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Archive for May, 2012

Anne Mackinnon and Mim Butler have had work accepted for this exhibition. It is on till June 24th but the gallery is only open in the afternoons (not Monday). They went to see it yesterday and weren’t too impressed with the hanging or display. Anne’s painting is quite detailed yet was hung so low you had to crouch down to see it and Mim’s bowls had a tall vase between them which looked rather odd! Still, it is good to have been included.

Jo Beggs, who works at the Whitworth Gallery has 2 prints in the exhibition too.

For buses and car parking details check website

Stockport Open Contemporary

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Read the review by Edmund de Waal on Lucie Rie and a new book about her by Emmanual Cooper in yesterday’s Guardian. I got to considering if a Fairy Godmother offered me a bowl by Lucie Rie or an installation by Edmund de Waal which would I choose?  Assuming the value being equal ………. well what would everyone else choose before I give my answer?

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“Firechief Trinkle & Crew parade their new Firetender” by Charlie Sheils

G & I travelled to Oldham yesterday to catch the Charlie Sheils exhibition at Oldham Gallery before it closes tomorrow. The first painting I ever bought was by Charlie and I suppose that is what stated me collecting art about 35 years ago. What a strange place this large modern gallery in Oldham is, with only two gigantic Victorian paintings from the permanent collection on view. I asked why (and also filled in a feedback form) and was told their visitors numbers drop when they hang from the collection! I felt like the FOWs who don’t like the direction that WAG is taking. However I do think our Curators are good at including work from the collections into themed Exhibitions. There wasn’t even a case of ceramics from their British Studio Pottery that we have been to see and loved so much.

They have got another lottery grant for their ceramics so maybe things will change.

Adele sent me this Facebook message from Maria from, yesterday, I think.

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It seems to be a fact of this year’s weather that if we have a FOW Event the weather turns good in the afternoon, and so it was when we went to Stoke on Thursday. The Staffordshire Hoard with its lucky discovery is a mystery that it still not fully explained, I’m sure the theories will continue for years as its secrets are revealed. Stoke Museum & Gallery has an outstanding collection of pottery and ceramics as you would expect with the industrial history of the area and the exhibition of paintings had some real treasures….my favourite of the moment, Duncan Grant’s painting of the lake at Charleston. We had an exclusive and gracious welcome at Rode Hall by Sir Richard Baker Wilbraham and all the staff at the hall. The cream tea was both delicate and delicious.
From Adele, please visit the on-line auction at Castlefield Gallery. Watch the rising value of the piece by Pavel Buchler! Artists donate to Castlefield Gallery auction Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey, designer Peter Saville and comic Harry Hill are among those who have donated artworks to help save a gallery after it lost regular Arts Council funding. More than 60 artists have submitted works to an auction raising money for the Castlefield Gallery in Manchester. The gallery was one of 200 arts bodies who lost their regular Arts Council England grants in cuts last year. Auction

I am ‘social mediad‘ out now, have just been to one at Media City. I now realise that most of the ‘surgeons’ have something to market and the ‘patients’ are looking for help with fund raising. I have decided I know as much as I need to for now!

Did anyone watch the TV programme about Chatsworth? Bit bland I thought ***

I need to rush as Chelsea FS is about to start on telly another of my addictions. Thank goodness for a bit of sun and heat.

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I finally made it to Charleston, home of some of the leading members of the Bloomsbury Group. I have waited 15 years for FOW to do a return visit and it certainly did live up to all my expectations, it was enchanting, fascinating, and unique and it is now up there, near the top, on my ‘favourite places’ list with Kettles Yard and Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. I did a ‘spend, spend, spend’ in the shop – just didn’t have time to choose, so had to buy everything. I now have a DVD of the restoration process, including interviews with Quentin and Angelica, to lend to anyone who would like to borrow it.

Of course there were other fascinating places on our 4 day holiday in East Sussex. Farley Farm did not disappoint either, the home of Roland Penrose, a talented artist himself, who was mostly responsible for introducing The Surrealists and Picasso to the English Art scene and his wife Lee Miller, a beautiful American model who became a war correspondent and photographer for Vogue.

For many people in the group Great Dixter was the highlight of the trip. Valerie was so ‘in the moment’ she declined to go inside the house (which was a total surprise to all who entered) as she has waited for years to see the garden and did not wish to miss a moment. I was delighted to meet a dachshund obviously still living there as in Christopher’s day.  There were more surprises in Nymans with its ‘genuine’ but C20 Tudor interior. The astonishing ‘High’ in every sense St Bartholomew’s Church in Brighton and the jewel All Saints Church Tudeley with its Chagall windows, both a ‘must see’. Bateman’s was a complete contrast in style with traditional oak furniture and gloomy wood panelling.  Must not forget Brighton Pavilion; I first visited it nearly 50 years ago and my memory is of a dazzling spectacle of minaret’s and golden interiors however after a lifetime of visiting English stately homes and Italian Palazzo’s it does not look so extraordinary, just home for a prince with modern ideas and a taste for the Avant-garde.

Well of course the hotel was excellent and the weather bestowed two lovely sunny days for garden visits. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Images (1) Lys Hansen, New Hall, Cambridge:  (2) Charleston (3) Teacup, De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill  (4) Film crew in dining room on arrival home

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