An award-winning North East artist and children’s author will present his first solo exhibition at Hartlepool later this month.
The free exhibition titled “Under The Vapor Trails” by Simon Bartram from Tyneside opens at the Hartlepool Art Gallery on Saturday January 29 and runs through Saturday April 23.
Born in Jarrow and raised in Hebburn, a region in the North East previously defined by the heavy shipbuilding and mining industries, Simon grew up around the “hardy” figures who populated pubs and football terraces.
Read more: “Disappointment” after the council’s refusal to save the Teesside pub
His exhibition revolves around paintings and drawings of these post-industrial men who, somewhat stereotypically, find their identity in the clothes they wear, the hairstyles they sport and the football teams that they wear. ‘they follow.
The men depicted in his portraits live in real and imaginary cities that are crossed by rivers that flow east into the North Sea. Above them, the skies are cut off by the vapor trails of planes leaving for distant places.
The Painted Men, however, still stick around and in the future, Simon’s ambition is to look beyond their hairstyles and hoodies and explore who they really are and what it means. to live in the Northeast.
“I can’t wait to show my work at the Hartlepool Art Gallery,” said Simon.
“It is such a privilege to have an exhibition in such a beautiful setting and I am delighted to engage with the city and its art lovers.”
As part of the exhibition, the Hartlepool Art Gallery created a new family play space based on Simon’s award-winning children’s books. Young and old alike will enjoy participating in space exploration and alien hunting with the character of Bob, the astronaut from Man on the Moon. A complete program of fun crafts and artists’ workshops will accompany the exhibition during school holidays and Saturdays.
“We are delighted to host Simon Bartram’s first solo exhibition at the Hartlepool Art Gallery. Simon’s striking and expressive portraits represent the changing nature of masculinity in the 21st century, ”says Georgina Ascroft, Director of the Museum and Gallery at Hartlepool Borough Council.
“Visitors will recognize many local caricatures that feature in Simon’s work and for a brief moment the viewer will be immersed in the spaces between pubs and football fields, where men might find themselves walking along the coastal path. or from the busy street to the next bolt hole, in a destination of their own.
“His models remain motionless, alone and enigmatic, sometimes slightly comical and absurd, filling their frames with their mass as a physical manifestation of their repressed and unheard of stories.”
The Hartlepool Art Gallery is located in Church Square and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free entry.
For more information call 01429-869706 or visit www.hartlepoolartgallery.co.uk
You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the news in the region by clicking on here.
For all the most important updates from across the region delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter here.
Do you have a story for us? Contact our press office on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 01325 505054