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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Ken White: An Exhibition of his Talents

Our November talk featured Ken White in conversation with Andy Binks, with the same talk repeated for a second evening in order to be able to accommodate the large number of people who wanted to come. The talks coincided with the end of Ken's exhibition at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, and were intended to take the previous in conversations Andy had done with Ken on his life history, a stage further, concentrating more on paintings and linocuts in the exhibition. I was present for both evenings, and thoroughly enjoyed both, Andy Binks, is among other things, Chair of the Swindon Society, and has a great gift of being able to put a presentation together, make it interesting and amusing, and encourage the speaker to share information with the audience. Here they are during the talk, although it's a bit dark because the lights were dimmed for the presentation, it shows Andy questioning Ken:
I won't go through much history, but it's worth noting that Kenneth Lindley who wrote and illustrated 'Town,Time and People was one of Ken's teachers at art college.
  When I looked him up, I found a great link to Ken's murals for which he was famous between 1976-1985, but I'm jumping ahead, in 1969, artist, illustrator and graphic designer, Alan Aldridge was putting together a book, The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics, published in 1970, he advertised in the Evening Standard for drawings of the group, Ken produced this painting:
Aldridge paid Ken £20 for the reproduction rights, and offered £100 for the painting, Ken declined to sell it and it hangs in his sitting room today. Andy did ask Ken if he was the only person to paint the Beatles naked, but he declined to answer!
Ken White's association over a twenty year period with Richard Branson took him all over the world, and notably 'The Scarlet Lady', a 'hybrid of ideas' was heat sealed onto the fuselage of  Virgin aircraft.
 The before and after photos of murals and preparatory drawings are wonderful, it's a shame we can't see most of them any more, there are lots of photos online and in Angela Atkinson's wonderfully illustrated book, Ken White: Muralist and Painter,  I love the imagination and careful execution seen in all of the murals, this one Ken at Highworth swimming pool is wonderful, from this:
to this
talking to a packed house:
Love this mural
and this one with lots of famous Swindon people of different eras portrayed, even David Murray John minus usual cigarette in the bottom left hand corner:
Ken also talked about how he made his lino cuts, and illustrated it with this lino cut of his cats
which when printed out and coloured in looks like this:
 There was another fascinating insight when Ken talked about his inspiration, he discussed photographs taken by Denis Bird, mainly in the 1960s, providing a great inspiration for his paintings. Seen below, Denis Bird's photograph taken beside the railway line
and Ken's painting of the same spot.
We had a great crowd on both nights
Here's a lovely photo with a great admirer after the Thursday talk:



Monday, 9 December 2019

Visit to Pembroke College

A trip to somewhere relatively nearby is easier to organise than one further away, Pembroke College, Oxford, was a dream, we could go on the bus, keeping the cost of the trip down. Sadly for me, on the date of the trip, the 21 November, was the funeral a dear friend in Essex, so I couldn't go and see the splendid art collection at Pembroke College. I am relying on others to provide photos and some text.
The trip was organised by Erik Burnett-Godfree, he had liaised with curator, Tatjana LeBoff, and so was able to fully take over the organisation on the day.
Looking at their website, it appears that the gallery is now closed until 2020, and opening times are Friday and Saturday afternoons. I have looked at the photos of their collection on their website, to try and identify the paintings photographed here, kindly sent by Marion
The first image has a Robert Colquhoun figure image next to a David Tindle head (cropped) both on the floor.
Above John Bratby depicting his wife, Jean Cooke, painting her from the rear.
This is 'Lament 2, then the trouble came' by Evelyn Williams (b 1929)
The last painting, the double portrait is by Jean Cooke, the wife of John Bratby.
There are more photos, and I'm sure someone will give me a bit more text and a few more photos.
Meanwhile I'm hoping to organise another visit to Pembroke College next year.
I have now found Sue's photos, which give a different slant on the trip, and you can see some of the same paintings
 The gallery space looks lovely
 Erik with Tatjana LeBoff looking at paintings he asked to see
 It is of course more difficult to see pictures when they are not hanging on the wall!
 The John Bratby and Jean Cooke paintings from a different angle, I'd love to see them in the flesh
 And lastly a couple more photos of the gallery

