Jim Moir Brings Hot Buttered Mattress Exhibition to Newcastle

The artist Jim Moir, better known as the award-winning presenter and comedian Vic Reeves, has opened a new exhibition. Moir, who grew up in Darlington, is showing a collection of drawings and paintings at Newcastle’s Biscuit Factory.

Entitled Hot Buttered Mattress, the show features a number of ornithological works and Moir’s Bird Colour Wheel.

“Birds is what I love,” he said. “I always think paint what you know and what you love, and it’ll come out better.”

As Vic Reeves, Moir has worked with Bob Mortimer on shows such as Shooting Stars and Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out.

The artist has also published books of his art and held exhibitions at venues including the Saatchi Gallery and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

His new Sky Arts show, Painting Birds with Jim and Nancy Moir, is due to air later this year.

Moir said the title for the exhibition was “the first thing that came into” his head.

“Don’t ask me what it means because I don’t know,” he said, laughing.

His love of watching and drawing birds is life-long but he is now able to paint them more often.

“When I was a kid, and I grew up not too far from here in Darlington, that’s what I did when I wasn’t at school – I’d go and look at birds and draw birds,” he said. “Now I’m 64 I’m painting birds again with a vengeance. I get up in the morning about 06:00 and get in my studio, full of beans. I go to bed excited about what I’m going to paint the next day and get up in the morning and I’m excited and I get on with it.”

Working out the triangle and circle dimensions for the quadrants of his colour wheels was “the only time I’ve used maths in my life”, he added, laughing again.

Moir said he tried to give the show “a North East flavour” and wanted to paint more on Holy Island “but the weather was foul”.

For the Lindisfarne Curlew he “just really sort of splashed a lot of ink on”, he added. “When you’re doing paintings like this, sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t, and this worked.”

Moir’s previous show at the Biscuit Factory, Mountain of Turkish Delight, sold out.

General manager Rachel Brown said the gallery was “delighted” to welcome him back.

“It’s a privilege to be the only space in the North East that exhibits Jim’s work. To see different elements of his practice unfold over the years we’ve worked with him is a joy,” she said.

The selling exhibition runs until 2 April.

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