Last weekend, I attended an exhibition with friends at the Camden Image Gallery which turned out to be a fascinating and inspiring visit as I got to meet several of the artists which I found really interesting as well as friends of the artists too. The work is gorgeous and literally a treat for the eyes especially to those of us who love to paint! The painters are united by colour and light and had me returning in thought to my recent visit to the Pierre Bonnard exhibition at the Tate Modern and his explorations into colour and light.
The exhibition at the Camden Image Gallery ran from the 13th of March to the 18th of March and featured the work of five artists: Karin Friedli, Ayse McGowan, Dawn Limbert, Neeta Popat Kataria and Diana Sandetskaya.
I'm including below a sample of these artists work or at least my favourites of their work from this recent exhibition. I do love how they all have captured nature in such a way to suggest paths not yet discovered or glimpses into a future world not yet explored. It sparked my imagination for sure so I was excited to share what I saw. The red highlighted names above lead directly to their individual websites.
Please see below their wonderful paintings and check out each artist and their links to follow what they're up to. Links to all artists and this particular gallery are below the images.
"Pacific Sunset" by Diana Sandetskaya
"Evening Shadows" by Neeta Popat Kataria
"Follow the Path" by Dawn Limbert
Facebook: Dawn Limbert Art
"North Cyprus Sunset" by Ayse McGowan
To learn more about exhibitions offered by the Camden Image Gallery please go to their website at:
If interested in purchasing artwork from these particular artists, then please see below each of their paintings for their contact information.
*If you are enjoying these exhibition reviews then stay tuned every Thursday at 9am (UK time) for more from the London art scene.
My friend, Heather Scott and I just recently had a look around the Interim show for select postgraduate courses at Central Saint Martins here in London. First year students currently in MA Art & Science, MA Photography and MA Fine Art were showcased in a gallery space in East London, called The Apiary.
Both Heather and I first met when we were first years on the Art and Science course so we admittedly were curious as our exhibition experience our first year was quite appalling so we were hoping that this new space would be an improvement!
First impressions on arriving were that the venue was indeed a great deal better than what we had experienced so that was definitely a plus! There was excellent lighting, lots of great wall space, real wooden floors and no unusual railings or dusty corners or odd yellow stripes.
But as most student shows go, it didn't wow us unfortunately.....both of us felt that it was way too overcrowded.....there were larger artworks that simply dwarfed smaller pieces and caused us to completely overlook some really nice smaller artwork. More white space would have been a benefit as it was such a jumble. The curating of the exhibition didn't create an easy flow to the work and lets not even get started on the labeling!
When I was studying my first degree way back in the 1990's, I remember distinctly that my teachers told us how very important it was to make sure that we knew how to properly label our work in an exhibition setting.....this entailed understanding how to make professional labels that had our name, the title of our work, the date it was created and a relevant description and the price. All vital and basic but something the instructors/curators have forgotten to teach at Central Saint Martins.
I'd say that I was most attracted to the MA Fine Art students as a select few were making really interesting work and I will definitely follow them to see what they come up with in their second and final years. One first year in particular was a lady named, Sian Fan who was luckily standing right by her really interesting work when we were trying to understand which label was hers.
Sian is an MA Fine Art first year and had such an unusual piece that was suspended from the wooden rafters. I was drawn to her work the moment I walked in the room.....we had a short conversation and were intrigued by her explanation of her work. The fact that it's suspended in the centre of the room and lets light pass through it while also catching and holding light and sound was just fascinating......she explained to us about it being something like a realm in another world.....I'm not doing it justice and I'm eager to talk to her more about her work and hopefully interview her too for my blog.
I wish her work had been away from all the other pieces in the room as they overwhelmed it. The image above on the top left is Sian and her work......I found her work very ethereal and I'm intrigued to watch her progress. So keep your eyes out for this artist - Sian Fan!
MA Art & Science did not spark any interest in this show sadly......or at least, if there had been labels helping us identify who belonged to what and what it was all about then that could have changed our opinions a bit. I left with a feeling that MA Fine Art are the ones to watch out for.......though only a select few. As for MA Photography which is apparently called something else now.....left us clueless because again......ineffective labels.
So well, keep your eyes peeled for Sian Fan (click on her name to reach her website) as she's really creating something exciting!
I'd love to tell you to watch for the artist who did the glowing glass thing in the middle photo above but I couldn't find the label!
Heather is posing in the photo on the top right because we were utterly confused by the pile of hair and the hanging balloons and sticks.....because again....ineffective labels.
We were told on arriving that there would be a tour going through to explain artworks to a visiting group but we didn't join in as we were already half way through the exhibition by that point and on a limited schedule.
To check out my friend Heather Scott and her creative process as a graphic designer please follow these links:
*If you'd like to read more exhibition reviews then please stay tuned every Thursday at 9am UK time for more.
