Newcastle Fine Art student Jon Rolph (23) performed his latest show Something New on Friday 1st March. It took place at the Cluny 2 to an audience of fellow art students, friends and even some complete strangers. Supporting Rolph was artist Moth Boy (Tom Lines) a talented audio-visual artist whose poem interspersed with videos of dogs and a hypnotic audio journey engrossed the audience.
Like a multi-media DJ, Rolph led the audience through an audio-visual landscape. His vast catalogue of video tapes, cassettes, magazines, adverts and even the odd crossword puzzle were reimagined into a hypnotic sequence. Rolph used a projector to exhibit the different media onto the screen behind him, whilst the recordings and tunes from his cassettes emanated from the Cluny 2’s sound system.
The artist manually widened and narrowed the frame to fit his material
The Cambridge born artist manually widened and narrowed the frame to fit his material, elevating each clip and sound bite into a new context, which often created jarring contrasts. The eyes were confronted with everything from skateboarders to fairground organs, a Jane Fonda tai chi workout video as well as iconic sequences from Bad Boys 2. Each artefact was layered or looped, then paused, removed and replaced; all at such as speed that the audience was always left guessing what would come next.
Aside from the mesmerising film footage accompanied by the entrancing soundtrack, the artist himself was a joy to watch. His energy was enchanting as he bopped along to the beat, moving through his set, throwing off video covers, plugging in and unplugging appliances to the rhythm of the art. In this way the artist became an element of the visual impact of the artwork as well as bringing a smile to the faces of everyone who had come to watch.
To keep up with Jon’s work follow him on Instagram @jon.c.rolph.