Canwood Gallery is proud to be part of Herefordshire Art Week again this year. Here are just a few of the highlights from our new exhibition running until 30th September 2017.
Ed will be giving painting demonstrations during the course of the exhibition.
“All I’m looking to do is connect with people on a primitive level, engaging with them through powerful work, It’s as simple as that! I can’t think of anything better than to listen to great music and lose myself in the process of sound, paint, and colour.”
The DNA of my work is to abstracting from music and sound with the aim of connecting with the viewer. I use music to paint to and this allows me to channel something into the painting process that the then ends up with its own visual identity and soul.
Just listening to music is creatively stimulating, it’s in our DNA, it connects with us on some primeval level, it makes people move, dance and it is a marker of memories in peoples lives. My concept is a very pure one, I paint the music, I achieve this in a very primordial way, letting movement and instinct take over the process create something visceral in response to sound.
I’m just embarking on creating sound arrangements myself using modular synthesis and unusual electronic equipment to create soundscapes that I will then abstract from. The intention is to produce paintings, sculpture and sound installations using a multi media ethos.
‘Rhythm (INcredible sound)’ Is a truly pivotal piece of work by Edward Ball. Painted on the 14th of April 2005, and released for sale last year, this piece was genesis Ed’s large format painting to music. The work still holds up as one of his strongest most powerful works to date. Painted to Goldie’s ‘INcredible sound of Drum ‘n’ Bass’. At 3 meters in length, the work is a kaleidoscope of swirling colour with a powerful play on movement and vibrancy. This is a piece that you can keep looking at and always find something new to keep you intrigued and connected with the work.
My work is a combination of illustration and sculptural relief which is achieved with wire as the line can be taken off the page and into space.
My inspiration comes from within. External experience is internalised, and my work is my personal processing made into form.
My work essentially looks at our humanity, examples of related themes running through my work are: our relationships with ourselves, with loved ones and the wider community; motherhood, and aloneness.
Also, explorations into our thoughts, how thoughts can give rise to feelings of entrapment and paralysis through fears and anxiety, and the pursuit of freedom from thought.
In more recent work I have been using symbolism through the natural world, animal, bird and plant life to represent different aspects of our inner selves, primarily the tension between the ‘enlightened’ self and the bestial, but also an attempt to express the ultimate interconnection of all things.
Whilst these are all serious issues, I hope, and it has been said, that my work often brings with it a humour, which I feel is one of the more essential qualities for navigating ourselves through this life.
Val Pitchford has always worked indesign. Originally as a designer and maker of commissioned jewellery in gold and precious stones. Her ultimate aim was to be a full time painter. This was finally realised after extensive and invaluable study at the Lydgate Art Research Centre. She now works full time in her studio on the Malvern Hills. If her work has to be put into a named category perhaps abstract impressionism could be used. She aims to embody a sense of immediacy and freshness, distilling something of the majesty of the landscape through form, colour and the exploratory use of paint, mostly oil on canvas. However the following words of Pablo Picasso are most salutary:
“Why do two colours, put one next to the other, sing?
Can one really explain this? No.
Just as one can never learn how to paint.”
Her work is constantly on show in galleries in London and the Midlands. It is also in collections in America and on the Continent. A Cork Street Exhibition was well received, as have several solo and group exhibitions in which she has recently participated.
Val was a prize winner in the 2008 ING ‘Discerning Eye Exhibition in the Mall galleries.
Victor Pasmore was an influential abstract artist in Britain and became one of the leading abstract painters of our time. His work can be found in many Public Collections around the world including: Tate Britain, Royal Academy of Arts – London, Museum of Modern Art – New York, The British Council, Yale Center for British Art and numerous regional British galleries.
As one of the founding members of the Euston Road School (founded in 1938) Pasmore was devoted to realistic representation, in contrast to the other non-figurative art movements. However, at the end of the 1940s he embraced abstract art, and started experimenting with abstract reliefs in 1952–1953. In the same period he was appointed Consulting Director of Urban Design for the south-west area of Peterlee New Town, County Durham (1955-1977), and Director of Painting at in the Department of Fine Arts, University of Newcastle upon Tyne. He was in the latter position until 1961, after which he terminated his teaching career to join the Malborough Gallery in London and dedicate himself exclusively to his artistic practice.
