Abject Galley is pleased to announce a four-day, in-gallery residency and month long exhibition of Icelandic street artists, Örn Tönsberg and Margeir Sigurdsson.

For their first UK show Tönsberg and Sigurdsson will create a collaborative artwork, which explores Ideological realism, an artistic movement in 19th century Russia, which was based largely on the theory that literature and art should attribute a social and moral responsibility. Formed by a group of young artists who rejected the institution, frustrated by its elitism and conservative separation between high and low art. In an effort to bring art to the people, the students formed an independent artistic society, The Petersburg Cooperative of Artists (Artel). In 1870, this organisation was largely succeeded by the Association of Travelling Art Exhibits (Peredvizhniki) to give people from the provinces a chance to follow the achievements of Russian Art, and to teach people to appreciate art. In a similar fashion a united rise took place among the literary world - ideological realism tried to deliver an ideological message to the reader, in addition to staying close to reality. Ideological realism is evident even in Dickens’ challenge of institutional and often polemic attitudes towards outsiders and those often considered ‘lower’ in society.

Margeir Sigurdsson was born in Akureyri, a small town in the North of Iceland, after studying in Barcelona he settled Reykjavik to continue his practice, fusing Fine Art and Street Art. Dire claims to be the founder of ‘Absorbism’, a way of painting that does not exclude any way of expression, but gathers them in one whole. Dire has exhibited extensively across Iceland as well as Spain, Finland and New York. Örn Tönsberg studied Literature at Háskól Íslands, Reykjavik and has been a prominent figure in the Icelandic art scene for more than a decade. His works, both animated and vibrant, illuminate the streets of Reykjavík. Tönsberg preferring to compare his work to high art although the graffiti is definitely always in the background, as he states, it is his voice and tool. Tönsberg is not limited to graffiti but enjoys the great exposure it attains.

During the four days each artist will be working opposed to one another, creating works separately on opposite sides of the gallery and then, as if colliding into one another will meet ‘in the middle’ creating a collaborative piece, an exploration into Ideological Realism. As we learn more about how life works, the line between realism and abstraction becomes blurred.

The gallery will be open to come and see the work being made from the 26th until the 27th of January. There will be a preview on the 28th of January of the completed works, 7pm-10pm. The exhibition will be open from 1st February until 25th February.

More information is available at

Örn Tönsberg and Margeir Sigurdsson: Flow
Preview: Saturday, 28th January 2017, 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Exhibition: 1st February – 25th February 2017
Opening Times: Wed – Sat, 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: Abject Gallery, 8th Floor, Bamburgh House, Market Street East, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6BH

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Information for editors

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  • Breeze Creatives, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, specialises in cultural projects and events around the North East of England, and provides artist studios and project spaces in Newcastle city centre. Breeze Creatives latest projects include Abject Gallery, a contemporary art gallery exhibiting a mixture of national and international emerging artists.
  • Abject Gallery, run by Breeze Creatives, is a new contemporary art gallery, in Newcastle city centre that exhibits a selection of national and international artists. Located on the 8th floor of Bamburgh House on Market Street East, the gallery is also known for its stunning views of the Quayside including the Tyne Bridge, Sage and BALTIC.

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Creative Culture Trust CIO, on Wednesday 4 January, 2017. For more information subscribe and follow

Art Street Art Graffiti Iceland Newcastle Gallery Exhibition Entertainment & Arts
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Creative Culture Trust CIO
Daniel Gibson
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