AboutWhitecross Gallery welcomes you into the wacky and wonderful worlds of father and son duo, Jock and John Mooney. An opportunity not to be missed, they pitch their sculpture, drawings and paintings against each other for the first time in AHELLOFAFIGHTFORTHELASTPIECEOFPUDDING.
Having inherited his father's uncanny sense of the absurd, Jock's material transgressions adopt the form of glossy, miniature sculptures, amassed within monumental installations. His latest development of âDiscontinued', an evolving cardboard sandcastle, or packaged layer cake, adorned with oddball characters and dislocated limbs, is a carnivalesque horror show that raises a mirror to our superficial world in all of its glory. Junk food, pop icons, chavs, mythical beasts, 18th century upper class toffs we're all up for grabs here, and he takes no prisoners.
Perched defiantly on a shelf towards the rear of the gallery is a new series of vibrantly coloured busts, commissioned exclusively for the exhibition. Individually moulded and hand painted, they wave a satirical finger at the traditional sculptural portrait, or even ceramic ornament at the kitsch end of the cultural spectrum, with deadpan expressions and exaggerated protuberances.
His drawings, which reference an odd mix of pop art, manga, nursery rhymes and 18th Century English illustrations, are equally uncompromising, as multiple stray fingers dance with severed heads, and join the parade of disturbingly cutesy, mismatched personalities, all striving for their moment of fame.
Long time member of The Royal Scottish Academy of Painters, John Mooney's watercolours depict strange imaginary sculptures, reversed text, backdrops and set pieces - all littered with dark humour and puzzling, provocative comments. His intricate and precise style combines a velvety rich colour palate with painstaking attention to detail that is as beautiful as it is baffling.
Various permutations of performance and theatrical sets underpin the work of both artists, shining the spotlight on reality, with a playful, tongue in cheek approach. There is no pretence or apologetic politeness here; instead we are presented with an eclectic, unashamedly alternative view of the world. Both artists assert true lateral thinking, both are subversive in unique ways. While Jock's sculptures and drawings may differ stylistically from the paintings of his father, they share the same imaginative manipulation of materials, labour intensity, and similarly quirky outlook.
Only time will tell as to which of them will take the cake.
The multitalented Jock, who is also a performance artist and musician, will be offering viewers a rare treat by showcasing his collaboration with animator/director Alasdair Brotherston on a music video made for the band âTom Fun Orchestra'. Jock's own band, âTwentymen' mainly perform around the Newcastle area, where he was based before moving to London earlier this year.
Since graduating from the Edinburgh College of Art, Jock has shown extensively around the world, having participated in international art fairs, and group exhibitions at venues such as the Royal Academy, Hales Gallery, Bearspace, and recently âThe Future Can Wait' at the Truman Brewery. He has had solo shows in Newcastle, Sweden, London and Lithuania, and is represented by Vane Gallery in Newcastle.
Having studied and taught in Scotland, where he was born and still resides, John Mooney has won many scholarships and awards, and is a committee member of organisations such as the Society of Scottish Artists. He has exhibited extensively in Scotland, and has participated in group exhibitions further a field in Helsinki, London and Poland.
Works by both Jock and John Mooney form part of numerous private collections in Scotland, Newcastle, London, New York and Sweden.