As an extremely prolific cross-media artist, Pasmore produced an impressive series of paintings, screenprints and reliefs, and designed the concrete structure ‘Pavillon’ for the utopian project Peterlee New Town (1970).
Pasmore died in Malta in 1998.
Charles Snell is an innovative UK artist who paints with pigmented plaster to create large-scale, contemporary abstract frescoes as murals, ceilings and canvases.
Each fresco is crafted using modern and artisan plastering tools and specialist techniques that push the boundaries of traditional fresco in a complex relationship of spectacle, site and continuity.
Charles Snell’s frescoes have a bold, immersive power and a unique intensity and luminosity bordering on the transcendent or sublime. His work is influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Romanticism and artists such as Turner, Degas, Rothko, Patrick Heron and Gerhard Richter.
‘Sea & Sky’ (I & II) and ‘One Spectacle Grander’ are inspired by a sense of awe and the unfathomable. They explore how the journey of the soul, weathering worldly turbulent storms, tides and depths, is reflected in the awesome spectacle of the sea and the sky.
Charles Snell was born in 1980, grew up in the Gloucestershire countryside, spent time in St. Ives, Cornwall, and trained at Chelsea College of Art, London. He lives with his family in the Wye Valley and works from his studio beside the Malvern Hills. His work can be found in numerous private residences and commercial projects.
I aim, through my work, and by using a variety of media, to explore the tenuous and ephemeral nature of beauty and our human response to this. I find myself drawn to forms that, perhaps, contain visual suggestions of sensuality and frailty whilst, at the same time transmit an underlying message of a darker, troubled quality.
The passage of time and the effects of this, either through decay or erosion, the brevity of a ‘state of being’ and the importance that is attached to the concept of the present, I find intensely interesting.
For these reasons it would be fair to say that I work along three avenues of enquiry: carving stone as a means of using material with associations of ancient time and slow erosion, more figurative constructed works that allow the viewer to relate to forms that, by being visually accessible are able to relay subliminal messages through surface treatment or by use of material and, lastly, works that use visual references to explore the above ideas using a variety of materials.
How an object is perceived within a brief time frame, as in a museum where it is bestowed with a ‘preciousness’ greater than it originally possessed, existing as it does under glass and carefully lit, is of immense interest to me. It is no longer prosaic but speaks to us of the past and reminds us of the brevity of our own lifetimes.
Glenn has exhibited in numerous galleries, including the Royal Academy and is a highly collectable artist
Bruce Mclean is one of the major leading figures in Contemporary Art. He has obtained international recognition for his paintings and prints. His bold, confident approach to printmaking has proved extremely influential to his contemporaries and a younger generation of artists. The luminous colours and organic shapes give these works a fantastic expressive quality.
Bruce McLean is a sculptor, performance artist, filmmaker and painter. He studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1961 to 1963, and from 1963 to 1966 at St. Martin’s School of Art, London, where he and others rebelled against what appeared to be the formalist academicism of his teachers, including Anthony Caro and Phillip King. In 1965 he abandoned conventional studio production in favour of impermanent sculptures using materials such as water, along with performances of a generally satirical nature directed against the art world. When in 1972 he was offered an exhibition at the Tate Gallery, he opted for a ‘retrospective’ he titled “King for a Day” which lasted only one day. From the mid 1970s, while continuing to mount occasional performances, McLean has turned increasingly to painting/sculpture and film work. In 1985, McLean won the John Moores Painting Prize. Since retiring from his professorship of painting at the Slade School of Art, he has taken on a large studio in west London where he has been making increasingly large paintings and sculptural film works. His work is on display at Tate Britain and the V&A museum.
PHILIP BEWS AND DIANE GORVINHIGHWAYS
Philip Bews and Diane Gorvin have collaborated in creating over a hundred public artworks in the UK and internationally.
