TSS Review: Castle Fine Art Sonic the Hedgehog Gallery Opening

The Sonic Stadium spent last Wednesday night enjoying a spot of high society, quaffing champagne, dining on hors d’oeuvres and indulging in the opening night of the Castle Art Gallery’s Sonic the Hedgehog 25th anniversary art exhibition. And, while we were initially apprehensive of what we might find, we left the gallery discovering some fantastic and inspiring art featuring our favourite hedgehog.

Amongst the many licensing partners SEGA have lined up to support the quarter-century celebrations are Washington Green, purveyors of fine contemporary art from across the globe. In total, nine acclaimed artists have produced twenty-five pieces of art across a multitude of media, comprised of everything from traditional oil paintings, to metal work and miniatures.

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I was immediately drawn to a piece by Craig Davison; a huge oil painting depicting Sonic, stood in the foreground of a menacing wedge of antagonists. Another piece of showed Sonic mid-battle, both dynamic and dark, and reminiscent of a theme that echoed the SatAM universe. Contained in several windowed boxes were minimalistic scenes created by Nic Joly, which by intention or coincidence gave nods to elements synonymous to many eras of Sonic. Mounted in black, a hand-carved depiction of the infamous Sonic coat of arms, complete with Banderole and Roman numerals, stood proud at the back of the room like some huge Heraldic achievement.

Castle Gallery - Clay Sculpture

The evening was an affirmation that video games are an art form; whether it is in the music, the mechanics or the imagery; modern or retro. None of the artists presenting at the exhibition could be associated with past contributions to the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, in either an official or fan capacity – and yet each piece seemed to capture some element of Sonic in some way, shape or form. Surely a testament to their talents.

Each piece looked incredibly striking, and we were just blown away by some of the creativity and workmanship that went into many of these pieces. Alongside the clay sculpture, the 3D metal displays by Frederic Daty were among the most impressive. One of our favourites, funnily enough, was a set by Robert Oxley that saw Sonic and Amy’s faces dripping with running paint.

Castle Gallery - Painting 2

Talking to the creators yielded tales that I’ve heard time and time again; while not fanatics by any means, each, like just about everyone on the street, had some experience of Sonic, whether fleeting or many years ago, and that surely makes Sonic the Hedgehog a unique icon.

Ultimately, this was a unique celebration of Sonic the Hedgehog’s 25th Anniversary that felt a little more grown-up and modern than any of the others that have taken place this year. And while not at pocket money prices by any means (with typical costs upwards of £250 per print), what you are buying is a quality investment, and a memento that marks a milestone not only in Sonic the Hedgehog history, but recognition that this character has significance in our cultural progression.

Castle Gallery - Metal 5

Numbered prints and canvases are being offered for a select few pieces, and can be purchased through the many Castle Galleries across the country. You can find your local Castle Fine Art Gallery via their official website here. But for the exhibition itself, you can make your way down to the Mayfair, London gallery where the Sonic pieces are open to viewing by the public right now.

Castle Fine Art Gallery
42 South Molton Street
London W1K 5RR

Nearest London Underground Station: Bond Street

Take a look at our gallery of these pieces below, along with some videos that we shot on location via our Facebook Page:

Published by

T-Bird

With a decade under his belt, T-Bird is one of The Sonic Stadium’s most seasoned writers, with interests in the music and merchandise of the Sonic the Hedgehog universe. T-Bird is the co-organiser for the Summer of Sonic convention.

15 Comments

  1. The logo sculpture and the Chaos Emerald installation are awesome, but everything else looks fucking awful.

    But then, that’s art for you.

      1. Well, you’ve got to keep in mind that, unfortunately Sonic just isn’t the icon he used to be anymore. Behind the media hyucks and PR push, past the few remaining fan sites and forums…

        There’s a lot of nothing out there. So it’s basically taking what you can get, putting together whatever you can, and accepting what few diamonds still manage to pop out.

        Hopefully these things can change with the quality and attention span from the company toward the franchise improving next year, at least from what we’ve seen so far.

