This Thursday (4th June) Christies will be auctioning an incredible collection of Shell posters which belong to Hugh Wickham, ex-head of marketing at Shell. It’s a long story with several twists and turns along the way, but all the proceeds from the sale of the posters are going straight to the Regeneration Fund of St John’s Church in Kingston-upon-Thames to help with the considerable cost of refurbishment.
The collection comprises 20 lots of approximately 42 posters from the Golden Age of Shell advertising and includes iconic images from artists and designers such as Edward Bawden, Ben Nicholson, Duncan Grant, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Richard Guyatt, John Armstrong, Abram Games, Tom Eckersley and Eric Lombers. They are mostly from the ‘You Can Be Sure of Shell’, ‘These people Use Shell’ and ‘To Visit Britain’s Landmarks’ campaigns and date predominantly from the 1930s, with a few from the 1950s. It really is a remarkable group with great provenance and it’s a great opportunity to acquire a piece of classic British advertising history.
To find out more visit the Christies website and look for lots 17 to 37.
Posted by Simon Lewin on June 2nd, 2015
Join us for the opening of Peter Green - Sixty Years of Printmaking at Mascalls Gallery, Maidstone Road, Paddock Wood, Kent TN12 6LT between 14.00 and 16.00 on Saturday 13th June 2015. The exhibition will then continue until Saturday 5th September 2015.
Peter Green has always been anxious to demystify the printing process, making it as simple and accessible as possible. For his relief printing, he does not use a press. Although this was initially a practical response to limitations of space and money, Green soon realised the advantages of printing by hand. Producing work in this way allowed him to explore the full depth of a cut block, and to control gradations of pressure and tone without any limit on paper size. Much of Peter’s work also features the use of paper stencils, rolling colour through a cut shape directly onto the paper’s surface.
Green’s images have a variety of origins, but usually emerge as part of the printing process itself rather than from extensive preliminary drawings. The initial proofed image may suggest, for example, a fantasy dreamlike landscape form, which grows progressively into something more abstract, made up of vibrant colour and shapes.
Peter Green is a teacher as well as a printmaker, having studied at Brighton College of Art and later at the Institute of Education at the University of London. He was Head of Art Teacher Training at Hornsey College of Art and then Dean of Art and Design at Middlesex University. Alongside teaching he has always continued to make his own prints, and in 1958 he was elected to the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers. In the 1960s and 70s he made a series of prints, mainly woodcuts and stencils, for London Graphic Arts. In 1988 he was awarded the OBE in recognition of his work.
We're delighted to be working with Mascalls Gallery and with the Emma Mason Gallery on this exhibition which brings together work from the past sixty years, alongside many new works produced this year. Find out more about the exhibition.
We'll be publishing a book about Peter Green's printmaking later in the summer, under our Random Spectacular imprint. Sign up for our newsletter if you'd like to receive details of this.
If you're unable to visit the exhibition, do keep an eye on our gallery website - we'll be adding further prints during the summer.
And you might like to find out more about our first fabric collaboration with Peter and Linda Green, Colourdrome.
Posted by Simon Lewin on June 1st, 2015
Monday 27th April 2015 sees the opening of two exhibitions at Edinburgh's Open Eye Gallery from our friends Brita Granström and Mick Manning.
In Sea Salt and Sour Dough, Brita will present a series of paintings capturing intimate, everyday moments inspired by her home life and the landscapes of the Scottish Borders. Playful and charming paintings which reflect her creativity in all aspects of her life.
'Sweden and the British Isles feature strongly in my paintings; environments that are always changing, never still. Painting on location both indoors and outdoors in all weathers produces images that, for me, encompass and celebrate themes of hope, humanity, life and mortality.’
For his Beasts of Scotland exhibition, Mick Manning has created a series of unique pochoir prints, created using hand-cut stencils, stippling and block printing.
Born in Yorkshire, Mick studied at Bradford, Newcastle and then the Royal College of Art. Having spent a number of years teaching artists including Mark Hearld at Glasgow School of Art, Mick now devotes him time to his illustration projects and printmaking activities.
Both exhibitions run from 27th April to 11th May 2015 at Open Eye Gallery, 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.
