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Music collaborator Russell Mills brings his eclectic art works to 1830 Gallery

He's collaborated with rock musicians such as Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, the Cocteau Twins and Nine Inch Nails

Work featuring in Russell Mills' Cargo in the Blood exhibition

He's collaborated with rock musicians such as Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, the Cocteau Twins and Nine Inch Nails and designed book covers for Samuel Beckett and Ian McEwan, but Yorkshire-born Russell Mills is most definitely a multi-media artist who defies attempts to categorise his work.

His eclectic interests encompass art, music, design and installation; his style has evolved from figurative to abstract; and he is famed for his use of organic materials – from earth, blood and teeth to animal bones and feathers.

And now Mills, a visiting tutor for both The Royal College of Art and Glasgow School of Art, is to have his first solo show, Cargo in the Blood, in his home county, at the 1830 Gallery, Shaw Lodge Mill, in Halifax.

The exhibition is being housed in the art space created by The Artworks, an independent art school founded by two artists, John Ross from Huddersfield and Peter Stanyer from Calderdale. John was a contemporary of Russell Mills during their time as students at the Royal College of Art in the 1970s.

The show will have a retrospective element but is being centred around 30 works made for the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails’ 2013 Hesitation Marks album.

Exploring the ideas of chaos and order, control and surrender, they juxtapose traditional art materials with organic and industrial substances.

Alongside these, Mills, who is now in his early 60s and was born in North Yorkshire, will be showing a selection of other works, including collages, photomontages and a series that explores elemental carbon.

A piece called Dust of Mens’ Tears

In a first for the 1830 gallery, which has featured a number of high-profile artists since it opened in 2012, a cellar in the depths of the Grade II listed mill is being transformed into a multimedia installation, which Mills has created with his ‘partner in sound’ Mike Fearon.

Now Then, as it is named, has six sound sources, each programmed to play randomly to create a psychologically-charged, immersive environment in which visitors will never hear the same mix of sounds twice.

Cargo in the Blood opens on Sunday, February 22, and can be seen until April 19. The gallery, is open from Thursday until Saturday from 11am until 4pm and on Sundays from noon until 4pm.

Now Then can be seen from 2pm Thursday to Sunday. A number of workshops and a talk are planned during the run of the exhibition.

For further information go to www.theartworks.org.uk

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