Six Rooms Gallery

Six Rooms Gallery, Argyle Street, Birkenhead
Until 27th November 2010

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan

The third and - sadly - final part of the Hamilton Square-based Six Rooms Gallery collection of work from (mostly) Wirral artists began on an ominously wet and gloomy Thursday evening. Met by a distinctly unfrozen reception in comparison with the frosty weather outside, of artists, art lovers and the odd art critic (guess who!), the people kept pouring in as the show got busier. The familiar setting-up period had just finished, opening night wine was ready to flow and at around six thirty pm. John Gorman opened the show proper with a (to this reviewer) somewhat overwritten speech that lavished praise onto the fine work that put the whole show together, although it does deserve a generous mention!

Following the speech, the assembled crowd went into the courtyard to light some sparklers in honour of the opening. Being slightly wary of so many fireworks in such close proximity, this reviewer decided to head to the top of the gallery and see what there was to see. And - as with the previous two groups - there was a lot to take in by the visitor. Also, there was an obviously more organic - for lack of a better word - feeling to this show. Its newness, in both set-up and unfamiliarity, had me at a loss for words at first, but after some "hand crafted crisps - they're art too!" I was back to my usual self and moving my eyes faster than my pen could ever keep up with.

Although I began at the top, I shall start from the courtyard, where Angie McCormick's eye-catching installation first greeted me during the aforementioned recreation of its wave formation with sparklers. It is an effective piece in the darkness of the night, with a steam machine placed near it that really should have been turned on for that extra impressiveness. The attained creative freedom that Angie mentions in the description of her work is more than evident in this piece! Next piece to catch my eye was the very top room’s pieces by amongst others Marie Louise Williams amongst others, whose installation Breathing was an earthy freeform construction of copper wiring and ribbons with words related to breathing written on them. At first, the piece seems too vague to consider, but subsequent visits have given it a more familiar appreciation factor.

Stephen G Bird's (painting above) room is in itself a miniature gallery of works, and there are many pieces worth a look here, mostly with a spiritual and/or biblical theme that befits the artistic style evidenced throughout. Bright, almost organic colours sit within customized frames and tell a story in images. Pieces such as False Prophet, Fish For Supper and the others are well worth a look. Elsewhere, Barbara Harrison's My Own Private Siberia is a triple blast of acrylic shades of white, grey and black mixed together to make an expressive yet subtly active set . Looking at the pieces invoked a sense of freezing over in a subconscious way, which may indeed have been the message intended!

I could go, on but I really want you to get yo' art loving self down to Six Rooms Gallery to see the work! You know you have to, so let's not delay!

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