Rescuing The Washing Brita Granström
Vintage Plates Brita Granström
The Letter Brita Granström
Parrot Tulips Brita Granström
Setting The Table Brita Granström
Peregrine Over Edinburgh Mick Manning
Golden Eagle Mick Manning
Grey Seal Mick Manning
Lurcher Pup Mick Manning
Posted by Simon Lewin on April 14th, 2015
Our friends at Little Toller are soon to publish the first book about the artist and printmaker Rena Gardiner (1929-1999).
"Rena Gardiner dedicated her life to her art, doing so alone in a thatched cottage in the heart of Dorset. Combining the great tradition of British topographic artists with the rich era of autolithography of the 1940s and 1950s, she created her own very personal and individual visual style. An unsung heroine of printmaking, uninterested in publicity or fame, she created an artistic legacy that is instantly recognisable for its exuberant use of colour and texture."
Find out more about Rena Gardiner and the book from the Little Toller website.
Posted by Angie Lewin on March 24th, 2015
Having studied at Edinburgh College of Art, Michael Kirkman graduated from an MA course at the Royal College of Art, London in 2010.
His inspiration comes from a need to communicate moments in time that seem strange or extraordinary, to capture what goes unnoticed. Some important influences include Eduardo Paolozzi, Mimmo Paladino, Balthus, Edward Burra and Jonathan Gibbs.
Michael has exhibited at our St Jude’s In The City events in London and Edinburgh and has produced commissioned prints for the National Theatre and Palace of Westminster (to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee).
Posted by Simon Lewin on March 8th, 2015
We're pleased that we'll be working again with artist Charles Shearer who formed part of our 2010 St Jude's In The City exhibition in London.
Charles was born in Kirkwall in Orkney. He studied at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and later at the Royal College of Art, London, specialising in illustration. Charles now teaches printmaking in numerous art schools and works on commissions for books and magazines, such Faber's poetry series.
His work also features on a favourite CD at home, Drever/McCusker Woomble's Before The Ruin
His prints are inspired by his extensive travels both here and abroad.
Posted by Simon Lewin on February 19th, 2015
I was delighted to be asked to take part in the 'Nostalgia & Progress: Illustration After the Second World War' exhibition at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery in Leeds.
The exhibition explores the history of British book illustration in a fertile period after the Second World War. This era was marked not only by technological progress and innovation – even in the midst of rationing – but also by nostalgia and a romanticising of the pre-war past. Artists exhibited include Edward Bawden, Edward Ardizzone and Ronald Searle.
The exhibition also includes a display of contemporary work by artists who particularly reference this period, including Mark Hearld, Emily Sutton and Ed Kluz. I have two limited edition prints forming part of the exhibition - Shoreline and Knockando Thrift and Feathers.
The exhibition runs until 28th February 2015 at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Parkinson Building, Woodhouse Lane, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT. Find out more via the gallery's website
Here are some images of the catalogue which features essays by James Russell, Sarah Butler, Laura Millward and Layla Bloom. Copies are available for purchase from the gallery shop.
From top to bottom: Cover illustration by Edward Ardizzone, then another image from Edward Ardizzone, Charles Keeping, Esme Eve, Edward Bawden, Reg Boulton, Emily Sutton, John Broadley, Ed Kluz, Jonathan Gibbs, Angie Lewin, Edward Bawden.
Posted by Angie Lewin on February 10th, 2015
As we finalise details of our next Jonny Hannah exhibition in Edinburgh, we thought we'd take the opportunity to share a few photos from Jonny's 2010 exhibition at our former gallery in North Norfolk, "A Bed of Sea and Dead Men's Suits".
Posted by Simon Lewin on February 4th, 2015
We're pleased to announce our next St Jude's exhibition in Edinburgh.
The Darktown Billets-Doux will see Jonny Hannah bring a selection of paintings, prints and other flotsam and jetsam to the city.
We'll also be launching Jonny's new wallpaper for St Jude's.
The exhibition will run from 10th-14th April 2015 in the heart of Edinburgh. For an invitation to the opening event, please sign up to our e-mail newsletter.
Posted by Simon Lewin on February 1st, 2015
We were delighted to receive a set of chapbooks from Desdemona McCannon, produced as part of her 'Women In Print' project.
Each celebrates the work of a woman who has inspired the designer of these risograph printed publications.
