Have you ever been intrigued by an exhibit in a gallery and wished to leap into a discussion with the artist? Preview evenings are the perfect chance to follow through on this desire. A confusion of artists and art appreciators came together on 5th October at Caffe Dolce, Abindgdon Street, to view the new exhibition from Mike Cassidy, Studies for the Broken Sun.
The exhibition is a vivid affair in a variety of mediums, the eponymous Broken Sun being an impressive ceramic composition. Considering the necessarily restricted size of the exhibition, Mike has managed to combine elements to create the impression of a much larger space. I found plenty to contemplate over coffee and cake but the real joy was in meeting with art lovers, and the artist, to discuss the work – a treat seldom available in these parts.
Mike sat down over a glass of red wine with Elizabeth, also an artist, and myself, not an artist, to discuss his work. On the next table, Robin Ross, urban artist, declared the exhibition to be “bloody great” and was seriously impressed by the diversity on display. Elizabeth described the work as “innovative” and was keen to discuss methodology with Mike who divulged his choice of a draught excluder to create forms. Were the geometric forms, which figure across almost all of this collection, difficult to create with such a challenging tool, I wondered? We pondered whether the chaotic nature of this method worked with or against the more structured form of the shapes which make up his exploration of separation and attachment, particularly significant in the pieces comprising We are Two.
Leaving Mike and Elizabeth to discuss this further, I joined Lucy, who had just arrived and was hovering by the brighly coloured Studies for the Broken Sun. Her face revealed a real delight in the pieces and she described the space as fascinating, commenting that she would love to own a piece of it. At another table, Brendan and Steve were gradually working their way around a contemplation of the display. Steve found it to be “refreshing” and was particularly fond of Specimens (pictured right).
Local artist Paul Harding was found seated with playright David Riley, embroiled in a conversation concerning the juxtaposition of the piece The Secret to the rest of the exhibition. Paul pointed out the individuality of this piece, which had a narrative aspect and therefore engaged him on a different level to the rest of the room. We wondered whether Mike had consciously manipulated the collection to add that extra dynamic, and a dichotomy of approaches to the subject. I suggested that the allure of this piece was not just in not knowing what ‘the secret’ was but why the compulsion to know was so strong in the first place.
Linzi Cason, responsible for the exhibitions at Caffe Dolce, informed me that the feedback had been uniformly positive. The next exhibition, previewing on 6th December, is open to all artists and Linzi is currently accepting applications for this. She intends to include a variety of pieces which will showcase Blackpool’s talent and enable artists who don’t currently have sufficient work for a full exhibition to show their work. Linzi can be contacted via the Caffe Dolce Facebook page.
Studies for the Broken Sun will be on display throughout October with individual pieces for sale via the artist. Altblackpool will feature a full interview with Mike Cassidy in the near future.
Show Comments (3)