Blog Update: 06-05-2017

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Some days, running a small business you wake up and before you know it your in bed again wondering where the day has gone. Sometimes those days become weeks and sometimes those weeks…Well, you get the picture! To summarise, we’ve been busy and as a result, we’ve missed a lot of blog updates. So prepare yourselves for a long one today, as we catch you up on the last few weeks…

To start, we’re going to point you back to our last blog post in case you missed it. We had some great updates including new workshops moving into Chelston, an update on our September artist, Martin Bush’ exhibition over in Plymouth, and a sneaky reminder that some of us were sunning ourselves off in the Caribbean! Go and give it a read if you need a double whammy of Artizan blogging in your life.

http://www.artizangallery.co.uk/article/410-blog-update-15-04-2017

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Future Workshops at Chelston

Moving swiftly on, we’ll start with a look way back to April; does everyone remember April still!? We had the pleasure of attending the opening of Torbay Guild of Artists 50th Anniversary Exhibition at the wonderful Spanish Barn next to Torre Abbey on Wednesday 12th. If anyone is in any doubt that Torbay is a place full of creatives then this exhibition left little doubt, with over 200 pieces of art produced by artists living and working here in the Bay. We were pleased to see work from many artists who have also exhibited here at the gallery or whose work we know, and also enjoyed discovering some new artists.

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Torbay Guild of Artist 50th Anniversary Exhibition

Photo Credit: Torbay Guild of Artists

On Saturday 20th I then had the pleasure of discovering another new artist, though this one was less local, a relatively unknown painter named Pierre de Cramer. No longer living, his extensive collection is now in the hands of his grandson, Michel Thomas. Pierre de Cramer was a Belgium artist and much of his work depicts scenes from the area in which he lived, both in Belgium and also for a time when he worked in Montmartre which is where the family believe he was inspired to take up painting this being the area in France famous for some of the great painters that we know today. The family are now looking to have an exhibition of his work to commemorate him and want to keep it local so that it can be shared with friends and family. A fascinating story to be told behind the man with the paintings giving a fascinating insight into his life and something to look forward to at the gallery in 2018.

We were also very excited to be invited to attend the launch night of the first annual Cockington Art Path Sculpture Trail organised by Marissa Wakefield and curated by Phil Dixon, Saturday 22nd. We loved getting a sneak peek at some of the amazing sculptures and installations dotted around the grounds, and Julie had a great time exploring the Walled Art Garden. Favourite moments included dropping in on artist-in-residence and regular Artizan exhibitor James Derwin as he worked on his Parasitised Caterpillar, and ogling the giant sausage roll baked in honour of Sculpture Trail 2017! Make sure the visit the trail, which will be in place for the Summer season!

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Cockington Court Sculpture Trail 2017

Photo Credit: Frances Croft-Wang

On the same weekend, the Torquay Community Development Trust hosted an intergeneration redecoration project to create a mural for their meeting room. We weren’t able to pop down unfortunately, but we’ve seen the results and don’t they look great!

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TCDT Mural

Photo Credit: TCDT

During our period of silence, we’ve flown through a handful of exhibitions at the Gallery. A short but sweet showing of Richard Slater and Arthur Homeshaw wrapped up April for us with some exciting unseen works from both on the Gallery’s walls. We’ll be making the full collection available online shortly, so watch this space. We then swiftly moved into May and kicked off shows from Charles Somerton and Jo west!

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Nightwave by Arthur Homeshaw

“Cosmography: Paintings and Drawings by Charles Somerton” takes up the Main Gallery and this really is a stunning show. Charles takes his influence from a number of religious, scientific and spiritual foundations, producing works in the style of Cosmograms. Culturally, these Cosmograms have many different roles; they have been interpreted as maps of the universe, geometrical studies; they scale from Buddhist and Hindu Mandala through to the stone circles of the “Pagan” pre-Christian Northern European cultures. Charles draws upon all these influences to create a non-sectarian cosmography using a universal language. Each piece uses a distinct and controlled colour palette, offering a mesmerising symmetry and geometry with a degree of detail and accuracy which when viewed at a distance gives the impression of machined perfection. But look a little closer at these works and the human is revealed; delicate brush strokes, minute deviations and very rarely, a missing spot… Imperfections which make these pieces so perfect. Charles exhibition runs until 20th May.