The set we have features Enid Mark (by Desdemona McCannon), Sheila Robinson (by Chloe Cheese), Pearl Binder (by Alice Pattullo), Barbara Jones (by Rosemary Shirley), Peggy Angus (Carolyn Trant) and Olive Cook (by Lotte Beatrix).
We asked Desdemona to tell us more about the project...
"Over the last few years I have started a collection of books by 20thc women designers I admire - people like Barbara Jones, Enid Marx, Pearl Binder, Peggy Angus, Lettice Sandford, Dorothy Hartley - who alongside being 'jobbing artists' also wrote (and illustrated) books about folk culture, craft skills and 'popular' art'. Initially I was interested in the ways their research and writing was folded back into their creative practice, but as the collection grew, I became more and more fascinated by the idea of 'print culture'- the ways that publishers and art directors, printers and booksellers as well as authors and artists are entangled in a huge web of connections. I became hooked on the idea that, as Elisabeth Eisenstein says, print itself can be 'an agent of change'.
The main catalyst for setting up Women in Print was seeing a photo in a book, I forget which one, of Tirzah Ravilious on a step ladder with a paintbrush in her hand, in the process of putting paint on a wall, with Eric Ravilious standing by looking down, and the caption underneath saying 'Eric Ravilious painting a mural'. I realised that there was a silence around these women in the way histories were being told, a huge blind spot when it came to celebrating their achievements.
So the point of the Women in Print network is to focus attention on women who deserve to be better known, and their contribution to 'print culture'- as writers, academics, artists, art directors, publishers, journalists, printmakers and illustrators. This happens through an ad hoc series of events, enjoyable study days with speakers and discussions. Alongside this there is a growing set of tribute chapbooks. Anyone can contribute to the series. If they know of a woman they would like to celebrate, I send them the template and they send the (two colour) artwork and text back. I print them up on the risograph machine at Manchester School of Art with the help of students at the college, and we sell them and give them out at the Women in Print events, in the spirit of radical pamphleteers! Lots of really interesting artists, writers and academics have contributed to the series already... Alice Patullo did a beautiful one for Pearl Binder, and Carolyn Trant made one about Peggy Angus who she knew well. Chloe Cheese made one about her mother Sheila Robinson too. I would love for there to be a whole shelf of them one day.
Over the last 18 months there have been three fascinating days of talks about the different ways that women contributed to print culture in the 20thc, the first at Compton Verney in Warwickshire, the second at MMU Special Collections in Manchester, and the third at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne to accompany the Peggy Angus exhibition there. Speakers have ranged from Professors to recent graduates, researchers into design history and daughters of the designers themselves. The days attract a mixed audience too, which has been wonderful. Artists, academics, people interested in craft, ex librarians, collectors, and the odd husband quietly trying to sleep in the corner. There have been biographical talks about individual women- people like Peggy Angus and Pearl Binder, Susan Clough Ellis and Sheila Robinson, but also fascinating insights into publishing and visual culture of the period, for example Natalie Kay Thatcher recently gave a blinding talk about the Perry Colour Books at the Towner event.
There are more Women in Print days coming up- one in Boscastle next April looking at 'witchcraft in the popular press 1920- 1990' - inspired by a visit to the wonderful library at the museum of witchcraft there. Several people have already offered to give talks about Doreen Valiente, Ruth Manning Sanders, Margaret Murray and Ithell Colqhoun. The call for papers is still open, with further information available online, and so I'm looking forward to seeing what comes in.
It's really heartening that Chloe Cheese has recently written a book about her mother's work, and that Ann Ullman is writing about her mother Tirzah Ravilous too... there are some other projects in a similar vein in the pipeline too. It feels like an exciting time, a chance to have another go at writing the history of the period, and points to the continued potency of print in shaping the cultural landscape. What I find most most enjoyable is the enthusiasm and generosity of all the people involved- that a shared love of print has enabled these connections too."
Desdemona McCannon was born in Liverpool and studied English Literature at Bristol University before going on to train as an illustrator in Liverpool and Brighton. She is interested in investigating popular and vernacular art forms through organising events, curating exhibitions, writing articles, editing the Journal of Illustration and making work. She is currently a senior lecturer at Manchester School of Art. Find out more
Posted by Angie Lewin on December 9th, 2014