'Failed' artist celebrates Blackburn exhibition

Wayne Hemmingway supports the Blackburn Is Open initiative

Wayne Hemmingway supports the Blackburn Is Open initiative

First published in News
Last updated
Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

WHEN Sonny Barker left school with an E in his art GCSE, becoming an artist might have seemed unlikely.

But the 39-year-old has proved its never too late to learn by gaining a degree in ‘interactive arts’.

Sonny, of Avondale Road, struggled with his school work at St Bede’s in Blackburn, but went on to study at Manchester Metropolitan University anyway.

And now he has opened an exhibition at the Blackburn Is Open shop in the town centre to showcase his talent.

He said: “I didn’t do so well in art when I was at school but what I do now is not really what they teach in schools.

“I have been called a ‘process artist’ and I guess the stuff we did in textiles was more relevant and I did a bit better at that.”

Sonny, whose ON:Paper exhibition will run for another week in King William Street, has been working with students at University Centre at Blackburn College (UCBC).

He said: “I signed up as an artist in-residency through the Artists Access To Art Colleges program at UCBC, where I work within the BA Fine Art studio.

“This program brings artists into art colleges to show how they work and to hold workshops.

“I have centered my tenure on working with students on their artist’s statements.

“I am interested in how the statement can be made into manifestos and have a concrete aspect on the career of an artist and the almost abstract life of a studio.”

Sonny, who is turning the statements into a book, said he was hoping it could one day be adapted for the stage.

Describing the exhibition, he said: “I am showing the work that I carried out with the students that includes 24 pieces of work, various drawings based on eight-bit computer matrix paper, various collages and 42 studies of randomly folded paper.”

Comments (7)

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6:08pm Sat 17 May 14

burner says...

Don't fret , mate, another FAILED artist will soon have a sculpture put on a roundabout ! He's laffin all the way to the bank.
Don't fret , mate, another FAILED artist will soon have a sculpture put on a roundabout ! He's laffin all the way to the bank. burner
  • Score: 74

7:51am Sun 18 May 14

woolywords says...

Is 'Interactive Arts', another way of saying, finger painting, only using the mouse on the computer?
It sounds like that other one, 'Media Studies', where you watch TV all day...
Is 'Interactive Arts', another way of saying, finger painting, only using the mouse on the computer? It sounds like that other one, 'Media Studies', where you watch TV all day... woolywords
  • Score: -77

9:00am Sun 18 May 14

sonnyjbarker says...

woolywords wrote:
Is 'Interactive Arts', another way of saying, finger painting, only using the mouse on the computer?
It sounds like that other one, 'Media Studies', where you watch TV all day...
No Mr Woolywords, 'Interactive Arts' is a conceptual arts course where you have to work hard for three years on your creative practise and have continual contextual critique. It is a course were you work on setting youself within the business, create exhibitions, help within the public spectrum with community arts programs such as work with impoverished families and charities.
I wish we had the time to finger paint and use a mouse all day and to watch the TV would be very luxurious. If you made the effort with the finger on your mouse you would take the time to do some research instead of being some disguised philistine critic.
[quote][p][bold]woolywords[/bold] wrote: Is 'Interactive Arts', another way of saying, finger painting, only using the mouse on the computer? It sounds like that other one, 'Media Studies', where you watch TV all day...[/p][/quote]No Mr Woolywords, 'Interactive Arts' is a conceptual arts course where you have to work hard for three years on your creative practise and have continual contextual critique. It is a course were you work on setting youself within the business, create exhibitions, help within the public spectrum with community arts programs such as work with impoverished families and charities. I wish we had the time to finger paint and use a mouse all day and to watch the TV would be very luxurious. If you made the effort with the finger on your mouse you would take the time to do some research instead of being some disguised philistine critic. sonnyjbarker
  • Score: 77

11:14am Sun 18 May 14

burner says...

You clearly didn't learn to spell, Sonny.
You clearly didn't learn to spell, Sonny. burner
  • Score: -78

12:14pm Sun 18 May 14

woolywords says...

Continual contextual critique...is that a clever way of saying, nagging?

Oh well, if I'm a Philistine, you could always deport me..
Continual contextual critique...is that a clever way of saying, nagging? Oh well, if I'm a Philistine, you could always deport me.. woolywords
  • Score: -75

2:27pm Mon 19 May 14

shinystar says...

can wait to see your exhibition, your an inspiration to my son who is about to become an art student. well done.
can wait to see your exhibition, your an inspiration to my son who is about to become an art student. well done. shinystar
  • Score: -67

2:55pm Mon 19 May 14

ConcernedOssy says...

IS BLACKBURN ONE OF THE ONLY TOWNS THAT HAS TO HAVE A SIGN SAYING IT IS OPEN (see pic) this would suggest they have a CLOSED SIGN also
IS BLACKBURN ONE OF THE ONLY TOWNS THAT HAS TO HAVE A SIGN SAYING IT IS OPEN (see pic) this would suggest they have a CLOSED SIGN also ConcernedOssy
  • Score: 79

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