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Arte Et Labore. Top floor of Pizza Express, White Cloth Hall, Leeds, 17th to 28th May 2004

The first group show ran from 17th - 28th May 2004 and included work from Andy Abbott, Daniel Carey, Lawrence Molloy, Dave Ronalds, Jon Slight, and Davy Smith. Each work shared a common interest - the notion of craftmanship, time spent with objects, and the importance of the viewer.

The show took place at White Cloth Hall, Crown Street, Leeds.

Press release(s):

The show runs from Monday May 17th to Friday May 28th, (Not open to public 3pm on Friday 21st to 1pm on Sunday 23rd). - Upstairs at Pizza Express, Corn Exchange, White Cloth Hall, Crown Street, Leeds LS2Leeds based group of artists Black Dogs presented new works on time and labour in ‘Arte et Labore’, a central Leeds exhibition opening 17th May 2004. In the new exhibition space created above Pizza Express, Corn Exchange, six artists exhibited new works preoccupied with notions of craftsmanship, time spent with objects, image and information and the importance of the viewer.

Andy Abbott, Dan Carey, Lawrence Molloy, Dave Ronalds, Jon Slight and Davy Smith formed Black Dogs after meeting at Leeds University and have been pursuing various projects in art, music, performance and new media since. Arte et Labore was the first central Leeds group showcase of the work that initially drew them together. The artworks on show are necessarily well made, attractive and engaging yet also find contemporary aesthetics and thought at the centre of their being.

In Lawrence Molloy’s work, a lone player sits in the gallery at an elaborate, hand made card table awaiting, and then playing against visitors. The presence or absence of opponents highlights the breakdown of social systems in non-cooperation. When one is isolated, there is no game. Jon Slight’s work articulates evidence of time and toil. He presents a series of highly polished tiles; the first is cast in a resin/coal mix to produce a dense black and then sanded, the dust produced is then used to tint the resin of the next tile and the process is repeated until the last tile is absolutely clear. Andy Abbot exhibits a full size, handmade table football table alongside oversized instructions and diagrams demonstrating how the viewer can make one too. The invitation to the viewer that if they themselves could create such an absurd and random object, they can create almost anything they desire is both implicit and empowering.

Artist Dave Ronalds is excited about the group's belief in the importance of this exhibition and in taking their work beyond the gallery and into the social. "This exhibition is central to the way we believe the arts in Leeds should be developing. The art scene as it is is both healthy and growing yet is very often a closed world to many who could potentially be involved. In this location a fresh audience can be reached that may not normally get access to the contemporary arts in Leeds."

The show runs from Monday May 17th to Friday May 28th, (Not open to public 3pm on Friday 21st to 1pm on Sunday 23rd).
Upstairs at Pizza Express, Corn Exchange, White Cloth Hall, Crown Street, Leeds LS2
Black Dogs presents Arte et Labore is supported by East Street Arts and Pizza Express.


The following text is from an e-mail declaring the existence of the Black Dogs group and informing people about the show.

Black Dogs Present

Black Dogs are six middle class white young men wanting to beat you at games they have created whilst seducing you with craft art. Come play table football on a handmade but perfectly functioning pile of free junk. Play cards against a bleached freak or watch him go mental. Look at blinds made from sandpaper and beautiful videos. Check out drawings made by pinpricks and computer games dissected and guts shown. Take from it little booklets and some motivation to make amazing things. Black Dogs break down the barrier between artist and worker by making art that celebrates the beauty of labour and the amazing processes in everybody. This is fully interactive, fully provocative, political art that demands participation, physical and mental. No more contemplative staring in the art gallery. Guaranteed fun for man, woman and child. Black Dogs live in Leeds and are
Andy Abbott
Dan Carey
Lawrence Molloy
Dave Ronalds
Jon Slight
Davy Smith
Everyone is invited to the Launch Night 20th May 6.30 - 9.00