Tuesday, 27 December 2016

NEON: The Charged Line, Grundy art Gallery, Blackpool

Tracey Emin, I Know I Know I Know, 2002

Last weekend I took a maiden voyage to Blackpool, the spiritual home and probable birth place of the neon industry in this country, for a visit to the Grundy Art Gallery's NEON: The Charged Line exhibition.

Francois Morellet, Lamentable bleu, 2006

Francois Morellet Triple X Neonly 2012

Only on for a few more days...

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Vernon Semper Viret

Alison Carlier,  Vernon Semper Viret, neon and transformers 2016

I've just finished and installed this piece of neon for Alison Carlier at Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth. Alison was awarded the Alexandra Reinhardt Memorial Award 2016 and this piece is the culmination of Alison's 10 week residency at the gallery.

Alison did all of the artwork for the lettering by hand to produce this lovely outline with serif type face.

The neon was made in 10mm white and turquoise with 25m/A electrodes and runs off three 25m/A transformers.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Doug Solyan, Uptown Neon, Richmond VA 23220

I recently had the most enjoyable visit to see Doug Solyan at Uptown Neon, 2629 W Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23220, for the first time since 1994. Doug is one of the two people, who back in 1988, introduced me to the wonderful world of neon and got me started on my life long career and obsession.

His beautiful neon shop on West Cary Street is an Aladdin's cave for any devotee of neon, with thousands of pieces of old and reclaimed neon sections hanging from the ceiling, numerous neon signs and a collection of neon clocks, the envy of any museum.

Doug got started back in the early 1980's and taught himself glass bending with the help of his friend and mentor, Mr Rudd at Talley Neon. He is now responsible for the vast majority of the neon signs scattered liberally across the diners, shops and restaurants of Richmond. 

Doug's obsession with neon isn't confined to the work place and the front of his house, in the Fan District, is always decorated with a couple of pieces of seasonal neon, hung in the windows of the porch, for the delight of the local residents and passers by. While I was there for three weeks, it went from neon pumpkins to neon maple leaves to neon turkeys.

Click here for a link to a beautiful, short film made about Doug back in 2015

Doug, now 74 years old, has no plans for retiring and enjoys every day that he's in the neon shop. Thank you so much for your time Doug, you are an inspiration to many. I hope to be back soon.

Doug Solyan +1 804 358 6243

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tristin Lowe's Comet: God Particle at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

 Tristin Lowe's Comet: God Particle, 2011, Glass, neon, aluminium 

On a recent trip to Richmond, Virginia, I was lucky to stumble upon Tristin Lowe's Comet: God Particle, on loan to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

A beautifully executed piece of neon sculpture that I had been aware of since it's inception several years ago, it was a pleasure to be able to see the piece full size and close up, in all it's glory.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has a fantastic and varied permanent collection as well as a diverse calendar of exhibitions and is well worth the visit.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Mona Hatoum's "Hot Spot" at The Tate Modern

 Mona Hatoum's "Hot Spot" , stainless steel and neon tube, Artist's Edition 2013

Following the installation of Mona Hatoum's "Hot Spot", at the  Centre Pomidou last year, her retrospective exhibition covering 35 years, has now moved to the Tate Modern in London where once again myself and Pete spent three days in mid April, slowly attaching the forty seven neon sections and wiring up the ten transformers.

"Hot Spot" is one of 88 exhibits that are on show until 21st August 2016, after which it will be travelling to the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. Get down there and have a look.