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Mooch and Revolve gallery

Thalia Allington-Wood is appalled and delighted by the Triangle's new commercial art gallery -

Published on August 19th 2010.


Mooch and Revolve gallery

REVOLVE GALLERY IS IN NO WAY ASSOCIATED WITH MOOCH AND HAS NOW MOVED TO CLITHEROE

Walking down Cross Street on your way to the new Mooch and Revolve gallery, there are certain things you can be forgiven for expecting. White walls, and lots of bright lighting are two of them. The sound of busy shoppers echoing loudly are not.

However, when it comes to the contemporary art gallery checklist, Mooch and Revolve have many a tick. The large ground floor space is a flood with daylight and the décor is a reassuring snow colour. The many walls were, and presumably still are, lined with many paintings: always a good sign when in an art gallery. (You think I jest, but the Pompidou in Paris recently held a retrospective of empty exhibitions since that of Yves Klein in 1958). So, one more tick for Mooch.

On the opening night, even more ticks could be awarded. A substantial amount of free wine drinking occurred. Tick. Suitably dressed people considerately milled around the space, nodding their heads as one does when viewing artworks. Tick. (Take note, to do this to best effect one’s head must be tilted, though ever so slightly. Squinting additionally goes down very well. While the accompanying gentle wag of a pen, or in this case a cocktail sausage stick, adds certain panache). We seem to be off to a good start.

Yet, some of the work, if I am truly honest, I thought was awful, dreadful even. I will name no names, as this is merely my opinion, you can go and judge for yourself.

I am all for affordable art and supporting local artists, but this does not mean the art cannot be well executed or mildly original. Replicating scenes from famous films and manipulating them in the style of Photoshop’s ‘cutout’ button is neither inventive nor mildly intriguing.

But I will hold my tongue, as simultaneously much of the work I enjoyed greatly. Rebecca Wilmer’s heavily textured pieces are subtle and moving. They are both abstract and realistic; the layered roughness of the paintwork creates the very essence of the rural landscapes she paints. Similarly, Barry Spence executes his fantastical seascapes with skill; his use of light and brush stroke creates dreamlike images.

Another favorite was the work of Michael Hitchens, whose screen-printed, geometric urban landscapes are well composed and capture perfectly the ordered, yet chaotic environment cities provide. Bold use of colour and sometimes unexpected angles add a unique stance to his images.

Then, of course, there is Andrew Brooks, whose layered and reworked digital photographs are surreal, stunning and captivating. However, it would be nice to see a bit of variety: the works of his on show have already been displayed at both From Space and Urbis.

What is so nice about this gallery is that there is little pretence and much honesty. It is a gallery that aims to be accessible to the public, to show affordable work for people to buy, and thus display work that can hang suitably in a hallway. It is not therefore the most exciting of exhibitions, but one that does its job very well indeed. Tick.

Mooch and Revolve Gallery, Triangle Shopping Centre, Exchange Square, Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-6pm, www.mooch-art.co.uk, www.revolvegallery.co.uk

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46 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

castlefieldApril 29th 2009.

None taken. Going home now, 25k enough before brekkie!

KarenApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty this is called a review. It's criticism. If you put your art on display then people will judge. Take it on the chin and move on, being personal about a writer seems ridiculous, this girl clearly knows what she's talking about. And you know what you've got me interested now. I'll pop along to view it and let you know what I think. But I actually think that if you're going to buy art it should be more than fluff.

