Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Unveiling of Hoarusib, The Bull Elephant

With temperatures this weekend reaching double figures, it's hard to remember that last Sunday temperatures hardly seemed to rise above freezing for the great unveiling of a sculpture of Hoarusib, The Bull Elephant.
 With the low temperatures, we had little cloud, brilliantly blue skies, perfect conditions for taking photographs. From the combe where the elephant is situated, the skyline with profiles of leafless trees was beautiful. Looking the other way there was the covered sculpture of the elephant.

The life sized bull elephant was created by internationally acclaimed sculptor David Lomax, who
 encountered looking after his harem on a visit to the Skeleton Coast of Namibia in the 1980s.
The artwork was created for renowned conservationist John Aspinall in 1992. The plaster creation was the basis for casting three twelve foot tall bronze statues by Pangolin Editions in Stroud, each weighed four tonnes and were shipped to Los Angeles, Australia and Mexico.
From there the plaster elephant, which had been cut up into twelve pieces to cast the different parts in bronze before being welded together, lay in hibernation for nearly 25 years, until seen in David’s studio. It has now been reassembled and painted a very realistic elephant colour.

In the combe, very near the elephant is this gorgeous sculpture which looked fabulous in the sun, and with the blue sky in the background.
There were about 150 people present, they listened to speeches given by Joel Joffe, David Lomax, David Renard, Leader of the council and MP Robert Buckland who performed the final unveiling.

A couple of crowd scenes

And here's the elephant

 I love these photos of the elephant

Below this is what the plaque says:

The guests to the unveiling ceremony were asked to give generously to the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. Amanda Butler from Peatmoor, who acts as volunteer foundation ambassador in the region, described the efforts to work with governments in Africa to prevent poaching, as well as sending undercover agents to investigate illegal wildlife crime, and to encourage villagers to see wildlife as an asset and find ways to discourage elephants off their lands, as well as running orphanages for baby elephants whose parents have been killed.
There were articles in the Link and Swindon Advertiser
and a video on Facebook:
It was a really memorable day.

Saturday 3 December was a busy day

I don't know what you did last Saturday, but it seemed to be crammed with events happening, a sort of prelude to the excitements of Christmas, and already there's a bit of a lull, or maybe people are on individual rather than collective pursuit of the ideal present.
I took a few photos on the way round a few events, starting with the read in at Old Town library from 11am which was really well attended and once again reminded us all that we'll really miss the expertise of librarians and the delightful Old Town library in the Arts Centre when it closes.
 It's such a lovely space, particularly well set up for small children, talking of small children, well smallish ones, the next stop was the Croft School Christmas fete, seen below, my daughter, Helen, with another mum folding raffle tickets, despite spending £25 I didn't win anything, but they raised £900.
 I then walked to town and onto STEAM where a huge 2 day Christmas market was taking place, on the way in, I passed this painting by Terry Court, who died a couple of months ago, I took a photo of it and the information panel which tells you a bit about Terry.

 I was specifically looking for Jacquie Primrose's stall, it took a bit of finding because as you can see there were masses of stalls
 And finally, here's Jacquie talking to a customer
and here are examples of her fabulous garden mosaics, I particularly like this orange one which looks fabulous when Crocosmia are in flower
 and here are more of them together. How to choose?
 It was very busy at the market, I kept thinking the old workers are real people!!
 Isn't this one great?
 From STEAM, I walked back into town, to Theatre Square where Artsite were having a Christmas market.
 It was held in the Number 9 Gallery, with children's workshops downstairs

 and also at the Post Modern across the way. The mood was festive and there were gorgeous things for sale from many of the Swindon Open Studios artists.
 There was a festive looking tree at the entrance to the building.
 And across the road at Regent Circus, there was a delightful artisan market in the space at the front
Isn't that a perfect spot for a market? Let's hope we see lots more happening on that area.
Quite a day of galloping about, things seem much quieter this weekend.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Exciting day out Imagianation Gallery and RWA

