Tuesday, 16 February 2010

73 paintings (to be) created by a 73 year old man in 24 hours

This is a press release by Brian Lewis

What a differnce a day makes – an Arts' Day in Barnsley focusing on Climate Change and the environment.

Tuesday 23 February, from 11:00

Contact: Brian Lewis 01977 793121
Mobile: 07904026239
Pontefract Press


Emergence Pod 1,
Mayday Green,
The Precinct,

On Tuesday 23 February a steadily expanding group of artists who form part of The Rivers' Movement will be undertaking a gathering called a moot to produce art works. The number that each produces is governed by age. Brian Lewis (aged 73): 'I will create 73 paintings and drawings in a day, I am taking as my theme sustainability, climate change and the environment. Last time I tried it a similar task I was 70. That time the subject was the the Dales and the River Aire. I managed 65 in the 24 hours.' (comment RB: after 65 a person is allowed to retire)

'The 73 paintings in 24 hours event will take place on Tuesday 23 February in Barnsley in a town centre shop closed because of the recession and now a new gallery called Emergence Pod One. It is in May Day Green, in the centre of town. This time I will be working with other artists in order to fuel the debate on Climate Change.'

'Throughout our lives we generate a carbon footprint. No matter how old or how young we are, we can all make a difference to improve our environment and do something today.'

'On the day I will be joined by colleagues who will also be linking age to output. At the moment my collaborators include: Rob Hindle, published poet and WEA co-ordinator for South Yorkshire. Aged 46 he will create 46 poems on the subject. Reinhold Behringer, Professor of Creative Technology at Leeds Met, also 46, will produce 46 live improvisations on 46 different instruments using a computer controlled synthesiser and samplers. Helen Mesezaros, aged 42 (a teacher and community activist) will compile 42 letters of complaint; John Cowan,(50) a local picture framer incensed by the flood of Chinese frames into UK will frame 50 paintings and put them on sale next day. Yvonne Denton (40) = 40 pieces about breaking the chain of consumerism; Richard Kitson, 28, folk and blues singer, will invite 28 people to sit for him and then he will draw them. The John Cowan initiative is pertinent because he is competing when he makes frames with a mass production Chinese product which floods the market squares of the Uk. Bringing them will be costly if measured in Carbon miles. Adam Ghodiwala, the well known Gujarati poet resident in Bolton, will send 70 one line metrical poems giving 70 reasons to love the earth. These in Gujarati with an English translation. He is a class act, very well known in India, and gives us even more prestigue. Jack Aston-Booth, a painter with academic qualifications on the problems of climate on migration birds will produce drawings of 23 Birds affected by Climate Change.'

'Unlike in Gujarat, Falguni Bharateeya and Mitali Baxi have collected a body of work which they will transmit to us in Yorkshire. Throughout the day other artists will drop in just to work on one of their own painting. There is no need to go in for mass production. Quality also matters.'

'This day is part of an arts workshops programme organised by the Barnsley based River Dearne Project which focuses on environment and climate change. This is a follow-on project by others in the Rivers Movement who are anxious to use the arts and creativity to encourage thought about what happens when our social systems and economic values show less respect for nature than they might have done.

The Rivers' Movement

The Rivers' Movement aims to create awareness of climate change by means of art, poetry, science, and technology. It is a collaborative project involving Yorkshire people who have twinned with people from Gujarat in India. Together they explore common experiences involving the impact local rivers and climate change has on their lives. In May 2009 The Rivers' Movement received an award from the Environment Agency for Best Climate Change Project in the Yorkshire Region 2009. Their work currently focuses on the rivers Dearne, Aire and Calder but they expect to expand their operations in the UK and India as the year progresses.

Brian Lewis

Brian Lewis has paintings in public and private collections all over the UK. He has had exhibitions at the Ferens (Hull), the Graves and the Mappin (Sheffield), the Piece Hall and Dean Clough (Halifax) - all city or major town galleries, but he prefers community venues. He is also known for his writing on community development. He won the national Raymond Williams prize in 1997 for a book about a woman's prison. He was Birmingham's first Poet Laureate and is currently Visiting Fellow in Community Writing and publishing to the Charutar Vidyamandal University in India. With his wife he runs Pontefract Press.

This is part of a month-long exhibition and arts-workshop programme organised by River Dearne Project Barnsley painters: Loretta Cusworth, Runima Kakoty, Roger Head and Lee Gascoyne.

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