I’m currently showing three large canvases at ‘Painters’, an exhibition of work by 19 contemporary Norfolk artists, at the Black Barn, Cockley Cley, nr Swaffham in Norfolk. The exhibition is curated by Hugh Pilkington, for Sir Samuel and Lady Roberts. Artists include Tracey Ross, Elaine Banham, Kate Giles, Anne Allanson and Fred Ingrams.
Saturday (5th August) saw the private view of ‘Painters’ very well attended and enjoyable. Bright sunshine and flowing fizz with Hugh as genial host, made for a memorable evening. But most importantly, the works on display, all contemporary paintings, many of which were large canvases, formed an impressive, well-selected and thoughtfully hung show.
Hugh Pilkington curates quite a few exhibitions in Norfolk, including the Sainsbury Visual Arts Centre. He chatted with me about his interest in whether there is such a thing today as a Norfolk school of painting, as there was in the 19th century with the likes of John Sell Cotman. This exhibition ‘Painters’ is a result of Hugh’s desire to get together a group of contemporary Norfolk artists to illustrate the high quality of art currently being created in Norfolk.
Hugh also curated Cley Contemporary 2016 (which I wrote about in a previous post, here). I’ll quote again, part of his text from Cley Contemporary 2016…
Who are the artists who could make up a new Norfolk or Norwich School? Who are the successors of Cotman and Crome; of Sell and Ackling; of Emerson and Payne Jennings? Who are the landscape painters? Who are the abstract painters? Who are the sculptors? Who works in other interesting and challenging formats?
Hugh Pilkington, Curator, Cley Contemporary 2016.
‘Painters’ is open each Saturday and Sunday in August, 11am-1pm (other times by appointment – Hugh Pilkington 01366 328354). If you’re planning to visit, follow signs for the (now closed) Iceni Village south of Swaffham, then follow the signs for the Black Barn.
Last week I travelled down to the Mall Galleries in London for the Private View of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 2016. This was the first time I’d entered this prestigious annual exhibition and I was fortunate to have had two works selected (‘Liquid light‘ and ‘Winter light‘), both hung in the Main gallery.
The PV was very well-attended with a good buzz about the place and it was great to meet and chat with a few of the RI members, David Parfitt, Roger Dellar, Jean Noble, Rosa Sepple and Anne McCormack, who were all welcoming and enthusiastic and all of whom have work on show. The impressive exhibition fills the Main gallery and three of the side rooms, and is stunning in the diversity and quality of artworks in water-based media on show – from more traditional representational work to contemporary abstracts.
The range of media used was interesting, varying from watercolour, gouache, acrylics and inks often combined with other materials – collage, earth(!) etc. Frances Hatch (photo below) was awarded the Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Prize for her large unusual work ‘Ladram Red’ which included Otter Sandstone, Mercia Mudstone, gouache in its makeup.
I have my own favourite artworks which caught my attention, see further on in this post, but there’s something to suit everyone. The exhibition runs until 16 April, and is well worth catching. I like the way the RI exhibit members’ work alongside that of non-members rather than having them in a separate room. The selection of members’ sketchbooks on display in cases was a welcome touch too.
The following images are a personal selection of the artworks that caught my eye. Most are from the Mall Galleries website, which lists all the selected artists and has a page for each of them. I’ve linked all these images to the relevant page on that site where you can also see the other work the artist has had selected. I’ve also linked artist names to their websites where I could find them (and I’m surprised how few seem to have one). All images are copyright of the individual artists.
‘Autumn Fields’ by Andrew Suddaby, watercolour and acrylic, 23x23cm. An exquisite minimalist small abstract landscape in siennas and ochres.
‘Evening light, Paddy’s Gole’ by Anne Kilvington, water-based media, 60x75cm. This striking work in brooding indigos was one of the prizewinners.
‘Winter hillside’ by Jean Robinson RI, mixed media, 59x50cm. An arresting combination of colours and textures.
‘Proclaim’ by Tracey Ross, acrylic, 39x39cm. This small haunting landscape really appealed to me. (I’ve used my own photo here as the one on the Mall Galleries webpage seemed a lot paler than the actual work).
‘Garden, Summer’ by Dominique Cameron, watercolour, 52x125cm. A lively burst of exuberant colour and mark-making.