Art exhibition is a real family affair

Customs House exhibition, Make Now Please. Joe and sister Alice Woodhouse
Customs House exhibition, Make Now Please. Joe and sister Alice Woodhouse

A BROTHER and sister have created an art exhibition that’s a real family affair.

Joe and Alice Woodhouse’s work is on display at the Customs House, in South Shields.

Like other artist duos, they make work by exchanging dialogue and practice, often working on one drawing together which is passed on from one to the other, after a mark has been made.

Esen Kaya, Customs House visual arts curator

The exhibition, dubbed Make Now Please, includes sculptural displays and digital prints.

Joe, who lives in Newcastle, and London-based Alice, used their artwork to explore the tools, gestures and visual language in both the physical and virtual work spaces of contemporary practice.

The exhibition also includes a curated research area containing archival material and documentation collected by the artists about the Basic Design course at Newcastle University in the 1950s and ‘60s. 

The Basic Design course at Newcastle was established by the artists Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton, and revolutionised the teaching of art and design.

Esen Kaya, visual arts curator at the Customs House, said: “Brother and sister duo Joe and Alice Woodhouse work in a really interesting way.

“Like other artist duos, they make work by exchanging dialogue and practice, often working on one drawing together which is passed on from one to the other, after a mark has been made.

“This takes away a certain degree of ‘control’ that one artist may have on the other, but also creates an interesting element of chance and playfulness.

“Joe is based here in the North East, whereas Alice lives and works in London, so there is a physical and geographical exchange they have with their practice too.

“For this show, they have worked together to explore the archival origins of the basic design course developed by the influential artists Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton, which revolutionised the way in which art and design was taught in art schools in the 1950s and ‘60s.

“It’s a show which requires the viewer to give it some time and thought, and it sits very well with the very detailed and beautifully autobiographical exhibition of Victor Pasmore’s work currently on show at The Hatton Gallery, Newcastle.”

• Make Now Please is on display until May 31. The gallery is open from 10am to 8.30pm on performance days and 10am to 6pm on non-performance days, Sundays and Bank Holidays. Entry is free.

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