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Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Frank Quinton Exhibition - Last Day Wednesday 8 September

 I think it's true to say that many people in Swindon have been to see John Stooke's exhibition of Frank Quinton's work and bought the book to accompany the exhibition, but in case some people haven't done so, I wanted to say how wonderful the exhibition is, and to encourage people to go along tomorrow if they can do so.

The exhibition is held in a retail unit next to Marks and Spencer on the top floor of the Brunel Centre. John Stooke has managed to borrow approximately 60 works to display and produced labels explaining quite a bit about each painting. There are some paintings owned by Swindon Borough Council which are featured in the book, but which weren't available to be loaned for this exhibition. Strange when the mantra is currently 'more art to more people' from SBC. 

Graham Carter wonderfully encapsulates my feelings about the exhibition and treatment of Swindonians by SBC in the Swindon Advertiser on Monday. When John initially approached Swindon Museum and Art Gallery to ask if he could hold the exhibition there to coincide with the publication of his book, he was told all available spaces were booked up for 2-3 years hence. I wonder what has happened to the exhibitors who couldn't exhibit? The list of exhibitions scheduled for 2020 still appears on the doors of Apsley House. 

But to the photos of paintings, starting of course with Frank's rendition of Apsley House from an interesting viewpoint, taking in the 1960s extension:

Both well established trees are in situ, and the extension seems to fit well with the older part of the building. Blaylocks is on the left, and still there. You'd rarely see the junction looking so quiet, and I think, judging by where the people are standing, this was before the time when the footpath was moved from beside the road to in front of the building.

Above view of Edmund Street just down form the Beehive at the rear of the houses. They are very impressive, mostly HMOs now.
This lovely painting is of the Hermitage built in 1830, it was demolished in 1994, to be replaced by the new building, an old people's home.
There's a sad story behind this photograph of the painting of the Sir Daniel Arms, it was owned by Doreen Scott, wife of Jim Scott, great Quinton fan. John photographed it, and then went back to pick up the painting for scanning, the house was empty, sadly Doreen had died and house clearance people had thrown the painting into a skip!
This terrace of Regency style houses along Bath Road were favourites of Franks.
And this might possibly be my favourite painting in the exhibition, it features the Edwardian row of shops in front of Swindon College. The juxtaposition of the two architectural styles and of course the fact Swindon College is no longer there, make it a great painting.

Finally, a photo of the opening night of the exhibition, what a treat it was to get together and talk about the paintings and catch up with people not seen for ages, all in one place.


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