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For only £15 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

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Wine and Cheese Evening

Our December Friends' event was a fundraising wine and cheese evening. The evening was based on a similar event a year ago hosted by Old Town Business Association and organised by Friends of Twigs. I talked to those involved in organising it last year, and was offered the loan of small plates and wooden circular cheese boards from Olive Tree Cafe. Wine was supplied by Magnum Wine Shop in Wood Street, and there were some fabulous raffle prizes donated, including a hamper from Da Paolo's Delicatessen, mounted prints from David Bent, a linocut from Ken White, 100 Views of Swindon book from Tim Carroll, there were 2 bottles of wine, a miniature oil painting and a clock on offer as well. You can see below some of the prizes:
 and Ken White's linocut
 having set out the cheese, pate, plates, grapes, celery, bread, tomatoes, biscuits and wine Kathy and Martin take a breather before anyone else arrives
 Another view of the tables
and Rosemary checking everything is alright
 I had mentioned there would be speakers during the evening, somehow thinking I'd be able to persuade some of the artists taking part in the Collective Open Art Exhibition to talk. This needed more thought, and was not going to happen. Fortunately for everyone present, Erik Burnett-Godfree was able to save the evening by talking about what an interesting painting Lisa Milroy's 'Small Objects' is when scrutinised.
 I took a photo of the assembled crowd listening to Erik, and afterwards took a photo of David Ash with his photograph of an old boat.
What a brilliant evening, thank you to all those who came along. We raised over £600 which was great.

Collective artists with their work

Initially I wanted to photograph artists with their work at the Collective Open Art Exhibition in the main gallery at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery to include them in the Christmas edition of the Friends' Journal. For various reasons it wasn't possible to include all the photographs, they do make an interesting record of the exhibition, so I'm going show the photos in this blog post. If anyone else hasn't been included and would like to be, please contact me before Saturday 5 January at 4.30pm. I will be in the gallery from 11.00am -1.00pm next Saturday if it's convenient for you to come in then.
I've added them in the order in which I took them.
 Above Philip JB Robinson with his two paintings, and below Caroline Day with her parents in front of her David Austin rose painting.
 Below Maria Drysz with her photograph
 Next to Caroline Day's roses is 'Refuge From the Heat' by Carol Burns, it's acrylic paint and gold leaf.
 I got included in this photograph kindly taken by Vanetta Joffe. It's proved very useful when updating my social media pictures. It was taken to show Paul Gregory in front of a portrait of him painted by Jane Milner-Barry who also has two other still lives in the exhibition.
 Below here's Terry Humphries with his painting
 and Sholeh Jafari with her painting. I realise I must visit the museum again on Wednesday and obtain names for these paintings.
 and here's Cate Watson below, winner of the Oink Gallery prize for the most original and well executed piece.
 Here's Toby Kirk with his photograph
 and Joseph Wright with two of his photographs
 Here's David Ash with his photograph of a boat
 and yesterday at the family workshop, I met Mia Willis with her much discussed painting 'Detail 3'. I had been discussing how Mia achieved the effect with one of the people attending the workshop, when Mia herself walked in. An amazing coincidence.
I'm hoping I might be able to add a few more artists with their paintings before the end of the exhibition on Saturday 5 January.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Collective Private View

The Swindon Museum and Art gallery really came to life at the private view of Collective, the open art exhibition. I took lots of general photos of the evening, and then photos of artists beside their work, which will appear in the next blog post.
After general chatting, there were speeches and presentations, firstly owner of Oink Gallery, Mark Pepperall, selected ‘Fallen‘ by Cate Watson as “the most original and well executed piece submitted”and here he is with Cate Watson:
 and here's Tim Carroll whose painting ‘Waiting Room‘ was selected by curator Sophie Cummings for his “work of art that embodies the creativity and vitality of the regional art scene”
It was good to see Rod Hebden at the event, seen here talking to Paul Gregory
 There were possibly a hundred people in the room
 People still milling around and chatting here
 and here
 and then listening to the speeches
 at what was one of the most successful private views in the gallery.