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

Ha ha, thats the piece that was mentioned in the artical. Im glad that you have wrote that comment on here because so many people have been talking about how much they like that painting and the artical ripped it to shreds basically, so thank you. If you would like to see a bit more of my work go to http://www.myspace.com/kklportraits . Its not all on there but a few more of the ones that I have sold are on it. That might take you to myartspace but just click on the link on that page to go to my other one. Thank you

rosieApril 29th 2009.

can't comment on your work as i haven't seen it,but your attitude sucks Kirsty

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

Benedict- I have just had a look at that artical, and I do think that what the artist has done is wrong. You surely know how how these stencil artists create this work? I hand draw all of my work, no tracing no stencils no scanning etc. To put one of my paintings next to the original photograph would just shame me into how much it looks nothing like the real thing, all of the proportion would be wrong, I know that, but Im not a camera, so i expect that. Its little things like that which make my work, my work. I could never do the same piece twice, if somebody was to attempt to copy my work, It could never be the same. I would never create work by tracing the photograph and creating a stencil from it. To me, it wouldn't be right. Saying that though, lot of artists make money from working like that and enjoy doing it, which is great because lots of people love it, its everywhere.

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

When is art just wall-tat, something to hang in place of a mirror, the art leaves the work and it becomes merely decor, visual chewing gum. In two years you forget why you bought it. I buy art that is special. I would never buy a moody shot of New York (except those by Jan Cheblik), a picture of Elvis or these film spin-offs because they are derivative and if you're going spend say £200 on a work you might as well make it distinct and special. PS Castlefield do you do any work?

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty, as previously noted by a different comment - you are being hypocritical and getting to emotionally involved. You state that Simon T had no idea of your other paintings, yet this is an assumption, just as you assume Thalia did not have a look at your other work. You do not know this to be true, you yourself do not "know all the facts" that you state everyone should know before commenting on things. It is quite possible these people did know but merely chose to comment on particular paintings. It is a review of an entire exhibition after all, not just yourself. You paint and display your paintings - therefore you must realise not everyone is going to like them, and those that don't are entitled to their opinions. As the writer states herself, her comment is "merely my opinion", she even states that readers should "go and judge for yourself" - a comment which shows that each artist deserves a fair chance. The comments on your work clearly touch a nerve, which is very telling. If you were confident and assure of the originality of your work you would not be bothered by such comments and feel the need to defend yourself so. Understand that bad publicity comes with displaying your work and be done with it.

emma graceApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty, I've tried to look at your work on the website, but the link doesn't work. I've clicked your name a few times and I get an error message?

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

If not all of your work is avaliable to view, how are people meant to see it all? Following your advice would mean you wanted no one to form an opinion or write about your work at all, which would be foolish. You have only painted two film scenes - therefore you do, as Thalia said, paint film scenes. What was your argument again?

Simon TApril 29th 2009.

I'm not convinced. What you're doing is making items someone might decorate a home with, but not original art. (1) there are copyright issues, and (2) this is the work of someone who needs to challenge themselves to be a bit more original and creative than reproducing a photograph of a band or a still from a film but not painting every hair, and simplifying the shapes. You HAVE taken the original piece and sold it as your own; hence my question how you would feel if you had laboured over an original painting and then someone had come along and taken a photograph of your painting (maybe with a slightly distorting lens, just so they can claim to have changed the style) and started selling the prints under their own name...

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

I have taken the original photograph, i have not sold it as my own. I have recreated it, and sold that as my own. I have sold a painting, which is original, as there is only that one of it. Photographs of my work in exhibitions are all over, the photographs have been taken by other people so therefore the photograph is their work not mine. Anon- thank you for your comments. I am not upset, Im just getting my points of my work accross, seen as everyone else is so determined to do that. I am a portrait artist, I draw and paint people, whether it is from life or a photograph, the challenge is actually getting it to look like the person in question, I do not see why I am being told by somebody that I have never even met, that hasn't seen all of my work, that I am not challenging myself. The whole point in a portrait, is that it is as close to the original as possible. My customers want an image that they recognise, but is not a print of a photograph. I create work that I have been asked to create, I show work at exhibitions that I have been asked to show. Thanks Emma, Im absolutely fine, dont worry. I just cant believe that all that I do is work hard to create artwork that people ask me to do, for their walls, its not anything religious, political or offensive, yet everybody is getting worked up about it. I just paint pictures. Its crazy. I cant wait to get my nudes up in exhibition, see what everyone has to say about that, ha ha. My friends work is in the exhibition and he was wondering why his work didnt get mentioned yet mine got a whole paragraph, and his is really good, ha ha

KIRSTY K LATHAMApril 29th 2009.

