An exhibition like you’ve never seen before is on display at Ushaw!

This summer, we’re encouraging people of all ages to step into the creative imaginations of artists Johnny White and Amanda Wray as the mind-boggling exhibition Humanimals takes centre-stage at Ushaw until Sunday 1 September 2024. 

The artists’ humorous and thought-provoking interactive sculptures are likely to attract a wide range of visitors, from children who will enjoy the playful and whimsical nature of the art, to adults who will appreciate the cleverness and satire behind the pieces.

The works in the exhibition are inspired by common experiences and feelings, portrayed through human and animal characters, as well as pivotal moments in life, which affect us all . The artists mix humans and animals to show their belief in animal sentience, that creatures have the capacity to have feelings and that we can often have more in common than sets us apart.

From the visually striking piece titled The Gaze which highlights the importance of making eye contact and mutual gaze, to Old Timers representing the later years of life through recycled grandmother clocks and downright quirkiness of a flying pig called Pigasus. We can  guarantee that you’ve seen nothing like it before.

Following an initial collaboration in 1995, artists Johnny White and Amanda Wray have worked together on many projects. Both have followed their own practice for over 25 years and have shown their artworks widely across Europe.

Promoting sustainability, artists Johnny and Amanda often use recycled materials and found objects salvaged from tips or sourced from junk shops, Freecycle and eBay to create their work. Employing traditional sculpture techniques such as casting and carving, Amanda uses materials such as polymer-modified plaster, silicone rubber and resin to create detailed forms in a variety of scales. This is combined with Johnny’s engineering, metalworking and electro-mechanical expertise to create their pieces of work.

Artists Johnny White and Amanda Wray said:

“We have chosen Humanimals as a title for our exhibition here at Ushaw as we enjoy making figurative artworks with both human and animal characteristics. We find this is a successful way to visually communicate our ideas with a varied audience, both young and old and in between of course!”

Andrew Heard, Visitor Programmes Manager and Exhibition Curator at Ushaw said:

 “We’re thrilled to be showing Humanimals at Ushaw. Amanda and Johnny are wonderfully inventive and imaginative artists and it is amazing to look at and interact with their creations. People might think of art exhibitions as being a little dry and formal – this is something completely different. It is certainly art but here you can get hands on and really connect with it.” 

Humanimals is on display from Saturday 29 June and runs through until Sunday 1 September 2024. Open daily 10am – 4pm, exhibition access is included in the price of admission.

To learn more about the exhibition please visit here

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