Collective- an open art exhibition, first impressions

There's been lots of interest generated at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery by the latest exhibition in the main gallery featuring work by artists from the region. This is what their website says about the exhibition:
'Collective – an open art exhibition, is a first for Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.
The panel of judges (Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s Curator, Sophie Cummings; Mark Pepperall, owner of Oink Gallery and Caroline Day, Artist) selected 50 works to appear in this exhibition.
All works in the exhibition are available to purchase.
Owner of Oink Gallery, Mark Pepperall, selected ‘Fallen‘ by Cate Watson as “the most original and well executed piece submitted” and Tim Carroll’s ‘Waiting Room‘ was selected by curator Sophie Cummings for his “work of art that embodies the creativity and vitality of the regional art scene”.  Both of these artists won prizes from Oink Gallery and icanFRAME.'
I went along on the first day to have a look and took these photos, the first one is on the wall facing you as you walk into the gallery, and is Tim Carroll's 'Waiting Room' selected by Sophie Cummings
 I took a few general photos of the exhibition
 it looks really good
 I'm not sure the photos work if you haven't seen the exhibition, but they are a record of what it looked like
 this is the wall round the corner by the fire escape.
 I tried this angle, but I'm not sure it's any better than the others.
 I liked the large wall displays giving information about the exhibition, this one below explains that Collective is the first open art exhibition, held at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery since it was founded in the 1920s.
 followed by a panel listing artists taking part in the exhibition
I took a few photos of various pieces including this one 'Constantine Bay, Winter' by Lynn Keddie
 and Ken White's 'Canal Cyclists'
 Gordon Dickinson's 'Jaws 3'
 and Sally Taylor's 'Traces' made from fabric, natural dyes, stitch and ephemera.
 The gallery came to life that night at the private view where artists taking part were invited to see their work in the gallery.




Laughter and Loss: British Artists in World War II

This was James Russell's second visit to Swindon Museum and Art Gallery to give a talk to the Friends. We were so impressed by his talk on Eric Ravilious to coincide with the exhibition he curated at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, we invited him again to come and talk to us about World War II artists. For those unfamiliar with James Russell, more can be found here, he's a lecturer and author of many splendid art books.
The talk was fascinating and accompanied by slides of the many superb artworks produced by artists he talked about who took part in Kenneth Clark's War artists scheme. I took some notes, but didn't download the photos pf the paintings James talked about, so what follows are paintings I discovered when I looked up the artists.
There were 247 war artists in the second world war, but only 37 employed at any one time, often for 6 months, and paid £325 for their work. Probably the most famous and admired painting by this group is 'Totes Meer' (Dead Sea) painted in 1940-41 at a salvage dump in Cowley
 There's also the 'Battle of Britain' painted in 1941:
Charles Cundall's painting 'Withdrawal from Dunkirk' is rather spectacular:
and then in contrast, Edward Ardizzone showed the human side of war, often with a dog in the painting, although not in this one, 'Lunch in Nieppe Forest', 1940
Richard Eurich and Graham Sutherland's 'An East End Street' were also mentioned.
Here's John Piper's 'Coventry Cathedral' painted when the embers were still hot:
And Henry Moore's 'Grey Tube Shelter Space':
and Ethel Gabain's ' Women Welders':
Evelyn Dunbar also produced some fine paintings during World War II,  here's 'Land Girl and Bail Bull':
Dame Laura Knight is aslo famous for paintings such as 'Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech Ring'
The last three paintings by women illustrating the varied occupations women were engaged in during the war.
Stanley Spencer was of course mentioned, I'm hoping we can have a trip to Sandham Memorial Chapel where the space is filled with his paintings.
Eric Ravilious featured as well in the talk, here's 'HMS Glorious in the Arctic':
 and this is Great Coxweel Tither barn by John Piper which I rather liked.
Also here's Edward Bawden's 'Cairo- The Citadel'
 and lastly a photo of James Russell during the talk
Thank you James Russell for a fabulous talk, it was a sell out, and very much enjoyed by all who attended, by clicking here, you can read about James Russell's talk on Ravilious, and the next post is about our trip to the Dulwich Picture Gallery when traffic was brought to a standstill in London due to tube strikes.