    1. Who needs critics and naysayers.they sound like a downer to me.
      Glad you feel strong enough to use language like that,my boy and his friends have just read it.

    2. I guess there’s no accounting for taste… It’s almost like you didn’t look at the pictures! Don’t know what’s wrong with you, these look great! Especially in person!

      1. I didn’t know that there would have to be “something wrong” with someone to not be partial to these works. It’s a personal preference, dude. There is nothing “wrong” with anyone who thinks the bulk of these could have been better.

        1. I think it’s a matter of wanting a consistently “all’s awesome with Sonic!!” vibe no matter what Sonic content it is posted here nowadays. Anything against that tends to rouse a bit of frustration and hullabaloo.

          1. You can be critical. Just have a point more substantial than ‘hurr hurr my 8-year-old cat on deviantart can do better than that’.

            It’s these comments that are amateur hour, not the art pieces.

          2. If you say so Dread.

            The art pieces do look very amateur. Or… Maybe bland is the better term? But that is an opinion and only an opinion. How it’s expressed doesn’t really matter so long as it’s not in an overbearing or ridiculous manner.

            Blunt maybe, harsh perhaps, but not all that bad. It’s just peoples thoughts. If you can’t take that, don’t make the post my friend.

        2. Personal preference is fine. Not everything is going to be to everyone’s tastes. That’s what Art is. At least it’s not something nonsensical like ‘My Bed’. It might not be easy to tell with images, but it’s clear that a lot of work and attention have gone into these, whether they’re your cup of tea or not.

          But there’s ‘personal preference’ and there’s being insulting. What’s “wrong” is that you’re doing the latter and confusing it for the former. Which I thought was obvious in my polite implication, but oh well.

          1. “Personal preference is fine. Not everything is going to be to everyone’s tastes. That’s what Art is…”

            “I guess there’s no accounting for taste… It’s almost like you didn’t look at the pictures! Don’t know what’s wrong with you, these look great! …”

            So in other words art is subjective, but if somebody doesn’t share your opinion about an art gallery then there is something wrong with them? That’s both extremely hypocritical and highly immature. You’re calling out other people and saying that they’re being insulting instead of just stating their personal preferences, yet you’re doing the exact same thing in your own comments.

    1. In my opinion Modern Sonic fits REALLY well into dark SatAM-esque environments, which is why I’m hoping Project 2017 uses it well.

  2. I may have something to offer here. TomMagenta wasn’t inaccurate in what he said save for some needless vulgarity but he was correct in saying that her fine some of these pieces god but the majority not as good. Most people have the same opinion and have worded it differently which is fine. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘art is in the eye of the beholder’ and its true. We define fact as something that is unanimously agreed, seen or simply undeniable. What Tom and others have expressed to a degree is opinion, which is when someone puts their own feelings and experience into a statement. In arts, media and entertainment it’s common place to use opinion to express our thoughts on a subject hence we call it subjective.

    In our sonic community self expression often comes before reason, thinking out loud rather than trying to understand each other. 2006 was an example of this as the majority of people ridiculed the game and its developers as well as anyone that liked or defended said game. I liked the game both for what it was and what it could’ve been remembering that developers make mistakes too but not following the crowd made my thoughts irrelevant. Nobody is in the wrong for that and I don’t hold it against them since they thoughts and feelings were just as valid as mine. Ok saying all this to compare it to art. It’s very easy to point out the flaws in something but it is more of a challenge to note something you pike about it. Especially when it’s imperfect.

    I do like the pieces represented above but I also understand if people don’t. I would understand more if there was structured reasoning behind the dislike but this is the internet where you can cuss hate and leave without knowing who you’re talking to, so I won’t request that. My hope is that respect would be given regardless if we’re all complete strangers but I’ll hold onto that for now. Otherwise, yeah art is truly in the eye of the beholder. Thanks for reading and if you skipped or skimmed the comment it’s cool, I know I write too much.

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