Up North Exhibition : Contemporary Artists of the North

The Up North exhibition provided a platform for young Northern artists, whose work may be overlooked at times, to display their artwork in a modern and vibrant setting. The opening night saw students with a diverse range of interests come together to celebrate the work of other young people. The work explored the idea of identity and covered a variety of media, ranging from photography to sculpture.

In her striking photographic series ‘A Late Bloomer’, Chloe Sharp aims to overcome gender conventions through the styling of her male model. This idea is reiterated by the photographer’s use of flowers, which connote femininity, beauty and delicacy.

Local artist Leo Morey depicts the streets of York in his vivid oil paintings. He often takes advantage of the typically dreary British weather by utilising reflections in puddles to create a ‘duality of realities’ in the scenes he paints. His work highlights the beauty of the everyday, shining new light on the streets and buildings we may have become too accustomed to.

Tilly Thornborrow is another artist who takes inspiration from everyday life. ‘Reminder’ comprises a multitude of post-it notes in various shades of pink, juxtaposing brief notes and reminders with images taken from a family photo album. Her work encourages us to reflect on the idea of memory. Her use of millennial pink, a soothing shade often associated with femininity and innocence, may relate to our tendency to romanticise the past and view our memories through rose-tinted glasses.

A note from Faith Weddle and Senah Tuma, the Co-Curators of Up North:

Up North celebrated a wide range of artists and mediums, with a variety of interpretations on the theme of northern identity - fulfilling our aims for the exhibition which was to display how diverse and eclectic northern artists are. The Norman Rea Gallery are honoured to have hosted such a mix of works and to have provided a platform for young artists across the North.

Faith and Senah have now teamed up once again to become Co-Directors of the Norman Rea Gallery. As directors, they strive to continue to provide a platform for a diverse variety of artists, students and communities.

The curation of Up North - Young Artists was led by Faith I Weddle and Senah Tuma, realising Sarah Pearey’s vision for a Northern exhibition.

The show has been brought into fruition alongside the Norman Rea Gallery committee of 2019/2020; Grace Frazer, Bethan Eleri Carrick, Emma Pearce, Finn Reece, Pearlin Guillon, Rosie Day, Millie Tinston and Norman Rea Gallery members; Keziah Owusu, Isabella George, Daisy Mansfield, Francesca Christodoulou, Mariah Chuan, Vasu Pillarisetti, Martha Nicholson, Marie Colahan, Fiona Wong, Rebecca Rice-Thomas and Frankie Riley.

Special thanks to the performers of the opening evening; Pensacola Mist and Nathan Price, photographers; Liuka Jonynaitė, Joseph Pike and sound technician Dan Taylor.

Written by Rebecca Rice - Thomas, Faith Weddle & Senah Tuma

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