Dr. Mike Collier is a lecturer, writer, curator and artist. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College before being appointed Gallery Manager at the ICA in London. He subsequently became a freelance curator and arts organiser, working extensively in the UK and abroad. In 1985, he moved to Newcastle to run the Arts Development Strategy at the Laing Art Gallery, where he initiated the Tyne International Exhibition of Contemporary Art. For the last 25 years, he has worked in education and is currently Professor of Visual Art at the University of Sunderland. Throughout his career, Mike has maintained his artistic practice and he is now based in Cobalt Studios in Newcastle. He has shown work in a number of one person and group shows in the UK and abroad.
Dr. Bennett Hogg is a composer, improviser, and cultural theorist, with particular interests in electroacoustic music, environmental arts, and free improvisation. He completed his undergraduate degree in music at Nottingham University in 1982 and also has an MA in ethnomusicology from Durham University and an MMus in electroacoustic composition from UEA, supervised by Denis Smalley. He has worked as a composer in both electroacoustic and ‘conventional’ media and has received several prestigious commissions and awards for his work, including commissions from the Royal Opera House's ‘Garden Venture’, Sarajevo Winter Festival, Sonic Arts Network and Welsh Jazz Society, organisations whose diversity attests to his pluralistic creative outlook. He is currently a senior lecturer in ICMuS at Newcastle University.
About the art
This collaborative work of visual art and music has been exhibited at Cheeseburn Grange Sculpture Garden, Northumberland, 2017; National Drawing Centre, Trowbridge, Wilts, 2018; and Platform A, Middlesboro, 2019. It was inspired by listening to a Dawn Chorus at Cheeseburn – a ‘choir’ of sixteen birds heard early one morning in May 2016. Together their songs, represented variously as digitally manipulated sonograms and musical transcriptions, formed the basis of a collection of screen prints, music and digital prints. Part of a developing series of work based on the way birds interact and communicate through song in the dawn chorus – echoing the comment by Edward Grey in The Charm of Birds when he described the dawn chorus as a ‘tapestry of sound’. The images and music are forthcoming in an Arts Council-funded book written by Geoff Sample, Mike Collier, and Bennett Hogg.
Mike Collier’s Robins and Blackbirds Singing Pre-Dawn is a digital sketch and produced as an edition of five signed prints. The series was produced in collaboration with Alex Charrington (Charrington Editions), Bennett Hogg (composer and musician) and natural history sound recordist Geoff Sample.
The print is accompanied by Bennett Hogg’s signed CD recording of . . . out of the wood of thought that grows by night . . . This is a cycle of three interconnected pieces for seven pianos to accompany the Dawn Chorus series. The first section is based on transcriptions of redstarts, then a flourish leads into the main dawn chorus - blackbirds and robins, joined by wren, chaffinch, and dunnock, finally a tranquil evening chorus dominated by wood pigeons. The title is from a poem by Edward Thomas.
Robins and Blackbirds Singing Pre Dawn, digital print, (signed limited edition of 5), 50 x 50 cm. £270
Included with the print, a signed CD recording Out of the Wood of Thought that Grows by Night by Bennett Hogg.