BeesBlogs art2c in Manchester – March – Two
BeesBlogs has a selection of exhibitions starting this coming week or just started, plus, one that any lover of photography will be delighted to see. The Hepworth, Wakefield ‘Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain’ starting 22nd June – definitely One for the Diary (more information below) So, we have Lesley Halliwell in residence at Zellig Arts, Sara Ricardi in conversation with artists Keith Ashcroft, Josie Jenkins and ceramicist Pauline Hughes at Saul Hay Gallery. Hannah Leighton-Boyce and Ruth Barker’s exhibition at Castlefield Gallery is underway, and starting today (9th March) Tom Baskeyfield and Mario Popham’s exhibition ‘Of Flesh and Stone’ at HOME plus Russian born artist Olga Geoghegan, at Gateway Gallery in Hale
Zellij Arts – ‘In Residence’ | TILTED PLANE | LESLEY HALLIWELL
Free | Open to all
Lesley will be ‘in residence’ drawing at The Alexandria Library bookshop on Friday 16th. Between 2-5pm. Visitors can chat informally with the artist about her work and get an insight into her working processes.
The exhibition Tilted Plane (you can read more here )brings together a series of paintings and drawings inspired by pattern making from a range of cultural traditions and techniques. Lesley is interested in learning more about particular patterns that are important to you and encourages you to bring any examples, photographs or images along to share
Sara Ricardi: In Conversation…………Saul Hay Gallery 16th March 6.30 -8.30pm
‘Looking forward‘ the current exhibition at Saul Hay Gallery showcases six artists, each with a unique ability to represent our world, both real and imagined. Three of them will gather together with art historian Sara Riccardi for an evening of observation and discussion. You are invited to join us for this new Art Across curated conversation, a rare experience of engagement with the present and the past at the same time: the artists will discuss their practice, sharing precious insights about their process of making, while Sara will open up enriching connections with the past History of Art, highlighting both the correlations and the transformations that have made figurative art such an endless source of fascination.
Artists in conversation: Keith Ashcroft | Pauline Hughes | Josie Jenkins
Where: Saul Hay Gallery, Railway Cottage, Off Castle St. Manchester M3 4LZ
When: Friday 16th March 2018, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Tickets: £10 including refreshments. Book at https://www.artacross.co.uk/index.php/looking-forward-tickets
Reminder: starting 9th March: Of Flesh and Stone – HOME
Of Flesh and Stone explores the complex socio-political history of North Wales and how its story is inextricably linked to this natural substance that has been, and continues to be vital to human civilisation.
Humans, over many centuries, have chipped, split and blasted stone, re-configuring hillsides and moving mountains. Through a dialogue between drawing (embossed rubbing) and photography, artist Tom Baskeyfield and photographer Mario Popham him to bring to the fore these layers of our shared history.Forming the second part of the artists’ project Shaped by Stone, the exhibition highlights a causal relationship between the post-industrial landscape of North Wales and the urban rooftops of Manchester. The mountains of North Wales have been transformed by the large-scale extraction of slate, disseminated to feed the demands of the Industrial Revolution. By recording
the scars and remnants of this conquest, Baskeyfield and Popham examine a past dependence on rock that continues to shape the human narratives unfolding within these hills and valleys. Meanwhile, in a Northern city forged by the very same forces of industry, the remnants of these mountainsides endure among the glass, concrete and steel.
Castlefield Gallery – Hannah Leighton-Boyce & Ruth Barker
Paired by Castlefield Gallery, both women’s practice sees them undertake in-depth research projects with the artists often embedding themselves in communities to explore people and place. New work for this exhibition has been made during 2017 when Castlefield Gallery supported Ruth Barker (Glasgow) and Hannah Leighton-Boyce (Manchester) to undertake research residencies: Leighton-Boyce in Scotland with Glasgow Women’s Library, and Barker in Salford with the University of Salford and University of Salford Art Collection. Over the course of the year Barker and Leighton-Boyce have exchanged many ideas, thoughts and stories, in particular through conversation and letters. New works will première at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, before touring in 2019 to Glasgow Women’s Library, and acquisition into the University of Salford Art Collection.
One for the Diary – Lee Miller Hepworth Wakefield
Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain 22 June – 7 October 2018
Lee Miller (1907 – 1977) was one of the most original photographic artists of the 20th century, whose work spanned the fields of fashion, photojournalism and art. Arriving in Paris in 1929 Miller became Man Ray’s apprentice, muse and collaborator and quickly became part of the Surrealist network, creating striking and experimental surrealist photographs.
Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain will be the first exhibition to explore Miller’s involvement with the surrealist circles in Britain, where the movement burgeoned in the late 1930s. London became the destination for many artists leaving increasingly troubling political situations on the continent in the immediate post-war period, and for a brief but intense time, Britain was a Surrealist centre.
The exhibition will tell the story of Surrealism in Britain through Miller’s lens, focussing on the artists she knew, photographed, and exhibited alongside. It will feature sculptures, paintings, photographs, collages and works on paper by artists including Eileen Agar, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, and Henry Moore alongside Miller’s photographs to explore the creative networks and productive collisions during this exciting time.
