We have attended the following events in recent times
Three events at the Towner art Gallery, Eastbourne
July, Ravilious and Co. The Pattern of Friendship (27 May- 17 September)
This very full exhibition, which we needed to visit twice in July to fully appreciate, marked the 75th anniversary of Ravilious’s death in 1942. It documents his relationship with friends, lovers and affiliates who were also frequently his co-workers; amongst them Paul Nash, Enid Marx, Barnett Freedman, Tirzah Garwood, Edward Bawden, Peggy Angus and Helen Binyon, all of whose work is also displayed. The exhibition works chronologically through Ravilious’s own and the others work, from their time at the Royal College of Art to life at Peggy Angus’s cottage ‘Furlongs’ in East Sussex and their roles as artists in the Second World War. Most noticeably and illuminatingly, for us, it gave a strong sense of the various media these friends worked in from water colours and pencil to woodcuts and prints, book jackets and illustrations, posters, wallpaper and fabric design.
A further visit to the Towner in August for a talk Prints by Ravilious & Co. with Jeremy Greenwood highlighted the role of Paul Nash in inspiring the revival in printmaking carried forward by Ravilious, Tirzah Garwood, Douglas Percy Bliss, Edward Bawden and Enid Marx.
The book by Andy Friend Ravilious and Co. The Pattern of Friendship (2017) provides an absorbing, illustrated account of the work and networked lives of these artists from the 1920s through to the 1940s with a brief Aftermath.
Our third event at the Towner was a preview of the exhibition A Green and Pleasant Land (running until 21st January 2018) devoted principally to photography, with film and some sculpture, from the 1970s through to today. As the curator Greg Hobson explained the exhibition illustrates a governing tension between those works which view the British landscape with a social or political eye and those who bring to it a more meditative or spiritual perspective. Whereas the first show a populated landscape of people, buildings, ruins or industrial sites, the second draw attention to light, texture, mystery and a suggested transcendental ambiance. Of the fifty or so artists included we would pick out the work of John Davies whose large detailed photographs (eg ‘Agecroft Power Station’ which shows an amateur football match dwarfed by four massive cooling towers) belong firmly to the first tendency.
Soul of a Nation at Tate Modern
In October we visited the exhibition Soul of a Nation at Tate Modern; a comprehensive exhibition of ‘art in the age of Black Power’ from 1963 into the 1980s. The change in language from the use of the term ‘Negro’ (used by Martin Luther King) to ‘Black’ and to ‘Afro-American or ‘African-American’ over these decades accompanied the changes in art, as a vehicle of protest and affirmation from street art to the inspiration of African design in representational and abstract art. 12 rooms take the viewer through this complex story.
Also in October we visited the exhibition of work by Lorna Kirin (formerly Holdcroft) at the Ashdown Gallery, Forest Row. We had seen her work at Lewes Art Wave in 2015 and were delighted and inspired to see these new paintings – so much so that we broke the bank to buy one! Her work can be seen on the Gallery’s website: http://www.ashdowngallery.com/ or on her own website with her husband, the artist Stephen Kirin, at https://thekirins.com/lorna-kirin/
Another purchase was a small painting in oils ‘Into the clear’ by Marco Crivello.
In November, we visited the exhibition Impressionists in London at Tate Britain. It was good to see the Monet but too many works were by non-impressionist French artists who chose to visit London.
In February 2018, Peter had the painting ‘Their wedding, his books, our chair’ (below) selected for the Open Exhibition of work by Lewes’ artists held at Pelham House Hotel. The exhibition ran to the 7th March.
The Curator, Sarah Rigler deserves to be congratulated on a varied and stirring show. However, unfortunately, this is apparently to be the last Open Exhibition to be held at Pelham House.