Monday, January 26, 2009

The Works 5 - January 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 promises to be an exciting year, particularly for the Mushroom Works gallery. We have a new programme (which will be announced officially with it’s launch in the March edition of The Works), we’ll be working with Business Link to ensure we’re running on all cylinders and we’ll be developing our partnerships and relations with other regional organisations to help raise our profile and increase our reach. Happy New Year!


New Faces

Bettina Nissen

Mushroom Works welcomes another new girl

Bettina joined us in mid November (just after the November issue of the works went to print). Bettina, a product designer, shares a studio at the Mushroom Works with Eva Bauer.

Bettina’s work is inspired by observations from daily life, she is curious about how we shape our routines and habits as well as how they shape us. She creates products and furniture that combine humour with functionality. For more information on Bettina visit her website


Iris Priest

We’d like to offer a really warm welcome to Iris Priest to The Mushroom Works

Since November Iris has been volunteering at The Mushroom Works every Saturday, helping to make the tea, greet visitors to the gallery and any other little jobs that you can throw her way!

Iris graduated from Fine Art at Cumbria Institute of the Arts this year and is currently exhibiting a solo show of her paintings at the new contemporary art space ‘Supercollider’ in Blackpool.


News from the studios…

Now we are four!

Happy Birthday Mushroom Works!

This January will be the fourth birthday for the Mushroom Works and to celebrate we’ll be holding a birthday bash on evening of the last Saturday of the month. Join us from 6pm on Saturday 31st January as we pop a few corks and scoff some cake.

No presents required, just your presence!!


Perfect Presents

Last December we Toon red, well the walls of the gallery anyway with a group show of over twenty regional artists, illustrators, designers and makers.

As well as exhibiting work by studio holders the show featured work by Yvette Hawkins (book sculpture), Idiot Savant (digital prints), John Parkin (drawings), Deborah Snell (prints), , Jane Smallcombe (jewellery), Richard Short (illustrations), Larissa Robinson-Joice (craft), Much Ado (limited edition cards), Helen Schell (drawings and glass), Val James (jewellery) and Rainbird & Wright (bags and jewellery)

The show also brought new art forms into the building with live music by the Cornshed Sisters, on the opening night, and two evenings of flute and harp music by Echo for our late night shopping events.


The Sundance Kids

Mark Jobe and partner Kelly Richardson have hit International headlines with their recent collaboration (no, not that one, not yet, read on for more news about Jobe junior!).  As well as the being shown at the Sundance Festival the piece has been acquired by two major museums in North America for their permanent collections.  These are the Art Gallery of Ontario (Canada's version of the Tate) and Albright Knox in Buffalo. It was also voted 3rd best Art Show of 2008 by Now Magazine, Toronto.

“Richardson’s magnificent glowing green stag preening in a nighttime forest was one of this year’s most arresting art images in any genre. Richardson used her consummate skill as a videographer and animator to construct videos that cleverly subverted and toyed with our ideas of what is natural and actual in both nature and art.” Now Magazine 2008

For more info visit


AA greaat opportunity!

Bettina Nissen was selected for this year’s Artists Access to Art Colleges Scheme (AA2A) at the University of Sunderland Glass and Ceramics Department. Bettina will be working in a new medium, ceramics, to develop an innovative tableware design.


The project looks at tableware and cutlery from a different angle. The use of fork and knife as fundamental tools of eating in western society is the basis for Bettina’s experiments in ceramic and clay. Inspired by the butter knife and the patterns it leaves on its counterpart, the tableware will be carved and marked with fork and knife.



January Sales

This January Mushroom Works gallery presents a group exhibition of work by several of its studio holders, including furniture designer/makers, Michael Armstrong and Nick James, Illustrator, Bethan Laker and Jewellery artist, Bronwen Deane

Mushroom Works is offering the chance to purchase original artwork, design classics and rare pieces by its studio holders at a fraction of their original selling price (some up to 75% less!) – a great way to start buying art and design pieces from established regional artists and designers.

10th – 31st January 2008


Roses Are Red

Our second show of 2009 falls on February, the month of love. To celebrate St Valentine’s day we’ll be hosting a red themed exhibition, showing work by studio holders and other artists, designers and makers from the region. 

A call for work will go out early January via several regional channels. If you would like to take part in Roses Are Red please email Lara with details of the work you’d like to include by Friday 23rd January. 


Other news

Welcome Baby Jobe-Richardson

Not long now! Mark and Kelly’s little boy is due late January (21st to be precise) and as you’d expect, they’re both very excited. Mark has entertained fellow facebookers on a daily basis with his soon to be fatherly updates.

"Mark Jobe is gonna be a Dad and a husband by the end of the year! Stuntman would make it three....rawk on"

Good luck guys, can’t wait to meet the little fella!!