New South Shields exhibitions exploring the art of drawing

Custom House art exhibition Degrees Minutes Seconds by Stephen Livingstone
Custom House art exhibition Degrees Minutes Seconds by Stephen Livingstone

Two art exhibitions are showing a new side of drawing at a South Tyneside gallery.

Some Possible Truths and Degrees Minutes Seconds are on display at the Customs House in Mill Dam, South Shields.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truth by Nick Kennedy.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truth by Nick Kennedy.

The exhibitions are part of the venue’s Year of Drawing.

Some Possible Truths is on display in the Port of Tyne Gallery.

The work includes a selection of drawings from a community project led by artist Nick Kennedy and a drawing machine that he created.

The 31-year-old, from Middlesbrough, said: “This work has come from a long line of stuff I’ve been doing with drawing mechanisms and with other people.”

I think what’s really interesting is that these are two artists at different stages of their careers, Nick Kennedy is emerging and Stephen Livingstone is further along the line in his career, but both are exhibiting drawing in a new and interesting way.

Lesley Guy, Customs House gallery assistant

Nick’s drawing-focused practice follows a path of experimentation that spans installation, sculpture, works on paper and performance.

He added: “The mechanism, called Truthblotter, is set up to draw a geometric loop and what you get on the wall is bring drawn through it’s movement.

“The other drawings were created during a project I did in Middlesbrough last year.

“I gave everyone a set of rules that they had to stick to with their drawing and we got some very different results.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truth by Nick Kennedy.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truth by Nick Kennedy.

“I’ve had work as part of a group exhibition at the Customs House before but this is my first solo exhibition and it feels great.

“Everyone involved in the project is really excited to come down and see their work on display in the gallery as well.”

Degrees Minutes Seconds is on show in the Upper Fusion Gallery.

It was created by artist Stephen Livingstone during a residency at Durham University.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truth by Nick Kennedy.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truth by Nick Kennedy.

Stephen, who lives in the city, said: “I’ve been working with the School of Engineering and Computer Sciences, mainly with environmental scientists and with contaminated soil and mined minerals, so it’s pretty dirty work.”

His work is concerned with the impact that human beings have upon landscapes and habitats, principally through industrial activity and mining.

He added: “My father was an engineering draughtsman in the shipbuilding industry on the Tyne and I used to play with his tools when I was younger to make drawings, so it’s nice that my exhibition is now being shown on the banks of the Tyne – it feels like I’ve come full circle.

“I work with lead ore and grind the material into a fine powder and mix it with a water-soluble glue. I call it extreme watercolour.

“This is my first time having work shown at the Customs House and it’s a great space, and there’s a nice link geographically.”

Lesley Guy, the Customs House’s gallery assistant, said: “I’m really delighted to be able to present these two exhibitions.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truths by Nick Kennedy.

Custom House art exhibition Some Possible Truths by Nick Kennedy.

“I think what’s really interesting is that these are two artists at different stages of their careers.

“Nick Kennedy is emerging and Stephen Livingstone is further along the line in his career, but both are exhibiting drawing in a new and interesting way.”

Both exhibitions are on display until Sunday, August 30.

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.

Custom House art exhibition Degrees Minutes Seconds by Stephen Livingstone

Custom House art exhibition Degrees Minutes Seconds by Stephen Livingstone