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Charles Somerton in the Artizan Main Gallery

“Endless Colour: Paintings by Jo West” is our second exhibition featured in our Garden Gallery and once again, this is a faultless exhibition. Painting in acrylics, Jo produces fanciful scenes of landscapes and flora, sunsets and cloudscapes, all in beautiful candied colours or, on occasion, mysterious dark palettes. Finished in resin and with the addition of Swarovski Crystals, Silver Leaf, Mother of Pearl, Pressed Forget Me Nots and many other sparkles, the works almost make one salivate a little at their luxurious shine and secret treats. And some of the paintings hide another, alchemical secret, presenting mysterious colour changing properties. The process is, unfortunately, not quite the transmutation of base metals into gold, but Jo uses additional chemicals within the layers of resin in her works, to cause colour change at certain temperatures; hang these pieces in your home above a radiator or, better yet, a log burner and reveal a whole new magic to these already enchanting artworks. Jo’s exhibition runs until 27th May.

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Jo West in the Artizan Garden Gallery

Turning to other events in May, we attended the launch of Torbay’s Great Places Scheme which took place at the Paignton Picture House on May 2nd. Kate Farmery and the Torbay Culture Board had successfully bid for Heritage Lottery funding to run the scheme and were one of only 2 coastal communities to be awarded the money which is great news for the Bay. At the launch Kate, along with Paul Woolnough. Phil Collins, Carolyn Custerson and Jim Blackwell outlined some of the plans for how the money will be spent. It will include developing a year-round cultural calendar, townscape development arts projects and an integrated digital engagement strategy. All the presentations were filmed and we will upload the link as soon as we have it.

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Great Places Scheme Launch

Also on Tuesday, we attended the funeral of our dear friend and local artist Paul Ansell who sadly lost his battle with cancer recently. After the funeral, a memorial was held at the gallery giving friends and family the opportunity to come together to celebrate Paul’s life. Paul was a great friend to the Gallery and an exceptionally talented artist. We will miss him and our thoughts are with his family.

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Paul Ansell, Untitled #3

We finished off our week with a visit to local ceramicist Gesche Buecker at her studio in Paignton. Since opening the gallery we have always had Gesche’s work here as we love her use of colour, multiplicity of techniques and experimentation, resulting in unique bowls, dishes and cups. We have selected some new pieces and these will be on display in the gallery shortly.

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Geche Buecker in her Paignton Studio

The excitement of the Ageing Well: Symposium of Ideas has built up over the past couple of weeks. Submissions for the poetry and art competition came flooding into the gallery and we then had the hard job of judging the works which will go on display tomorrow (May 6th) at Central Church, Tor Hill Road. The Symposium will also include a day of free workshops, talks and drop-in sessions, so make sure to visit.

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So, that’s us all caught up! We’ll leave you all until next week when we promise we won’t miss our blogging deadline. In the meantime, checkout what we’ve got on in May…

 

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May 10th

Upcycling Workshop

Furniture restoration workshop with artist Gilly Pitman in support of Rowcroft Hospice.

More Info...

 

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May 22nd

Stanza Extravaganza: Headliner TBC

Complimented by the artwork of Jo West and Charles Somerton!

More Info...

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May 29th

Acoustic Night: The Boys from Melbourne Street

Curated by the fabulous Robert Spence, the Artizan Acoustic Nights are, an unplugged, open-mic evening of laidback music and melody.

This month we welcome Colin, Dave and Keith who, together, make up The Boys from Melbourne Street. They will be performing a main set alongside our regular performers.

More Info...

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May 22nd - June 2nd

David Cowell: A Tradigital Painter

David has been at the forefront of digital art technology for over 30 years and his work is a symbiosis of modern technology and years of puritan traditional painting skills. David’s work never ceases to arouse conversations and questions. His unique “Chorratinta” pictures blend a highly original force of the artist’s freehand and the benefits of a computer, resulting in masterful composition and sensual colour.