As ever, this year’s Warrington Contemporary Art Fair (WCAF) incorporates a fresh and exciting batch of new artwork and new artists. It’s an annual insight into the art being created by the regions artists and how much they’ve pushed themselves over the last year. It’s interesting as you do see familiar artist names cropping up so its often a good way to gauge how their work has developed.
It’s easy to spot my favourites. Tina Dempsey’s bright fantastic wood assemblage, Anna FC Smith’s quirky ceramic mouse sculpture and Hazel Robert’s screen-printed political duo.
There’s also a few new favourites which have made their way onto my top list including Alison Kurke’s cool Bridget Bardot collage, the embroidery skills of Lucy Sharkey’s wool-entangled ‘Kinbaku for Dummies’, Rhi Maxon’s easy-going silk screen and the oddly inviting ceramic feet titled ‘Anticipation’ by Helen Birmbaum.
You can’t help but notice the colourful paintings from Peter Davis and Kwame Akpokavi – both have held solo exhibitions at the Museum over the past year so are easily recognisable.
There’s always an eclectic mix at Group Open exhibitions and I’m totally sold on the underlying feminist and political tones running alongside the statutory landscape and representational paintings. Perhaps a little more photography as I do miss the Photographic Open they used to run but it’s great to see some fantastic sculptural pieces… as well as a hefty amount of female artists. Apt as the adjoining exhibition ‘Let’s Get Stuck in Traffic’ from last year’s WCAF winner, Marie Jones, considers the career paths that women take in life and what barriers, opportunities or influences have affected their decisions along the way.
Her huge 15m knitted landscape in pink captures your imagination by attempting to slow you down and think about the choices you make on a daily basis. Marie’s other hanging artworks dotted in the main gallery highlights the lack of female artists in the Museum’s collection. By interviewing female artists in Warrington she gives a voice to this culturally significant issue, even more so doing her research whilst getting stuck in the town’s traffic!
On until 9th Feb 2020
Let’s Get Stuck in Traffic