Hastings exhibition as Shane O’Leary promises decorative abstracts and collages

Shane O’Leary who goes by the name Using Glue “partly because I use a lot of glue in my mixed media work” is exhibiting at 12 Hundred Postcards, Hastings from Friday, October 29 to Friday, November 12.

Work by Shane O'Leary
Work by Shane O'Leary

“There will be a mixture of decorative abstracts and a selection of collages at the 12 Hundred Postcards show,” Shane said. “Everything shown will be a signed original and will be priced at either £45 or £33. The venue spins a lot of vinyl so this makes some sort of sense.

“Exactly 50 per cent of sales will be donated to our local Green Party group.

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“I am a local, I moved abroad, I came back and lived in London, moved abroad again, but I came back, all the way back. We all do in the end.

“I spent too many years writing about independent music and then Brexit happened, budgets were slashed and this provided the ideal excuse to give up paid work and slide sideways into making art and head first into being a kept man.

“Obviously, I’d need a playroom to play artist, so I roved around skips and building sites, collecting old and unwanted bits of wood and I built myself a space to do art in.

“Like many people, I like art and have always been a fan of people like Kurt Schwitters, Duchamp and Hannelore Baron, the works of those people and others inspired me, but I’ve had help from the locals as well...

“David Brumley runs the 12 Hundred Postcards bar in Queens Road.

“He saw some of my stuff and invited me to exhibit. We met and agreed dates and now we’re showing my stuff from October 29-November 12.”

He was also helped by Susan Diamond: “She used to have a shop in Kings Road, St Leonards, and I’d go there to goggle at the energy, confidence and cheerful insolence of everyone and everything in there.

“Then I discovered Peter Quinnell at an exhibition and his collages are mad, fun and sharp while being gleefully hacked out. I asked him stupid questions. He gave me useful answers and I repaid him by copying one of his collages.

“Tim Can at Zuzushi Art Laboratory is another hero of mine, droll, talented and nice enough to stay awake when I’ve been banging on about art, and his departure from Berlin is something that I very much aspire to.

“So I produced some work and it was awful, but I kept trying, kept stealing and slowly I got, if not better, then less bad and I’d always sent my stupid work to serious people to critique and I always took a right bashing and it was always deserved and it made be believe in karma because I kicked an awful lot of awful records to death,

“Nearly a year later and I got a little positive feedback and then I sold a piece, not the one I really, really like, but a small, experimental thing. Still it was a start.

“There will be around 20 works, all carefully curated from the pile marked ‘finished’ and they’re all signed originals and priced at £45 or £33. Dave loves his vinyl as much as I do, so this seemed appropriate.

“The work tackles feminism, food insecurity, displacement and mortality.

“The styles range from decorative abstracts to collage, homage to Quinnell and I think there’s also a daft bit of graphic design in there as well.

“The challenging stuff like Oh Tracy is staying back at the ranch for the moment.”