Visiting galleries in Bath and Bristol on Saturday was maybe a bit optimistic, especially as we intended to spend the afternoon in Portishead. Arriving at the Imagianation Gallery in Bath by 11am was relatively easily accomplished.
It was lovely to see Tim Carroll's work on the walls:
 above three women in a tree, and below Caroline Day's blue hydrangeas
 and below people on a seaside jaunt
We'd gone there to hand over some ceramics pieces to the gallery via Katie Ackrill, seen below with Tim, although I took 5 photos, none show their faces, this is probably the best one:
 And here are the lovely ceramics pieces:
let's hope they find happy homes soon.
 Caroline's hydrangeas looked stunning in there, and this mosaic of stained glass and porcelain by Wendy Perrott of the 'Lemon Tree' was a covetable piece.
From the Imagianation Gallery, we decided to take the shorter route to Bristol via Keynsham which was a mistake, it took over an hour of sitting in traffic before we arrived at the RWA to look at the 164 Annual Open exhibition.
It's a fabulously imposing building

 Tim's painting was a long one, and despite being given a high spot, had a red dot beside it, how exciting!

 Looking back a bit, you can see it's very high up:
Who else had work in there?
 Yes, it's Kurt Jackson RWA 'Rain, Sun, Sleet, Hail, Tintagel Island, Arthur's Castle, 2013 Mixed media.

 Cynthia Lear RWA, also caught my attention with Mixed Irises above and Fritillaries below

 And this was immediately recognisable as one of Sarah Purvey's pieces
 as was this, Mary-Jane Evan's piece below, she won the Sculpture prize sponsored by Pangolin Editions and will have the opportunity to have her work cast in bronze:
Here's another familiar artist, it's Meg Buick, with Dog III, it's a 50 edition lithograph

 And on the way out, a general view of the main gallery
 The exhibition is now over, so please have a look at their website to find out what's on now.

The Mythic Method

I do recommend visiting the Pallant House Gallery to see their exhibition entitled The Mythic Method- Classicism in British Art 1920-1950. It's a fascinating exhibition with an amazing accumulation of 100 works by 40 different artists. Classicism is defined as: 'the following of ancient Greek or Roman principles and style in art and literature, generally associated with harmony, restraint, and adherence to recognized standards of form and craftsmanship, especially from the Renaissance to the 18th century'.
There are some fabulous paintings in the exhibition, particular favourites are those by Edward Burra, Duncan Grant and William Roberts. There were a couple of strange labellings, in one case, there were books with illustrations by John Farleigh and Eric Gill, but only John Farleigh was mentioned. In another, by my least favourite painting, 'Psyche on the Styx', the backs of the oarsmen are described as 'fleshy' when they seem the opposite. Small perplexing points which didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the visit.
Photos couldn't be taken in the exhibition, but I did find a good shot of the birds at the front of the old building taken from the side in profile:

 The poster for the exhibition features 'The Day's End' by Ernest Procter.

And the book which accompanies the exhibition is well worth buying as well. The exhibition runs until 19 February 2017.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Beehive Top Bar

We are very lucky to be able to advertise Swindon Open Studios in the top bar of the Beehive. It's important to keep changing the paintings and making sure the information is up to date, and with this in mind, I've had a bit of a refresh there this week. Below you can see Carole Humphreys picture 'Arachne' on the left and Naomi Cantillon's on the right:
Below we have a piece on the left by Nicky Walker and Jane Milner-Barry on the right
There are 3 of Tim Carroll's prints from the 100 Views of Swindon series of paintings, including one of the Beehive on the left.

Above one of Caroline Day's lino cuts of the bandstand, and another one top right in the photo below
Also in the photo above, Rachel Pryor's painting of Silbury Hill on the left, and Susan Carr's painting of the Bowl in the Old Town Gardens. We're excited to announce that Susan has recently been awarded a PhD, and currently has her PhD show at Sarum College Salisbury until 26 November which I'm hoping to visit soon.