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A Brass Tacks Exhibition

Newcastle Arts Centre
9th September – 14th October
Monday – Saturday, 09:30 – 17:00
Preview: Friday 8th September 5pm
Featuring Iris Ollier, Kitty L M McKay, Nat Loftus and Place Holder
Curated by Jed Buttress

This September, Newcastle Arts Centre unveils its newest gallery exhibition. ‘In The Round’ is a group exhibition exploring ideas of home, emptiness, and the spaces in-between. 

Curated by Jed Buttress, this open call exhibition showcases four local artists in the newly-refurbished Gallery at the Arts Centre, combining film, painting, collage and sculpture. Collaboratively, the artists tell shared stories of strange spaces, neglected nostalgia and abandoned nautical nightclubs.

Featuring artworks by Iris OllierKitty L M McKayNat Loftus and Place Holder: Jill Tate and Matt Denham, this is the first of two exhibitions from the ‘Brass Tacks’ project; a six-month programme of events, exhibitions and skills development opportunities for emerging and established artists in Newcastle upon Tyne.

‘In The Round’ opens with a preview event on Friday 8th September, 5pm.

Supported by the Creative Central: NCL programme, funded by the North of Tyne Combined Authority and Newcastle City Council.

Meet the artists:

Iris Ollier’s sculptural practice investigates embodied perception and the tacit dimensions of
human experience. Born in London in 1999, Ollier approaches sculpture as a means to
render tangible certain phenomena of being and sensing that often go unexamined in daily

The work of Kitty L M McKay centres around third spaces of community and leisure. These spaces are becoming less and less accessible to the British public, and the shells left behind hold bittersweet potential. She uses archival material, collective memories, and personal archives as reference, drawing on a combination of community and personal nostalgia. Using plasticine, McKay conveys the playfulness of forgotten leisure and the temporal nature of memory.

Nat Loftus explores the simultaneity of joy and grief, working with paint, thread, photographs and found
items. Her paintings and collages are playful and bright but often bittersweet, using colour to revive
the overlooked or forgotten – neglected buildings, anonymous landscapes, people. Through her edited collages, Loftus demonstrates her compassion for our contradictory world, for human transience and mortality, for the damage to climate and community.

Place Holder is a multidisciplinary collaborative duo of Newcastle-based visual artists Jill Tate and Matt Denham. Their work evolved out of a shared interest in the visual, behavioural and psychological qualities of architecture. Working primarily in painting and video installation, their practice explores what we think of as domestic, and how our experience of ‘home’ exists at different scales: from mind, to house, to planet. Their first body of work, Degrees of Freedom (2021-present), was produced with support from Arts Council England and presented at the NewBridge Project in April 2022.

Meet the curator:

Jed Buttress is an award-winning artist and curator based in Newcastle upon Tyne. He has curated over one hundred exhibitions, independently and with organisations such as NOPHOTOThe Royal Photographic Society and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research. Buttress is the curator and Artist Skills Development Coordinator for Brass Tacks, and his recent curated exhibitions include the Documentary Photographer of the Year 2021: Touring Exhibition (May 2022), Liz Atkin: Drawings, Collage and Writing – A Retrospective (June 2022) and SEEKING ARMAGEDDON by Peter Hanmer (October 2022).

About ‘Brass Tacks’

Brass Tacks is an exciting new series of arts opportunities, workshops and exhibitions. In the next six months, a total of eight selected artists will exhibit their artworks in the newly-refurbished Newcastle Arts Centre Gallery, in two upcoming exhibitions which will form part of a six-month programme of events, exhibitions and skills development opportunities for emerging and established local artists.

For 16 weeks, each of these creatives will receive 1:1 mentoring, technical assistance and a £1200 micro bursary to support themselves and their work. They will work collaboratively with the Curator and with each other to organise and display a group exhibition, which will open on Friday 8th September at 5pm.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting more information about those exhibitions, along with invitations to several free workshops and forums. So watch this space!

Interested in how we select our artists? Click this link to find out more.

Stay tuned!