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Monday, 30 January 2017

Last FWIS talk on Friday 20 January

A large audience turned up to Sophie Cummings' final talk on the wonderful exhibition From Where I'm Standing, featuring 10 West Country ceramicists responses to paintings and ceramics pieces in the collection. Some of those taking part in the exhibition were on hand to talk about their choice of paintings and their working methods, so there was quite an atmosphere of excitement in the gallery
I tried to take photos, but in places, there were too many of us to get a decent photo
 The first person to talk was Sarah Purvey, here she is with her 3 huge pots
 And the painting which inspired her, Basil Beattie's Witness VII is partially seen below
 next Keith Varney who talked about how he was inspired by Tim Phillips' Play:Here We Exemplify' in creating his ceramic vases .
 After the talk, there was some hilarity between Sarah Purvey, Mary-Jane Evans and Jo Taylor
 Rather a nice smiley look
 and then a gathering of the six ceramicists who came to talk about their work.
From the left: Keith Varney, Patricia Volk, Sarah Purvey, Mary-Jane Evans, Jo Taylor and Claire Loder
 To find out more about these amazingly talented ceramicists, please click on their names and you'll find more about them from their websites.
Meanwhile you have until February 4th, which is next Saturday to have a last look at the exhibition.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Lunchtime Talk Friday 13th January

Today Sophie Cummings gave a talk at lunchtime on the 'From Where I'm Standing' exhibition, in which 10 ceramicists were asked to respond to a couple of works from the collections. They have produced a huge variety of different ceramics. Here, below,Sophie is talking about Fenella Elm's response to the small piece which has influenced so much of her work, I've looked at her piece which I love, many times, but it wasn't until today I saw something completely different in it.
There were quite a few people who came along to to find out more about the exhibition, and more came during the talk.
 Jo Taylor took over from Sophie to talk about her work, here she is, below, talking about Nicholas Horsfield's painting 'Oval 1979 Evening, Downstream Towards Vernon' which she responded to in coloured porcelain. Jo talked about how she first came across the painting in the storeroom at very close quarters and was immediately impressed by the feel of the painting, the colours, splashes of apricot and lilac colours which she reproduced using coloured stains on the porcelain.
And here are 2 of Jo's pieces below, she has called them 'Riffing on Horsfield', there are 2 more elsewhere, another 'messier' one she has at home in her dining room, and there's another larger one. They are amazingly beautiful in texture and colour, they enhance the painting, and the painting enhances them in a lovely way.
Before leaving the gallery, I noticed the Fenella Elm's piece produced the most amazing shadows, somehow I'd missed the shadows previously.
Next week, Sophie is giving the last of her #FWIS talks accompanied by Keith Varney

Private View at Osborne Samuel 11 January

During January 2017, the Osborne Samuel Gallery has offered Swindon Museum and Art Gallery,  space for a month at 23a, Bruton St, London W1J 6QG to give the collection some much merited publicity. Many of the 'home team' were invited along to see the results of hanging approximately 30 selected works in the gallery, along with some choice ceramic pieces. It was a lovely evening, the hang was beautifully done and looked fabulous in the gallery.
I'm pleased I managed to capture the online catalogue, so you can see exactly what's being shown in the Osborne Samuel Gallery, there are some gems which you'll see as the backdrop to the photos by clicking here: online catalogue
I'll start with the speeches, Robert Hiscox was speaking as I took the photograph, he'd taken over from Councillor David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, they explained the history of the collection, the need to move from the current inadequate premises, and their hopes for the future when the museum and art gallery will be housed in a new purpose built cultural centre in the heart of the town. The evening was opened by Gordon Samuel, one half of the Osborne Samuel partnership, he's to the right of David Renard in the photo.
 A general photo by the drinks table with Michael Ayrton's painting in the background
 You can just about see the John Nash, 'Dredgers at Bristol Docks' behind the drinks table
 Hadrian Ellory van Dekker talking with John Hoyland's 'Trickster' in the background
 and here it is again
 There were some lovely ceramics pieces hung at eye level and so were very easy to examine.
 Above we've got Grayson Perry's Perfume bottle and 3 stoppers, and on the far right Hans Coper's Spade Vase, and Lucie Rei's Bottle Vase to the left of that.
 Beside that case was another with among other things, Geoffrey Swindell's Oval Forms purchased in the late 1970s.
 The gallery was packed making it hard to take photos, these below were taken as the rooms emptied a bit. Below you can see Councillor Garry Perkins, Cabinet Member for the Economy, Regeneration and Skills at SBC, he's near the model for the proposed new museum and art gallery, on display in the centre of the middle room in the gallery.
 Below a general view of people, Nicky Alberry can clearly be seen on the left.
 Below Gordon Samuel with Terry Frost's 'Grey, Red and Black Verticals' in the background

 You can see how lovely these favourites look in the gallery
 And how fitting in the week before the unveiling of the Diana Dors Blue Plaque
that Desmond Morris's painting in the collection from 1946 'Girl Selling Flowers (Diana Dors)
 Gillian Ayres' painting 'Florestan' zinged with energy and colour, it looked great illuminated perfectly, with a wall to itself.
 Do go and have a look at the exhibition if you can, it's there until 11 February and the gallery is open Monday-Friday 10am-6pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Talks and Trips for 2017

I have just added our talks and trips for the first half of 2017 to the blog, and I'm hoping our website will be updates later on today to reflect this programme. We are still in the process of learning how to use the website, so it's not all running totally smoothly at the moment. The intention is to be able to buy tickets for talks and trips online so you can do this at your convenience.
All members of the Friends will receive an eflyer this morning, hard copies are available at the museum, but the cost of postage makes it too expensive to post them.
We are very excited to have Christopher le Brun as our first speaker, seen in the poster below standing in front of his painting 'Hyperion' purchased by SM&AG 35 years ago. Painter, printer and sculptor, he was born in Portsmouth and trained at the Slade and Chelsea Schools of Art in London, Le Brun first appeared in several group exhibitions, such as the influential Zeitgeist exhibition at the Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin, and from 1980 onwards, in many solo exhibitions in Britain, Europe and America. He was a prizewinner at the John Moores Liverpool exhibitions in 1978 and 1980 and worked in Berlin during 1987-88 as guest of the DAAD artist’s programme.
 He was elected President of the Royal Academy in December 2011. He is the 26th President since Sir Joshua Reynolds and the youngest to be elected since Lord Leighton in 1878.

 Apologies that the flyers are fairly illegible, the synopsis of the talks and trips appears on the talks and trips page of this blog.

I thought it was worth flagging up what's happening this year.