Saturday, 6 December 2014

Krowji Christmas Open Studios

Last night we were invited to attend the Krowji Christmas Open Studios, and as you know we can't resist snooping around artists studios so we bundled into our coats and headed over to Redruth.  There was a festive feel to the air with carol singers, mince pies and mulled wine. Take a look through our photos and if you like what you see the studios are open all weekend!

Bethany Robinson

Amy Albright

Kerry Harding

Kathryn Watson

A link to their website can be found here.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Studio Snoop: Suzy Sharpe

This is fast becoming one of our favourite bits about blogging!  We get to talk to artists who inspire us and get a unique glimpse into their studios and methods of working.  This month we visited Suzy Sharpe.  You may remember we did a Snoop on Bethany Robinson, well let us introduce you to her Mum...

Suzy and her sweet dog Sausage

After a much needed mug of tea we stepped out into the drizzly November day to Suzys studio, a converted barn in the Cornish countryside. 

The Barn Studio

Her art spills outside into the environment

Can you tell us your story through art so far?

I was born in Manchester and grew up in Stockport,  after school I started a foundation course at Stockport College, but for a variety of reasons didnt complete it.  I then went on to a career in Financial Services until I had children.  We moved to Cornwall in 1995 and since then I have been intermittently studying, Access and Foundation Degree at Cornwall College, BA Fine Art at Plymouth, PGCE and most recently MA Illustration:Authorial Practice at Falmouth. I have exhibited quite widely with the largest show being at the Slimbridge Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre.   I also get involved in projects whenever I can, most recently the Ghosts of Gone Birds 'Live Art Studio' in which we were asked to resurrect extinct species of birds for a day whilst being viewed from a birdwatching hide by members of the public. 

Inside the studio

What are the main inspirations in your work?
Birds, animals and the complex and symbiotic relationship between humans and animals.

A piece in response to the BP oil spill

And nature comes back into the studio

We loved you MA Authorial practice pieces, can you tell us more about this project?

This was the culmination of 2 years of intense study into our relationship with animals.  It seemed the more I looked the more difficult it became to see anything positive in this relationship from the perspective of the animal.  The paintings explored this in often contradictory and damaging relationship as I tried to consider it from the perspective of the animal.  I wanted my humans to walk in the shoes of the animal and I wanted the audience to question what this maybe like, just for a second!  

Read more about Suzy's MA practice here.

We got to see Suzy working her magic on the press

How do you use your studio?

I use my studio as a place to make a mess and not have to tidy up,a place to think, storage space and a place of focus...although it is usually too cold in the winter and I have to retreat to a spare room in the house.

Ready for printing!

Paints and bones 

We loved all the magazines

Throughout the month of November Suzy is taking part in a 30 art challenge where she paints, draws, collages or prints three images a day every day in November. Most of the paintings will be for sale at £30 plus P & P with 1/3 (£10) split between her 3 favourite charities which are Mousehole Bird Hospital, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Compassion in Wild Farming. 

Find out more about Suzy and her artistic practice in Cornwall visit her:

Thank you for reading, and remember if you have an artist (or are an artist) whose studio you'd like to snoop on send us a message ( or comment below.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Radio 1 Rescores Drive

Last week saw the result of Radio 1 Zane Lowe's ambitious project of rescoring the movie Drive premier on BBC3. 

As huge fans of the original movie & soundtrack we were apprehensive to hear this new interpretation of the film, both as fans and as fellow creatives. The concept of taking a 'completed' piece of cinema and prompting artists to reinterpret and respond to it in a fresh way has certainly captured our interest. 

Curating this project must have been an incredibly exiting but daunting task for Zane Lowe. We believe that there is a great amount of credit due for such an undertaking. We think that he has created a brilliant alternative soundtrack which can stand alone from the original. 

This exciting project has really inspired us. Although the rescored version has taken heavy criticism online, we at midsummer nights feel that any project promoting the creative exploration of artists can only be good. If nothing else it has inspired artists and bands to create some wonderful new material which otherwise may not have existed. 

Measuring the soundtrack against the original, to us, seems obsolete. It was not created to better the original, only to act as an alternative. This is often common place in visual curation and we applaud Zane Lowe for putting together a soundtrack which reflects his interpretation of the film. A couple of our favourite tracks from this soundtrack were contributed by artists like Bastille, Eric Prydz and Bring me the Horizon.

We were really impressed with this project, encouraging artists to cross over disciplines and collaborate in new and inventive ways. This is a value we hold as a high priority here at midsummer nights and we have several projects in the pipeline which do exactly this. More information about Zane Lowe's project and creative process can be seen in the video above:

Monday, 27 October 2014

Studio Snoop: Laura Menzies

If you've been following  our blog you would have seen our 'Artist Introduction' series for our Storm Front exhibition.  Well, we've revisited one of our artists from that show to see what she's up to now (and to have a good old nosey around her new studio!)  If you want to read a bit about how Laura got into art and her processes, click here before you read on!

