Mervyn Peake will be best remembered as the author of the Gormenghast trilogy, those wonderful novels full of eccentric characters populating a bizarre fantasy world. What’s less known is that Peake was an acclaimed artist, regarded as one of the best children’s illustrators of his day. The British Library has just announced that it has acquired his visual archive of more than 300 original illustrations, that will now join the library’s collection of his papers.Continue reading “Mervyn Peake – British Library acquires his Visual Archive”
One of the effects of this current pandemic is that many of us are wondering what changes the virus will have wrought upon our society after it goes away (if it ever does go away!).
In a broader sense, this zeitgeist has been taken up by Kovet.Art, a new arts organisation designed to help collectors discover the best emerging talent in the UK and to harness and mentor that talent. Its inaugural online exhibition, Delineating Dreams, invites eight of its artists to delve into a dream world expressing visually both the conscious and the subconscious. It’s a surrealism-heavy show just as our current plight has many such characteristics.Continue reading “Kovet.Art – Delineating Dreams”
As the UK’s contemporary art scene gears up for the announcement of this year’s prestigious Turner Prize winner, University of the Arts London (UAL) has mounted a fascinating exhibition featuring the work of alumni, both teachers and students, who have either won or been nominated for the prize since its inception in 1984.Continue reading “Counter Acts: Incomplete Histories 1984 – present”
This new exhibition by Patrick Altes, a leading light in the emerging French-Algerian art movement, is something of a ‘cri de coeur’. As the title spells out, each work, be it digital print, painting, sculpture or installation, engenders a plea for understanding in a world beset by seemingly insoluble problems and dissension.Continue reading “Patrick Altes – Tolerance”
Fierce nationalism and inter-religious tension in South Asia have been a constant feature of the region’s modern history, a legacy of Partition in 1947 and the struggle for independence for Bangladesh in 1971. Millions of people were displaced and millions were killed either directly or through famine. The resultant instability of concepts like home and nationality is explored by 11 acclaimed artists in a new and stimulating exhibition at Cambridge’s Kettle’s Yard, curated by Dr Devika Singh, Curator of International Art at Tate Modern.Continue reading “Homelands: Art from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan – Kettle’s Yard”
For her new exhibition entitled Precious Mettle at London’s Fiumano Clase Gallery, British artist Nicole Wassall has created a series of works that serve both as aesthetic pieces in their own right and as metaphors for underlying themes prevalent in our society today. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, Wassall has managed to pull off the trick of using highly complex processes to create artworks that appear simple yet are anything but simplistic.Continue reading “Nicole Wassall – Precious Mettle”
There’s a certain cinematic quality to much of Emma Stibbon’s work. Her landscape paintings, prints and drawings that have earned her an international reputation, depict environments in a state of turmoil and flux. Erupting volcanoes and retreating glaciers and ice shelves, are meat and drink to her. Her new solo exhibition, Fire and Ice, conveys a sense of drama, not only with what you see in the pictures themselves but also with the way in which they were made. Her subjects show that apparent monumental and permanent geological structures can often turn out to be fragile at the hands of nature and mankind.Continue reading “Emma Stibbon – Fire and Ice”
The portrait above suggests how the aristocracy and the English landscape are as harmonious and natural as the sun that shines down on the rolling hills of the estate over which its subject, Mr Plampin, lauds.
It was around the time that Gainsborough painted the picture that landed estates, sculpted by landscape artists such as Capability Brown, were opened up to the public as places of leisure and which came to influence the British obsession with parks and gardens. The first to do so was Stowe Gardens in Buckinghamshire and part of the theme of Lie of the Land is to trace a line between Stowe and the urban experiment that is Milton Keynes only 15 miles away and which forms the inaugural exhibition in the city’s sparkingly refurbished Milton Keynes Gallery.Continue reading “Various Artists – The Lie of the Land”
Multimedia contemporary artist Samantha Louise Emery has created a series of 10 portraits celebrating the women who have inspired her throughout her life. Entitled IKONA Mirrored Interior, they are currently on show (and on sale) at London’s Mediaworks.Continue reading “Samantha Louise Emery – IKONA Mirrored Interior”
The woman arches her back in a perfectly-balanced athletic pose, her body graceful and lithe. Her hair falls free and touches the ground, rooted to the earth like the tree that brings equilibrium to the picture. There’s another balance too. The flecks on the body, remnants of residue of the lino-block from which the image was taken, gives it a strength echoed by the tree’s trunk. And all within the brightly coloured and collaged setting of a fable where reality and imagination meld together.Continue reading “Eileen Cooper – Short Stories”