Saturday, 24 January 2009

Worcester Graduate

Aiden Parsonage is one of the exhibitors in the Graduation Show at the Gallery. As he lives locally and gained one of the early degrees from Worcester University I would like to show you some of his work and pass on what he has to say -

"I guess my inspiration to draw and paint began when I was very young. I liked the reaction I received from others when I created an image on paper. I suppose everything I do, (down to styling my hair!) is to provoke a reaction - a positive one hopefully.

I was told at the tender age of two, I would sometimes sit and crayon for hours. On regular car journeys, I would get excited at the sight of the buildings and the chimneys that towered up into the sky. Maybe, it was how different the very same structures appeared against a changing skyline that interested me. This may have led me to where I am today...

At the age of seven, I was invited to draw a portrait from an old photograph. The artist said because of the detail I had shown, that I had a leaning toward graphic art. I enjoyed working in monotone and fine detail for years, winning a local arts and crafts competition with a pencil drawing of an old ruined Welsh chapel when I was fifteen years old.

I continued in my art studies, with still life and landscape, but it was during my time at Telford College of Art and Technology, and modules based on colour that seemed to unleash my inspiration to work with colour structures and pattern. I was very interested in the works of Gustav Klimt.

I have recently graduated from The University of Worcester with a B.A. Honours degree in Art and Design. During my final year there, I was painting, but felt no real connection with the subject matter, until I stumbled across the works of Turner. It was like a "light bulb had been switched on in my head"!

Aiden also says " It has been a fantastic journey, and it's continuing.... "

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Friends reunited after 25 years

Received this email from Amanda Weight one of our exhibitors in the Graduate Show and I would like to share it with you -

"When The Gallery at Bevere posted the names of the Graduate Show exhibitors on the web site they contacted me to say that one of the other artists, Annabelle Elletson, wanted to get in touch. I was amazed and thrilled because Annabelle and I used to work together restoring antique china in a studio in Battersea and we lost touch when I left in 1984!

I immediately rang Annabelle and we arranged to meet at the exhibition opening. She hasn’t changed a jot, and over a coffee we filled each other in on the main events of the missing 25 years. Having both brought up our children, 4 for her and 2 for me, amazingly we both made the same decision to go to university, Annabelle to study fine art at Hereford and me, ceramics at Farnham and by sheer coincidence we were both selected to exhibit at the same exhibition at Bevere.

Since our meeting I have now been contacted by another member of the studio and we are planning a reunion for all 6 of the restorers who worked together all those years ago. What a small world!"

Monday, 19 January 2009

Gates and an Alsation

What a Sunday we have just had - Round about lunchtime a very large white long haired alsation stood at the entrance gate and barked incessantly. Loud and Furious.

When approached it appeared vicious and was obviously distressed. This went on for quite a long while and visitors to the Gallery could neither (and there were quite a few walkers in the café at the time) come in nor go out.

Eventually the police arrived and were able to catch this dog with the help from neighbours and they took it to Danemere Kennels where it will be well looked after and hopefully reunited with its owner.

This brings me round to telling you about our entrance gates. These secure and ornate metal gates were fitted about this time last year.

When you visit The Gallery you can’t miss our fabulous gates designed and made by
Neil Lossock a Herefordshire metal sculptor who regularly exhibits in The Gallery Courtyard. He says "The inspiration for these gates came from the two large Chestnut trees at the entrance which have been there for many years".

Over the past decade Neil's work has received critical acclaim at both national and international level and we were pleased to include his magnificent metal sculptures in our Sculpture Trail last year and look forward to some new pieces in this year's Garden Show which opens again in June.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Heath Robinson Wall Sculpture - Graduate Show

'A simple device to facilitate artistic endeavour from the bough of a sturdy oak’ (A tribute to W. Heath Robinson)
By Amanda Weight

Amanda says-
"Since exhibiting this sculpture at the Graduate Show at The Gallery at Bevere I have been repeatedly asked two questions:
‘Why Heath Robinson?’ and ‘How did you make it?’

I’m glad to have the opportunity to answer in the hope of giving greater understanding of a piece which may be considered ‘off the wall’!

Heath Robinson is most famous for his humorous illustrations and ingenious contraptions which were usually made from everyday objects often tied, stuck and generally cobbled together. He is lesser known however for his passion for landscape painting.

Through his illustrations he poked fun at ‘modern living’ reminding the viewer not to take life too seriously, and that given a little ingenuity and utility most problems can be overcome.

I decided to make a tribute which embraced Heath Robinson’s love of landscape painting and the drawn line, whilst reflecting his light hearted approach to problem solving and his ability to maximise the value of every day objects.

