Jordan Rogers

Guest Blog By Martin Dawber 

A sure sign that summer has arrived is when Southport Contemporary Art’s flagship gallery – the ArtHouse – in Eastbank Street opens its doors to welcome visitors to its much-anticipated Summer Open Exhibition.

SCA already has a reputation for bringing together a range of high quality contemporary art and craft from both emerging and established artists throughout the year and this year’s Summer Open will unmistakeably demonstrate the scope of creativity and artistic talent across the region.

Co-Director of SCA, Norrie Bewick-Calvert explains this year’s theme: “We’re all a bit fed up of grey skies and rain, so what better way to get the Summer off to a great start, than with a real splash of uplifting colour in our ‘Summer Colour’ Exhibition. As always with our Open Exhibitions we’re excited to be hosting work from the wider community and reviewing the submissions for our Summer Open ’24 looks like being a really interesting and uplifting show”.

There will be plenty to attract even the most discerning connoisseur ranging from hand-thrown ceramics to extraordinary mixed media and documentary photography.

In a change from her usual collage approach, local mixed-media artist, Suzanna Gregg’s eruption of colourful mark making was the result of a recent investigation into recycling: “I made this painting in the garden one day. I had some tins of emulsion/test pots so decided to use them. First I painted the canvas using acrylic paint. Then, on a beautiful, sunny, summer day, I went into the garden, picked up a couple of garden canes, and drizzled the paint onto the canvas. It was motivated by the desire to use the dregs of the paint rather than throw it away. My inspiration was the season of summer, the warmth of the sun, the colourful flowers and the gentle buzzing of the bees”.

Cryin-Ishy by Lewis McWilliam Smith

Cryin-Ishy by Lewis McWilliam Smith

Multidisciplinary artist based in Liverpool, Fai McCabe, also enjoys pushing the boundaries of her artistic capabilities by experimenting with new techniques and processes: “My artwork serves as a reflection of my unwavering passion and commitment to crafting meaningful and visually captivating pieces”.

For her “Famous Faces” collection, Fai has drawn upon her teenage fascination with puzzles.  Reassembling the tiles from a Rubik cube has resulted in a series of inventive portraits that reflect her structured creative process: “It was through the Rubik’s cube that led me to discover beauty in the imperfect patterns that emerge when scrambled. The intricate design of each piece, combined with the simplistic mosaic style, adds a layer of depth to my work. The series is designed to be best viewed from a distance. Up close, the image is overwhelmed by tiny squares of colour, making it barely discernible. However, as you step back, the images become more recognizable, creating a sense of familiarity and connection with the viewer. By requiring the viewer to make a deliberate effort to engage and understand the content of the piece, I aim to create a deeper connection”.

Mini Monia by Fai McCabe

Mini Monia by Fai McCabe

Another Liverpudlian artist, Lewis McWilliam Smith, is able to draw upon his wide-ranging creative education in his current artwork: “I honed my skills at The City of Liverpool Arts Centre before venturing into the vibrant world of Popular Music Studies at Liverpool’s John Moores University. My journey through these diverse artistic avenues has sculpted my unique perspective, blending elements of history, music, and imagination into my work”.

Although keen to explore all the artistic avenues open to him, Lewis feels most a home behind the lens: “Although sketching and painting surrealistic scenes is my favorite medium, there’s something special about capturing moments with my trusty FujiFilm TX30 camera”.

“When I’ve got my camera in my hand, it’s not just about snapping shots for me – it’s about channeling my inner film director. I love the challenge of creating a whole cinematic experience in just one shot. It’s like trying to condense an entire film – complete with story, plot, and emotion – into a single frame. It’s about capturing the essence of a story in a single, powerful image, and that’s where the real magic happens”.

 Summer Time by Suzanna Greg

Summer Time by Suzanna Greg

Lewis’ ‘hidden’ storyline is clearly articulated in his touching study of the Liverpool band, ‘Cryin-Ishy’: “What strikes me about this snap is the absence of a long-standing member. It’s a poignant reminder of the dynamics within bands, where friendships and creative partnerships can fray. I think the empty space beside the two remaining members showcases that loss. I remember that day vividly; it was chilly yet bright, and the atmosphere seemed fitting somehow” 

Jordan Rodgers’ charcoal drawings depicting the industrial legacy of Poland are intense reminders that although most of this heritage was strictly functional, some was meant to impress and features striking design and architecture: “much is beautifully functional and some is sublime in its scale, complexity and impact. My passion for travel and the exploration of diverse places, cultures and people has been a constant throughout my art. Carrying a sketchbook with me, I document moments through quick sketches or notes, capturing the essence of places, buildings, and experiences”.

Szyb Krystyna Shaft by Jordan Rodgers

Szyb Krystyna Shaft by Jordan Rodgers

Jordan’s charcoal drawing of the iconic Krystyna Shaft was made on location in Bytom, Poland and captures the vibrancy inherent in the city’s industrial pulse. Amid local debates over its potential demolition, Jordan’s artwork pays homage to the intrinsic value and architectural significance of Silesian industrial heritage in Bytom: “With a deliberate focus on showing movement into the scene, my drawing seeks to convey the kinetic energy within the Krystyna shaft’s hoisting tower and the commanding presence of the Ewa shaft tower.

The interplay of shadows and lines serves to evoke the lively activity that once animated these structures. My dynamic portrayal aims to transcend the static nature of traditional depictions, offering a visual narrative”.

This year’s Summer Open will kick-start with a special Preview Evening (6-8pm) on Tuesday 25th June and remain on show until 13th July at ArtHouse, 65 Eastbank Street, Southport PR8 1EJ.  Opening times: Tuesday – Friday: 10am-3pm & Saturday: 11am-4pm.

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Do you need advertising, PR or media support? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: 

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?