Laura in her studio

Lauras Studio is located in the Troubador building on Falmouth Wharves.  We climbed four flights of cold concrete stairs to a dim corridor but once inside Laura's studio we could see why she chose it, so read on to find out what Laura's been up to, and to have a glimpse inside the studio...
Another Space on the Warf

What have you been up to in your artistic practice since we last spoke to you?

I moved into my studio at Falmouth wharf in Feburary and have started work on a new body of paintings which are slowly taking shape. I have also been involved with several exhibitions and in July I completed my first residency at TAP project space in Southend, which was a fantastic experience that I learnt a lot from. 

Laura's Desk

Have your inspirations changed at all?

The paintings I make are abstract works that reference my surroundings, my personal life and my everyday experiences.  I have recently been introduced to Japanese aesthetics and the concept of Wabi Sabi which I am excited by, as it directly relates to some of the principles I strive to achieve in my paintings such as simplicity, suggestion and incompleteness. 

New work

Laura uses layers in her work

Are there any other areas of art you want to explore within your practice?

As a painter I feel I have just scratched the surface on what I hope to achieve artistically and want to keep challenging and extending my painting practice.  Having said that I would like to incorporate some printmaking back into my practice, to see how another element would change the dynamics of my paintings and open up new possibilities for different formal and narrative relationships to become evident. I am also becoming increasingly interested in poetry and text and would like to experiment with these in some way in the future. 

Stacked work

You are doing a talk as part of your week in the 'limelight' at Falmouth Art Gallery.  Can you tell us a bit more about that?

I approached Falmouth Gallery several months ago now enquiring about their Limelight space and was told that I could have the space for a week in October and could do a talk to coincide with my work being in the space. I thought that doing a talk on my work would allow me to engage with a new audience, would push me out of my comfort zone (which I feel is important)  and would also be a good opportunity for me to reflect on my practice and review where I current am. 

Work on an easel 

Could you tell us a bit about how you use your studio? 

When I am working I am very messy and have lots of paints, pallets, tools and paintings all around me. I do however always make sure that I leave the studio clean and tidy so that when next go in everything is in its correct place and I can start working straight away. 

Ready for work!

In these posts we like to give you a taster of the artists work environment but if you want to see more of Laura's work, head to her website:

And if you want to keep up to date with her work here's a link to her Facebook, and the event page for her talk at Falmouth Art Gallery tomorrow:

We hope you've enjoyed this post.  If you are an artist and you are interested in having us snoop around your studio comment below, or drop us an e-mail!

Monday, 20 October 2014

Fannie & Fox Private View

On a wild and blustery Friday night, we braved the elements to visit Fannie & Fox's Autumn show private view.  


After stopping to admire the beautiful window display of Autumn leaves by Julie Howe we entered a fantastic world of Cornish art, buzzing with people.  

Pam Tongue (Middle) set up Fannie & Fox as a collectively run art Gallery with between 7 and 12 artists participating at any one time.

"We offer an eclectic mix of fine and applied arts, all created locally.
As an artist led initiative we offer very affordable prices and
the opportunity to meet the makers in a friendly, vibrant setting. 
Fannie & Fox is also a great space to discuss projects and commissions 
or just browse."

We love the idea of creating a space which encourages the creation of affordable art and having met many of the artists at the private view we can attest they are indeed very friendly and more than willing to talk about their work and processes! The gallery changes displays with the seasons and after feeling completely Autumnal after visiting this time, we have decided that Fannie & Fox is our new barometer on seasonal changes!

So, have a little look around;

Fannie & Fox Co-operative Society

Buying cards
Close up of the Window display
The most amazing popcorn!
Autumn is definitely here now!

All the pieces on display worked together to give an atmospheric reflection on Autumn. Here are a few pieces that we loved from the event (if you want to find out more information about the artists, we've put links under the images).

These badges were made by Artist and printmaker Julie Howe, there's something striking about the design of these pieces.   

Click here for Julie Howe's blog

Anyone who follows the blog will know our love of Laura Menzies work and she's been busy creating new pieces that we were instantly drawn to. (Also, look out for a 'Studio Snoop' post about Laura soon!)

Laura's website is just one click away!

Rebecca Sims intricate and dream-like crown was a central attraction in the gallery.

To see more of Rebeccas work, click here!


Zenna Tagney exhibited the most hauntingly beautiful sculptures like the one above.

Zennas website

We loved the private view (and the popcorn!) and would definitely recommend going down to see it for yourself, have a browse and chat to the artists as they each take it in turn to man the shop on different days throughout the month.  And if you can't make it to Penryn, here's a link to their website.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Summer Blog and Upcoming Plans

North America Summer 2014

This summer has been extremely exciting for us. Both having finished university this summer we decided to travel to North America to celebrate. Our trip was very inspiring and has started a lot of wheels turning for us in how we plan to take midsummer nights forward. Now that we are back we are pleased to say we have lots of really exciting opportunities on the horizon and will be keeping this blog up to date with all the development.

Here are some photographs from our trip to give you a little taster of what kept us so busy over this summer: