of a certain age
Exhibition by artist/printmaker Alison Diamond-Rogers and digital artist Bronia Gardner
Alison Diamond-Rogers and Bronia Gardener are both fine art trained, both from County Durham and both admit to being of a certain age, though at different stages of their lives. They met at one of The Tin Shed art events and realised that as well as sharing Northern roots, the subject matter of their work also has much common ground, often capturing moments in time, memories from their own lives and the lives of their families, past and present.....all helped by being "of a certain age".
Bronia, a digital artist, takes much of her inspiration from old black and white photographs which belong to a different time and document a social genre of the past. She uses a specific colour palette to digitally alter the images, changing their narrative and bringing them back to life. Bronia says she gives voices to these often forgotten people, who are probably reminiscent of figures from our pasts, of times gone by.
Alison, uses various printing techniques for her work, such as etching, aquatint, linocut and screen printing. Her pieces for this exhibition range from her own memories and reflections from being a child to adulthood.
She also features her own family, reflecting specific moments in their lives that most of us can probably relate to from the freedom and innocence of childhood, through to times of responsibility, worry, concern, love and pride.
Our Ronnie's Wedding by Bronia Gardner
A Day on the Sands by Bronia Gardner
These two images by Bronia are particularly joyful and probably bring a smile to most of us of a certain age, as we recall images of our mothers, grandmothers and their extended families They were the matriarchs of the family, dressed in their best pearls and hats, whether it was to go to a weddings or a day trip to the seaside.
Interestingly, Bronia says it was the death of iconic rock star Tina Turner and the opening line "I don't want to lose you" that gave her the idea for this exhibition, as she spent weeks trying to give a voice to these images she was creating.
Next we have two very different, but equally happy images by artist print-maker Alison as she celebrates her own family and childhood memories.
The Swing, an open screen print and The Slide, a multiple linocut, are both a reflection on childhood, a time of freedom, fearlessness and excitement.
She says The Slide represents the steps we take in life, climbing to the top where a decision awaits. The choice between taking a plunge and going for it or reverse back down to familiar territory. The hand of the child on the slide reaches out of frame in the hope of finding help and support.
This next image, simply called Dad is a multi-plate linocut. It's a portrait of her father who she describes as a "beautiful, caring, quiet man".
She shows him in an almost child-like pose, hugging his knees to reflect his inner child, which Alison says he never lost, along with his love of life and humour - something she now recognises in herself.
Dad by Alison Diamond-Rogers
This next group of images by Bronia and Alison all represent the contemplation that can come to those of a certain age, whether it's quality time to reminisce on your own, or as a couple at the beach, disengaged but comfortable in their own space.
I Wanted to be a Lolipop Lady by Bronia Gardner
A Stolen Five Minutes by Bronia Gardner
South Shields etching/aquatint by Alison
Quality Time, linocut by Alison Diamond-Rogers
Social Life in a Carrier Bag by Bronia Gardner
This poignant digital image by Bronia is of a lonely man collecting his Saturday "night drink" concealed in a carrier bag.
She says he's alone since the death of his head-scarved revolutionary wife. This image is just a tiny glimpse into a life gone by.
Alison also captures an unspoken bond of tension and concern in this next linocut called The Waiting Room.
It's a scene most of us have experienced many times in our life, whether it's at a doctor or dentist surgery, or a job interview. The people may not know one another but they share synchronised thoughts and worries at the same moment in time.
The Waiting Room by Alison Diamond-Rogers
Alison who specialises in figurative work, explores the everyday things and depicts these activities, carried out by all of us in the past or at present, in her prints. She aims to give an impression that the individuals featured experience a genuine quality of life, even though it may not at first be apparent.
Bronia explains that this exhibition isn't about nostalgia, it's about the layered memories we all have. She says the title "of a certain age" and these images will mean a myriad of different things to people depending on what stage of life they're at, but she hopes everyone no matter what age, will be reminded of someone or something previously forgotten and linger a little longer in those thoughts.