S Mark Gubb - Metal Militia

31st May - 13th July

(Wed-Sun 11am-5pm)

The Gymnasium Gallery

Free admission

S Mark Gubb - Metal Militia

Metal Militia takes is starting point as the events that led to the birth of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers on March 19th 1689, when in two hours a militia was raised for the defence of Edinburgh. This was done by a man walking through the town, beating a drum to raise attention. Following this, Berwick became the only town in the UK to have the right, by law, to raise a militia 'by beat of drum'.

The exhibition and performance will explore the artist’s interest in the ceremony and peripheral activity attached to conflict and the military alongside his interest in a wider cultural history of heavy metal music and its associations with war, terror and death.

At the Gymnasium Gallery a sound and light installation will explore the wider historical discourse around the power of music by bringing together multiple drum samples from heavy metal music to create a powerful and immersive visual experience that is part-gig, part-fairground and part-horror film.


Metal Militia - the performance

The exhibition was be accompanied by a unique musical collaboration between 5 members of Berwick RBL Pipe Band & Eyemouth RBLS Pipe Band and internationally renowned extreme metal drummer Nicholas Barker (currently of Lock Up/Brujeria, formerly of Dimmu Borgir, Exodus, Testament and Cradle of Filth). 

The performance took place at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema on Friday 6 June. You can see 'Blue Bonnets' performed here and the full Metal Militia  performance here


About S Mark Gubb

S Mark Gubb was raised near Margate, Kent. His cousin introduced him to Iron Maiden aged 8 years old and he never looked back. His art is influenced by the political history and popular culture he grew up with, having an equal fascination with the things that he finds great and terrible about the world. Current projects include a major permanent public artwork commissioned for Cardiff city centre, a solo exhibition of new work at Exeter Phoenix, also a documentary about former G and S/New Deal sponsored vert-skater, Danny Webster. Previous shows/projects/residencies include PS1 MoMA (NYC), ICA (London), URRA (Buenos Aires), Matthew Bown Gallery (Berlin), Postmasters Gallery (NYC) and Castlefield Gallery (Manchester).

About Nicholas Barker

Nicholas Barker's professional career began in 1993, aged 20, when he joined UK Black Metal icons Cradle Of Filth. After four critically acclaimed albums and numerous successful world tours Barker went on to join Norwegian Black Metal rivals, Dimmu Borgir, where he achieved even greater commercial success. Barker's style has been described as high speed double bass drum patterns and "blast beats", incorporated into groove-laden beats and exciting fills. Cited among his main influences are Neil Peart, Gene Hoglan, Nicko McBrain, Stewart Copeland, John Bonham and Phil Collins. Nicholas is also a busy session player, lending his skills to the likes of Testament, Old Man's Child, Exodus, Ancient, Gorgoroth/God Seed, Anaal Nathrakh, Possessed and Benediction. He is currently the drummer in Lock Up and Brujeria.

Metal Militia  has been made possible with the support of Arts Council England, Arts Council Wales and The Welsh Assembly Government.

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