Michelle Molyneux at Williamson – Review

WILLIAMSON ART GALLERY
Slatey Road
BIRKENHEAD,

ART – photographic collage by MICHELLE MOLYNEUX
Would you recognise your soul if you saw it?

8th September- 7th October 2007
MUSIC INSTALLATION by GARY LLOYD

Review by Amanda DeAngeles

Wallasey born, Michelle now lives in London, this makes life easier for her, as she resides in a large studio complex (ACME) built only a year ago, which was especially designed for a collective of highly-accredited artists.

Michelle has studied art for approximately ten years, she is not a painter, but produces a hybrid form of visual art, which is unusual and encompassing. She has an impressive C.V

Her exhibition shows some personal pieces, as well as those of places and people that Michelle has a strong connection with, either in Wirral or in Liverpool.

She seemingly explores places and people with gentle humanity, philosophy, and a notion of passing through a light epoch. I felt as if wrapped in a whirling time warp as I gazed at some of the images. Michelle agrees, in our interview, she told me that much of her work is about herself and experiences in Liverpool and Wirral.

Michelle continued to talk about her work, and how a lone child depicted represents the feeling of isolation, deprivation, and sadness of a child raised on a council estate, but she quickly added that this wasn’t her own experience.

Is it about time more artists had the opportunity to talk about their work on T.V./film in the U.K.?
Michelle featured in Artists’ Lifestyle a T.V. documentary for Fuji T.V. Tokyo (1997)

Although she has exhibited in Liverpool – including The Independent Biennial 2002, this is her first major exhibition in Wirral, and includes new work, but follows her artistic progress and includes rarely seen, private studio pieces.

The Williamson Gallery also commissioned her work; a wonderful image; depicting the exterior grandeur of the stately building.

The gallery is a wonder of the Wirral, with some fabulous collections. I was awestruck by the W.G. Herdman exhibition – sketches of Liverpool landscapes (circa 1800’s), and quality displays, including a room of model ships, and another of merchants’ opulent furnishings. This is an art museum; its treasures parallel those held in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Michelle works on each image in stages; one may take months.
(Resting in her sub-conscious for some time before she even sets about making it happen). She often works on several pieces simultaneously.

Mediums used include board/canvas, adhesive, and photographs, usually cut and shaped into spiral, wave, or flame patterns

The artist’s musical collaboration with Gary Lloyd has been ongoing for fifteen years. His original compositions mirror the exhibition with a whimsical, womb-like underwater sound. It is my opinion that sound installation works so long as it matches the art exhibited. Here, Gary Lloyd has exactly pinpointed the atmosphere required to blend with this viewing experience.

Gary, also raised on Merseyside (and a graduate of Mathematics and Fine Art) is a composer and producer. He has worked on more than four hundred productions for film, TV and dance! A modern composer, Gary uses computer technology in the studio, but has staged live orchestral performances.

There are CDs of music-narrative (popular audio books) one CD from comic-book author, Alan Moore: ‘Brought to Light’, and another with author, Iain Banks: ‘The Bridge’. Both CDs feature Gary’s music. He is currently working with Iain Banks again, on an album of songs based on the novel ‘Espedair Street’.

Michelle and Gary have no immediate plans for further exhibitions, but are open to work on a joint project in Liverpool 2008.

This would be a great artistic-highlight for European City of Culture celebrations.

The exhibition I saw was altogether fascinating and should be brought to the Liverpool side of the river because it contains images of landmarks of traditional Liverpudlian pubs, and nostalgic childhood visits to New Brighton fairground attraction.

I thoroughly enjoyed my gallery visit, and there is still time for you to see it! There are some charming cafés in the nearby village, so why not make it a full day-out?

Certain works are for sale, but the artist’s larger pieces are mostly- used for exhibition with musical installation.

See Bridgeman Art Library for more examples of Michelle’s work, or to contact her for commissions, sales or future exhibitions.

Thank you and congratulations to Michelle Molyneux, Gary Lloyd, and Williamson Art Gallery.

Review by Amanda DeAngeles September 2007

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