Miller – along with her later-husband Roland Penrose – played a significant role in the British Surrealist movement of the 1930s. In 1936 Penrose put together an organising committee for the first International Surrealism Exhibition in London, held at New Burlington Gardens and seen by over 23,000 people. A number of works from this exhibition will be presented at The Hepworth Wakefield, including
Max Ernst’s Joie de Vivre, Eileen Agar’s Quadriga and Penrose’s Voyage of Captain Cook. A lithograph by Man Ray of the painting he exhibited depicting Lee Miller’s lips floating in the sky, A l’Heure de l’Observatoire – Les Amoureux, will also be shown.
In 1937 Penrose invited a number of artists and writers to a ‘sudden Surrealist invasion’ of Cornwall. Miller and Man Ray’s photographs documenting Penrose, Paul and Nusch Éluard, Leonora Carrington, Max Ernst and ELT Mesens during this creative adventure will be displayed alongside artworks that highlight the shared motifs and creative dialogue between these artists. These include several works by
both Miller and Agar from 1937, the year in which they first met, that adopt the female profile as a central visual element. Exhibitions held in Britain in the late 30s and early 40s that included Miller’s work alongside noted Surrealists such as Dali, Magritte and Yves Tanguy will also be brought to light.
During World War II, Miller was employed by British Vogue as a freelance war correspondent. Working with the likes of David E. Scherman, Miller captured thought-provoking images of Hitler’s secret apartments and the harrowing atrocities of wartime living with her particular surrealist eye. A selection of these photographs including Lee Miller in Hitler’s Bathtub (1945) will be displayed, alongside her unique
surrealist take on fashion and commercial photography from the same period.
After the war, Miller settled with husband Roland Penrose at ‘Farleys’ on Farley Farm in Sussex, continuing her practice as a photographer. They also continued their role as catalysts in bringing together surrealist artists. A series of humorous photographs of artists including Max Ernst, Henry Moore and Dorothea Tanning put to ‘work’ at Farley Farm was Miller’s last big photographic feature published in Vogue, titled ‘Working Guests’ 1953.
Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield, said: ‘This major exhibition will shine a light on an exciting cultural moment in Britain that is little known, while also exploring Lee Miller’s work as an artist. It will be exciting to see this exhibition alongside our mid-career retrospective of photographer Viviane Sassen, who can perhaps be viewed as the modern day Lee Miller.’
Ami Bouhassane, Registrar and Trustee of the Lee Miller Archives, said: ‘It’s been a great pleasure to collaborate with the Hepworth, the scholarship they have brought to this exhibition has further widened the horizon and understanding of Lee’s work and will make this show the highlight of our year.’
A publication, Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain, will be produced to accompany the exhibition. It is edited by curator, Eleanor Clayton and published by Lund Humphries with support from the Paul Mellon Centre.
Lee Miller and Surrealism in Britain will run alongside Viviane Sassen: Hot Mirror at The Hepworth Wakefield until 7 October 2018.
Olga Geoghegan, Out of Place
Friday 16- Saturday 31 March 2018 Preview Thursday 15 March 6.30-9.30pm
Gateway Gallery, 116 Ashley Rd, Hale, Altrincham WA14 2UN
“My paintings are about feelings,” says artist Olga Geoghegan. “A good painting doesn’t need words to be explained. Feelings are universal.”
Geoghegan‘s first solo exhibition in the north west opens at Gateway Gallery in Hale in March. Running from Friday 16-Saturday 31 March 2018, it showcases thirty six oils on canvas, painted between 2005 and 2017.
The painter was born Olga Yukhtina in the sub-arctic industrial town of Ukhta in Russia’s far north in 1965. Talent-spotted as a child, Geoghegan progressed to the prestigious Leningrad Academy of Arts, in an era when the Cold War showed no sign of resolution, and when there were thousands of applicants for each of the handful of places available.
On leaving the academy in 1989, the USSR was on the cusp of great change. With the communist regimes overthrown in Poland, Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania, the USSR was soon to be dissolved.
In the early 90s, soon after the collapse of the Iron Curtain, she was one of the first Russian painters to be invited to exhibit in Western Europe with successful exhibitions taking place in London and Vienna.
Geoghegan’s work depicts mainly figures, static and stoical. Sometimes alone, sometimes in small groupings, they seem strangely disconnected from their surroundings and each other. With little discernible landscape to anchor them to a context, her protagonists are free floating and completely exposed.
Much of her work is influenced by the hardships of her family’s life in Soviet Russia. One powerful painting, My Father Back from the Front (far right), is directly biographical and portrays her own father, who survived a shot in the head by a sniper during WWII. Conscripted at just 17, she says he spoke very little of his wartime experiences in the Caucasus, but did describe how literally outgunned his unit was in comparison to the crack Austrian alpine regiment they faced.
“My father said they had one gun for three soldiers and so they had to take turns to shoot it. The other two had crude wooden paddles and were told to slap them together to make shooting noises. Small boys playing soldiers. They didn’t stand a chance. My father was very lucky to survive,” she says.
Another painting, May, shows her father, who passed away 25 years ago, and his friend celebrating the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany. Every year on Victory Day, 9 May, she says they would get together to talk, drink and sing.
Gateway Gallery owner Susan Eyres thinks Geoghegan’s work has much in common with the northern British artists who are the gallery’s specialism.
“Olga’s work focuses on scenes from everyday life, often remembered from her childhood,” she says, “and echoes many of the themes of traditional Northern School paintings: working people remaining stolid against the backdrop of hardship.