Sunday 12 February 2012

Wednesday 1 February 2012

Its a long way to Tipperary...

'Without Mind' will show as part of a video art festival in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, Ireland - 5th - 12th February. For more information visit the site here. A digital version of the exhibition catalogue is also available by following the link.

Thursday 8 September 2011

Looking from a distance

Gymnasium Gallery

Paul Grimmer
Looking from a distance

10th September – 15th October 2011

Looking from a distance features two recent moving image works, Without Mind (2011) and Changeling (2010). Both pieces focus on movement in a contemplation of beauty, time, memory and transformation. These two video works are connected by a tension between the sense of intimacy and detachment in the handling of the subject, which in each case is a solo performer. In each work the movement has been digitally altered through editing processes, foregrounding our ways of looking and the weaving of possible psychological narratives. 

Looking from a distance was developed with support from Arts Council England, Allenheads Contemporary Arts, Dance City, Globe Gallery and the Medical Research Council.

Opening on Saturday 10th September between 2:00pm – 4:30pm

Special viewing for the Berwick-upon-Tweed Film & Media Arts Festival on Saturday 24th September between 7:30pm - 9pm

Opening times:

11:00am – 5:00pm Wednesday-Sunday

Free entrance from the Ramparts

Gymnasium Gallery 
Berwick Barracks, 
The Parade, 
TD15 1DG

01289 304 535

Saturday 3 September 2011

'Looking from a distance' gallery information

Paul Grimmer (UK)
Looking from a distance

Looking from a distance features two recent moving image works, Without Mind (2011) and Changeling (2010). Both pieces focus on movement in a contemplation of beauty, time, memory and transformation. These two video works are connected by a tension between the sense of intimacy and detachment in the handling of the subject, which in each case is a solo performer. In each work the movement has been digitally altered through editing processes, foregrounding our ways of looking and the weaving of possible psychological narratives.
Without Mind (2011) was developed through a cross-generational collaboration with the artist’s 80 year old Grandfather, who has practiced and taught the martial art of Karate for over 25 years and holds a black belt 3rd dan grade. Karate training involves the repeated practice of specific movement phrases or kata (form) until they can be performed without thought and with a clear mind, free from fear, anger and ego, a state known as Mushin. The work focuses on 3 of the advanced kata routines forming an intimate portrait of memory and capturing the skill, power, agility and focus involved in the discipline. Conventional assumptions of age and deterioration are also questioned as the work unfolds, dissecting time, slowing to reveal the detail of each movement. Familiar representations of the aging body are subverted to reveal a body that is strong, dynamic, monumentally present, dancing an intricate dance with an invisible opponent.

Changeling (2010) makes reference to the highly symmetrical structure and geometry of viruses and their transformative power. The work also references the symbolism associated with alchemy and the alchemical opus, repeating forms in nature, sacred geometry and architecture. Here, the artist’s own body has been physically and digitally transformed altering the image of the body, even further pushing it into abstraction. As this unfamiliar body moves in and out of focus suspended in space it is glimpsed not seen, it is taken apart, re-ordered and replicated into new and exotic forms in a meditation on beauty, perfection and difference.

Paul Grimmer was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1975 and studied Fine Art at Northumbria University. Since 2005 he has worked as an artist as well as coordinating events with live art organisation Platform North East and collaboratively setting up Piggyback Arts. He often works in collaboration and has spent time engaging with research in a number of scientific institutions/organisations in the UK. His moving image, installation and performance work explores the biological and psychological, focusing on gaps in understanding, tensions between opposing forces and the fluid nature of identity. Recent exhibitions include: ‘Changeling’ (Globe Gallery, North Shields), ‘Triparks’ (UK touring group exhibition) and screenings in the UK, USA and Europe of ‘Continuum’, a 360° video work made specifically for viewing in Planetariums. Paul Grimmer currently lives and works in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Changeling was developed during residencies with the Medical Research Council Virology Unit, (Glasgow), Allenheads Contemporary Arts (Northumberland) and Dance City (Newcastle upon Tyne). Developed with support from Arts Council England and Globe Gallery (Newcastle upon Tyne). Without Mind was developed during a residency with Dance City (Newcastle upon Tyne) and with support from Arts Council England. 

Thanks to: Nick Able (Nick Able Music), Ewelina Aleksandrowicz & Andrzej Wojtas (Hacksquad), James Froment (Dance City), David Bhella (MRC), Jo Brossman (Arachnae Designs), Satinder Chumber, Tom Cullen (ArtAV), Wendy Erickson, George Grimmer, Kyle Heslop, Michelle Hirschhorn, John Smith and Fiona Wright.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

'Looking from a distance' at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival 2011

'Looking from a distance' exhibition at the Gymnasium Gallery will be a part of this years Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, which will run from the 23rd - 25th September. The programme is now online, click here for more information.