Having a joint approach to commissions, the artwork is a synthesis of both of our thinking, and particular design and making skills. The concept and design for each proposal we undertake is developed from research of the environmental, historical and social context of the site. We are dedicated to making artworks for the public realm, finding it endlessly fascinating and stimulating.
We aim to create a special sense of place and occasionally incorporate useful elements – like seating or lighting. We work with durable materials, reflecting the practical realities in creating public artworks: cast bronze and glass, carved and cut stone, fabricated steel, LED lighting, materials selected for their toughness, beauty, and ease of maintenance. Making artworks for the public realm requires teamwork, and whilst enjoying physically creating sculpture ourselves – carving wood and stone, modelling in clay, direct plaster and wax and also constructing/welding some works – we also liaise with other specialists for bronze and glass casting and fabrication of stainless steel and steel.
Phil’s previous landscape background enables him to prepare detail designs for fabricators and the ability to contribute to the design of the environs of the artwork site. Experienced in liaising with architects, landscape architects, structural engineers and fabricators, we have installed sculptural works in a wide variety of environments in the UK, from
Philip Bews & Diane Gorvinhighways, docksides, railway stations, canal sides, housing developments, town and city centres, healthcare sites, parks, an arts centre, to a ‘green’ football stadium and a zoo. We have permanent public artworks in Canada and Spain, plus designed works made in China for two cities there, and created celebratory Fire Sculptures and lanterns in the USA, Australia, Austria, France and Sweden.
Robyn Denny was one of the first British artists of the post-war years to take his influence from American Abstract Expressionism.
Denny’s huge, hard-edged geometric abstractions, free of natural influences, captured the cool, modernising mood of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
He had his first solo exhibition in London in 1957, and in 1960 helped to organise and take part in the “Situation” exhibition at the RBA Galleries, which marked a significant move away from the more delicate abstract painting of the St Ives school. In the 1960s he had shows in Milan, Stuttgart, Cologne, New York and Zurich, while in London he showed at the Waddington, Tooth and Kasmin galleries. In 1966 he represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, and in 1973 became the youngest artist to be awarded a retrospective by the Tate.
Denny’s early work typically consisted of large, symmetrical canvases on which horizontal and vertical bands in soft, muted colours, framed shapes like overlapping doorways. From the late 1960s he introduced freer, more vibrantly-coloured compositional motifs in which verticals were no longer so dominant. His paintings required a constant process of visual adjustment, with juxtaposed colours producing flicker effects which made the forms, spaces and scales appear unstable. Some critics felt that the subtleties of his colour palette owed more to French traditions, following in the wake of Redon, Seurat and Monet.
His work can be found in museum collections around the world, and he carried out numerous public commissions, including a series of vitreous enamel panels at Embankment underground station in London.
Robyn was educated at Clayesmore School, Dorset, then studied painting at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris and at St Martin’s School of Art. After two years’ National Service in the Royal Navy (much of which he spent in military prison after declaring himself a conscientious objector) he went on to study at the Royal College of Art.
There he began to experiment with abstract collages and bold gestural paintings, influenced by American Abstract Expressionism, which were exhibited in London in 1956 and, in 1959, at the hugely influential “Place” exhibition at the ICA. This was an early example of what is now called site-specific installation, featuring large unframed canvases standing directly on the floor and arranged in two parallel zigzags to suggest a maze, which visitors would be obliged to negotiate – thereby becoming “participants” rather than passive spectators. Following his graduation in 1957, Denny won a scholarship to study in Italy.
In 1981 Denny moved to Los Angeles, where the urban environment and often smog-hazed natural light inspired him to develop a new aesthetic featuring large monochrome thick-layered acrylic surfaces on which concentrated clusters of coloured scratchings rest on thin horizontals. The art historian David Alan Mellor, who published a study of Denny’s work in 2002, has described these later works as having the ethereal quality of “abstract Turners”. While Denny, like other “Situation” artists of the early 1960s, had been seen as rejecting the St Ives tradition, these later works recaptured some of the lyrical, transparent delicacy of that school.
Denny died in May 2014.