Very recently I went to see the Magic Realism: Art in Weimar Germany exhibition currently at the Tate Modern. First off, its free to get in so that's a bonus right away for those of us trying to save money in an expensive city!
Secondly, it's so worth a look through as the work is exquisite and the content fascinating especially if you're an artist like myself. I'm fascinated by art history and though I have many favourite areas in art history to which I'm most drawn to, (no pun intended!) but I do find very intriguing, the early part of the twentieth century because it feels to me like it's had the biggest impact on my own art practice. I'm interested in patterns you see, not just in my creative process but in history too and so I find this time period of 1919 to 1933 in Germany most interesting indeed as it does have some echoes into our place in history now for good and bad.
Get ready though if you go to this exhibition, some of the work is difficult to look at and there is a room in which a sign has been put up to warn people that there are some disturbing images. I didn't stay long in that room and I didn't take pictures in there either as some images did make me cringe.
I will say that when I was in art school in the early 1990s, and in the honeymoon stage of being a painter, I found myself living at the fine art museums and literally drinking in the moody paintings of Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz and Max Ernst. I'd then return to my studio and whip out my own moody renditions but without a clear understanding of the history behind why the painters that inspired me painted the way they did. It was only after years of reading and researching that I began to grasp what those artists went through and what they were doing in their own creative processes.
Even going through this exhibition at the Tate was eye opening in many ways mostly because I'm at the stage in my life as an adult where I can relate to those artists and what they wanted to express in the world they lived in.
I've always been what I call, an "Art Activist" and many times have used my artwork and creative ideas to express how I feel about a political situation that has an impact on my world. My ongoing peace project, "11 Million Hands for 11 Million Lives" is an activist project because it's about fighting for equality between all humans on this planet. I've made it clear in my peace project on multiple occasions that I do not support the little orange president in America as well as the inequality and tension he and other world leaders have brought to our existence. So I can relate completely to the artists making art in the Weimar Republic due to the aftermath of war, the political shifting climate, the economic crisis and the unstable social environment which isn't much different than our own time.
The artwork in this exhibition is potent and speaks volumes even a hundred years later! I found myself lingering over certain pieces and trying to imagine what the artist was feeling at the time of making it. Their reactions in pen, paint and pencil to their rocky environment in the aftermath of a devastating world war still rings true today. The impacts of social changes and economic hardships still resonate to what I hear in our news now. The repeating of a pattern in history is a concerning weight and I do wonder how our next few decades will pan out.
There's a quote on a board in the 2nd room in the exhibition by the artist, Max Beckmann that reads, "What I want to show in my work is the idea which hides itself behind so-called reality. I am seeking for the bridge which leads from the visible to the invisible."
I find I can relate yet again to this thought process because I'm often in search of a similar concept in my own work except that it's taken me a lifetime to understand how to go about it and I've yet to arrive at my outcome......Maybe in another forty years!
The exhibition itself shows how artists "spoke out" and expressed themselves in times of terrible trauma during and following World War 1 and that's as it should be......artists are the beating hearts of society and will bleed through their work not to make pretty pictures to be be "real". It's something that feels very much the same for today's world. Nowadays our visual input online or in the galleries is pretty pictures or "how to" videos on how to speed draw an eye......it's all meant to entice and be "pretty" and those of us artists who do make artwork that isn't pretty are often put to the side of society because we're doing something risky and different.
As an artist who feels for humanity I know what I want is "real" because I'm fed up with our inequality, conflict and injustice in our world now and pretty just doesn't work for me.
I think we artists should learn from the patterns of the past and the artists who dared to speak out and we should make art that shocks and wakes up nations because equality is vital for our survival as a human race.
So yes, go see the exhibition at the Tate Modern because it'll open your eyes and help you see the patterns in history and how those artists during that time put their hearts and souls into showing real reactions from the world around them.
** Artwork above from left to right:
"The Beggar of Prachatice" 1924 by Conrad Felixmüller
"Into the Abyss" 1943 by Lea Grundig
"The Rider II" 1919 by Heinrich Campendonk
Some links you may want to check out:
To take part in my art activist peace project, send a photo of your own hands (palms up please) to:
The highlighted words above in the text will take you to orange things, museums and helpful explanation pages to give you further reading.
*If you enjoy reading my Thursday postings about exhibition reviews then stay tuned for next Thursday when I review the Interim Show for the postgraduate courses at Central Saint Martins.
I went to see the current Pierre Bonnard exhibition at the Tate Modern this week and it was not as crowded as I had anticipated! Tickets were as usual quite expensive but I felt it was well worth the money though I'll have to be tight-pocketed for a while.
The Tate Modern have given the impression that this exhibition of Bonnard's work is about light and happiness and I must say I felt very different. It is about light and colour of course but I felt that it's also about a man who was rather lonely too and seeking something that was not quite tangible. I found it interesting that he kept returning to his paintings weeks, months and often years later to correct light and colour in them. His life long relationship with Marthe de Meligny who later became his wife seemed so devoted and yet tragic too. I felt that he reflected this in his paintings of her even though some are of her smiling and of their happy home together. His paintings to me had a rather melancholy feel to them.
