This project has been developed by The Burton Art Gallery & Museum, with thanks to Torridge District Council and The Friends of The Burton

Thursday, 5 November 2015

‘Witty, joyous and fun’ or ‘the emperor’s new clothes’? - Last chance to join the discussion!

The Bideford Black: The Next Generation exhibition has got everyone talking (…and listening and sniffing)

…And there are just a few days left to see world’s only Bideford Black diamond!

'Seam' (2015) Luce Choules
Photo: Claire Gulliver
Burton Art Gallery’s own Emily Paine has perfectly summed up visitors’ reactions to the Bideford Black: The Next Generation exhibition, which runs until 13 November at the gallery.

“It’s been a marmite reaction”, said Emily, “many people think it’s amazing, but some don’t’ like it at all. Nobody is neutral!”

Like the ‘love-it-or-hate it’ spread, the exhibition is certainly polarising opinions. It’s also black and sticky of course! 

But there are just a few more days to catch the specially-commissioned artworks together in Bideford Black’s home, alongside film-maker Liberty Smith’s unique and beautiful film record of these 21st century encounters with Bideford Black pigment.

The next few days are also the very last chance to see the world’s only Bideford Black diamond in the North Devon setting which provided its raw material. This tiny sparkling diamond, which has proved hugely popular with visitors, is on loan from artist duo ATOI for the duration of this unique show only.
The Burton's Warren Collum examines 'Black Diamond' (2015) ATOI (the 'Bideford Black diamond')
Photo: Drew de Rett / Burton Art Gallery

From visitors who have been ‘blown away’ by the show to those who suggest it’s a case of ‘the emperor’s new clothes’, audiences have not been shy to share their views. And we thought it would be good to share some of them here:

“We love this – the more you look, try, watch, listen, smell…the better it gets. BRILLIANT!”

“Liked the dustbins – but no room in them for the other exhibits!”

“Became more and more intrigued by this exhibition. I spent a long time here”

“Witty, joyous and fun!”

“Lots of soot and smudge!”

“Interesting on a personal level as my grandfather mined Bideford Black at East-the-Water in the 1930’s. Good to see its modern application as an art medium”

“My two-and-a-half-year-old grandchild loved the space and messy black!”
'In Equal Measure' (2015) Sam Treadaway

        “Economic crisis, destruction of the planet’s ecosystems, and this is the best we can do to entertain!”

“Fascinating how angry people get! (might be worth discussing why…)”

“Second visit in two days! – Totally engaging and immersive experience”

“Having just been - for the umpteenth time - to the Bideford Black exhibition, I felt the need to contact you and express my appreciation for your work and the processes you have employed. It has given me a great insight into where I could explore and experiment within my own emerging practice” (2nd year Fine Art Degree student, Petroc)

'DUST' (2015) Neville Gabie, Joan Gabie, Ian Cook
Photo: Drew de Rett / Burton Art Gallery
Until 13 November:
Bideford Black: The Next Generation
Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Bideford, EX39 2QQ

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