The ‘simple device’ (of which only the front section is portrayed) is designed to be used like a cinema ice cream seller’s tray; hanging around the neck from a pair of old trouser braces which are attached by buttons. In order to climb up into a tree the device is hung over the back and swung into place once a comfortable position in the bough has been found.

Description from left to right:

The picnic basket - an absolute essential for overall enjoyment, is bolted to the artist’s box, the drawer of which is open to reveal useful bits and pieces including a candle and matches to be used in the event of being overtaken by time! Resting on the box is the sketch pad and pencil which require no explanation and below is a bird’s nest and leaves to remind the viewer of the purpose of the piece. Attached via screws is the artist’s palette in which holes have been cut to hold the pots required for brushes and water and bolted to the far right of the device is a fishing reel. Hanging from the turned brackets are a cup and whistle. Should a nice cup of tea be required the artist has only to blow on the whistle whereupon a willing and able assistant will come rushing along with a kettle of boiling water, the artist lowers the teapot attached to the fishing reel and water is poured in to defuse with the tealeaves already in the pot, now all that is required is to unhook the cup, lean back and enjoy the landscape –

This piece was made from Vingerling Stoneware.
The objects included were hand modelled individually and then joined together with the piece lying on its back direct to the kiln shelf. Much keyhole working was required and a large number of props were necessary to hold the pieces in order that they wouldn’t flop during firing. The piece took 3 weeks to dry fully and the biscuit firing was very slow to 1000˚ C. The under glaze line was then added and the final firing was to 1260˚ C.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Map Jewellery

Clare who looks after the jewellery we have on offer in the Gallery tells me that that Fiona Mitcham has some very interesting silverwork in The Graduate Show.

I would like to share with you what Fiona,
who recently graduated from Hereford College of Arts with a First Class Honours degree in Contemporary Applied Arts says about her work-

My jewellery designs are influenced by topographical maps, navigational charts and devices. I enjoy the intricate graphic detailing of both old and foreign maps, exploring the complex layers I discover the subtle variation of line quality, repetition and tiny symbols. Parts of the silver are etched with sections of maps which interact with the bold lines and curves of wire. The maps can be of personal significance, they can represent place, time and memories. On a recent trip to the Oxford Science Museum I discovered ancient aids to navigation, hand crafted devices created to explore and understand the world and solar system. These structures are the inspiration for the strong symbolic forms I create

Fiona will make special jewellery to order if you would like your own village or house featured provided there is a map reference to it. A lovely silver wedding present I think.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Henry Sandon’s Surprise Visit

During Henry’s visit to the Gallery at Bevere's Graduate Show he enjoyed talking to many of the graduates.

This picture shows him talking to Jane White deeply engrossed in the art of ‘Pit Firing
and studying one of her completed bowls.

This is what Jane has to say -

“Jane Perryman says in her book ‘Smoke Firing’, that the practice of pit-firing was ‘developed in California during the 1970’s and 80’s, partly inspired by the explorations into low-temperature firing techniques by the ceramicist and educator Hal Riegger.’ In fact it often takes place on the beaches out there as a kind of communal pit-firing beach party, which sounds great fun!

I was inspired to start pit-firing during my 3rd year at University, and after attending one of Jane’s ‘Summer Workshops’ in Suffolk. The whole process with its risks, excitement, and endless possibilities fascinated me, and I couldn’t wait to get started. Fortunately I live on an isolated farm, as I tend to fill the valley with smoke on pit-firing days! Also I had access to all the machinery to dig my pit, which is about 20ft long, 5ft across and 4ft deep, and to keep it supplied with wood and sawdust.

My work is all hand built and burnished several times with semi-precious polished stones, and after applying a fine slip to the ware it is low bisque fired. I wrap copper wire and all sorts of organic material, seaweed, driftwood, and copper compounds around the pieces, as ‘newspaper parcels’. With other pieces I just place the material around or in the ware, and then add more material and cow manure to the sawdust in the pit, before placing about 3ft of timber on top, some straw and paper, and then setting light to it all! After an intense burning for about 3 to 4 hours I cover the pit with metal sheets and leave it for about 36 hours to cool slowly and allow the volatile gases which swirl around the pit to make their marks.

Unearthing it all on the third day is somewhat akin to an archaeological dig, as you never know what you are going to find, sometimes amazing, sometimes disappointing, but I always try and learn something each time”

Saturday, 10 January 2009

The Launch of the Graduation Show

Loads of people turned up in spite of the cold to view the very varied artworks of last Year’s graduates from all over England.

We were delighted to welcome HENRY SANDON and his wife to the gallery again. He said how thrilled he was to meet so many up and coming students and see their work of such fine quality.

