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Review: dot-art: Around The World In Black & White

Dot-art offers tangible support to local artists, from exhibitions to sales support and advice. Their analogue photography studios are some of the best in the North West, and they’ve even got impeccably well-kept studio space.

Around the World in Black and white is an exhibition that shows off all of that in fine detail – and the occasional faint blues from artists who perhaps focussed more on their views of black space, rather than restricting themselves by pigment.

Monochrome line drawings, block prints and paintings share walls with pristinely framed photography by Loretta O’Connell, all sharing views from the travels of local artists.

Iconic scenes of Amsterdam’s bikes, scraped speedily into lino by Susan Brown, break memorable visits into their bare bones, while Steve Bayley’s ink illustrations of the Amalfi Coast demonstrates an adoration not just for the place, but for the slow and intricate process of putting it to paper.

Like most dot-art shows, the need to represent and support their wealth of artists leads to an eclectic exhibition, where no two parts quite fit together, but that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here, viewing this, because these artists are producing work that’s worthy of your wall. We’re here, because dot-art continues to push against a city that has squeezed out sales spaces for artists.

Clare Wrench is an artist who is clearly addicted to colour, so her observations of blacks allow them to fade into blue. And she’s not the only one. Daniel Meakin’s portraits of Liverpool use similar blues, sharing out waterfront through the same lens and he paints Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.

It’s refreshing to see the brief twisted and turned in this way. With artists looking closer to home on their travels, in an exhibition penned as sharing world travels in black and white.

For any artists in the city wondering what galleries do for them, it’s worth getting to know dot-art, because they make it very clear with exhibitions like this. Their goal is to make it possible to make a living as an artist in this city.

Around the World in Black and White is open at dot-art until 20th May

Words, Kathryn Wainwright