PICTURE SPECIAL: Gallery helps artists make their mark

A SOUTH Tyneside gallery has become part of an international event to celebrate contemporary artists.

The Customs House, in South Shields, is hosting four artists as part of the International Print Biennale.

UNIQUE DISPLAY ... artist Becky Haughton is having her work displayed at the Customs House as part of the International Print Biennale exhibition.

UNIQUE DISPLAY ... artist Becky Haughton is having her work displayed at the Customs House as part of the International Print Biennale exhibition.

The event was established by festival Northern Print in 2009, and in 2011 welcomed an audience of more than 153,000 people from all over the world to print exhibitions and events across the region with 15,000 taking part in public events and learning activities.

The annual event kicked off again on Friday and runs until August 8.

It celebrates the role of print in contemporary artists’ practice and is the only event of its kind in the UK.

The Customs House, in Mill Dam, is showing work by artists Becky Haughton, Emma Holliday, Louise Bradley and Susan Dobson as part of the event.

Becky’s work, Memory Process, is on display in the Port of Tyne gallery.

The artist specialises in drawing and printmaking, particularly etching and photo-etching. Her practice explores interests in repetitive mark-making, often characterised by lines or dots.

Becky makes drawings and prints from personal and found photographs. She draws new versions of the original images by selecting, editing, simplifying, inventing imagery and mixing up visual languages.

She has had her work shown in group exhibitions in galleries across the UK, been shortlisted and awarded key national print prizes and has work in private collections.

Louise’s artwork, Horror Vacui, which translates to Fear of Emptiness, is being shown in the Upper Fusion Gallery.

The Newcastle-based artist, who has a studio at 36 Lime Street Studios, in Ouseburn, Newcastle, has created a number of silkscreen prints depicting plants and their natural beauty, evolution and reproduction.

Susan’s Mountains in Mind is on display in the Lower Fusion Gallery and Green Room.

The drawings and watercolours, which were made in the mountains, look at the form and structure of the mountain landscapes.

She said: “Recording a complex mountain ridge requires total concentration, often for two or three hours at a time. It becomes a meditation and sharpens my perception.”

Emma’s work, dubbed The Stairwell Show, is hanging in the stairwell of the gallery.

The artist works predominantly in acrylics.

Her work has been featured in numerous publications and she has exhibited nationally and internationally.

Her paintings are in many private and public collections, including Newcastle University and The House of Lords.

Customs House visual arts curator, Esen Kaya, said: “We are delighted to have such a diverse range of high quality work on show which will demonstrate how important it is for us to play a key role in this major region wide activity which has a national and international audience.”

Entry to the Customs House gallery is free.

It is open from 10am to 8.30pm on performance days and 10am to 6pm on non-performance days, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki