Watching the World
Extraordinarily intricate and detailed drawings representing contemporary political and social events, and scenes and landmarks around Colchester.
Exhibition open Thursday 17 August to Saturday 23 September 2017
Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
Working under the pseudonym ‘Snublic’, Colin McAllister produces incredibly detailed ink drawings that document the physical place he lives – Colchester – along with the social and political world we all inhabit.
The style of Colin’s work could be seen as illustration or cartoon, and with his observations on political, ecological, technological and social events, his approach could certainly be seen to be satirical. Responding to issues of the day, he absorbs the ever-increasing volume of information that is released by various media organisations and individuals through a range of outlets, and combines this with his own research and views to produce images that give an all-encompassing overview of an event as an overwhelming and complete world of its own.
The subject matter that he chooses to analyse and depict include the Gulf War, the smoking ban, celebrity and fast-food culture, the world-wide-web, globalization, the war on drugs, the recession, Gaza, the 2011 riots, surveillance, consumerism, fracking, the dark web, terrorist attacks, the great Pacific garbage patch, Brexit and Donald Trump. These issues are all ones that we read and hear about frequently, and that have the potential to affect our lives in major ways. By tackling the mountain of information that is available and synthesizing it into an image (albeit an image similarly laden with information), Colin provides a way to view the ‘bigger picture’ and perhaps be able to see the actuality of the situation as he tries to show an unbiased story that presents all sides and viewpoints. This does mean that because of the wealth of information it can take a long time to study a work and take it all in, but these are serious and complex issues that are worthy of study and attempts to understand them.
Colin takes different approaches to the layout of his drawings, depending on the subject matter. Ideas around Brexit are portrayed laid over an aerial view of the United Kingdom and the coast of Europe – physically locating the arguments and ideas, a device that is also used in Trumpland USA, and imagined geographies like Deep Dark Web. He often takes famous historical paintings or imagery as a starting point for his format, as in The Family of Donald Trump (2017) that compares him with Henry VIII in a famous painting by ‘unknown after Hans Holbein’ c1543 – 47, and Weed Straat from 2012 that is an update of William Hogarth’s 1751 painting/print Beer Street, displaying the merits of Amsterdam’s liberal laws on natural herbal drugs.
The contrast between these global subject matters and his detailed scenes of Colchester remind us that it is easy to live in the here and now; absorbing ourselves in the local whilst bigger issues swirl around us. We don’t see the effects of these issues immediately, but they encroach upon our lives, and over time change how we live and affect our freedoms and liberties.
About the artist
Snublic began in the lazy summer of 2006, when at the end of a Computer Animation Degree Colin David McAllister embarked on a series of drawings. Colin studied a diploma in Graphic Design and Digital Media at the Colchester Institute and went on to study Computer Animation at Portsmouth University. He works Monday to Friday at the Level Best Art Cafe on Culvert St East, a not for profit venture and subsidiary of the Dacontrust which helps adults with a learning difficulty in a work skills environment.
Snublic exhibits frequently and has been known to take commissions. He lives and works in Colchester, England and is affiliated with CO3 Studios, ENAS & Made in Colchester.
Indian ink on paper
Inspired by Adam Curtis’ Century of The Self about 20th century consumerism.
Preview Friday 29 September 6-9pm
Exhibition open Saturday 30 September to Wednesday 22 November 2017
Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
This exhibition presents a selection of paintings that share Stephanie Stow’s unique view of the world.
Stephanie used the natural world as her inspiration and source material, particularly at the point when it begins to break down and decay. She studied the structural forms that plants, flowers and seed-heads present, particularly when they are past their best, as well as exploring boats and other objects that have decayed over time to their elemental parts.
Through drawings and photographs, she would focus on studying the lines and space created by these objects, and examine the colours that can be found deep in the details. These studies would develop and combine with emotive responses, building up layers from outlines, adding and scraping away paint and pastels, to result in new imagery that could be seen as abstract natural forms – views of distant gardens, or plans for imagined environments.
The works present a balance between movement and tranquillity, almost as if one can see or hear the rustle of plants brushing gently against each other in the wind, or hear the drone of insects flying around. The ability to capture these sensations – of something caught just at the point of perfect balance, is a gift and legacy that we are lucky Stephanie has left us with.
Stephanie studied at the University of Hertfordshire and University College Suffolk, graduating with a BA Honours Degree in Art and Design. She exhibited in London, throughout East Anglia and has work in private collections in Europe, Australia, USA and Addenbrooke’s Hospital Cambridge Art Collection.
All profits from sales will be donated to Addenbrooke’s Kidney Patient Association and the Critical Care Unit at Colchester General Hospital.
Still Still Life – John Doubleday
Preview Friday 13 October 6-9pm
You are invited to join us for the opening on our new exhibition ‘ Still Still Life – John Doubleday’ on Friday 13 October we will be open from 6-9pm. There will be a licensed bar available and it is a chance to see the works before the main opening to the public on Saturday 14 October.
We hope you can join us.
Exhibition open Saturday 14 October to Saturday 2 December 2017
Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm
More information on the exhibition to follow.