Updated: Feb 18
The Road to Studio 40
In December of 2022, Queen Street Gallery relocated to Studio 40. The past month or so have been a testing time for the gallery, and we’ve had to cut back dramatically on the amount of paintings we store due to lack of space. On the display side, we’ve managed to make use of the many nooks and crooks of the Studio 40 building, with its host of dainty rooms and meandering corridors. The crafts have found a home, and the miniature gallery on the ground floor is a solid space for small exhibitions. We’d like to express our gratitude again to everyone who lent a hand during the move, and to all the artists who have picked up their work from the gallery over the past few weeks. We truly appreciate your cooperation.
For anyone who isn’t aware of where Studio 40 is, it’s directly across from the old Queen Street Gallery building. It’s a grey-framed building with a pink sign on it reading ‘Studio 40’.
The Covid Chronicle
As expected, the Covid Chronicle has been drawing crowds from across the UK. The project has struck a chord with a wide audience, and individuals have been travelling for up to two hours especially to see this unique display of embroidered panels. It’s been an honour to hear people opening up about their experiences of the Covid pandemic, sparked by the huge variation of expressive designs that make up the Covid Chronicle tapestries. Art has an uncanny ability to conjure up untapped emotions and spark conversations about painful or taboo subjects.
The Queen Street Gallery Open is an major exhibition hosted once a year by Queen Street Gallery, wherein local artists with differing levels of experience are invited to submit their work to the gallery. The Open exhibition is an opportunity for artists to get their work on display in the gallery; a huge number of the permanent Queen Street Gallery artists have entered the gallery’s collection in this way. We’ve been overwhelmed by the quality of this year’s submissions, and we can’t wait till March when the work will be open to the public. Judging will take place on open day (Saturday 4th 2023), with the winner landing a solo exhibition at the gallery in 2024. Confirmed judges include Maria Pierdes and Thomasin Toohie.
The winner of Open ’22, Leasley Dearn will be exhibiting a solo show at Studio 40 in tandem with the Open ‘23 submissions.
Gustavious Payne Exhibition
Coming up in April, we’ll be hosting a solo exhibition by the renowned artist Gustavious Payne. Here’s an extract from Payne’s artist statement:
“The title to this exhibition has its initial origins in my home town, during the 1831 Merthyr Rising, where calls for bara a chaws (bread and cheese) and bara neu waed (bread or blood) were heard. Troops were sent for and subsequently opened fire killing twenty-four men women and children. At this time there was no sick pay nor holiday entitlement, a working day was typically a fourteen-hour shift and the working week lasted six days, with only Sunday as a “day of rest”, but none of this was questioned. All that was being demanded was the very basics. ‘How could the world run any other way?’ they may have thought.
Within this context it could be asked if the general population today make similar assumptions about how things are and how they could be. Is there another way to do things? A better way for the future that goes beyond the bare necessities?
Originally dating back to the early twentieth century, to the American women's suffrage movement, bread and roses has become a common slogan calling for not only the bare minimum (bread) but more; dignity; access to education, literature, the arts, etc. (roses). After all, those post-war news reels predicted so much for the future, the reality of which has actually been surpassed technologically.”
Young Artist Competition
This year for the Young Artist Competition 2023, we received a large number of high quality applicants. The judges, including artists Heather Littlejohns and Tracey Lewis, had a difficult time allocating prizes. Ideally, every submission would have received a prize! A handful of submissions that stood out to the judges included Tellulah Timm, Alice Winship and Jamie Willis.
The winners were:
Tellulah Timm, 16, Port Talbot
Jamie Willis, 14, Neath
Runners Up: Andre Flynn (4-7 Catergory), Joseph Osnin (8-10 Category), Alice Winship (11-12 Category), Seren John (13-16 Category), Gallery’s Choice: Adrienne Leigh Skelton (age 16).
At the end of January, we received a visit from the editor of a local arts magazine Artecetera, Skewen-based Jordan Brinkwerth. Artetcetera is an independent magazine focused on promoting artists from the far corners of the creative industries. The magazine aims to promote and nurture talented artists that deserve a spot in the limelight. We’re backing the Artetcetera team all the way, and we’re delighted to announce that we’re now stocking the magazine at the gallery. Find out more about Jordan’s mission here.
New Artist in Residence and Studio Space Available
Come March, we’ll have the pleasure of taking on a new studio artist at Studio 40! We’re super excited to be welcoming artist Susan Strange into the attic. A few repairs are underway before she settles in, but we can’t wait to see how she utilises the space. Interesting fact: Susan lives on a boat.
Looking for a studio space? Studio 40 has a number of spaces available. Our studios are large, open spaces. Equipped with excellent lighting, Wifi and 24/hour access, the studios offer contemporary artists the opportunity to work in serene settings anytime of the night or day. As a Studio 40 recident, you’ll also have an opportunity to display your work at the gallery, as well as enjoying the benefits of being part of a growing network of volunteers who help to run the gallery.
Artist in the Spotlight: Stuart Mackay
This month, we’re platforming one of our Studio artists, Stuart Mackay. Mackay is currently away on a 6 month contract filming in Yorkshire for an upcoming TV series All Creatures Great and Small. He’s kindly let us use his studio for storage while he’s away. We wanted to show our appreciation by giving him a space in our monthly newsletter.
“I’m an artist from Neath, I studied art here and in Swansea. I recently moved back from London after 19 years. Whilst I was there I worked in film and tv in the art department. I now have a studio in Neath and my aim is to make a living from art. I paint on large canvases using a mix media approach, I distort the human figure in a semi abstract style. I work in an intuitive way often re-working already painted over canvases. The idea is that the painting finds me, which can take several months, even years.” - Stuart Mackay
Check out Stuart's website by clicking here.
Join us for a trip!
We’re in the process of organising monthly trips to local arts/culture events. We’ve got our sights set on a trip to St Fagan's National Museum and Powis Castle, which will be hosting Kaffee Fassett’s incredible textile exhibition ‘Colour with Kaffee’ from February 18th. If you’re interested in joining us, please get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org.