Become a Friend of the Swindon Museumand Art Gallery

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

Monday, 27 April 2020

Highlights from the Civic Offcies - Podcast 6

In her sixth podcast as part of getting the Swindon Collection online, Katie Ackrill, the museum's Art on Tour Project Engagement Officer has selected three paintings from those displayed at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street. This exhibition was open to the public before the Covid-19 lockdown, and I wrote about it in my personal blog last December.
Katie selected two absolute favourites of museum visitors: 'The Printer' by Sylvia Gosse to talk about, giving fascinating insights into the painting and Sylvia's life.
The second painting is 'Tower Bridge- A Wartime Nocturne' by Claude Francis Barry seen below.
and thirdly the Jack Smith's painting entitled 'Sounds and Silences', painted in the early 1980s it captures sound using visual means.
To listen to what Katie has to say about these three paintings, please click on the link : Podcast 6

Friday, 17 April 2020

Spring is Sprung- Podcast 5

Episode five of Art Snaps celebrates Spring through paintings from Swindon’s collection which represent vibrancy, energy and renewal.
'Spring in Eden' painted by Ivon Hitchens in 1925 is the first painting selected by Katie Ackrill to discuss. Katie really brings this painting to life, and draws the listeners attention to various aspects of the painting,
Denis Worth-Miller's painting 'Landscape' is seen below, it's one of my favourites, as well as discussing the painting, Katie also gives some  insights into the artist.
The final piece is 'The Sybil' by Cecil Collins, 1964
Podcast 5 can be heard by clicking on the link

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Drawings by Gwen and Augustus John: Podcast 4

Siblings at the Slade School of Art which they attended at the same time, although Augustus John arrived there before Gwen. Swindon Museum and Art Gallery contains several drawings by the siblings, as before, Katie Ackrill talks about three of the works in her podcast. They are seen below:
'Four Figures in Classical Dress seen below was drawn by Augustus while still at the Slade under the influence of his tutor, Henry Tonks
This is an etching by Augustus John of W.B.Yeats, Yeats commented that Augustus made all sitters look awful, in the end John Singer-Sergeant was given the job of producing a more flattering portrait.
'Portrait of a Lady' was produced by Gwen John in 1908, and although in life she was overshadowed by her brother and Auguste Rodin, her reputation has grown since then. Apparently to save money while at the Slade, the siblings shared accommodation and lived on a diet of fruit and nuts!

 Podcast 4
can be found by clicking on the link above.


Tuesday, 14 April 2020

The Bomford Gift Podcast 3

Jimmy Bomford famously donated 21 rather fabulous artworks to Swindon just after WW2, they formed the backbone of the Swindon Collection. In the third podcast, Katie talks to us about Bomford's life, and gives us lots of information about 3 very special pieces he donated. At this time, in 1944-5,  he was living quite an extravagant life on a 2000 acre farm at Aldbourne, hosting lots of parties and inviting friends such as Dylan Thomas and Desmond Morris.
Katie talked about Jankel Adler's piece 'Composition' painted in 1943 while Adler, was living with Bomford.
She also talked about one of the public's  favourite paintings in the Swindon Collection, 'Winter in Pendelbury' painted in 1943 by LS Lowry. I hadn't thought about this, but Katie commented on the fact that Lowry rarely painted snowy scenes.
 The third picture Katie talked about was this splendid drawing by Henry Moore, 'Three Women and a Child'.
Do listen to the podcast to find out more about The Bomford Gift, here's the link to Podcast 3

Monday, 13 April 2020

Abstract Painting in the 1960s Podcast 2

Episode Two of Art Snaps brings you a sample of works currently on show at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, in ‘Pop and Prosperity’. Katie Ackrill looks at three exciting abstract paintings on show, including Terry Frost’s ‘Grey, Red and Black Verticals’. Katie explores abstract art and the public's reaction to it in post war Britain, this podcast is an edited edition of the lunchtime talk given on 28 February, details of which can be found here.
 and William Gear's 'Presence on White' painted in 1961, seen below with Erik Burnett-Godfree standing in front of it because I couldn't find it on the ArtUK website.
and Richard Smith's whirling painting called 'Once'
Here's a link to the second podcast: Podcast 2

A Celebration of Colour Podcast 1

It has been just over a month since the last Friends' blogpost, this is because all talks, trips and events at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery have been cancelled due to the Covid 19 pandemic.
However thanks to Katie Ackrill, Art on Tour Engagement Officer at the museum, there are several online initiatives under the title Art on Tour, do click on the link to find them. The one I'd like to share here is the first podcast which takes its name from the next exhibition due to be held in the main gallery at the museum - A Celebration of Colour.
Katie has used 3 paintings form the Swindon Collection to illustrate her talk, they are:
'Florestan' by Gillian Ayes
and 'Spanish Chair' by Mary Fedden
and finally this beautifully precise 'Cambridge July' painted by Mark Lancaster in 1969

To hear what Katie has to say about these 3 paintings, just click on the link to YouTube podcast
I'd like to share all the podcasts on this blog, so will use the next posts to try and keep up with Katie's podcasts.