Leek Peek:
I went over to the town of Leek, on the border of the Peak District National Park, for the opening of fresh (site will be live in the next 24 hours), a new show featuring work by my friend Mark Wood. The venue was impressive, the Moorland Arts & Antique Centre; most assuredly not the “pokey antique shop with a small back room” that the name might lead one to expect. It’s actually a former silk mill, with a cafe and a “Kids Kingdom” downstairs. The 300 sq.m. white-walled gallery space has the same feel and size/height as the upstairs of Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, and the quality and ambition of the works on show was excellent. Mark mounted his Constructed Spaces show, plus two sets of prints which variously referenced horses & myth; landscapes and hill-figures, and as multiple Lascaux-like sketches. Two other artists completed the show. Jon Braley has fine Turner-esque abstract landscapes – an entire room of deeply subtle blues – all highly finished and with seductive glazed finishes. Paul Brooks has recent graduated in sculpture from Wolverhampton, and is also showing at Fresh Art 2002 in London; his complex work strives to both contain and subvert systems of mathematical quantification. A giant ruler, a precisely cut-up table, and multiple castings all reference yet undermine art’s genuflection before ‘the multiple’ or the ‘found object’. The private-view for fresh was well attended, with about 120 people attending. It now runs until 13th October (01538 399210). All works are for sale.


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