See Hartlepool artist's new exhibition of surreal work inspired by the sea, stars and dreams
A young Hartlepool artist is staging a surreal new exhibition two years in the making inspired by the sea, stars and his dreams.
Danny Short, 26, has created 20 striking and vivid pieces that are going on public display depicting the contrast between light and dark.
They mirror his journey of recovery after mental health issues he previously overcame and which led to his last exhibition of masks entitled Expressions Frozen In Time in 2018.
His new collection called Poseidon’s Gift, after the Greek god of the sea, also reflects inspiration he took from the sea due to living on the Headland.
Danny said: "What it depicts is transformation. My previous work was a lot darker and heavier facing up to mental health problems at the time.
"This is the second stage when you are flourishing and have overcame that barrier and you are finding meaning in experience.
"These pieces have been inspired by dreams and visions that I’ve had over the space of two years.
“One of the main messages is recovery is possible and finding meaning in the journey.”
Danny turned his visions into works of art using clay, plaster of Paris and reclaimed and natural materials including sea shells, bone and metal work.
The centrepiece is called Pandora’s Box, featuring two striking-looking guardians and incorporates recycled motorbike parts.
Astrology was another source of inspiration with one piece based on the twins of Gemini and another based on Scorpio.
A number of pieces also take on a totally different look when viewed in the dark and under ultraviolet light.
Danny, a volunteer at Summerhill Country Park, added: "I wanted to create something that was beautiful but had a haunting effect to it as well and how you can find something beautiful in the dark at the same time.
"That is in contrast to my older work.”
Each one took him between six weeks to three months to complete.
Danny said his previous mental health battle meant he was better equipped during the lockdowns adding: "I feel it made me a much stronger person.”
People can see Danny’s new work at the Artrium gallery in Middleton Grange shopping centre from Monday, July 19, for a month.
Entry is free and the gallery is open between 10am-4pm.