James Bond author Ian Fleming had a habit of scribbling ideas and thoughts on bits of scrap paper and then hiding them in a book on fly fishing – he called it his Trout Memo.

Now, North East artist Peter McAdam has used the name for a new multi-media exhibition which has opened at Arts Centre Washington (ACW).

“Fleming used his Trout Memo to horde thoughts, ideas and dreams. I’ve done the same thing for this exhibition,” said Mr McAdam, also known as McDada.

Mr McAdam said there are six different sections to his exhibition, including one called Lockdown Blues

“During lockdown we were living in a twilight zone and I wanted to reflect the other worldliness of the time" he said.

"I took pictures of local places such as cemeteries and Photoshopped in a cartoon character I’m calling MM – he might look familiar.”

Technology plays a central role in the exhibition – for one section called Trip Pop, Mr McAdam used an app he has developed called iCoda.

The Northern Echo: Peter McAdam with some of his Trip Pop artworkPeter McAdam with some of his Trip Pop artwork (Image: SUNDERLAND CULTURE)

The app uses music to randomly generate images on to a screen which Mr McAdam then layers into compositions, adding a Liquify brush to create swirls, creating colourful psychedelic images.

“The work is inspired by experimental film makers from the 1960s,” he said.

Technology is also used in another section of the exhibition, called End of Time.

The Northern Echo: Peter McAdam with some of his artwork

“In this section I’ve used AI as a starting point, using words put into an AI engine to prompt a massive selection of images. The words might be from a dream or a thought," said Mr McAdam.

“I took the images and ‘elaborated’ them using Photoshop. The images produced were like a collection of dreams from a diary, with AI accelerating the process.”

Another section of Trout Memo is called Henryville. Mr McAdam said: “There are nine cloned Henrys who live in Henryville. The Henrys live in a surrealistic world people with the likes of Ingrid the Cauliflower and Macbeth the Domestic Fly.”

Epitaph is another section of the exhibition. This artwork is inspired by his friends and family and features images of his younger self as well as family members.

The Northern Echo: Peter McAdam with his Epitaph artwork, which features family and friends – and his younger selfPeter McAdam with his Epitaph artwork, which features family and friends – and his younger self (Image: SUNDERLAND CULTURE)

Mr McAdam had various jobs – including as a council gardener, a painter/decorator and a shop assistant – before completing a degree in fine art at the University of Sunderland in 1987, and then an MA in the same subject at the same university in 2003.

Since then, he has exhibited, curated and produced numerous artwork, events and exhibitions across the north east and further afield.

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In 2020 during lockdown, Peter curated 15 artists to display work in 86 bus shelters in Durham County. Some of these posters feature in the Trout Memo exhibition.

Artwork in the Trout Memo exhibition at ACW is in Mr McAdam’s new 234-page full-colour anthology Trout Memo Volume 2 now available on Amazon.

Trout Memo is in ACW’s main gallery until Friday, November 4.