Become a Friend of the Swindon Museumand Art Gallery

For only £10 a year, you can become a Friend and come along to our talks, join us on trips out to places like The Royal Academy and Pallant House Gallery, there's always something going on. To become a Friend or find out more about us, go to the website www.friendsofsmag.org

Monday, 19 January 2015

Reality Questioned - Opening in Bristol Museum and Art Gallery 17th January

A few posts ago, I explained that there are 5 exhibitions in 5 galleries throughout the south west holding exhibitions under the 'Modern Art in Britain' heading, organised by Frameworks. They aim to celebrate the best of British art, and emphasise that the destinations are just a short train ride from each other, which is true, Bath, Bristol, Cheltenham and Swindon are so easily reached by rail or road.
The exhibition at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery opened on Saturday with a discussion between Sophie Cummings, curator of the Swindon exhibition, and Saira Kalimuddin, student curator at Bristol.
 Above, the poster with the wonderful Barbara Hepworth's image in the background.
I was lucky to get one of the last two seats for the discussion, and was amazed by how many people came in after the starting time, the gallery was really full of enthusiasts.
I have organised a Friends' visit to this exhibition on Monday March 9th, meeting at 2pm in the main reception hall for a 2.30pm talk by Karen MacDonald in the gallery. Please let me know if you would like to attend by ringing 01793 527149.
 It was good to meet Karen on Saturday, I'm looking forward to hearing her talk having seen the exhibition already.
I don't want to spoil things by showing too many pieces in the exhibition, so here are a few:

 Above 'Buoys at Harwich' 1955 by John Nash who was a good friend of Ravilious, also featured in this fabulous panel, entitled 'Tennis':
 And then below a pair of works which look so good together, I'm hoping we can borrow the Hepworth for Swindon so we can show it like this with the Henry Moore.
 Below a large piece by Tala Madani

I did get a few photos of people enjoying the exhibition
And loved this 'Night Sky' by Jack Smith
And on the way back to the car park, I tried to photograph the sweet dog, Nipper.
The exhibition at the Wilson is already open and runs until the 8th March, the Holburne opens on the 28th Feb, and the Victoria Art Gallery have their 2 exhibitions opening on the 7th March. It's hard to keep up isn't it?

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Quick Guide to Talks at the Museum & Art Gallery


The new exhibition entitled 'Present Tense' is now open. I went along yesterday with my 4 year old grandson to have a look, he along with the other schoolchildren there, bounced around enjoying some images and ignoring others. He was particularly fascinated by John Greenwood's 'Rings and Strings and Things', I wish he was old enough to come to the talk on the 19th of March and find out more.

Do go along and have a look at the exhibition, it's as we have come to expect, beautifully assembled and presented.

 In addition to the exhibition, there are 4 different museum talks associated with this exhibition:

29th January 6.30pm An Introduction to British Contemporary Art by Sophie Cummings
2nd February 6.30pm On the Pleasure of Painting by Lisa Milroy
5th March 12.30pm and 2nd April 12.30pm tour of exhibition by Sophie Cummings (FREE)
19th March 6.30pm 6.30pm Modern Grotesque by John Greenwood

All talks apart from the free ones are £3.50 to Friends/£4.50 to Non Friends

There is an additional talk on February 13th at 6.30pm by Sophie on Romance in Modern Art

The Friends talks are as follows:

26th February 7.30pm Life of a Military Attache in Poland 1988-1992 by Major Jeremy York
9th March 2pm Trip and Gallery talk at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery
26th March 7.30pm Being Artist in residence at Kelmscott Manor by Sasha Ward
30th April 7.30pm Cecil Collins, Artist, Teacher and Myth Maker by David Cuthbert

The Friends talks are £4 to Friends and £5 to those who haven't yet joined the Friends.
Illustrated hard copies with more information about these events is available from the museum reception desk.
Below a photo of some of the children visiting yesterday:

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Present Tense exhibition January 14th- April 18th

