Stunning new work by graduates and staff at Middlesbrough Art Week 2023
Stunning new work by Fine Art degree lecturer Dr Tony Charles and graduates of The Northern School of Art is being showcased at this year’s prestigious Middlesbrough Art Week (MAW) contemporary art festival.
The biggest event of its kind in the North East, MAW is back for its 6th edition in 2023 and takes place across the town from Thursday 28th September to Saturday 7th October. Formerly known as the Weekender, MAW now extends to a full week of exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances, events and exciting public interventions.
Tony Charles, pictured below, is unveiling a brand new installation called ‘Direction of Flow’ at the Auxiliary venue as part of Middlesbrough Art Week. This exciting new piece of work represents the synthesis between art and industry that underpins his practice. His use of industrial processes, materials or concepts consistently communicates to both an art audience and an industrial one.
His interest in the relationship between two and three dimensions stems from the physicality of steel construction during his time in industry combined with the experience of drawing and painting from over twenty years as an artist.
He said: “I worked in industry for 18 years after I left school, in construction all over the UK and Europe and then inspecting pipelines before following a career in art. These industrial experiences gradually found their way into my practice to become one of the core elements of the work.
“‘Direction of Flow’ is a three-dimensional drawing inspired by industrial piping isometric drawings. These technical drawings rely on symbols that depict components such as valves, reducers, flanges etc. The symbols have been constructed using jigs that have enabled the possibility of a small production line that will consistently produce, and grow.”
He added: “Importantly, ‘Direction of Flow’ invites two interpretations. For a regular art audience that may not have had the experience of industrial practices, an appreciation of an abstract visual language may be appreciated. For many industrial viewers, this international industrial visual language can be understood and appreciated for its literal meaning.
“The result invites conversation between both sectors of society and encourages both visual and social synthesis.”
This year’s MAW programme presents over 120 artists made up of regional, national and international artists including many graduates from The Northern School of Art.
Artists John James Perangie, pictured below left, Loucey Bain, pictured below right, and Rachel Deakin are amongst recent former students of the School whose work is featured in the Auxiliary whilst Jason Hynes’s massive photo portraits of people who view Middlesbrough as their home town will dominate the town’s Centre Square.
Winners of this year’s MAW New Graduate Award, Fine Art graduates Fiery Machrist, pictured below second left at the School’s Degree Show 2023, and Aimee Sully, pictured second right, have their work featured at The Auxiliary.
They all join the list of local and regional artists and some international big hitters such as Mike Nelson, David Shrigley, Ken Friedman and Tehching Hsieh to flesh out MAW’s largest programme to date.
Through the theme of ‘Measure’, MAW engages with ways of thinking of the past, present and future: from deep time to waiting time to no time. Work selected this year asks us to notice the centrality of time and how we perceive, mark, measure and value it.
Highlights from this year’s programme include a giant inflatable pig, a flame themed decal van with a gun torrent, 650 images of a newborn breastfeeding, human powered clocks, and singing rocks.
Middlesbrough Arts Week takes place across the town from Thursday 28th September to Saturday 7th October. For further details and the full programme visit www.middlesbroughartweek.com and @middlesbroughartweek on Instagram, Facebook and X.