The Nerve Centre Gallery

The Nerve Centre, Old Rapid Paint Shop, Renshaw Street
14th August - 11th September 2010

Reviewed by Sebastien Gahan

It's a fact that is easy to forget on occasion, but at the heart of the Nerve Centre is its grassroots-drawn art exhibition featuring many friends, contributors and local artists in one place.

The flow of people through the door, the various fascinating discussions, bands performing and much more can distract you from the pieces of art that are nestling in every corner of the room. On first entrance you'll probably notice our friend the Centurion guarding the area, and although he's known by a variety of monikers amongst our people, he is actually known by the rather more straight to the point title 'The Shape of Democracy?' and his creator Dave Webster has many more such works to his name as well. Once seen, our cover star isn't quickly forgotten and he is a definite highlight, not to mention talking point, of the exhibition.

There is, of course, also the covers of the first sixteen issues of our own Nerve magazine, and the original pieces are on display around the gallery, along with inspiring art such as Kaety Moore's soft sculpture piece ‘Swimming with Aditi’, which is seemingly formless on first look but is actually forming the shape of a female body. The temptation to touch it and see just how soft the material actually is is ever present and resisting that makes you appreciate it even more! Situated in the alcove next to Kaety's work is a big selection of Carl Fletcher's evocative, excellent and thought provoking work. In talking with Carl I gleaned much information on his motivations in producing the pieces, but in the main you need to look and find your own ideas behind the various pieces. Suffice to say that there is a dark heart to most of them, and it is surrounded by thought and humanity.

Elsewhere we have the social commentary of Sarah Nicholson's ‘Maw’, a set of sharp wire mesh teeth coming out of the wall in a threat to engulf you in their savageness. Apparently inspired by a comment from our own Colin Serjent, the piece is certainly interesting and looks even better when it's seen behind the musicians and speakers who use that corner for their shows! In fact, there is such a myriad of art in every little corner, on every wall, in the window, hanging from the rafters and lower walls and almost anywhere you could suggest that it almost becomes too much to take it all in. In the best possible way, of course! The many visitors to the Nerve Centre have been largely positive about the show and the myriad of art on display is undoubtedly one of the reasons for this.

There is art appearing as the weeks go, and recent additions include Echoes In Reflections, by Catherine Traynor, an intriguing multi media piece that looks deceptively simple from afar and offers so much close up. Another recent addition is the striking origami pieces from Shinobu Gahan, including a curtain of folded origami cranes on string that is a piece well worth looking at. As I said before, there is much more to see, with many Nerve persons showing their work, including John O'Neil, Colin Serjent and Paul Hunt. I could go on and on and on about every piece I loved, but that would deter us from the fact you have to come down to The Nerve Centre and have a look for yourself!

Needless to say, highly recommended to all!

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