Of course it is obvious that I use photographs, as I said before, most of them are dead, how elsa would I do it. After being given original photographs from a certain photographer, to use for my work, and after seeking advice about copyright laws, I can assure you, that I am fine with woring like this. I have not reproduced somebody elses work, incase you havent noticed I simplify shapes, I exagerate colours I enhance certain aspects. For example, I do not paint every hair on the head, i use blocks of colour instead, (I think this is the kind of thing that started the whole 'cutout' button thing, I dont know, ive never used it). I have not taken the original piece and sold it as my own, I have taken a theme or image and changed the style, medium, scale, proportion, layout, colour scheme, backgrounds. I use popular images and try to bring them to my generation.

Simon TApril 29th 2009.

I took Kirsty Latham's advice and looked at the website. Her paintings of musicians are painted versions of photographs. I'm not sure she has copyright approval from Mick Rock for her direct lift of a photo of his of David Bowie. Her Jimi Hendrix artwork is almost identical to this item;i132.photobucket.com/…/jimi_hendrix_4553.jpgBeing… 23 and full of energy is good, but restricting your creative output to painting copies of photos of bands isn't aiming particularly high. She doesn't want to make art that's 'deep' she says. At least make something original Kirsty. And get used to being criticised; reacting with fury isn't necessarily the best strategy.

castlefieldApril 29th 2009.

Thanks Avo, but am a girl!

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

One: your work only got one sentence not a whole paragraph. Two: you were the first person to comment on this article and therefore created the fuss you are now so shocked by, gearing the comments to your own work, not the rest of the review which very positively and insightfully comments on many other artists in the show. Three: if you re. read your early comments it is clear that you were the most worked up out of everyone.

emma graceApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty - yes it wasn't working to begin with but I've been in touch with the Gallery and Sophia has kindly fixed the link. I particularly like the Breakfast at Tiffany's piece, nice work.

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

As I have already said I KNOW THAT NOT EVERYBODY LIKES MY WORK!!! My comment was directed at Thalia, people then went on to direct comments to me, therefore I wrote back! Get it?!

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

And no, I haven't got work hung in a resterant, its in the Crowne Plaza! If anyone is big enough to publicly write comments insulting peoples work, then they should be big enough to say it to the artist's faces, surely. you could even speak to the artist about their work, so that you get an idea of what it is that you are actually insulting. Each and every artist in that gallery sells work and gets commissions, says a lot more about the work than any of the comments that I have read on here!

Matthew JohnApril 29th 2009.

I have visited the revolve gallery and i ended up buying 2 pieces of very refreshing and exciting art. The article is very clearly written buy someone who does not understand art and the comments made were very undeserved.Visit it for yourselves and enjoy some of manchesters exciting new artists.

AvoApril 29th 2009.

Well work those quads then girl!!! Sorry, no offence intended there.

AvoApril 29th 2009.

Get off your Blackberry and work those quads boy! They'll thank you for it when you're leading the pack on the run in to the Arc de Triomphe ;)

lesleyApril 29th 2009.

kirsty i like all of your work mostly the stones painting which would look great in my living room but i jsut cant afford it at present. My dad is also an artist so we do know a bit about art. keep up the good work well done

James ChambersApril 29th 2009.

