Review: Something Borrow, Something New
at Victoria Gallery & Museum until 19th October 2019

Words, Sophia Charuhas

When Salford-based artist Ian Irvine was asked to respond to the artworks in the Victoria Gallery & Museum’s collection, he took inspiration and curation to the next level by creating psychedelic collages out of a number of the museum’s images.

Irvine already had experience in making collages out of 18th and 19th century paintings, taking the paintings and changing them in such a way that would entirely change the original narrative.

“Certain artworks immediately appealed to me, such as the portrait of Anna Ashton by Joseph Wright of Derby,” Irvine explained. The artist’s gravitation towards some of the works can be seen in the repeated used of the same works in different collages, giving a sort of harmony to the seeming randomness. The result is a colourfully controlled chaos.

The images were made by transferring some images to silkscreen and making screen prints, with additional layers of colour to add some painterly style without hiding the original image. Irvine identifies artists Robert Rauschenberg and Richard Hamilton as contributors to his inspiration.

Irvine was born in Toxteth and educated in Fine Arts at Manchester Metropolitan University as well as University College Chester. He has been exhibiting his work for several decades, and now tutors art students from several universities. He aims to make his art surreal, dark, disturbing, and sometimes humorous. The collage style has a vintage feel, nostalgic of 1960s and 70s art prints, with a tone of organised clutter.

If you are looking for a unique way to experience museum artifacts, Something Borrowed, Something New is the exhibit to visit. It is free and open to visitors at the Victoria Gallery & Museum Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10:00am-5:00pm until October 19th.