As a painter myself, I remember studying Bonnard when I was in art school in the 1990's. I was at that time in my career, learning to hone my understanding of colour and light in my own studies of the life model so his work then held great fascination for me. Seeing his work again after all these years, I'm brought back to those discoveries I had during my time studying. I found myself trying to dissect some of his paintings to understand what he was doing. I wish we could have seen what his palette looked like as well as his brushes as that would have told even more of his story as an artist.
I love the small collection of photos that were included in the exhibition. They were like secret glimpses and very voyeuristic.
As an artist who draws and paints from life, I did find it very interesting to see another perspective into how Bonnard worked from memory. For myself, I'm dependent on drawing or painting or sculpting from a source in front of me. When I draw, paint or sculpt without a reference it is just from my imagination and not realistic to what I've been studying but Bonnard would apparently collect linear information in simple sketches beforehand and then work from these and use his memory when in studio. This method has always baffled and yet intrigued me too. It was interesting seeing a studio practice from a different perspective and hopefully this will give me a jolt in my own practice. Experimentation is always good and Bonnard is very inspiring!
The interesting thing for me as a now mid-career artist is that it was when I was young and just starting out that I loved his paintings of the human form and how he captured light so perfectly in the skin. Now I'm drawn to the layering of his paintings of his garden as I feel I can understand more deeply what he was trying to do with colour. His paintings of the human form still hold interest but the gardens are just wow in my eyes! His last painting of the blossoming almond tree outside of his bedroom window was so poignant for me.
Blossoms at the end of a life describing light and colour and devotion seems well suited as the perfect ending to an artists life such as Bonnard.
Wonderful exhibition and I think I will have to return for a second look before it ends. On returning home, I watched a few documentaries about Bonnard and also found a book I'm going to purchase about him on Amazon.
Do go to the exhibit if you haven't already. For artists, young and old, consider collecting a stool and sitting to draw. There were quite a few artists sitting drawing in the exhibition when I was there so next time I've made a note to remember my sketchbook.
I'll add one more of Pierre Bonnard's paintings at the end here as I bought a postcard of this one because it's so lovely! Its called, "Lane at Vernonnet" 1912.
*As always if you enjoyed this post and would like to see more exhibition reviews please stay tuned to this blog every Thursday at 9am UK time for more.
Very recently, I went with a friend to see the latest exhibition at the Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner, North London. The exhibition, entitled, “Heath Robinson’s Home Life” was intensely packed full of his whimsical illustrations and other decorated items like a collection of nursery china plates and cups. What’s really interesting is that I had this strange feeling that I’d known of his work before but from when I was a very little girl and after wandering around the collection, realised that it was from the book, “The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm”, written by Norman Hunter, where I’d first enjoyed Heath Robinson’s wonderful illustrations! The book had been a handed down, well read copy from my older cousins and which helped fuel my own fascinations in contraptions and fun inventions and is probably what inspired me to get into model making!
The illustrations in this exhibition are wonderfully quirky and funny! One of my favourites was the one with the woman who wanted to enjoy the outdoors but lived in a flat so was sitting suspended in a deck chair above the ground…..I think it was a woman! I was paying more attention to the contraptions than the people! Heath Robinson's illustrations spark that childlike imagination we all have of unexpected adventures to distant shores via strange homemade vehicles equipped with all your basic necessities and ready for all possibilities!
I’m so glad I’ve learned about this wonderful museum as their permanent collection is really interesting too as is the contents of their shop! It was a fun experience and totally inspired me to get back to my own studio and get creating!
In the permanent collection, there are a few of his actual models that move if a dial is turned. They were wonderful and I spent a lot of time watching how each part moved. I definitely look forward to visiting again as there are some upcoming exhibitions in the next month that look very interesting and I’d also like another in-depth look at their permanent collection of Heath Robinson’s work. The gallery also has an activity room which I'm most curious about so I expect I'll be visiting again soon!
The current exhibit, “Heath Robinson’s Home Life” will finish this coming Sunday, 24th of February 2019, so do go and visit if you have a chance before it finishes! Next to the gallery, in the house, there's a lovely tea shop too. It's a very nice place for a fun day adventure if you're looking to escape the noise of London!
My name is Franceska McCullough and I'm the owner and artist of Toothpickmoon. I'm interested in blogging about art materials, art events and conducting artist interviews partly because I wish to help others and partly because I need to create structure in my own life as an artist.
*Disclosure: The links I'm using on this blog will only ever relate to the products I myself use in my own practice. I am actively trying to earn income through Amazon for these links. Any earnings are reported to my Jobcentre as I'm currently living on benefits because I don't have a job. I put in 50 job applications per week as well as working on this blog and my own creative practice.