Prefab Sprout bass player Martin McAloon launches his own art exhibition

Martin McAloon, the founding member of acclaimed North East pop band Prefab Sprout, has launched a new exhibition operating under his artistic guise, Feliks Culpa.

By Gary Welford
Thursday, 04 April, 2019, 16:50
The Feliks Culpa exhibition The Ongoing Moment is showing at The Vane Contemporary Art Gallery in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, throughout April.

The Ongoing Moment, his bid to document modern history, is showing at the Vane Contemporary Art Gallery in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, throughout April.

It boasts several collections of drawings and paintings created by McAloon in his artistic guise, Feliks Culpa, which capture turbulent and significant moments in recent history, including the on-going Brexit saga.

The Feliks Culpa exhibition The Ongoing Moment is showing at The Vane Contemporary Art Gallery in Pilgrim Street, Newcastle, throughout April.

From Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock to Andy Warhol and William Burroughs having breakfast, to the plight of the Syrian refugees unfolding on a giant scroll, the exhibition brings together works that explore the relationship between the ephemeral moment and the passing of time.

Resolutely monochrome, his lo-fi charcoal and pencilled creations cast a clear cold light on the fleeting nature of political relativity and contingency.

Culpa explains: “The work currently spans over five years of news events occurring on the 24th day of each month, beginning on January 24, 2014, and continuing to the present day and beyond.

“What I like most about it is seeing it all on full display at this wonderful gallery.

“I never look at the images once they’re drawn and boxed up, and seeing them all on a series of huge white walls and not being stuck my head is always good."

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“As an example, the Brexit results were announced on 24th June 2016, and the images I've created here sum up the shock of the result, even in the face of those who’d campaigned for it.

“I’d never seen one of the exhibition's features – a 20-metre scroll - in full before. It took two years to draw and was started with my left hand – I’d only ever worked on a small section at a time.

“The drawings are documents, reportage, footnotes to the present, reminders of a soon-to-be-forgotten past.”

McAloon was born in County Durham in 1962 and lives in Newcastle.

He was a founding member of pop band Prefab Sprout, who enjoyed a string of hits in the 1980s, with one of their singles, The King of Rock 'n' Roll, reaching No 7 in the UK charts.

McAloon considers Feliks Culpa a solo band and his art as demo tapes.

Admission to the exhibition is free, but booking is required. Call the gallery on 0191 261 8281, or email events@vane.org.uk