Do you have as untidy a studio as mine? I only ask because I’ve been trying for quite a while now (the very decent Climate Change weather helped…the studio can be perishing in mid-winter) to do some housekeeping. Tucked away in back a bunch of smaller canvases that, for whatever reason, never got fully resolved. Including these two from back in the day…well five years or so ago. Around the time I was working on a bunch of big canvases (well biggish nowadays) that showed at the Carnival Of Monsters in Beeston, Nottingham in 2014. These had started out as the continuation of the Conversation Pieces that in turn began back in the late noughties but altered tack during the painting process erasing the more biomorphic forms with a renewed interest in formalism (albeit of a cranky kind). I say biggish because at 7 by 5 foot they would have been considered fairly tiddly back in the days I was a student at Birmingham where the legacy of John Walker was writ large – literally so!
But alongside the bigger pieces I made these smaller panels, indeed I made several even smaller still. Getting them out suggested they might have made the cut…excepting that they needed a small adjustment here and there which is exactly what they’ve just been given. Are these new completed works to be dated 2014/19 or is that as pretentious as I’ve always thought it to be when seen about the place..?
Another Conversation Piece…a smaller picture that didn’t make it to the Carnival Of Monsters but did get onto the wall during Open Studios last weekend – though what with one thing and another it seems so long ago.
I’m sitting in on Carnival of Monsters today (18 Oct.) from Noon till 3pm and tomorrow from 4:30 till 6:30pm. if you’ve time to pop along and have a chat about the Conversation series (showing alongside HMS colleagues). When I’m not there I’ll be working on the catalogue for Happy Little Fat Man – Art by Kevin Coyne on at various locations around Derby in November, December & January – more details to follow shortly!
It doesn’t look too hard but there was quite a bit of work getting the Conversation series installed in Bartons for The Carnival Of Monsters (opening this very evening). There is a solid contingent of us from Harrington Mill Studios showing and alongside my own there were several others to be hung. However we are quite pleased with how its turned out and the big open space suits the canvases pretty well. During daylight hours it looks well and it will be interesting to see how the lighting effects the work this evening. Alongside this my wife (painter Sarah R Key) and myself had conspired to be showing simultaneously…or at least installing at the same time (her show opens next Tuesday evening). It saved van hire costs but meant we had quite a solid two days activity!
As it turned out we managed to make both trips on day one so yesterday was rather more pleasurable…simply putting the work up in the lovely and rather elegant New Court Gallery at Repton School. So two busy days but both of us happy with the way it has all turned out. But both of us have foresworn too much more exhibition activity (at least of our own work) for the next few months.
Today I was in the studio first photographing and then preparing the canvases to go to the Carnival Of Monsters. A bigger task than seemed wise given the back end of the week past and the prospect of a full day teaching tomorrow…nonetheless one that needs to be sorted out. I’m looking forward to seeing the four canvases in this collection exhibited together in a space where they can breathe. This is one of them titled Conversation Piece – Not Too Bad. It is 220 x 150 cms. and Acrylic on Canvas, 2013/14.
So despite all the patronising blather the Westminster elite can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to their core business of placating and sustaining the international financiers and no doubt ignore the Scots and the rest of us… Moving right along I’m looking forward to being a part of Salon 6 in a couple weeks time…and although I know a fair few of the artists showing there will be new pieces that will surprise and delight. Coincidently the selection of works that Rachael made of mine comprised the Full Metal Jacket series…though we both acknowledged that she couldn’t show all eight…and it is one of the images from that series that I took my detail for (detail) that opens tonight at Transition Gallery in London.
I’d have been there but for the really nasty cold that has settled on my chest and, since my heart bypass seven years back, I tend to take these things quite carefully nowadays. So at home for me I’m afraid. It’s a triple blow really as I had hoped that my wife and myself could have taken in Late Turner and also showed up if only for a few minutes at the last ever Lion + Lamb opening.
The loss of any gallery is sad of course but for us painters the Lion + Lamb is particularly devastating…it has been a beacon of light for painting over the past two years and the curation (and I use the term advisedly unlike as is often the case nowadays) has been of the highest order. It will be very sorely missed.
So…moving on again…with Salon 6 and (detail) my wife Sarah R Key and myself will have shown together twice recently. Now its Sarah’s turn to have another solo show – at the New Court Gallery at Repton.
This opens in October so we are full on with preparations for this now. The New Court is a smashing space so it should prove to be quite a show. Also coming up fast is Beeston’s Carnival of Monsters…where I’m hoping to show several of the large Conversation pieces…though I haven’t as yet managed to resolve all of them (note to self best get my finger out!). And of course following on not so far ahead from all this will be the Happy Little Fat Man show featuring the work of Kevin Coyne. As I type this I’m also thinking that I’m feeling a little better today…and when I think of all the foregoing its probably just as well!