In my work, I explore the nature of sensation and cognition, combining both, and challenging my learned perception of reality. I love the act – the communion of painting – and when engaged, a dialogue takes place between me and the surface of the canvas. Paint is the enabler in the process.
This private and introspective conversation is a constant debate about instinct or logic, chaos or order, chance or plan, random or with purpose, all combining to create a series of dynamic tensions. The act itself is spontaneous and involves constant risk taking.
The action may be intuitive, or it may be driven by my unconscious. Whichever, it is a reflection of my imaginative life expressed in symbol. I find that when I am painting, music has the ability to motivate and relax, enabling the analytical side of my brain to be suspended and my psychological state to enter ”the zone ”or “flow” more readily. The present is where my free will is. I let my hands and eyes do the painting without interference from my analytical mind.
Sometimes I initiate, other times I listen, harnessing my emotions to arrange elements until I “know” it is time to stop, then frequently wonder “how did that happen”.
The images created stem from my compulsive pleasure in collecting visual information whether with eyes open, (sensory) – or closed, (autonomous)…everything must be noticed in order to continuously expand my “visual vocabulary.” My visual vocabulary is drawn from the consciously observed, and my unconscious world of symbolism and metaphor. Nothing is insignificant or accidental.
When the painting dialogue ends, the result usually relates to my own thoughts and feelings concerning “the human condition”, social comment, or political debate. What is fascinating to Brian Richardson is how others commune with the results. Another process emerges. The spectator has his/her own interaction and dialogue…perception is real for the perceiver! In my art, the viewer may well find references to naturalistic or manufactured entities…our senses respond to various stimuli in our own idiosyncratic manner.
Albert Irvin was a prolific British artist, best known for his exuberant paintings, watercolours, screenprints and gouaches. He was born in London and continued to live and work there throughout his life. His art focusses on capturing and exploring the experience of being in the world.
The first major connection between painting and Irvin’s own life occurred in the early 1940s when he attended the Northampton School of Art. He had to cut short his studies when he joined the Royal Air Force in 1941 to serve as a navigator in World War II.
After the war Irvin returned to his passion for art, enrolling in 1946 at Goldsmiths College in London. He graduated four years later with a National Diploma in Design. Irvin went back, as a teacher, to Goldsmiths in 1962 remaining there for over twenty years.
Throughout the 1950s Irvin developed his unique style of literal meaning through his painting. In his early career he battled with the two alternatives of abstraction and figuration. It was not until the mid-1950s that Irvin finally moved away from relying on figures and social realism in his work and embraced an approach closer to metaphor and the abstract.
Irvin’s reputation began to swell in the art world as his paintings grew in merit, maturity of style, and value. He was invited to display his work at more and more exhibitions in both Britain and abroad. A new freedom to experiment also found its way into over his work as he ‘played’ with canvas size, colour, structure, shape, and composition.
Later the artist began to experiment with the medium of his art. He changed from oil to acrylic in the early 1970s and had a short-lived foray into lithography in 1975. He then began a screenprinting career in 1980 with Advanced Graphics London. The collaborative approach of screenprinting, although a new and very different outlet from painting, still allowed Irvin to display many of his characteristic traits as an artist. He would quickly affirm his reputation as one as one of Britain’s foremost printmakers.
I have been painting for approximately 2 years and find painting extremely therapeutic and cathartic. I trained many years ago at Hereford Art college and Manchester University (BA).I spent my 20’s being a singer songwriter and running a small music studio – playing Glastonbury and many other venues. I currently work as a children’s mental health therapist in the NHS – I returned to painting after the birth of my daughter and have found it gives me space to explore my inner emotional states and sense of connection to nature. Mood, colour and light tend to be the signature style of my work. I feel passionately that art should be available to all.
These are pieces one and two of the Elements series, entitled 7 waves ( 7 pictures in all). These pieces are about capturing movement, energy and the overwhelming power of natures elements. The works reflect my inner landscape at times as an artist and my sense of connection to nature and her cycles of evolution, life and death. The light represents the powerful force of evolution in both the physical, natural world and human kinds inner turmoil in our struggle to evolve to a more enlightened state.