The cold, dark nights may be closing in, but Mushroom Works have been on hand to make the most of the final rays of the summer sun.
Resident artist Joanne Wishart has transformed the gallery space into a seaside haven, displaying a collection of her paintings of the North East coast.
A preview night was held on Friday 20th September, and the gallery space is open to the public between Saturday 21st and Sunday 29th.
“It’s been a great success,” said Joanne. “I’m overwhelmed by the amount of people that have come here and enjoyed the show, and I’ve sold quite a few pieces of work, which is always great.”
Joanne’s pieces portray some of the great beaches in the region… not to mention the animals that can be found there, from donkeys to coastal sea birds!
“The exhibition acts as a sort of journey along the coast,” Joanne explained. “From Whitley Bay and Tynemouth over to South Shields.”
Hosting a solo exhibition gave her the opportunity to try out new techniques, including upcycling deckchairs into works of art.
Joanne also created unique 3D pieces for the occasion, utilising materials she had found along the coast.
“I’ve created miniature boats which are all made from driftwood collected from the haven at Tynemouth, and through making them I was going back to my textile roots. I got my sewing machine out and just had a bit of fun!
“As an artist it’s always good to push your work and evolve and try new techniques, and some work, some don’t, and you learn by the response of the public what they enjoy and it’s give you an idea of what they like.”
The exhibition was very important to Joanne in that it let people know that she was back at work: “I had a bit of time off; I had twin boys, so this is me sort of re-launching myself as an artist, letting people know I’m back at work and back painting the area.”
Her next project will be creating pieces for Mushroom Work’s 20×20 exhibition, a collection of 20x20cm artworks available for £20 at the eagerly anticipated Open Studios event in November.
“I love Open Studios,” she enthused. “I’m really looking forward to doing some new pieces for that now and creating a whole new body of work … that’s my next focus!
“At the moment I’m on a definite seaside theme, but I love the countryside and all things that are British really… things that are on my doorstep and inspire me on a daily basis.”
Ouseburn Open Studios takes place Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th November at various venues across the valley.
A video interview with Joanne, created by Mushroom Works, is available on their website http://www.mushroomworks.com/artists/joanne-wishart
Her works are available to buy from her studio by appointment, or you can visit her website http://www.joannewishart.co.uk/