Wow people are getting excited. But the writer's correct, there is some good stuff and some average stuff and some derivative nonsense which will fit well in a suburban restaurant or a boardroom hired on a contract by a smaller solicitors practice. If We think this is good then you know very little about how visceral, deep and inspiring art is. Much of this stuff is no better than those montages of waterfalls and wild animals at the top of the escalators in the Arndale. The Tib Lane Gallery has got some excellent original work at present. Well done to the writer

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

Simon T is totally right. It is very obvious that some of your paintings are taken from photographs,(beatles etc) this does not dampen my view of them however, I admire your work, but you do need to be careful re copyright laws.

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

As the artist that you have said replicates scenes from films in the style of photoshops 'cutout' button, I would like to say that I have never even used photoshop! If you have seen my work, you would know that I mainly paint musicians! I have three of these in the gallery, and only two of film scenes! Maybe you should do some research about peoples work, so that you can actually give a precise write-up about it! You might not find my work interesting but, if you knew anything about art, you would know that Pop Art, and iconic images are very sought after at the moment. This is probably why I am regularly commissioned to paint these subjects in this style. Surely this would mean that you are insulting the publics taste with your comments. You have not only insulted me in this article, you have insulted other artists. Your comments are nasty and vicious, and not essential to this article at all. I am only 23 but I would never be so immature as to write about peoples work in the way that you have! Obviously you have no idea of the work and efforts that artists put into their artwork. Maybe you should have a go yourself! If anybody else would like to comment on my work then please go to the revolve gallery website and look at it first, thank you.

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

I do not need any copyright permission, I have not used the original image as my own, but thank you for your concern. I am talking about my artwork in these comments, and defending myself basically, seen as I have been singled out of about 30 artists and had a whole paragraph written about my work in a derogatory way. I will be the nicest person ever to anybody, but if somebody gets personal with me,I will get personal with them, you might find that immature, but seen as my work has been written about, without me knowing it, in such a way, when the writer hasn't even seen most of my work, I couldnt care less. 'Simon T', some images are so great or iconic that they dont need changing. That is why i purposly chose two photographs-for the film scene paintings mentioned above-that do not get seen. Have you had a look? they are not posed, publicity shots. When I was asked to paint Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe, I could easily have just done the same old pieces that usually get seen, but to me, that would be boring. I am a portrait artist, most of the people I paint are dead, so it would be pretty difficult not to use photographs. You talk about my Jimi Hendrix painting, yet don't mention my other Hendrix painting which is created in a completely different way. Whys that? You are only bothering to look at a small selection of my work. You have no idea of all of the paintings that I have sold that include reference to print and pattern, all of the portraits of children and weddings that I am commissioned to do. People should not make up their minds about something until they know all the facts, or seeing all of the work in this case because that, is immature and ignorant and arrogant. 'Emma Grace' if you go to the Revolve website, go to the top of the page, where it says 'artists' and scroll down to my name. It doesn't show all of my work but it should give you an idea of the 'boring' stuff that I do.x

Mike SmithApril 29th 2009.

I run Mooch art and typed my response on my blog before this was going on. I am not going to copy and paste so here is the link.http://mooch-art.blogspot.com/

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

COMMERCIAL ART GALLERY! The work is there for people to buy, its not there to be pretentious, its not trying to be 'deep', it is affordable artwork for the general public to enjoy,that will fit well into anybody's home, not for people to slag off! If any one was at the G-Casino exhibition night or the exhibition night at the gallery last week, they would know that those who saw the work there, enjoyed it. And anyway, what is wrong with work that would fit well into a resterant? If you actually go to the resteraunts and bar's in Manchester, you would see that there is lots of great artwork hanging in these places, and it is not a bad type of place to have work hung. Oh, I'm sorry, obviously we are supposed to keep thoughts like that to ourselves and act like complete art snobs with our heads stuck up our own ....

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty rocks! Art is commercial, that's why there's galleries. They are shops. Most worldwide famous artist last 30 years did similar! You go girl, very jealous I haven't the talent you have, though we both have guts!

