“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” Sylvia Plath, excerpt from The Bell Jar
Like the green fig tree is the third and final exhibition curated by M I L K, an artist collective based in Newcastle, as part of their takeover of WORKPLACE GATESHEAD. Drawing influence from the Plath quote, this exhibition examines how, in a world where information is so readily available, we find ourselves in the midst of a precarious, confusing and uneasy global situation.
The selection of artists involved make works that reference the failings of society and the culture of illusion, confusion and desensitisation that pervade it. In Like the green fig tree the breakdown of image, technology and political systems all come under particular scrutiny. The framework in position whose job it has been to explain and clarify has failed us, and left us where we are now, unsure of the future and of our place in history - resonating the uneasy feeling that we might, in fact, be at the end of it altogether.
M I L K are an artist-led collective based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Formed in 2015, M I L K aim to provide a platform for emerging artists to exhibit. As practicing artists themselves, M I L K members perceived a lack of opportunities and recognised exhibition spaces in Newcastle for early career and emerging artists. M I L K seeks to address this discord with a varied programme of exhibitions and events focused on supporting early career artists both regionally and nationally.
With special thanks to Roxanna Watson.
For more information or images please contact: email@example.com
Matt Antoniak (b.1991, Nottingham)
Recent exhibitions and projects include: From the Rocks Above the Pass, House of Blah Blah, Middlesbrough; Party, 36 Lime St, Newcastle; Trojan Horse, Laing Gallery Takeover, Laing Gallery, Newcastle; Jambon – Our Biggest Ever January Sale, NewBridge Project, Newcastle. Matt recently completed a residency at Dumfries House, Scotland with the Royal Drawing School.
Hazel Brill (b.1991, London)
Recent exhibitions and projects include: Welcome, Chalton Gallery, London; Druids in The Deadhouse, Museums at Night with Bedwyr Williams, Somerset House; Colgate and Honda Penetration, East Bristol Contemporary, Bristol; In Bardo Act Two, Figure2, Baltic 39, Newcastle. In 2016 Hazel received the Connect! 2016! Mentor Award working with Bedwyr Williams, and the Sackler Hall commission at the Museum of London. Hazel is currently studying her MFA at Slade School of Art, London.
James Hindle (b.1992, Colchester)
Recent exhibitions include: From the Rocks Above the Pass, House of Blah Blah, Middlesbrough; Party, 36 Lime St, Newcastle; The Transition, Haus Paula Becker, Bremen, Germany; Trojan Horse, Laing Gallery, XMAS DINNER, 136 Shields Road, Newcastle; Quit While You’re Ahead, 136 Shields Road, Newcastle.
Harry Hurlock (b.1992, Kent)
Recent exhibitions include: Sorry About Last Night, The Washington Pub w/ It's All Tropical, Art Collective, Nottingham (solo); Faux Show, Assembly House, Leeds; The Sleeping Giant, Amersham Arms, London; No Grey Areas, HA HA Gallery, Southampton.
Joanne Masding (b.1985, Birmingham)
Recent exhibitions include: Image Music Text, IMT Gallery, London; AFTER, Division of Labour, London; stuff wanders off, a shape steps in, Two Queens, Leicester (solo); The Place of the Scene, Bloc Projects, Sheffield; Birmingham Show, Eastside Projects, Birmingham. Joanne is currently artist in residence with Research and Cultural Collections at University of Birmingham.
Joe Shaw (b.1990, Mansfield)
Recent exhibitions include: Hidden Civil War, The NewBridge Project, Newcastle; From the Rocks Above the Pass, House of Blah Blah, Middlesbrough; 5Jobs+, METAL, Liverpool; Transition, Haus Paula Becker, Bremen, Germany; N.E.A.M.B.E.S.C, Protohome, Newcastle (solo); Do We Need To Grow Up, The NewBridge Project
WORKPLACE GATESHEAD is kindly supported by Arts Council England