Ishbel Myerscough – Grief, Longing and Love

There’s an underlying sense of sadness in this new exhibition by British portrait artist Ishbel Myerscough. Half way through preparing for the show, her mother died suddenly without warning. This followed the death two months earlier of her father-in-law.

There’s nothing like the death of a close parent to remind one of one’s own mortality but also to cherish what one has and holds. Grief, Longing and Love provides a series of intimate portraits of family and friends that captures stages in life’s journey from the innocence of youth through the experiences of motherhood to family bereavement.

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Glen Baxter – Unflinchingly Gamboge

“I’m a total believer in absolute nonsense. The absurdity of life is my single goal.” So says artist Glen Baxter whose latest exhibition has just opened at London’s  Flowers Gallery in Cork Street. Its very title is appropriately absurd. Gamboge is a yellow pigment that Buddhist monks use to dye their robes. Put it next to the wonderful word “unflinchingly” and you get what he calls “a little explosion”. 

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Tai Shan Schierenberg – Men Without Women

Many will know Tai Shan Schierenberg as one of the judges in the Sky Arts series Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year. He specialises in both art forms and is a former winner of the National Portrait Gallery’s John Player Portrait Award. Lesser known is his love of football. Last year, he travelled up from his London home to the West Midlands every weekend to follow the fortunes of West Bromwich Albion Football Club for a Channel 4 Artist in Residence series. 

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Esther Teichmann – On Sleeping and Drowning

Esther Teichmann’s world is a mystical one of caves, swamps and underground lakes that exist somewhere between the real and the imagined, between autobiography and fiction. They are fragments of memory informed by the landscape of the Rhine Valley and the valleys of the Black Forest where she grew up and reimagined as mysterious, womb-like spaces where women sometimes sleep and dream. 

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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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