Forget Fenwick’s Christmas window: there’s nothing to get you feeling festive like having a glass of mulled wine whilst taking in the Biscuit Factory’s new winter exhibition. Adorned with fairy lights on a cold November evening, the gallery was alive with ambience for its winter launch. Admiring the artwork with my free wine as the live band played violin left me feeling classier than ever before – especially considering how sophisticated everyone around me seemed. But, above all, the Biscuit Factory’s little alcove of culture and craft in the heart of Shieldfield made me feel cosy and welcomed.
One of the highlights of the exhibition was undoubtedly Malcolm Teasdale’s collection of paintings. Evoking Lowry’s work, Teasdale’s art is firmly set within the industrial North-East, conveying the atmosphere of working-class life through the urban landscapes of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland. A personal favourite had to be ‘City Lights’: a winter scene showing Christmas shoppers by Newcastle’s Grey’s Monument. ‘Beneath Byker Bridge’ was another evocative piece, contrasting snug-looking houses with a heavy pollution-stained sky and snow-lined streets.
One of the Biscuit Factory’s strengths is the wide-range of art on display, enabling you to encounter everything from ceramics to textiles. Pratima Kramer’s ceramic art pieces were an unusual but incredible departure from more traditional art forms. The delicate elephant ceramics were carefully crafted, and decorated with intricate patterns. Kramer’s ceramic women were also an enjoyable aspect of the exhibition, as Kramer adorned these unique-looking ceramics with funky patterns.
Having visited the Biscuit Factory a few times over my time at Newcastle, I have to say that this year’s winter launch is the best exhibition I’ve ever seen there. The atmosphere paired with the broad selection of pieces made for a really pleasant evening, filled with class and local culture. If you’re in the Shieldfield area then do pop in – you’re bound to spot a piece you’ll like.