Eileen Cooper – Short Stories

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. 

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Bernard Jacobson – Prints I Published

On your left as you go down the stairs of the Bernard Jacobson Gallery are a series of miniature prints whose makers are a roll-call of some of the greatest talents of the British art scene of the 1960s and beyond – Richard Hamilton, Patrick Caulfield, Ivor Abrahams, William Tillyer, Peter Blake, Eduardo Paolozzi, David Hockney, Robyn Denny, Richard Smith as well as the American Ed Ruscha. And you haven’t yet reached the more than 100 works in the main gallery!

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John Kirby – All Passion Spent

Some years ago, a friend of John Kirby developed a brain tumour which made him both depressed for his friend and depressed for himself. It was around Christmas time and the pair pulled a cracker which contained the regulation paper hat. “I looked totally miserable wearing this pink or yellow hat. It’s a kind of move towards enjoyment without getting anywhere near it,” he tells me.

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James Mortimer – Land of Mortimer

At first glance, the world depicted in Land of Mortimer is a peaceful mythological idyll in which naked or semi-clad figures, in seemingly perpetual recreation, share their surroundings in harmony with animals and nature. They appear to be in what Jean-Jacques Rousseau described as “the indolence of our primitive state”. Furthermore, the skies are all blue, the trees are in leaf, ducks swim, deers frolic and sheep graze.

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