 2002-2006 she worked as a Gallery Officer at Drumcroon Art Gallery in Wigan. From 2006 – 2008 she had an Artist’s Residency in Children’s Centres as part of Manchester Education Partnership’s “Creative Collaboration Project”. In 2009 she joined the neo-artists group in central Bolton, with whom and through whom, she worked and exhibited over the next eight years, helping form the Slug Society in 2016.
Margaret died on 22nd January 2022. This celebration of her life and work is our tribute to her.
Hive are pleased to announce Open Studio & Working Exhibition featuring the work of Andy Smith, Phil Porter and guest artist KAZER which is running until 27th May 2023.
Andy Smith is a painter and multimedia artist working predominantly with oils on canvas for his residency in the gallery.
He is currently focusing on a particular architectural feature at Oxford Rd train station in Manchester.
As a student of icons and iconography, the concrete spiral staircase on the central platform acts as a totem for his exploration into the power of iconic indoctrination.
Phil Porter’s work explores some of the historic buildings in Bolton’s town centre and includes a series of paintings featuring the architecture on Platform 5 at Bolton Railway Station. Phil has been artist in residence twice at the P5 Gallery at the station and some of his earlier works can be seen on the outside of the Platform 5 buildings.
Both artists are working in situ on new canvases and visitors had the opportunity to speak to them and ask questions whilst the gallery was open.
KAZER has produced a mural of Bolton for the exhibition. His work can be seen throughout the town, notably on the walls of The Sweet Green Tavern, The Greyhound and The Griffin.
Our third exhibition, 3, features the work of three award-winning artists Janet Brady, Maggie Hargreaves and Susan Syddall. Hive Artists are delighted to show this dynamic collection of contemporary work in our new gallery on the upper ground floor of the Market Place Shopping Centre in Bolton.
Janet, Maggie, and Susan, all local artists, have a wealth of talent between them and are all highly regarded in their own field. This show brings together work inspired by nature and the environment, with each artist using different processes to make pieces which are allowed to evolve in the making. Janet uses expressive mark making to explore geology and the history of place, Maggie takes inspiration from experience of landscape, creating abstract paintings and Susan uses textiles, stitch and colour to make mixed media works.
Speaking for all three artists Maggie, a former winner of the John Ruskin prize for drawing, said,
‘As former Bolton University students and artists, we are delighted to be returning to show our new work at the lovely Hive Gallery. We have all been developing new working practices and appreciate the opportunity to share our passion with the Bolton public.’
Dr. Steph Dermott, director of Hive Artists CIC, said, ‘Following on from the first two successful exhibitions in our gallery, we are pleased to be able to share this exciting work with the wider community and visitors to the Market Place. It is our aim to both brighten up the shopping centre with contemporary fine art and encourage people who are perhaps new to the world of art, to come and experience it first-hand.’
25th November - 24th December
Our second exhibition, DAY- LIGHT : NIGHT- LIGHT features the work of award-winning artist Pete Marsh and we are delighted to show this exciting collection of Pete’s work selected specially for this exhibition.
Pete Marsh has been exhibiting his work for over forty years and was recently awarded The Selectors Prize for his work in “Rhythm: A Conversation Between Art and Music” exhibition. Pete is the founder member of FaMAS which provides studio and exhibition space at Falcon Mill in Bolton. Pete has exhibited nationally and internationally.
Pete says, “My work is representational comprising largely of landscape and figurative work. I use “en plein-air” sketches, studio sketches, photographs and occasionally digital manipulation techniques to help to produce, not just a facsimile of what I see, but something that expresses what I and (hopefully) my audience feels.”
Pete’s work showcases a wide range of techniques and media with something for everyone to enjoy. His subject matter ranges from landscapes to portraits and art inspired by his passion for music and we are pleased to be able to share this with the wider community and visitors to the Market Place.
About the artist
Andy Smith worked locally in Community Arts for 25 years before enrolling at Bolton School of the Arts in 2011. Graduating with a BA in Fine Art in 2014, he won the NADFAS bursary prize that enabled his subsequent MA graduation in 2015.
Since then he has exhibited work throughout England and in Germany.
The academic freedom to creatively explore any subject is something he maintains in his practice, and examples of the breadth of his interests and methodologies are on display in Post-Modem.
Whilst his work is rooted in traditional mark making skills like painting and drawing, he uses a range of media to expand their communicative potential; particularly focusing on themes of political, social and environmental consent.