Kookooshaboo present; Rugby – The People, the Place, the Game.
The latest exhibition at the Floor One gallery in Rugby’s Art Gallery and Museum is a collection of work from the art collective called Kookooshaboo. You may already be familiar with Kookooshaboo’s work, they created the giant rugby balls which are located around town. Their latest exhibition celebrates the lives and textures of the Rugby town community. Hologram went along to take a look.
‘Amazing awe-inspiring creation’. If you needed to know what Kookooshaboo means, now you know. It’s explained on the exhibition information panel, alongside how the group of artists was formed; 10 years ago, at the old Rugby College. Leanne Gilroy, Ann Crearie and Kate Embley Thomas met whilst studying art. They went on to gain first class honours in Fine Art and Illustration, and have been making art together ever since.
It was only recently their passion for creation was forged into the collective known today as Kookooshaboo, a not-for-profit group. Based in Pinders Lane, they continue to work closely with communities and groups within Rugby. Certainly the Rugby World Cup of 2015 saw their biggest achievement, 5 giant rugby balls spread out around town, each decorated in unique designs. The one placed in Caldecott Park saw the group, and the park, scoop a national award for creating an event in a public park. The ball was the subject of a yarn-bombing, and made headlines around the region.
What’s the next big-scale project from Kookoohshaboo? Well, if the last one is to go by, its not going to be done quietly.
The exhibition on Floor One is a collection of works associated with the town. From the large colourful oil on canvas paintings by Leanne Gilroy, to the finely detailed ink illustrations by Ann Crearie, through to the impressive mouldings and sculptures by Kate Embley Thomas. Each work was created recently, so recently in fact that during the launch on Saturday 27th February, many of the subjects of Leanne’s paintings turned up to see the work for the first time. Lily Millicent Pak, who’s voice is heard throughout the room via a sound recording, was gobsmaked to see her image on the wall.
During the audio recording by Ian Boult, Lily tells of her long life in Rugby, from growing up in Manor Road, to moving to Railway Terrace behind shops, where there was a plague of black beetles. Its great to hear and see the person during the exhibition, a charming warmth cradles the visitor and connects with the soul.
In the centre of the room are golden patches, silken and hanging off pillars and tree tunks. There’s no notice saying ‘do not touch’, allowing the visitor to explore the material. It looks metallic but cleverly, it isn’t.
Kookooshaboo’s exhibition runs until March 3rd. They run workshops throughout schools around the Midlands and have recently started running Healing Art Workshops for patients at St Cross Hospital.