Thursday, April 24, 2008

John Welding at Wakefield Art Gallery

John Welding: Drawing The City
Wakefield Art Gallery April 26nd - June 22nd

Wakefield Art Gallery premiers a major new work in an exhibition by John Welding that opens this weekend; April 26th and runs to June 22nd.

(John Welding, April 2008, at work on the last of the five huge 10m
rolls of paper that will be adorning the walls of wakefield Art Gallery)

(and here's where it all started: roll one, November 2007)

Most of you will never have heard of John Welding, a comics artist from Milton Keynes but based for many years in Yorkshire. But I've followed his progress over the years with a passion.

I first heard of him via Pete Ashton, now Birmingham's premier pro blogger, community nexus and all round good bloke, but back when I first met Pete he was running Bugpowder distribution for small press books and came into my old comic shop Nostalgia & Comics.

Part of his wares one day were some delicious A5 comics called Goathland (1997 review from Zum) detailing his everyday existence in the wilds of the Yorkshire Moors. Yes, it's the same Goathland that doubles both for Heartbeat's Aidensfield and Hogwarts station in Harry Potter. They were small, beautiful tales of daily life and struck a chord with me.

(Not all pages featured the artist being violently ill.
Page from Goathland by John Welding 1998)

Of course, time moves on and John has pretty much left comics. But he's still an illustrator and now has a major exhibition in Wakefield detailing the city on a series of huge paper rolls that will be exhibited on the wallspace of Wakefield Art Gallery later this month. He's spent six long, wet, cold months on Wakefield's streets, pad and pen in hand, detailing the people and places of Wakefield for posterity to record the city as it changes.The exhibition follows a journey in time and trough the city as John travels from the existing Art Gallery in Wentworth Terrace across the city, down to the river and the site of the new Hepworth Wakefield. Along the way he records, the demolition of the old and the creation of the new and the varied faces of Wakefield's inhabitants.

(Just one of the many beautiful images from John Welding's sketchbooks that have been painstakingly transferred to the giant paper rolls for the exhibition.)

From the images on the blog of the work on the rolls and in John's sketchbooks this looks quite amazing. But I imagine nothing will really substitute for seeing all 50 metres of artwork up on the walls of the gallery.

I'll be trying to get along at some point and would heartily recommend that you do the same.

You can view his work on the project on his blog and website.

His extensive back catalogue of work, including the fondly remembered Goathland is detailed here.

(Originally on the FPI blog but a reminder never hurts)

Update 28th April - a wonderful exhibition, the multi-post report starts here.

No comments:

Post a Comment