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Spaces of Invention and Places of Imagination

Occupying both Galleries 1 and 2 at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists Gallery, is a major exhibition of selected, mixed media works from the year 2000 to the present by the artist George Taylor who I have admired for a long time. The exhibition entitled, Spaces of Invention and Places of Imagination, will include two paintings from 1961 and 1963, completed just after the outset of George’s career which now spans more than 54 years.

George.Taylor-Wild Sea Rising

George Taylor, Wild Sea Rising.

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Contemporary Art Season at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

The Herbert’s new season of contemporary art features four compelling exhibitions which showcase challenging and thought provoking work by both local and internationally acclaimed artists. The exhibition I wish to focus on for this post is His Dark Materials which ran from the 24th of November 2012 to the 17th of March 2013. As always, I love discovering quirky art, which I’m sure you’ll see through this artist’s work!

His Dark Materials is the first solo exhibition by Coventry-based artist Adie Blundell. Blundell’s work is composed of new and found materials – sculptures are formed from plaster, latex, salt and iron, incorporating keys, locks, light switches and medical equipment.

Adie Blundell, Victoriana and Alchemy in Coventry.

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Arrangements in Black and Grey: Exhibition at the National Trust’s Fox Talbot Museum

An exhibition exploring the relevance of black and white photography in the 21st century opens at the National Trust’s Fox Talbot Museum on the 12th of April. Arrangements in Black and Grey focuses on the work of six UK photographers: Nettie Edwards, Trevor Ashby, Katie Cooke, Anthony Jones, Deborah Parkin and Mark Voce. The works range from monochrome photographs shot on film to iPhone images.

The museum itself celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography. At the Lacock Abbey which is a part of the museum and village, the 800 year history is retold through the memories of its last owner, Matilda Talbot whose grandfather was William Henry Fox Talbot.

William Henry Fox Talbot, calotype of Talbot’s three daughters

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Pallant House Gallery, Chichester: Paul Nash

A collection of Paul Nash’s early wood engravings, photographs, collages and correspondence is to go on display at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester. The surrealist artist is probably best known for his dulcet watercolours depicting everything from the rolling hills of Kent to Ypres battlefields and hostile skies during the Battle of Britain. The collection was amassed by a close friend of the artist, Clare Neilson, and was gifted to the gallery through the Art Fund.

Paul Nash, Dyke by the Road.

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Compton Verney…my birthday week!

I haven’t posted for a while and my excuse is…it’s been my birthday! I have had a fantastic week and I have been utterly overwhelmed by all the cards, messages and presents from all my friends and family. It’s been the best birthday I have had so far! The whole week has been full of events, starting with a party with all my housemates which they had organised- including making a huge meal and a giant birthday cake. And it wouldn’t be a party without a good session of poker of course. On my actual birthday day, I was taken out for the whole day to a place called Compton Verney.

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Keep the Home-Fires Burning: an indie documentary project

Here is the second of my posts which has been suggested by my friend Philippa Toop. This is a really exciting project which the Beverley Folk Festival are participating in. The project involves local singer-songwriters from York and the surrounding area and is being run by a young  filmmaker called James Arden who is the founder and director of York Acoustic. James is producing the film on a low-budget and submitting the final film to film festivals. Capturing on film the likes of Boss Caine, Mark Wynn and Edwina Hayes, the project is an exciting mix and something which I am thrilled to be posting about!

York Acoustic

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The work of Patricia Ariel

Serpentarium by Patricia Ariel

I’ve had a few days off to find some inspiration and lo and behold, I’ve come across this gem of an artist: Patricia Ariel!

An artist of surrealist and visionary themes, Patricia was born in 1970 in Brazil, where she lived and worked until moving to the United States. Since she was a little child, she has enjoyed giving life to her private world through her drawings and writings. She has been drawing since the age of three, never remembering a single time of her life when she was not exploring some type of creative language. An artist in every sense of the word, she has been a performing artist- acting, dancing, and singing from her teenage years onwards.

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Made in the Middle: exhibition at Bilston Craft Gallery

One of my favourite little venues has done it again. The Bilston Craft Gallery has decided to showcase a travelling exhibition which brings together a wealth of talent from across the Midlands. Made in the Middle is the seventh in the series of this touring exhibition by Craftspace.

The exhibition features cutting edge work by contemporary makers from the East and West Midlands across a wide range of media, exploring key themes such as- how are craftspeople embracing digital technologies in their practice and what are the varied pathways in which artists have taken to use craft as a career?

English Hedgerow plate by Andrew Tanner and Unanico

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The work of Gillian Tyler

I’ve been very lucky this week in that I have been notified of two great topics to blog about via my friend Philippa Toop who I met at a York University Alumni gathering last year. This first post involves a great little exhibition at Nunnington Hall, a National Trust property.

The exhibition itself is Quentin Blake and Friends: the Great Generation of Children’s Book Illustration which is running from the 2nd of March to the 14th of April. As well as showcasing the popular work of Blake, the exhibition also displays works from a variety of talent, including some fantastic illustrations by Gillian Tyler.

Gillian Tyler

Gillian Tyler

Gillian’s style captures the traditional essence of children’s illustration, and I am particularly drawn to her work, having been interested in magical and whimsical illustrations for some time now (see previous blog posts).

Gillian Tyler has always felt a deep connection to art, having made pictures from an early age. Born in a small mining community, Thurnscoe in the Dearne valley of South Yorkshire, she was renowned for her sunny disposition, earning herself the nickname ‘Smiler Tyler’ on her street. From a very early age she realised that making pictures made people happy and enjoyed being a part of that process.

The Snail House

The Snail House by Gillian Tyler

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Into the Wild: a photography exhibition

I am pleased to announce this fantastic project which is being organised by my good friend Radka Myslikova, who I have known for several years. Me and Radka met in Aberystwyth where we worked as Curator Assistant’s for a while. While I moved to York, Radka moved to Norwich and has been working hard on the art scene ever since. She is now a self-employed artist, photographer and curator. She has been producing her own artwork for years, which can be viewed on her website

The Exposure Project- Into the wild

The Exposure is a photography exhibition series which began in 2011. The aim of the project is to offer both amateur and professional photographers the opportunity to showcase their artworks in a vibrant and unusual gallery setting.

When Radka took over The Exposure in 2012 she wanted to make it into something more creative and engaging for the public and to draw attention to local talent.

The first exhibition she organised was a show in October 2012, featuring 16 artists. Although the exhibition was only for 10 days they had a very high attendance rate; 425 visitors and over 50 visitors at the private viewing.

After such success she decided to create a photography series with new themes every time a show was featured. This time it is ‘Into the Wild’ – an exhibition depicting the beauty of nature, wildlife and the animal kingdom. Into the Wild will invite the viewer into the world we perceive through our senses.

Radka says of the exhibition: “when we go for a walk in the countryside we discover the beauty of nature that lies around us. We can use all five of our senses but we may still miss out on hidden treasures in the natural world, the things that a trained eye of a photographer can notice easily. Photographers are the ones with the passion and ability to capture and reveal these secrets to us.”


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