Launch Pad: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

28 August 2015 — 6 September 2015

Castlefield Gallery is excited to present the next in its series of Launch Pad exhibitions, It Was a Dark and Stormy Night; a group project initiated by six artists based across the UK, France and The Netherlands. The exhibition has been selected from CG Associate members’ submissions by artist Jo McGonigal, and Castlefield Gallery’s Programme Manager Matthew Pendergast.

The exhibition takes its title from the often-mocked and parodied line which begins English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel Paul Clifford. The phrase has become associated with this melodramatic style of fiction that is also known as purple prose. It has also been used to prompt creativity in schools with an educational game where students begin with ‘It was a dark and stormy night…’ and then take it in turns to add the next line, until they have created a collective story.

Over the period of one month, the artists will be forging a ‘story’ in this manner, hoping that through the text they will create a singular subject matter which will lay the foundations for a harmonious group exhibition whilst reflecting the sometimes problematic nature of the ‘group show’. Coming together with a shared interest in making sensational and exaggerated works, the artists in It Was a Dark and Stormy Night intend to indulge their imagination, celebrating the farcical and light-hearted side of their practice.

Artists: Graeme Durant, Jemma Egan, Florent Dubois, Lindsey Mendick, Suzanne Posthumus, and Josh Whitaker.

About the artists

Graeme Durant is based in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK, where he is co-founder of art collective JAMBON. He Graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Northumbria University, UK in 2009. Recent exhibitions include Best In Show, Same Shit Different Day Gallery, London; BG3, Bloc Projects, Sheffield; When in Roam, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; Jambon January Sale, Newbridge Projects, Newcastle; Jesmonite on Paper, A3 Project Space, Birmingham; The Gate of The Kiss, Baltic 39, Newcastle.

Jemma Egan lives and works in London. She graduated from Sculpture at The Royal College of Art in 2015. Exhibitions include Film Open, Spike Island, Bristol; Pause Patina, Camden Arts Centre, London; Best In Show, Same Shit Different Day Gallery, London; Screensaver, Dyson Gallery, London; Faux Sho, It’s All Tropical, Assembly House, Leeds; One I Made Earlier, Half A Dozen Projects, London; Suh-peer-ee-er, *Queenspecific, Toronto. She was a member of VSVSVS in Toronto 2012-13 and co-director of The Royal Standard in Liverpool 2007-10.

Florent Dubois was born in Besançon (France) and studied at ENSBA Lyon. He currently lives and works in Toulouse. Recent exhibitions include: Outrage, Cité des arts Montmartre, Paris; Recto-Verso 8 pièces graphiques, Musée des arts décoratifs, Paris; Le livre de Go première partie, CNEAI, Chatou, France; The Sunday Curators, SWG, Glasgow; Travaux en cours, Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, St-Etienne, France.

Lindsey Mendick lives and works in Sheffield. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include: Girls, Oriel Wrexham, (September 2015); I’M Ten, IMT Gallery, London, (September 2015); HOT FLUSH, S.T.C.F.T.H.O.T.S., Leeds; Lindsey Mendick And Lynn Fulton, One Thoresby Street, Nottingham; Best In Show, Same Shit Different Day Gallery, London; I’M SO EXCITED, Haha Gallery, Southampton; Zabludowicz Masterclass, London; Mostyn Open 19, Llandudno, North Wales; Faux Sho, It’s All Tropical, Assembly House, Leeds; No Grey Areas, Haha Gallery, Southampton; £1 Fish, S1 Artspace, Sheffield; Bound, Part I, Bloc Projects, Sheffield; Overseasoned Part Deux, Salt +Powell, York; Vulpes Vulpes Open, Vulpes Vulpes, London.

Suzanne Posthumus lives and works in London and the Netherlands. She graduated in 2014 from Golsmiths MFA Fine Art. Recent exhibitions include: Best In Show, Same Shit Different Day Gallery, London; Superior Goods and Household Gods, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; out of shape, Tique, Antwerp, Belgium; The big screen, Latitude Festival 2014, Suffolk; Misafir Guest, Kare Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey; CoPilot, Primrose Hill House, London. She was Co-founder Polly’s Picture Show, platform for autonomous photography (NL) (2010-14). She  studied Photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and recently graduated Goldsmiths MFA.

Josh Whitaker was born in Leeds, and now lives and works London. Selected exhibitions include: ‘St. Paul, You You don’t know,What it’s like, Baby you don’t, What it’s like, To love somebody, To love somebody, The way I love you’, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Leeds; Business As Usual, Turf Projects, London; People You May Know, Bosse & Baum, London; Best In Show, Same Shit Different Day Gallery, London; Tru Luv, Turf Projects, London; The Generation Game, Midas Touch, Luton; Chicken Show, Roman Road Gallery, London; Kelly Brook, Desktop Residency, London; SOTD x STCFTHOTS, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Leeds; Time Pieces, Rogue Project Space, Manchester 2014; Life Hackerz, Platform 1 Gallery, London; Freekin Weekend, Millcote House, London; Putt Putt, Turf Projects, Croydon; Wu Tang Killa Beez, Blip Blip Blip, Leeds; Summer Fete, Ceri Hand Gallery, London; Contemporary Figuration, Udstillings Stedet Q, Oslo.

Launch Pads are short exhibitions or performances that punctuate Castlefield Gallery’s curated programme providing artists, writers and independent curators with the opportunity to use the gallery as a test bed for the production, display and consumption of contemporary art. Launch Pads feature emerging talent selected from CG Associate members’ proposals (three times a year) and from the MA and BA art courses at Manchester School of Art (once a year). For more information about CG Associates visit

PREVIEW: Thursday 27 August, 6-8pm

CG’s Launch Pad previews are supported by Soup Kitchen, Manchester.

Soup Kitchen Logo 2013