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Portals: Christy Burdock, Mani Kambo & Bethany Stead

Tue – Fri, 10.30am – 5pm; Sat, 11am – 4pm

Preview 1 February, 5 – 7.30pm

Gallagher & Turner

Portals is an exhibition of three distinct personal voices offering three viewpoints on life.

The works of Christy Burdock, Mani Kambo and Bethany Stead are rooted in everyday personal narratives and heritage. Through drawings, painting, embroidery, and ceramic, with a dose of magic and the surreal, each artist offers a portal into their individual way of perceiving the world. These portals are to familiar spaces made liminal: mysterious dreamscapes of everyday ritual, routine, and religion. Inb each there is a generosity of spirit and time, and a place for us to dwell, identify and lose ourselves.

Christy Burdock positions herself as an observer or socio-political commentator, describing herself as a “news and current affairs obsessive”. She references artists such as William Hogarth and Stanley Spencer who documented life around them. Having studied at The Royal College of Art, she is currently Artist in Residence at VARC. Through the subjectivity of storytelling, she seeks to “shine a dim and gentle light into corners of British life.”

Newcastle-based artist Mani Kambo makes textile-based work inspired by ideas of portals, meeting points and sacred knotting. Kambo’s work creates an embodied encounter, referencing personal identity and family heritage, such as her upbringing in a Sikh household, filled with superstition, ritual prayer and religious ceremony. Her totemic works use motifs, such as hands, eyes, snakes, suns, and doorways, to conjure spaces for imagination, meditation, and transcendence.

Bethany Stead, also based in Newcastle, makes work similarly steeped in personal narrative and historical research. Their drawings and paintings explore what it is like to inhabit a body, weaving together auto-biographic, mythic, and religious iconography to create surrealist scenes and characters. Stead acts as storyteller drawing on psychoanalysis, magical realism, science fiction and folklore to question concepts of time, gender and worship, and to bridge human and non-human realms.

Artists Exhibiting

Selected works

Christy Burdock, 'The dancers'. Oil on canvas, 122 x 91cm.

Mani Kambo, 'Ceremony', 2019

Christy Burdock, 'Nudge'. Graphite on paper, 20 x 15cm.

Bethany Stead, 'Spinster', 2023. Ceramic stoneware, glaze and underglaze.

Bethany Stead, 'The High Life', 2022. Colour pencil on paper, 29 x 41cm.

Bethany Stead, 'The Blood Birth', 2022. Colour pencil on paper, 29 x 41cm.