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

I would just like to say, for the last time, that is not whether Thalia liked or disliked my work that I was bothered about, More the way she was describing it, for example replicating things in the style of something on photoshop, and how that is uninspired and not inventive. If I dont know what this thing on photoshop is, how can I purposely replicate things in that style? I am glad that everyone has different likes and dislikes, it would be boring if we didn't. I have not tried to make anybody like my work, people have to want to like something. My work is in that gallery for viewers/customers that want to buy or commission portraits, there has to be something for everyone. My work is pretty self explanatry, I do not paint things to mean anything deep. I just dont paint like that. I paint bright colourful portraits of icons, for people that like that kind of thing for their homes. If people want to see artwork that is serious and meaningful, then they should look for that in the other work in the gallery. I paint people that my customers admire or are inspired by or are fans of, or portraits of their kids or special occassions. That is all, it is not trying to be anything more than that. It is a nice sunny day, So get down to the gallery, find some work that you are interested in and talk about that, because there is a lot of work in there that deserves to be spoken about more than mine.

BenedictApril 29th 2009.

http://tinyurl.com/dcej85Somewhere in space, this may all be happening right now...

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

Who are you ?So you've been to Paris doesnt make you cultured. EDITORIALLY REMOVED: this sentence has been removed because it's childishly abusive.

BenedictApril 29th 2009.

Loving the energy here. Cycling. Art. My two favourites. A couple of points.Kirsty, I echo Castlefield's congratulations on your successes - you are a self-proclaimed entrepreneur. You declare that you give the public what they want without challenge and do well by it. This is fine. But I think that now it is not the job of the artist to be so democratic about their creativity, so inert. In which case should there be another term for what you create that avoids the term 'art'?Still Kirsty. I find your first comment extremely hypocritical: You say that you would never be so immature as to write about people's work in a 'nasty' or vicious' manner. Well you may not realise it but this article is someone's work - the writer's - and your comments on it are significantly more openly insulting than anything that was written about your work.Kirsty & Matthew now. REGISTER - getting the tone of your discourse right is all important - you should avoid personal affronts. Let me explain. You call the writer herself incompetent when you assert she knows nothing of art, and insulting when you say she will have offended the public. These personal comments go far beyond a critique of the work at hand or the article, which is what you should focus on if you wish to avoid seeming immature / silly. Remember once it's on the internet it's there forever.Kirsty - a personal request - I would prefer you make challenging, spirited art and boring, derivative comments rather than the reverse. But as a PAYE slave I do understand your need to make a living.Anon, I love that your comment begins, "who are you". Erm.. she's Thalia Allington-Wood. Says so at the top. Who are you 'Anonymous', someone really observant? BTW I spent like two years in Paris. Fluent French. I know my stuff yeah. So you can REMOVED BY USER: I removed this sentence because it's childishly abusive.

CastlefieldApril 29th 2009.

The artist is correct, this is commercial art. I would assume she knows what people are buying from her and so produces it, to get in the Crowne Plaza at such at age is fantastic. It really is, so she be applauded as a succesful young artist who's making money, there's very few of them. Personally the ladies art isnt to my taste, I prefer the work by Diana Syder. However I know a lot of people really like that stuff. I was at the exhibition for the doodle last year at Urbis and I liked and didn't like a lot of it, I bought the Damien Hirst skull doodle for a couple of grand, not a lot to look at but a good investment. So there's two sides to art. On the flip side I know a crazy French woman who lives in Prague who, when she has parties at her house, brings out all her artwork to show us all. She will never sell any of it, hundreds and hundreds or works, just art for the soul. But she can't get in her kitchen now!

castlefieldApril 29th 2009.

Have staff for that! No I work hard, just spending hell of a lot of time in gym at mo training for the bike ride. And the blackberry keeps me distracted from the fact my legs are exploding!

Simon TApril 29th 2009.

Scottee, well Warhol was sued a couple of times by people whose photos he'd used for paintings and prints (notably when he made his 'Flowers' series); and a large cash settlement was made in favour of the copyright holder. Such was Warhol's concern over this, he began to commission photographers of his own, just to be sure he didn't infringe anyone else's copyright. If anything, copyright law has become stricter since the 1960s.

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

I was once amused by a trammp shouting "is that Japan, is that Japan"at the window of Mooch gallery, on further inspection he was shouting at a picture of manchester city centre, which by the trammps scathing critic was obviously rubbish.Somethings are just bad....

Simon TApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty, the creator of the photograph, i.e. the photographer, holds the copyright to the photo/image, and making a painting copying that photo does infringe the photographer's copyright. You should get permission from the photographer or rightful owner of the image before reproducing it. A lot of this canvas art that hangs in commercial galleries could give copyright-holders cause to sue. Reproducing via a painting is no different to reproducing it as another photograph, or online, or as a t-shirt. Look at it this way - how would you feel if you had laboured over an original painting and then someone comes along and takes a photograph of your painting and starts selling the prints as their own work?

Krystal CarringtonApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty, I too am an artist (with a huge but fragile ego) and can relate to the frustration you're displaying at Thalia's failure to see the beauty or meaning in your work. But your comments, whilst passionate, make you come across a tad bit precious. It's not for an artist to be brittle or prickly about opinions of their work, that kind of behaviour is for ******s. Take a breath, listen to the words wash over you and let them go.

scoteeeApril 29th 2009.

Well defended Kirsty,it didn't do Andy Warhol any harm did it?

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty rocks! Art is commercial, that's why there's galleries. They are shops. Most worldwide famous artist last 30 years did similar! You go girl, very jealous I haven't the talent you have, though we both have guts!

AnonymousApril 29th 2009.

It is obvious that you have admirers of your work and also those who are the complete opposite - i think the important thing here is that you are never going to get everyone to like what you do, you should focus on the positives and not take critisism so personally - how can you further your career by getting this upset at every article that is written about you. - just enjoy what you do. and focus on the positive comments.

Thomas SkylineApril 29th 2009.

I can honestly say I love Kirsty's work and posses what I think is one of her finest pieces. I understand her anger here but she'll bounce back as she's a true professional and great at what does. Her abbey road portrait is outstanding... check it out!

Kirsty k LathamApril 29th 2009.

Anon- I think you have misunderstood me, Thalia said that I replicate film scenes, I have only ever painted two film scenes out of about 50 paintings. So obviously she hasn't seen all of my work. That was my point there. Simon T seems to think that I just copy work, I dont, He has not seen all of my work and I know this because not all of it is available to view, and I also know it because lots of my work has very different elements to it, such as nudes, cars, harley davidsons, abstracts, prints. The impression has been put accross that I copy film scenes, in the style of some photoshop thing, that I have never even seen, and put them up for sale. I am just making it clear that that is not the case, Id be stupid not too. I know that lots of people wont like my work, I completely understand that and I think thats great, it means that they like other things, which is how its supposed to be. I am not really into damien hirst or tracey emins installations, but millions of people are, thats the way the world works. I just cant believe that people are being so angry towards me, I just paint, Im not trying to do any more than that, I leave that to other people, thats how I like it so I wish people would stop telling me that I should push for more. Im fine as I am, Im exhibitiong, Im selling, and those that commission or buy my work love it, thats why they commission or buy it, and others dont. Thats that

emma graceApril 29th 2009.

Kirsty, you obviously know what you're doing and have done your research. Or I'm sure you would have been sued by now. The fact is, working in the arts you will always come up against critics...I have a friend who's an actress, and as much as I get angry when people criticize or slate her work, she takes it on the chin because she's hardened to it over the years. I think it's great that you're obviously so passionate about your work! Don't let it discourage you. You should be proud of how far you've come at your age.

Revolve GalleryAugust 9th 2010.

Revolve Gallery has moved out of the Triangle and into premises in the heart of the Ribble Valley, in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

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