In ‘Existence Experiments’, Stu Herring exhibits the preparatory drawings of his recent performances as well as drawings of unrealised or imaginary projects. Herring creates work to expand his personal understanding of existence and society, he undertakes ceremonial tasks designed to alter his perceived reality and challenge that of the viewer’s perception of ‘normal’ or ‘ordinary’ behaviour.

Herring’s performances encompass ritualistic elements from various cultures – borrowing ideas from the sadhus, Hindu holy men of India, and the stylites or pillar-saints, the Christian ascetics in the early days of the Byzantine Empire (in modern day Turkey) who lived on pillars, preaching, fasting and praying. Herring plays with the characteristics of asceticism, the practice of abstinence or restraint. He often puts himself into situations that test the body’s endurance or place restrictions on his movements or are physically isolating. Within these solitary tasks, Herring finds himself in a mindset that by contrast to his gruelling actions, furthers his personal understanding of freedom.

In allowing these acts to be viewed Herring hopes to evoke feelings, or awaken memories within viewers of their own everyday struggles to maintain their individual freedom in what often seems an increasingly regimented and confining world.

The Late Shows 2014, Saturday 17 May

For The Late Shows 2014 Vane is pleased to be hosting Stu Herring’s latest performance, ‘Brick vessel’. Coinciding with the last day of his exhibition, on The Late Shows evening, Saturday 17 May, Herring will be building a circular wall around himself until he is entirely cut off from the audience. ‘Brick vessel’ is the latest of Herring’s works to explore through ritualistic acts his ongoing investigation of notions of personal freedom.

‘Brick vessel’ is presented as part of The Late Shows 2014.

The Late Shows is supported by Arts Council England and managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

The Late Shows marks the international event ‘Museums at Night’, which takes place across Europe. For further information visit

Port of Tyne Gallery, The Customs House, South Shields

As part of an ongoing collaboration between the two galleries of showcasing emerging artists’ practice in the North East, to coincide with ‘Existence Experiments’ and ‘Eulogy’, Port of Tyne Gallery, The Customs House, South Shields, is showcasing:

Gareth Hudson: In Heaven
In his three-screen video, Gareth Hudson asks what will we see and hear in heaven? Taking the Tibetan Book of the Dead as his inspiration, Hudson presents the three stages of Death in Buddhist theology: the first is the physical throes of death; the second is spiritual enlightenment; the third is rebirth.

Theresa Poulton: Objects – More Expansion
Poulson’s hard-edged, abstract, geometric paintings fluctuate between the historical tradition of canvas painting and ‘painting in the expanded field’. She creates illusory environments of contrasting colour, distorted perspective, line, shape and form.

Both exhibitions run from 26 April to 16 May.