I am delighted to have been notified that my portrait of Rozanne Hawksley has been selected for The forthcoming RBSA Portrait Prize Exhibition 2017
“Artist Interrupted; a portrait of Rozanne Hawksley”
oil on canvas with copper wire, feathers and iron nails. 112x91cm
“Shortly after moving West Wales in the early 2000’s, I came across two assemblages by Rozanne Hawksley. My initial response was that here were the products of a first-rate intelligence. My second musing was why I had not seen her art back in London when I was living there. Why, in a lean period for British art -all seductive surface but gravitas-light, had her name not been regularly heralded in the [inter]national art press? Hers is a body of work which authoritatively identifies what it means to be human, through meditations on love and loss, bereavement and grief, who investigates the drive toward conflict and the desire for peace. This moral, principled and humane artist questions Christianity and its validity in the 21st Century by turning its own artillery of fetishism and ritual on itself. All this is achieved without sermonising, through powerful, memorable visual imagery comprising stitch-work, bone, paint and fabric. These elements are manipulated and transformed to serve a new purpose, akin to the evolutionary process of preadaptation in nature. Hawksley is undoubtedly an artist whose work will, in time, be elevated to its rightful level in the history of art. The relative obscurity in which she currently operates prompts the question: just how many other artists of genuine merit remain undiscovered by the contemporary art scene? How many creative voices remain unheard by today’s influential critics and curators who are intellectually hamstrung by a belief that the provinces are a state of mind and not simply a geographical entity, and who are thereby incapable of looking at anything beyond either the M25 or our solipsistic art education system?”
Glenn Ibbitson: ‘Consignment’
Nant Publishing ISBN: 978-0-9563567-2-7
Exhibition 27 July — 19 August 2017. RBSA Gallery is open 7 days a week and is free entry. Group visits are welcome. If you would like to book a group visit or tour, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delighted to have two paintings from the ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ series accepted for
Royal Birmingham Society of Artists
Friends Exhibition 2017
‘Horus, the Magician’ and ‘the Emerald Archer’ both oil on canvas; each 122 x 92cm
29 June — 22 July 2017
4 Brook Street
Monday to Friday 10:30am – 5:30pm
Saturdays 10:30am – 5:00pm
Sundays 1pm – 5:00pm
Admission – Free
Two paintings accepted for the Ardent Gallery Open Exhibition, Brecon
6th July 2017 – 3rd August 2017
CONSIGNMENT BATCH 31 UNITS 3 & 5
Preview evening Thursday 6th July; 6 – 8pm
Gallery Contact Information:
46 the High Street, Brecon, Powys, LD3 7AP, 01874 623333
#ardentgallery #Ardent Open
With increasing frequency, I am being asked by galleries if they may be allowed to offer discounts on my works which they are showing.
The enquiry usually runs along the following lines…
“I just wanted to let you know our usual policy on sales discounts. Firstly we do not volunteer discounts, it is only if a potential buyers asks and we feel it would ‘seal the deal’ would we consider it. As with usual ‘gallery practice’ we would not offer anymore than 10% – less if at all possible. Could you let me know if this would be agreeable to you?”
I find this grossly insulting, and I hope other artists do too. Before I had ever submitted the artwork to the gallery, I spent much time carefully pricing the work submitted as per my usual practice. After considerations of materials, time, commission and transport costs are taken into account, I am making something barely above minimum wage. My margins are as tight as any serious practicing artist I know.
Moreover, I tend to feel that if a person asks for and receives a discount, they don’t actually deserve to own one of my artworks. They devalue my work and demean themselves. They don’t actually appreciate the artwork; it has simply become another commodity bargain target. Worse for them, if their offer is accepted by the artist, they are left with a vaguely nagging suspicion that if they had held out further, they might have won a greater concession from the gallery.
Whenever I have asked such a buyer [and it is usually a doctor, lawyer or dentist] if they would be prepared offer a discount for their services to anyone who cared to haggle, they don’t entertain the concept! How strange..
Of more importance to me is the real sense that if I did offer concessions on my art, I would be doing previous purchasers of my work, who did not press for a discount, a great disservice. Why should they be penalised for paying the asking price without question?
I actually do offer discounts on sales -but these are only available to people who have bought my work in the past. This is a policy which rewards loyalty. I recommend this to other artists as an operational model.
Orwell: The Road to Wigan Pier
A variable edition of four screen prints Six layers; acrylic, acrylic silver, adhesive and graphite powder. March 2017
George Orwell has for me, that most unusual knack of being able through his writing style, to place me as the reader at the very centre of the action; as the protagonist. When I am reading him, I am Gordon Comstock, I am Winston Smith, I am George Bowling. I am the passenger on the train crossing the North of England catching sight of the woman clearing the drain…* A very few books have placed me in such a position. “Catch 22” did; “Moby Dick” too. Orwell achieves this with a consistency I cannot find in any other of my favourite writers -not even Sterne. I use this sense of subjectivity to excuse my hubris in placing myself as the image in these prints on the same surface as the great man’s name.
The composition of tonal blocks separated horizontally and then overlapped into strata was employed to suggest a vertical cross-section mapping through the earth; vital information in the search for valuable coal seams worth mining.
Graphite powder was utilised to echo the dust and grime associated with the activity and products of heavy industry. “The Road to Wigan Pier” is a book so evocative of its geographical and economic setting that after each reading, I find myself inspecting my fingernails for any buildup of coal dust and metal particles under them. It seemed logical that my treatment of this particular book in Orwell’s canon should be monochromatic, rather than the multiple colour layers I used for other prints in this series. Another; “Homage to Catalonia” was printed using a brick red of the earth and the red and yellow of the region’s [country’s] flag. British newsreels from the 1930’s were shot on black and white film stock; we view the period through archived treasures such as Picture Post and the BBC Hulton Picture Library. People of course lived this age in colour; we find it difficult to acknowledge this, such is the pervasive power of the photographic image.** Only our own lives are lived in glorious technicolor.
The Orwell covers will be on view at Printfest @printfestnews in Ulverston in April.
*“The train bore me away, through the monstrous scenery of slag-heaps, chimneys, piled scrap-iron, foul canals, paths of cindery mud criss-crossed by the prints of clogs. This was March, but the weather had been horribly cold and everywhere there were mounds of blackened snow. As we moved slowly through the outskirts of the town we passed row after row of little grey slum houses running at right angles to the embankment. At the back of one of the houses a young woman was kneeling on the stones, poking a stick up the leaden waste-pipe which ran from the sink inside and which I suppose was blocked. I had time to see everything about her—her sacking apron, her clumsy clogs, her arms reddened by the cold. She looked up as the train passed, and I was almost near enough to catch her eye. She had a round pale face, the usual exhausted face of the slum girl who is twenty-five and looks forty, thanks to miscarriages and drudgery; and it wore, for the second in which I saw it, the most desolate, hopeless expression I have ever-seen. It struck me then that we are mistaken when we say that ‘It isn’t the same for them as it would be for us,’ and that people bred in the slums can imagine nothing but the slums. For what I saw in her face was not the ignorant suffering of an animal. She knew well enough what was happening to her—understood as well as I did how dreadful a destiny it was to be kneeling there in the bitter cold, on the slimy stones of a slum backyard, poking a stick up a foul drain-pipe.”
** The Hellenistic world is also viewed as a clean, ‘white’ age, thanks to the exhumation of sculpture and architecture bleached and weathered of its original polychromy. By contrast, the Renaissance may seem to us a riot of colour, thanks to the efforts of Van Eyck, Titian and Veronese [-and an absence of any monochromatic photographic archive]