Present : Past

Exhibition: 11 March – 5 May 2017
Gate Fold, 2016, Oil on canvas with acrylic ground, 152 x 230 cm

Present : Past was the first major solo exhibition of new paintings by Newcastle-based artist Dave Tweedy since he graduated from Newcastle University, and a major exhibition in The Holy Biscuit gallery programme.

Tweedy’s large-scale oil paintings combine autobiographical references as well as responses to historic and current events with which he constructs imagery that combines abstraction and realism. At a time when oil painting might be viewed by some as unimportant or superfluous in relation to personal and world events, Tweedy creates works that are contemporary and Political – one was painted as the events it referenced were happening in America.

His paintings are developed using a variety of sources for reference – from media images to 1960s cartoons. They examine regimes of control and manipulation in relation to both historic and current figures and movements and contain elements of religion, spectacle and ritual.

The work is both technically and thematically significant, gaining particular resonance in the light of very recent political events. This exhibition was absolutely up to date with new works responding to the 2016 American Presidential election and the new incumbent.

Tweedy states – “The work examines memory, disguise, transformation, ritual and revelation and uses imagery from the media and other printed sources including John F Kennedy’s assassination, Catholicism, Donald  and Melania Trump, 1960’s TV cartoons, pop culture and film. In the light of current political events, my theme has become particularly topical and relevant.
I examine controlling hierarchies and culture of elites, and use historical and contemporary iconic images which are well known within western culture. Images are often abstracted, with base source still evident. These visual clues invite the audience to join the significance and experience together in different ways. This democratises the relationship between viewer and work and refers to political control and the challenging of power.”

You can find out more about the individual works  shown here

Blog Posts

Read our blog posts reflecting on this exhibition: New Paintings by Dave Tweedy, Revelation in Disguise, Exploring new painting territory with Dave Tweedy and a Commentary by Dominic White.

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