Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Paula Rego in Hastings? It's up to us!



As director of the Jerwood Gallery for its first five years, Liz Gilmore has demonstrated ambition, courage and a refreshing willingness to speak directly to the public. A couple of years ago her 'Bring us your Bratbys' appeal had people queuing up to lend their paintings to an exhibition that was, I suspect, much more popular and widely discussed than anyone imagined beforehand.

It seems criminal that Paula Rego hasn't been the subject of a full exhibition in a decade, but if anyone is going to make such an exhibition happen, it's Liz. Having worked with her on 'Century' last year I have experienced her infectious enthusiasm at first hand, and I'm sure she will get Rego to Hastings.

If you follow this link to the Art Fund website, you can help, but you've only got a few days (until about 25 April, I think).


Saturday, 15 April 2017

Angie Lewin: A Printmaker's Journey

Angie Lewin, Lakeside Teasels (artist copyright)
I feel slightly embarrassed to admit that I have never been to Winchester. But then I suppose there are far more places I haven't been to than places I have. Anyway, I'm hoping to put things right, Winchester-wise, by paying a visit to Angie Lewin's exhibition at Winchester Discovery Centre. I've been meaning to go since it opened, but now I've had a look at the catalogue I'm excited.

This is in one sense a continuation of the long and distinguished tradition of St Judes exhibitions. There are pictures on offer by Mark Hearld, Emily Sutton and Ed Kluz, as well as Angie herself, of course. But alongside these is a fascinating selection of work by artists who have inspired or influenced the artist-curator in some way.

Alan Reynolds, Summer: Young September's Cornfield, 1954 (Tate)
I don't know yet how the artworks are hung, but in the catalogue you can see a Gertrude Hermes wood engraving next to a Bawden linocut and note the different ways they interpret plant forms. It's also interesting to see Ravilious mugs alongside Angie Lewin's compositions that include the mugs, sometimes pulling the pattern playfully away from the ceramic and weaving it into her picture.

But the loveliest thing not by Angie (in the catalogue at least) is rather a surprise to me: a 1954 painting by Alan Reynolds which is rich in colour and texture. According Kirsty Nutbeen's Foreword this was Angie's first pick, 'remembered from a school trip as a teenager'. I like the sense of continuity this recollection suggests. Suddenly those mid-century artists seem part of today's world.

There's info about the exhibition here.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Reasons to be cheerful...

Edward Bawden, Gnat and Lion, linocut, 1970 (copyright EB estate)

It's been a long winter. This has never been a particularly personal blog, but there may be people out there wondering why I haven't posted much over the past six months. The main reason (aside from habitual laziness) is that my mother has been struggling with a severe (but curable) mental illness, which has been harrowing for her and scary/exhausting for everyone else. I've just about managed to keep on top of work, but have lacked the necessary zip and zing to write blog posts or keep up with social media. I think she's starting to get better now, which is a relief.

Meanwhile I've been working on two exhibitions, both for summer 2018 and each rather exciting. More about these in due course, but I'm sure it won't hurt to say that Edward Bawden fans may have a reason to be cheerful in these trying times. We all need something to look forward to, don't we?

And I have some new lectures. See here for details...