W B Hindmarsh – a profile

William Hindmarsh is a self-taught artist who works with several media. He spent his childhood and formative years in rural Northumberland and has been inspired by the landscape and changing moods of the North East coast.

In 1957, at the age of 15, he started work as an apprentice electrician at Linton Colliery and worked in various mines for 12 years, witnessing changes from heavy manual work to advanced automation.

At the age of 18 he won a special prize at the National Coal Board art competition and sold  a painting to Mathias, Spencer & Sons international coal equipment suppliers and the image was circulated world-wide including Russia and America in Iron and Coal Magazine, the depiction of a pit pony giving rise to much comment.

In 2000 he fulfilled a lifetime ambition to become a professional artist.

His subjects vary from landscapes to figurative painting and he enjoys the challenge of different media and subjects, therefore his artwork is diverse and depends on the subject and his inclination at the time.

Depicting his mining experiences prove popular and, as many people can still remember their fathers and grandfathers telling tales of the great northern coalfield, continue to be appreciated.

His one man exhibitions throughout the North East since 2000 including: National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield, Greenfield Gallery, Newton Aycliffe, Gray College, Durham University, Woodhorn Museum, Northumberland, DLI Museum, Durham, Customs House, South Shields, Town Hall, Bishop Auckland.

image by Bill HindmarshTowards the Light by W B Hindmarsh

His works are now in homes throughout the UK and can be found across the world including USA, Canada, Germany, Australia, Austria and Holland.  The University of Durham has several works and two were bought for the House of Lords extension.  The Mining Art Gallery in Bishop Auckland has several works in their Gemini Collection

Philosophy

“I work continuously to improve my understanding and technique in several media. I am only satisfied when I can communicate successfully with the viewer and when it occurs I call it “magic”.  Without it I feel the work is ordinary. If the viewer is left to add to complete the artwork then this magic is possible.”

St Marks VeniceSt Mark’s, Venice by W B Hindmarsh

Techniques

From his earliest years Hindmarsh has drawn and has read and experimented to improve his knowledge of art.  The academic method of painting, including tempera, was explored but is was the impressionists who continue to influence his work.

When working in watercolours, the paper characteristics, wetness and colour are important and can be unforgiving if overworked. Wet on wet is his favourite method which can surprise and delight.

Pastels and oils are much more forgiving and best when vivid or less subtle work is required. Again the surface of the ground will help determine the communication. To this end, slates, wood board and canvas as a textured ground have been used.”

Current Work

The preparation is underway for a one man exhibition “People and Places” at Greenfield Art Centre in Newton Aycliffe in October 2020, with an eclectic mix of art work with several pieces from private collections showing the variations of his work.

Joint exhibitions are being planned and prepared for with several artists with mining backgrounds displaying their artwork following several successful exhibitions they have held.

His work can be purchased at: NEC Eldon Gardens, Newcastle, The Wallington Gallery, Corbridge, The Kemble Gallery, Durham and Tallantyre Gallery, Morpeth.

For more information see www.williambhindmarsh.co.uk/

Mike Collier – a profile

Mike Collier is a lecturer, writer, curator and artist.  He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College before being appointed Gallery Manager at the ICA in London.  He subsequently became a freelance curator and arts organiser, working extensively in the UK and abroad.

7In 1985, he moved to Newcastle upon Tyne to run the Arts Development Strategy at the Laing Art Gallery, where he initiated the Tyne International Exhibition of Contemporary Art.

For the last 25 years he has worked in education and is currently Professor of Visual Art at the University of Sunderland and has a studio in Newcastle at Cobalt Studios.

Mike’s most recent project has involved a collaboration with Dr Bennett Hogg (composer/musician, Newcastle University https://soundcloud.com/bennetthogg), master printmaker Alex Charrington (a Newcastle University Alumni http://www.platformagallery.net/artists/alexcharrington) and natural history sound recordist Geoff Sample, who has his own label called Wildsong (http://geoffsample.com/wildsong.html).

8Together, they have been developing new work that explores the relationship between the natural world, its specific cultures and cultural ecologies, and our own sense of culture/s. In particular, they have embarked on a three-year study of a dawn chorus in Northumberland, representing their research variously as digitally manipulated sonograms and musical transcriptions. This work has formed the basis of a series of screen prints, music and digital prints – work that has been widely seen and enthusiastically received in venues across the North East and the South West of England over the last two years.

The idea of the ‘dawn chorus’ vies with nightingale song as the aspect of birdsong most engaging to the general public, as evidenced by attendance on dawn chorus walks and the gradual proliferation of events celebrating International Dawn Chorus Day. Although the established understanding of birdsong is rooted on the premise that each singing bird is only, or predominantly, concerned with intra-specific communication, listening to the mass of birds singing at dawn we intuitively describe the phenomenon as a chorus. However, new analysis of the whole auditory scene suggests inter-specific structure as well as intra-specific relationships, giving rise to the ‘chorus’ impression, rather than random cacophony. This is the ‘area’ that our project specifically focuses on.

6Contemporary understandings of the relationships of humans to a ‘more-than-human-world’ have begun to move away from a “preservation” model to one of “sustainability”, and we now recognise the inescapable interdependence of humans and their environments, a model that sees humans as participant members of a world rather than its users.  This project links the arts and the environmental sciences, human expression and bird communication in a collaboration, exploring ways of presenting and reimagining our complex, embodied and participatory engagement with a particular aspect of local ecosystems – a dawn chorus.

Mike runs WALK (Walking, Art, Landscape and Knowledge) a research centre at the University of Sunderland which he co-founded with colleagues Tim Brennan and Brian Thompson. WALK aims to explore how cultural practitioners creatively engage with the world as we walk through it.

Mike is on the Advisory Committee for NECVAN; is a Director of Cobalt Studio and is the Visual Art Advisor for The Wordsworth Trust. He has shown and published widely in the UK and abroad and his work is a number of public and private collections.

For more information see http://mikecollier.eu