My first visit to the relatively recently renovated Old Parcels Office gallery and studio space in Scarborough was for the private viewing of their second open exhibition. I did enter a piece for the exhibition but sadly didn’t make the cut so it’s always interesting to take it on the chin, visit regardless and get in tune with the eye of the curator. The space is close to Scarborough railway station and the approach is towards a very unassuming building but once inside you experience a wonderful renovation bathed in light from the high windows that casts a wonderful light onto the original brickwork. This is a cathedral of a gallery that shows off the work beautifully so hats off to the vision of the team that made this happen.
The work itself was diverse and very well curated and as usual, I found some very engaging but others far less so. The chicken in front of a photographic background appealed to me as it was a cleverly disguised mixed media piece and gave me ideas about incorporating photography and painting in my own work. I wasn’t sure how the artist had managed to seamlessly incorporate photography onto the panel, emulsion transfer possibly but I need to investigate what other techniques are available. The monotone tree in watercolour and graphite was my favourite piece as I thought it was an original take on the classic tree in the landscape that we all seem to wrestle with to find originality. The mix of sharp and diffuse mark-making really appealed and created a lovely sense of depth and mystery. The oil painting of the girl on the phone won the painting prize and it was a well-composed piece of work but personally, I thought there were more original pieces on show. The diorama of a pub scene was just excellent. Viewed through a small slit we saw a dark room with a man moving his arm, drinking from a pint glass, with a video of a road scene through the pub window playing in the background. The extra small details of lights behind the bar and on the slot machine were just great. This was a fun, nostalgic glimpse into someone else’s world. All in all, well worth the trip as Scarborough is just great.