Saturday 27 August 2011

Editing 'Without Mind'

Been a really busy week of editing the new work and making preparations for Looking from a distance, which opens on the 10th September. The work is looking really great thanks to the editing skills of Andrzej Wojtas (Hacksquad) and we are now making the final adjustments to the colour grade and sound.

I am thinking of using either Without Mind or The Mind Without Mind for the title of the piece. Both are translations of Zen expressions, either mushin or mushin no shin, which refers to the idea of focus through a de-focusing of thought, losing anger, fear and ego and achieving a sense of flow. The term applies directly to the practice of the Japanese martial arts though it can be achieved in other areas of life. Scientific research has shown that martial arts practitioners have an increased ability to regulate brain wave activity through entering this flow 'zone'.

Dance City shoot

Thursday 18 August 2011

Creative Summer Residency @ Dance City - part 2

Started working with Andrzej Wojtas and Ewelina Aleksandrowicz (Hacksquad) yesterday capturing some video footage of selected clips. I was amazed at the quality achieved with the Panasonic camera they were using. The close up shots of showing texture and quality of skin are absolutely amazing. We are now hoping to work with Red cam, Which is capable of capturing with a faster shutter speed at 120fps, so will be able to recreate the shots and capture even more minute detail in the movement and expression.

Tomorrow we will also be working with cinematographer Kyle Heslop.

Stills from the shoot yesterday...

Wednesday 17 August 2011

Creative Summer Residency @ Dance City - part 1

I was very happy to receive funding from Arts Council recently to both begin development of a new body of work and install an exhibition at the Berwick Gymnasium Gallery, which will also be part of this years Berwick Film and Media Festival.

Since Monday I have been working at Dance City with my Grandad on a Creative Summer week long residency. The experience so far has been amazing! After 25 years of training he has attained the level of black belt, 3rd Dan in Wado Ryu style karate.

Watching him perform the karate katas (choreographed movement phrases involving blocks and attacks) in the past it has appeared both complex and in some way simple. I realise now that achieving the appearance of simplicity is very difficult. Monday and Tuesday we worked together as teacher (Sensei) and student as I attempted to learn the first black belt kata (Seishan). It was fascinating to learn, but more interesting to learn from my Grandad and to see him change from the the man I know to the intense focused state when performing. He told me that when he is performing the kata's he sees nothing else, everything else disappears.

During the fisrt 2 days I also observed my grandad performing three of the black belt kata -Seishan, Basai and Rohai - and began capturing some of the more dynamic moves.

Monday 20 June 2011

Body - Queens Hall, Hexham

Saturday 23 July - Saturday 3 September

Body is a new, challenging and visually stunning exhibition of work that reflects upon, and questions, self image, stereotypical notions of beauty and body adornment. Body includes the work of Paul Grimmer and other artists.
For more information click here

Thursday 16 June 2011

3 Degrees of Separation - official website launch

3ยบ of Separation is a project organised by Gateshead-based artists Jo Coupe and Catherine Bertola, and funded by Turning Point North East’s Critical Dialogue Bursary.
The project involved a series of three one-day discussion events, with each event having a different emphasis, based on commonalities identified within our own work: Materiality, Time and Site and Context.

The artists attending were selected using the principle of degrees of separation – there being apparently only 7 degrees of separations between any two people on Earth. The selection started by each of us inviting one artist from the region, with whom we felt a connection in relation to the concept being discussed. These two artists were then asked to invite an artist on the same premise, and finally that artist was asked to do the same. This chain connection created three diverse groupings of eight artists, brought together purely on the basis of their work.

The events encompassed presentations by all the artists, followed by a discussion around the work presented in relation to the focus of the event. A writer was invited to attend each of the events and then commissioned to write a critical response to the conversation that ensued.

The resulting essays by Ruth Barker, Martin Herbert and Stephen Feeke can be found on the website, along with information about the twenty artists involved;

 Catherine Bertola, Tim Brennan, Jo Coupe, Fiona Crisp, Graham Dolphin, Jennifer Douglas, Peter J. Evans, Joel Fisher, Susie Green, Charlotte Gregory, Paul Grimmer, Ashley Hipkin, Ben Jeans Houghton, John Lavell, Richard Rigg, Will Scrimshaw, Alan Smith, Sneha Solanki, Miles Thurlow, Dan Wilde

It is hoped that the conversations that began at these events, will continue beyond the within the four walls of the original event, and we are openly inviting people to add comments, responses and thoughts to the essays as a way of expanding the discussions.

We hope you find the project and essays of interest, please keep checking back in to the site as more content is added over time.

If you would like any more information about the project or website, please do not hesitate to contact us at
Catherine Bertola and Jo Coupe