CARRY AKROYD - FOUND IN THE FIELDS
June 11 - July 19, 2019
Weekdays 10.00 - 17.00
At the core of this exhibition are 16 hand-drawn lithographs that incorporate words from poems by John Clare, bringing the 19th century poet’s words to the present day.
Words and images express a concern and fascination about the natural world. Carry Akroyd has for many years maintained, alongside other painting and printmaking, a vein of work relating to the poet whose work has a particular relevance for today. It is a connection she has returned to many times; her earlier Clare-related images were published in a large format book in 2009, and the lithograph series are included in her latest book published in 2017.
Lynne Strover Presents:
Friday 5 - 20 October 2018
Daily (including Sundays) 11.00 -16.00
Free Admission - No need to book.
Talk given by Fred Ingrams on Saturday 13th October - 15.00 (Free Admission)
The Fens are perhaps the least loved landscape in Britain. For some reason the flatness of this huge area of Eastern England does not capture the heart. It is a landscape that does not fit into the ideal of a rolling “green and pleasant land”. They are, on the other hand as flat as a billiard table and to most people, featureless and grim. It is an industrial landscape reclaimed from the sea by Vermuyden and Bedford filled with rows of regimented crops growing in the black soil. The wind blows from from the east and is cold and nagging. The people who live there appear, like the wind, cold and unfriendly. It is for all these reasons I feel so at home painting in the Fens.
Most of Britain’s rural landscape has been forged over time by farmers and is a totally unnatural manufactured facade. This is even more true in the Fens. Almost every inch has been fought for and is still being drained today via hundreds of miles of ditches, drains and rivers that crisscross the land. The constant draining and erosion caused by the wind and the soil oxidizing means the land is sinking and will one day be surely reclaimed once again by the sea. It is a landscape that feels fragile and brittle that hovers between over-draining and flooding, in between the sky and the sea.
The only sounds are distant tractors, the calls of lapwings, warblers and the cry of Marsh Harriers. It seems that peoples fear of flatness keeps the Fens empty. Flatness also changes everything when you look into the distance. Distances becomes hard to judge and perspective seems altered from the normal, making it like no other place in Britain. It is this flatness that protects the Fens and makes it one of the best kept secrets of our landscape. It is place full of strange stories, myths, strange place names and strange people. It is a landscape that is on the outside of a world that exists beyond the horizon.
ELAINE PAMPHILON AND CHRISTOPHER MARVELL
BEING IN THE LANDSCAPE THEN AND NOW
22nd June - 5th July 2018
Elaine Pamphilon is a painter and harpist dividing her talents equally between these two creative areas. She studied the harp with David Watkins, principal harpist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and in Paris with Solange Renie-Siguret. After obtaining a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music she received lessons from the famous Welsh harpist Ossian Ellis. She started to paint in the mid 1980's at Homerton College, Cambridge where she studied under Kay Melzi.
In Elaine's painting the vibrant colour, bold formal design and sensitive line gain their inspiration from the rich visual environment of her home with its collections of found objects and also from the world of music and literature. She often adds elements of collage or other media to her clear confident use of watercolour and acrylic.
With a house and studio in St. Ives, she enjoys drinking coffee sitting on the slate step, and taking in the view looking down over the bay. Living high on the hill, Elaine loves the 'house by the sea' feeling in paintings with distant views of boats, sea and shorelines and close up detail of flowers on a table, pebbles and shells, with favourite cups, mugs and bowls. She works on canvas, board and paper using mixed media to create the line and surface that is necessary.
Christopher Marvell’s works impose themselves as seemingly blunt facts, but on deeper reflection they initiate a subtle dialogue that cajoles us to contemplate not only the relationship between human and animal, but also between the human/animal archetype and the human/animal condition itself. Somehow, his animals do not contain individual character, but rather they suggest the character of their species as distilled through human convention and consciousness.
Conceived through drawing, expressed initially in maquette, fixed in plaster and fully realised in bronze, the sculpture of Christopher Marvell is sparing in detail but fulsome in association. The solid, substantial, patinated human and animal subjects that constitute the larger part of his output manage to achieve an irresistible balance between humour and pathos, ugliness and beauty, strength and weakness, past and present, and art and craft. Bringing to mind elements of the works of Marini, Giacometti, Miro and Moore, Christopher Marvell’s broadly representational sculpture is often charmingly quirky without ever being diminished by its idiosyncrasy.
Whether realised as solitary figures, as arranged groups, or in juxtaposition with the man-made, Christopher Marvell’s sculpture – which appears as if formed of the very bones of the earth – also steers us into a reassessment of our conceptions both of the ‘nature of things’ and of the ‘things of nature’. The intense patination is essentially natural, and yet it is also the product of human judgement and human promotion. Whilst presenting itself as natural; rough, eroded and aged; devoid of ‘precious’ value, the aesthetic stipulation cannot prevent our understanding that it conceals bronze as we most often conceive it: man-made, shiny, ornamental and precious. This is sculpture that appears to be what it is, but nevertheless asks what it is to ‘appear to be’ anything.