There's a new exhibition opening this Wednesday, January 14th, at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, it forms part of the MODERN ART IN BRITAIN series, featuring more than 40 works from the Swindon Collection.
It's one of the five Frameworks exhibitions across 5 venues including Bristol Museum and  Art Gallery, The Holburne Museum, Swindon Museum and Art gallery, Victoria Art Gallery and the Wilson.
'Present Tense showcases contemporary painting and photography form the Swindon Collection and includes works by Lisa Milroy, Eileen Cooper, John Greenwood, Mary Fedden and Denis Creffield. The exhibition challenges the idea that contemporary art is elitist and incomprehensible and it instead investigates the way artists continue to react to the world around them and create new realities.'
I was allowed a quick preview on Friday when these photos were taken for me:
 Above me looking at Lisa Milroy's 'Small Objects'
 Above a long view, and below photographs from inside a washing machine
 Below Tony Bevan's 'Head'
Below John Ringwood's 'Rings and Strings and Things in the distance

Just in view the wonderful bulls
I went into the museum on Saturday and took a few photos from the door, only one of which is vaguely any good.

 In addition to the exhibition, there are 4 different talks associated with this exhibition:
29th January 6.30pm An Introduction to British Contemporary Art by Sophie Cummings
2nd February 6.30pm On the Pleasure of Painting by Lisa Milroy
5th March 12.30pm and 2nd April 12.30pm tour of exhibition by Sophie Cummings (FREE)
19th March 6.30pm 6.30pm Modern Grotesque by John Greenwood

All talks apart from the free ones are £3.50 to Friends/£4.50 to Non Friends

There is an additional talk on February 13th at 6.30pm by Sophie on Romance in Modern Art

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Eric Ravilious: A Life in Pictures- talk by James Russell

I saw this talk listed in the Holburne Museum's brochure, it was in fact a Bath Evening Decorative and Fine Arts Society talk which I was able to attend by ringing up and reserving tickets in advance. They are part of NADFAS and hold their talks in the upper room in the Holburne Museum 
There were about 90 people attending the excellent talk, I took notes, but then decided against writing much because I'm hoping we can book him to give a talk to our Friends in May or June. It's worth having a look at his blog where he also lists the books he has published in the 'Life in Pictures' series, here it is: jamesrussellontheweb.blogspot.com/
Really exciting, especially if we can arrange a trip to a Ravilious exhibition as well.
I took a few photos of the interior of the room where the talk was held:

 and sat beside this painting:The Auriol and Dashwood Families by Johan Zoffany 1783-7, only part of it is seen here:
 On the way into the Holburne, I thought there was a picket, but it was part of illuminate 2015   which ended this evening; it was 8 nights of projection, performance, installation and illumination in Bath. The Holburne one was called 'Rehearsing Catastrophe', it was exploring the issue of climate change and the environment. There was an ark projected onto the outside of the building:

 and this is what it looked like when we came out after the talk:
 And then I photographed Bath Abbey on the way back to the station.
 I'm hoping to attend more of the Bedfas talks, easy enough to get to the Holburne, we were back in Swindon by 8.45pm.



The Latest Flyers

We now have flyers promoting our 3 spring talks and trip on March 9th. Colour makes a huge difference, here they are unfolded:

Hard copies are available from the Swindon Museum and Art gallery, and will be sent out to Friends on email, and hard copies sent to Friends whose email addresses we don't have.





Thursday, 1 January 2015

Improving the Look of Our Printed Materials

Christmas and New Year are great for getting together and celebrating during the shortest days of the year, but not so good for holding Friends committee meetings and making decisions about things like the future of our much loved Journal, because people are too busy.
Four of us met recently in Ray's Marlborough studio to discuss the way forward for the Journal under the joint editorship of Ray Ward and Paul Ricketts, with John Walsh, former editor acting in an advisory capacity.


 I think it was agreed that the content of the Journal is good, but the look of it needs updating.  The A5 format is also popular, and so will remain, what will change is the cover and centre pages will be in colour, and Ray will provide an illustration for each Journal, but it will be inside rather than on the cover. One of Tim Carroll's 100 Views of Swindon will appear on the cover; they can be seen by clicking on number 15 on Tim's website.
Journals should be available three times a year, at the beginning of the months of April, August and December.
The flyers and posters advertising our talks will also have colour illustrations and we are going to use the blue door illustration, already seen on the Joining Form on our publications as a logo:
Ray's studio has many pieces of his work on the walls, and hanging in loops from the ceiling, as you can just about see from the photos of our meeting. I'm annoyed with myself that I snapped rather than carefully took these photos:

The drawings above and below were used to illustrate the book by poet and author Adam Thorpe, On Silbury Hill.   Ray's website has lots more photos of the illustrations.

Anticipating a colourful 2015.