On Sunday 30th January, we’ll be donning berets and dusting off our weariest withering looks for our Bog Gallery opening party at Corto — the launch of Jonny Lindsey’s first ever gallery exhibit.
Jonny has been making art in East Lancashire since 2020 under the name @paint_yer_brain, and every piece displayed in the Bog Gallery is brand spanking new, created between Christmas 2021 and the days leading up to the month-long exhibition in Corto.
You might have seen some of Jonny’s work already — he’s designed cans and pump clips for local breweries and pubs and he’s even painted something for us before, the brilliant portrait of Anthony Bourdain that’s hung in the alcove by the window. We love it!
We asked Jonny to tell us a bit more about himself and his art ahead of his opening party.
How would you describe your art?
I’d like to think it is as chaotic as a pigeon trapped inside a Greggs.
I’m a big believer in doing things a bit outside of the box, the more eye catching and strange – the better! Bright colours that pop into your eyesight and make you wonder what the hell you’re looking at. I don’t have any formal art training as I just started it out of boredom in (way back when) the first lockdown about March, 2020. It has largely and always will be trial and error (emphasis on error..!)
Who are your main artist inspirations or heroes?
This is one of those questions where I will immediately regret not mentioning about 10 other artists BUT here goes: David Shrigley is a big influence, I love his simplistic style be it his illustration or paintings, I think if I could be assed I’d stalk him.
Picasso’s line work fascinates me. Francis Bacon had some mental paintings which look like nightmares which I can relate to, being from Accrington. I love the chaos of Noel Fielding’s work and how abstract and simple it is. Celeste Mountjoy is incredible, I love her line drawing! Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) bird paintings have me in stitches and awe in equal measure. More recently the writing of Babek Ganjei is hilarious, his writing style is so unique. also Albert Willem, Ruth Mora, Isabella Cotier… So many more!
What makes East Lancashire a unique place to draw inspiration from?
I think it’s the lack of seeing our accent written down the way we say it. I love local dialect, I use it in my poetry also. I think the scenery in a lot of England is so drab and grey, carbon copy towns with the same supermarkets. The thing that can set them apart are the independent bars, pubs, restaurants and breweries. There’s so much history in Lancashire’s pubs.
I take a lot of inspiration from just listening to how people speak and the stereotypes some people play up to. I hope my paintings can brighten up a few of those places too. Also, “Oreet” is great to write with a Posca pen.
Where is your studio?
I was getting pretty sick of painting in my bedroom. I live in a house share with a mate, renting. Have you ever tried getting paint out of carpet? I wouldn’t recommend it personally. Especially if you’d been drinking out of boredom in lockdown. Anyway, my friend Becky Livsey mentioned she had a space in Accrington at Haworth Art Gallery Stable Studios so I took a trip down! There was one space available in the converted old barn up in the attic. It’s a magnificent building and I feel like an Earl when I’m there, it’s got a Facebook page too if you want a gander at it. I’ve got some videos of it on my instagram also!
I paint every week, I think there is always room for improvement and practice makes perfect, I have quite a lot of paintings displayed there at my work bench, with some being displayed at Corto also!
What are your themes for the Bog Gallery exhibit?
It will look like someone has thrown a paint pot at the Sun filled with every colour in the rainbow, as God sprinkles you with natural wine and IPA beer. The theme is fun, enjoyment and celebrating how stupid and funny a night out can be and the wild things you’ll hear.
Why are you working with Corto?
It’s the most relaxed space to have some beautiful beverages in. It’s the perfect sized building to avoid the chaos of the outside world and drink some extremely potent IPA beer, some tasty natural wine or cider. I always feel so welcome there and to be honest, if I did it in Accy Wetherspoons all my paintings would be nicked within an hour.
Local artist recommendation?
This is where I start getting uninvited on nights out if I miss someone out…so here goes:
Becky Livesy & Steve Crowther plus all the other resident artists at Haworth Art Gallery Stable Studios! @Treeanon.Paints Sometimes does some amazing neon mountains! @CatFunted also creates some hilarious illustrations about a very annoyed cat. @ProperRude creates some distressingly offensive bathroom and kitchen utensils. @SadGurl_Art makes some great Simpsons inspired portraits! My mates at True Til Death Tattoo Studio in Accrington (special mention to Christopher Kenyon who has tattooed me for over a decade now, proper ink wizard I tell thee!) There are so many… @BronxCharlieArt is my mate Lee who creates some stunning realism, he’s got one of Jimi Hendrix on his instagram that blows my mind. I will await the beatings for forgetting probably loads of people..
Would I be able to buy your artwork at the Bog Gallery?
I will have some prints available and may put price tags on selected paintings towards the end of February but I want them to be displayed as long as possible till the exhibits closing date! There will also be a donations box if you happen to want to help me buy more paint. Cheers!
Check out Jonny’s art from January 30th until February 27th at Corto in the Bog Gallery!