Presented as part of the first Northern Print Biennale, 'A room inside them' is an exhibition bringing together a diversity of approaches to printmaking by artists from the UK, USA, Germany and Denmark, each of whom shares an interest in how humans make a physical and/or psychological imprint or projection on the spaces, objects and beings that surround them.
Paul Becker seems to remind us not only of the yearning that we experience for the inexpressible and the unattainable, but also of the certainty that all access to it is denied by the constraints of our humanness.
Claire Davies draws the viewer into an enchanted environment of colour, light, sound, and motion, coaxing them into an immersive engagement with the image, here seemingly drawn from the visual lingua franca of the town planner.
Kerstin Drechsel appropriates and juxtaposes images that might be classed as 'counter cultural' or 'transgressive', though her interest lies not in the potential for sensationalism of what she depicts, but rather in their ultimate capacity for banality.
Jorn Ebner deals with landscapes and cityscapes ' often using digital media in a variety of ways ' his diagrammatic renditions of which are designed to unsettle and challenge the idea of fixed meanings and categorisation.
Nadia Hebson's elegantly melancholic images appear as if they were fragments dropped from a grander narrative. The appropriation of disparate art historical imagery, which is then filtered through the lens of Romanticism, denies a logical narrative reading but instead suggests an internal, possibly psychological experience.
Andrew McDonald depicts scenes that move between darkness and light, where empty rooms and landscapes become populated with a sense of menace or dread; their solitary occupants seemingly banished into some kind of eternal purgatory.
Jock Mooney generates a meticulously drawn inventory of distorted representations of people, animals, and objects ' or, sometimes, a hybrid of several of these ' to create a world where scenarios containing all manner of horrors and hysteria are played out.
Stephen Palmer continues his documenting of collected cultural ephemera ' in this instance, the long-obsolete generic paper record sleeves of seven-inch singles ' elevating them above the level of utilitarian banality and imbuing them with a new-found emotional resonance in the process.
Josue Pellot examines cultural identity as defined through popular culture and consumer products, creating hybrid, often minimalist, artworks that consist of an aesthetic and symbolic abstraction of Puerto Rican (Caribbean) identity and function as both poetic object and social sign.
Morten Schelde often uses places, people and events from his own life but, instead of indulging in a subjective and confessional self-narrative, he treats familiar motifs with an objectivity that causes them to become unfamiliar and slightly disturbing, even alien.
Alison Unsworth creates delicately rendered records of public monuments from around the world, complete with the graffiti and casual defacement that reflects the alienation and disaffection present within the contemporary urban landscape.
Vane would like to thank Hole Editions, Newcastle upon Tyne, for the production of Jock Mooney's work in this exhibition.
Initiated by Northern Print in partnership with culture10, Northern Print Biennale is the first major competition and exhibition of contemporary printmaking in the UK for almost 20 years. Newcastle Gateshead will celebrate contemporary and historical printmaking through a broad programme of exhibitions and events from 26th June to 4th October 2009. For further details visit www.northernprint.org.uk