The Gallery staff and the 'Café Upstairs' were very busy welcoming so many guests from far and wide

This exhibition runs till February 1st and is open 10.30am – 5pm daily (Closed on Mondays)

Friday, 9 January 2009

The Graduate Show

These artist's and maker's beautiful quality artwork is being exhibited in the Graduate Show, which runs from
10th January - 6th February

The Gallery at Bevere looks fantastic and we are looking forward to meeting some of them tomorrow.

Artists and Makers
  • Jane Bevan (Glass) - Plymouth
  • Clare Curtis (Ceramics) ­ Canterbury, Christchurch
  • Laura Ferguson (Ceramics) - MMU
  • Fiona Mitcham (Jewellery) - Hereford
  • Martin Geyer (Ceramics) - Wolverhampton
  • Stephen Hayward (Glass) - Wolverhampton
  • Tanya La Mantia (Ceramics) - Brighton
  • David Roberts (Glass) - Plymouth
  • Elisa Robinson (Glass) - MMU
  • Nathalie Roset (Ceramics) - Farnham
  • Jonathan Stringer (Metal) - Hereford
  • Penelope Timms (Glass/Metal) - Hereford
  • Cat Wake (Metal) - Hereford
  • Amanda Weight (Ceramics) - Farnham
  • Jane White (Ceramics) ­ Buckingham New University
  • Nina Lucas (Textile/Ceramics) - Cumbria
  • Thomas Hopkins Gibson (Ceramics/Wood) - Cumbria
  • Pam Frith (Painting) - Hereford
  • Annabelle Elletson (Painting) - Hereford
  • Jan Trewin (Painting) - Hereford
  • Aiden Parsonage (Painting) - Worcester

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Out With The Old and In With The New

The Gallery team have been very busy with the rehang.

They have been changing everything ready for our first exhibition of the year -

The Graduate Show.

We believe that we have a role in promoting the work of those talented artists/makers that emerge each year from colleges and universities.

Four members of our exhibitions team attended a number of graduate shows around the country back in the summer and returned with their recommendations.

Now new ceramics, metal and glasswork pieces, paintings and interesting Jewellery from selected graduates are being unpacked and displayed ready for the Launch on Saturday.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Three Chimneys

Lots of large parcels have been arriving for the Graduate Show.

These delivered into our pottery were especially intriguing and upon opening them we found three large life like Chimney pots in terracotta clay – sculptures by
Natalie Roset a graduate from Farnhem.

These will find their way for exhibition in the New Gallery Space ready for the launch of the Graduate Show next Saturday 10th January 09

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Twelfth Night

Anita's Designs - Decorative Art

Anita has arrived to clear her remaining Christmas displays from The Gallery’s Stable Exhibition space, and to replace them with many colourful floral decorations.

These wonderful flower arrangements have lifted my spirits and make me feel that summer and the warmer weather is not far away.

Monday, 5 January 2009

The Framing Shop

This is the busiest and the hub of activities here. ‘The Gallery at Bevere’ Reception and
Framing Department is situated at one end of the New Gallery Space.

This building started life, believe it or not as a chicken house.

All framing is done on the spot and Alastair and his team are always busy framing not only paintings but also all sorts of items from Cricket stumps to Wedding dresses.

At the moment they are involved in framing 65 different items ready for an exhibition in London starting mid January.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Frosty Morning

Thought I would share this with you - view from my window this morning.

Some of you who visited our Sculptor Trail last summer will remember
Carole Waller's 8ft Glass Sculptor standing proud in the sunshine.

'The Café Upstairs'

At the top of the stairs I am given a very warm friendly welcome by Maddie who looks after the Café which offers speciality hot and cold drinks as well as gourmet freshly prepared delicatessen light bites.

There are two light airy rooms –one over looking the courtyards with interesting sculptures, at this time of year some pansies, the framing shop, the New Gallery and the stable full of Anita’s Designs. There is an exhibition now of prints for children and the young at heart.

This room (14 seats) is available for hire for meals, parties, talks, exhibitions or just meeting friends.

Today I will chose the other room, which over looks the walled garden of Bevere Knoll, the main house, and catch a glimpse of the pond, palm trees and spacious lawns also enjoy the paintings of local scenes

I wonder what I shall have for lunch today –a bacon and brie panini, scrambled egg with smoked salmon, granary bread and salad garnish or as it is so cold I might go for
Tomato and basil soup.

The Café is open daily 10.30am – 4pm. (Closed Mondays)

Friday, 2 January 2009

Exhibition Space - The Coach House .

I would like to introduce you to one of our exhibition spaces on this sunny January morning.

This building used to house, in days gone by coaches and a stable block. Now there are ever
changing exhibitions of quality artwork
for visitors to browse on the way to ' The Cafe Upstairs' which is open daily except for Mondays.