A cinema-themed art exhibition has opened at the former Vale Cinema in Mirfield, now better known as the Creative Arts Hub.
For Mirfield residents who recall visiting the former picture house, which closed more than 20 years ago, the show, Candle & Bell: Our Cinematic Fascination, offers a chance to trip down memory lane as well as view an eclectic collection of contemporary art.
The Hub, now a gallery and artists’ studios, is hosting the exhibition until June 20 and showing the work of seven artists, who each have a different approach to the topic.
Curated by Sheffield artist Becky Gee, who has scoured the country for artists whose work suits the theme, the show is by no means dominated by film-makers.
As Becky says: “I wanted different media so there are paintings of stills from films, an installation, sculptures and photographs. None of the artists has exhibited at the Hub before.”
Sculptural work by Stu Burke, film projections by Cheryl Garner and Gavin Jones, and paintings by Alli Sharma were all created especially for Candle & Bell (the title alludes to light and sound, key elements of motion pictures and recurring motifs in the films of Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky), which also features the work of Sophie Bullock, Cherry Kino and Gemma Mountain. The artists come from as far afield as London and Portugal, as well as closer to home in Leeds and Keighley.
There are pieces that explore the medium of film through new media as well as more traditional methods, including photographs capturing the architecture of small, independent cinemas and an installation representing the dream-like narratives associated with films.
The world’s earliest film made with a motion picture camera is said to be a two-minute ‘short’ called Roundhay Garden Scene by the French inventor Louis Le Prince.
He filmed the garden scene at the home of his parents-in-law in Roundhay, Leeds. According to the Guinness Book of Records it is the oldest surviving film in existence.
By the 1900s, however, filmmakers were beginning to construct narratives around the moving images and until the 1920s silent movies, in black and white, ruled the genre.
In the 1930s the invention of colour film and sound technology sounded the death knell for the silent film, a medium that had been adopted by artists eager to explore its ability to evoke emotion from the viewer.
Candle & Bell has been supported by the Arts Council and is sponsored by the John Cotton Group, based in Mirfield.
The Gallery is open Wednesday to Friday from 10am until 5pm and on Saturdays from 10am until 3pm.