What's On

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Paintings, Prints and Ceramics by Contemporary and Modern British artists

continuing throughout August, by appointment

including work by Eileen Agar (1899-1991), Peter Archer, Charlie Baird, Elizabeth Blackadder (1931-2021), Dorothy Bradbury (1913-80),  William Brooker (1918-83), Gary Cook, Michael Cullimore (1936-21), Kevil Davies, Melita Denaro, Keyna Emerson (1923-2021), Mary Fedden (1915-2012), Marjorie Firth (1895-1975), David Gommon (1913-87), Tom Hammick, Josef Herman (1911-2000), Blair Hughes-Stanton (1902-1981), Felice Hodges, Henrietta Hoyer-Millar, Matthew Hilton, Albert Irvin (1922-2015), Michael Kenny (1941-99), Philip King (1934-2021), Teresa Lawton, Ursula Leach, Alexander Massouras, Robert Medley (1905-94), Sally McLaren, Theo Mendez (1934-97), Emily Myers, Hughie O'Donoghue, John Piper (1903-92), Brian Rice, Christopher Riisager, Tobit Roche, Ludwig Sander (1900-75), Elliott Seabrooke (1886-1950), Peter Sedgley, Liz Somerville, Yo Thom, Amanda Vesey, Keith Vaughan (1912-77), William Wright, George Young.

Illustrated left, Josef Herman, Night, lithograph, 28.5 x 35.5 cm

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Drawing into Painting

10 September - 1 October 2022

I like to find an image in the visible, material and usually natural world. This world has been abandoned by most ‘cutting edge’ painters (though not photographers). I feel that this world is increasingly vulnerable and that it must be protected and celebrated.

An image is a representation with multi layered connotations.... and striking visual presence. I see images out there, photo shoot them, put them on my lap top, make alterations and then draw free hand.

For many years I confined myself to watercolour. About seven years ago I started using acrylic, albeit a watery acrylic. It gave me varying possibilities of opacity in each brush mark and, may be, a greater richness of colour and tone. (I can hear shouts of disagreement from watercolorists!). At about the same time I started using bands or ribbons of colour, leaving a thread-like line between each band, even if the space represented was just a large area of flat surface in the background to a still life. The threadlike lines, between bands of opaque paint, gave a new kind of translucency ... and directional movement, and a kind of shimmer across the surface.

In those early days (and my 2019 exhibition at The Art Stable) the bands and their lines were quite bold and diagrammatic, imposed on the given image. Gradually they have become more discreet or nuanced. The bands of colour are about a centimetre wide, the threads between them less than a millimetre. In the current work every painting is preceded by a finished drawing. I use pencils with a fine point, thus suggesting engraved or etched images (but I prefer the tones of graphite to those of printer’s ink!) The paintings are squared up from these drawings, which stay close at hand as I work on the painting.

In the most recent paintings I have tried to leave an interstice next to every mark. Think interstitially I keep saying to myself! I won’t make the claim that this is true to Science.... that there is an interstice between all atoms of matter.... but I will make the painter’s claim that, though the application is precise (and precision is usually a killer in painting), there is still movement in the image; and breath; and air. Reconciling that difficult equation has been my ambition for most of my painting life.

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Drawing to Music

17 September - 1 October 2022

Since Spring 2020 time has truncated. Then, we were living in limbo, waiting: senses stretched to breaking point, acutely aware of the boundaries between inside and outside. Birdsong became a cacophonous element of the new silence. The dropping notes encapsulated freedom. The idea of John Cage’s work 4’33 where the ‘music’ was the ‘silence’ of the concert hall seemed deeply relevant. Alongside ‘drawing’ birdsong I made joyous responses to Chopin’s Walzes, and revisited the mellifluous economy and intimacy of Gregorian Chant. My memory of the notation of Plainsong – dots scattered across four lines – seemed a logical progression of my use of the marks and piercings of Pianola rolls.