Artist maps out her own ‘skewiff’ world

'PLAYFUL' ... artist Michelle Follett, below, and her work on display at the Custom House.
'PLAYFUL' ... artist Michelle Follett, below, and her work on display at the Custom House.

OPENING your first solo exhibition is a big moment for any artist.

Michelle Follett is celebrating seeing her first solo show at The Customs House’s Fusion Gallery, in Mill Dam, South Shields.

Artist Michelle Follett

Artist Michelle Follett

Her collection of drawings and paintings, dubbed Skewiffism, is part of the latest Transition exhibition, which showcases the work of local and emerging artists.

Michelle, from North Tyneside, was part of the venue’s What Is Drawing? and In Dreams group exhibitions, but has never before seen a whole gallery space dedicated to her own creations.

She said: “Making art is a way of coming back to myself. It is essential for me to be playful and creative. I find it fascinating, as I never know how it will turn out. I like being messy too.

“During the creation of this work I have been interested in the unusual, the irregular, the unconfined and the notion of endless possibilities.

“I gradually moved away from the regularity of usual canvasses, as I wanted to free up the work so it could move and breathe more easily. I’m not regular or usual – so why should my canvasses be? I am excited to have my first solo exhibition.

“It’s so good to see my work displayed properly and given enough space to be seen.”

Esen Kaya, curator of visual arts at The Customs House, said: “I am delighted that we are able to support regional artists.

“Transition is the exhibition slot that was created specifically to support regional, emerging artists’ work and it is great that after two years of working closely with Michelle and following her practice, that she has a solo show in the Fusion Gallery.

“I was immediately drawn to her work, her unusual and refreshing sense of perspective on painting. She is a very talented painter who will no doubt have an interesting career.”

Skewiffism is on display at The Customs House until Sunday, June 15.

Entry is free.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki