Saturday, 18 January 2014

Happy New Year - 'Memorial' a 2012 exhibition of work by Christy Yates & Stephen Kavanagh.

Happy New Year!

So its just turn 2014 and I’ve realised that I’ve not updated this blog in years. So my New Years resolution is to start updating this space more regularly.

In other news I just graduated in December from my Masters course in Museum Studies that I started in sebtember 2012. I thought a good way to start the New Years resolution would be to put up some photos from my last big art exhibition which I had just a month before moving to Glasgow to start my Masters course.

The exhibition statement and accompanying photos below are from me and Stephen Kavanagh's joint exhibition entitled ‘Memorial’ at Edinburgh’s London Road Art Complex on July 2012.

An exhibition of work by Christy Yates and Stephen Kavanagh

Two up and coming recent graduates from Gray’s School of Art are set to open a two week exhibition entitled “Memorial” at the Arts Complex Galleries on London Road, Edinburgh.

This exhibition will showcase works by Christy Yates and Stephen Kavanagh. Two artists whose work thematically relates to concepts of memory and nostalgia in unique ways. Both work in meticulous fashion, producing highly detailed pieces reflecting their own experiences and ideas related to theses themes.

Christy deals with bizarre and singular objects such as left over scraps, newspapers, packaging bicker brack and rubbish whilst Stephen chooses to depict old and often derelict buildings, for instance; air raid shelters, linoleum factories and sunken theatre buildings. Both artists work deal heavily with the nostalgic, sentiment and historical feelings that people tend to place on inanimate objects. Buildings and items left in the wake of human inhabitancy if properly observed often have there own character or story to tell. What in some people’s eyes appears to be decrepit, broken and ruined junk to remain forgotten and disused to other peoples can be fragile treasures, monuments to the past, reminders acting as bookmarks to old stories. Both Stephen and Christy’s work understand the importance of these often understated items/spaces and try to celebrate them in a way that is fitting them but also to the artist’s own unique way of expression and observation.

The artists:

Stephen Kavanagh
Stephen’s ideas are translated into a series of sculptures and graphite drawings on paper. Working in a style that whilst remaining expressive and figurative, it gleams with a near machine like and industrial steely strength. The subject matter is brought together in a using drawing materials normally reserved for architectural and design purposes. Stephen often works tonally in shades of grey but uses his drawing implements in a way that brings a playful yet solemn character to the subject matter. In his drawings he uses rendering techniques that allows his depictions to be delicate but bold at the same time. His fascination lies within the collective memory and the human response to the built environment. “We are constantly in contact with the built environment, it would be impossible for these structures not to hold a past or a memory even if it is us who carry it for them.” 

Stephen Kavanagh has been working in Edinburgh for the past two years and has been involved in shows in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and London and was awarded the RSA John Kinross Scholarship in 2010.

Christy Yates
Christy’s work typically critiques the way in which modern art is displayed studing found objects which are often of a ‘disposable’ or ‘useless’ nature. Bringing his forms to life using white highlights and slight tonal variations bringing his subject matter to a solid conclusion. Christys’ paintings, often quiet and understated, with occasional flashes of bright colour designed to draw in the viewers eye. Working in the traditional medium of oil paint Christy creates a hard to achieve shading gradient that brings the paintings to an unintended ‘Photo-realistic’ finish, a three dimensional approach designed to show the sculptural qualities of the paintings subject matter.

So Long Lonesome
The Last Supper

Monument to Obsolescence

The three paintings below I did as a triptych.

Crowd Psychology
The Last Tiffany
Bernay's Torches of Freedom

 Here's some photos from the gallery space

My own personal statement and list of paintings

Twelve muses by: Christy Yates

“All the ancient writers appeal to the Muses at the beginning of their work. Homer asks the Muses both in the Iliad and Odyssey to help him tell the story in the most proper way, and until today the Muses are symbols of inspiration and artistic creation.
In painting the Muses are usually presented as ethereal women with divine beauty, holding laurels and other items depending on their faculty.”

The Ouroboros cycle

Miscellaneous Object Pt. III

Designed in California

Elegy to Uncertainty (Schrödinger's cat)


Black Man in the White House


Monument to Obsolescence

More than Meets the Eye

The Last Super


Crowd Psychology

Bernay’s Torches of Freedom

The Last Tiffany


So Long Lonesome

“In my work I examine the value of material objects and question the worth and Importance of what we choose to treasure and uphold in today’s society. Thus seeking to question what we may or may not perceive as a relic or object ‘worthy’ of sustained and serious artistic study and preservation.

My artistic practice primarily revolves around collecting objects of a mundane and ordinary nature. From a young age I have always horded and collected even the most obscure Items of bicker brack in a fashion that boarders on the obsessive compulsive.

Many of the Items I focus my attentions upon have a personal significance or narrative attached to them witch is hinted at, and reflected on in the painting titles. My objects and paintings often work as metaphors alluding to problems faced In daily life, as well as referencing elements of popular culture that have significantly Impacted upon myself.”

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