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Artists and their Work

I do like photos of artists with their work, and last year took quite a few artists standing beside their work at the Open Exhibition. This year I have mostly relied on copying photos from Facebook, I do hope this is alright with everyone, there are some lovely photos:
 Above Graham Carter and his 'Measure Twice, Cut Once' piece, and below Alex Coppock-Bunce with her piece:
I'm not sure who the couple below are, I thought they were with Rebecca Perdue
 but then Rebecca Perdue appears to be standing in front of her linocuts
 And here's David Robinson with his autobiographical linocuts
 I've just had a look for more and found Sue Ash almost in the frame!
 Here's Simone Dawood receiving the Friends' prize, and her print on the right
 Lovely photo of Ushma Sergeant with her 2 pieces, must be in panoramic view
 and a visualartswindon post on Facebook advertising Instagram with a few more artists with their work

 Finally here's Tim Carroll with me standing in front of his Ferry painting

The Open Exhibition 2019

Brought back by popular demand, after being very successful last year, the Open Exhibition now occupying the main gallery runs until 21 December. It showcases work from artists who have entered from an even wider area than previously. The Friends' committee were pleased to be able to help behind the bar on the night of the Private View, and quite a few members of the Friends came along to the PV evening when the show opened.
It's quite difficult to get good photos on these occasions, but this one below was very easy because three people posed for someone else.The picture is Stella and friends. Stella's picture Thought Bubble' is featured in the middle.
 I'll add some of the others I took.
 It's interesting to do some people spotting, but I'll leave that to people looking through this post!
 I tried to get a few good ones
 I think you get the general idea
 there were lots of people attending, and they all chatted to each other
 Maybe holding the camera a bit higher improves the effect.
I was very pleased that the Friends were able to support the Open Art Exhibition by offering a £100 prize to a piece of art chosen by Katie Ackrill. The piece Katie chose was Ridgeway Relics I, a monotype by Simone Dawood, seen below. I have just looked up Simone and found she has written a great blog post about the Open Exhibition and her inspiration for this piece, click here to find out more
chosen because of the unusual view of the Ridgeway chosen by Simone and influenced by her voluntary work with the museum's archival material.
The piece has rather a lovely label beside it:
I took photos of pieces of work which initially attracted my attention. It's hard to do this because it's an excellent exhibition, with some fascinating work, but there are some pieces which immediately attract one's attention.
Here are some:
 I hesitate to do this, and encourage everyone who can, to visit the exhibition, it's on until 21 December, opening hours Tuesday -Saturday 11am-4.30pm at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, the photos don't do any of the works justice. Above two works by Jack Hicks, both sold
 Above an interesting assemblage of works, and below, Ray Ward and Juliet Wood
 Below on the right, Tim Carroll's 'Townscape', and on the left Lisa Harvey's 'Fall Equinox'

 Top piece Tara Parker-Woolway's pastel on slate, and below Lucy Longhurst's 'Dunstanburgh'
 The two above are by Alex Coppock- Bunce, 'Return from Blaskets to Dunquin' and below that a photo from Joseph Wright 'The Floods #01'
 Above Ushma Sergeant's picture of Liddington Hill in fibre
 I loved these 3 pieces placed together, Ray Ward's 'Little Soldier' on the right, Sarah Purvey's 'Pulse' in the middle and Joe Tymkow's 'Black Rain' oil and bitumen on canvas.
 Rebecca Perdue's 'Sparrows and Thistles' and 'Murmuration' above, I'll admit an interest here, I bought the lower linocut depicting sparrows and thistles, it's delightful and it was hard to choose between them
 This piece above, was a complete surprise, it's Graham Carter's piece 'Measure Twice, Cut Once' , so true!! Apparently the remains of the rulers, the bits with brass ends and were used somehow in Graham's kitchen. I'd like a photo of the kitchen, how about it Graham?
There's one more piece which I would love to bring home, it's this one by Anna Pinkster called sensibly enough 'Camel and Three Figures'
 and I can include Tim Carroll's The Ferry as my final piece