Saturday 5 July 2008

RA Summer Exhibition

Ian and I went last night on part 1 of our annual pilgrimage to the RA Summer Exhibition. There's always such a variety of work that's it's impossible to look at it all in one go , a second visit starting at the end and working backwards is required.

As photographs are not allowed and they never seem to have pictures in the catalogue of the items you like best (with a few exceptions) I've learnt the value of scribbling down quick sketches of what grabs my attention.

On this visit, as in recent years, I concentrated mainly on the prints in the Large Weston Room.

I particularly like the composition of the linocut by Jennifer Hall and the handpainted background to the etching by Katherine Watkins( both featured in the 'prints under £500') I admire Chris Orr's dynamic drawings and prints, often with a lot of humour to them. Among this year's offerings are the 'Improved Rhinocerous' ( with its wealth of detail) and sketches of London in 'The Tide Runs Strong Here' .

In the Small Weston Room, a corner was hung with textile related pieces. Those that appealed were a still life by Peter McNiven of a stash of fabric and basket of sewing things; an embroidered picture of red shoes by Jayne Ward and a subtle work by Bridget Jackson of unpicked and resown canvas (quite different to her bright paintings of clothing)

In room V there was a textile piece in cut and twisted felt by Anna Kyyro Quinn and in a slightly different line , several works in Uccelli series by Jennifer Durrant of painted canvas cut and applied to a background in patchwork-like patterns.

My favourites? I was rather taken by a painting of a red formica table by Jo Oakley, with its reduced colour palette and variety of textures and quality of surface (shiny table, matt textured 'wallpaper') but in the end its the luminous 'temple painting' by Ian McKeever that haunts both Ian and I


Linda B. said...

Thanks for the tour and the links - it's an event I've never managed to get to.

My only question is about why you think you need the Studio Journal class - you seem to have this pretty much under control!

magsramsay said...

I'm doing the Studio Journal course as never having done any course like C&G or art beyond A level,I'm a bit concerned I'm not doing things 'properly'. I've already gained a lot from the tips, the encouragement to use 1 sketchbook for everything and seeing what other people are doing with the same exercises.

hippopip said...

I found the tour of the RA exhib. facinating the linocut was inspirational and great to see so many of the textile hearts sold,and the fact that the RA except textiles as art is good,having read in todays paper that Brian Sewell says" there are no first line female artists" it was good to be inspired.I do wonder like Linda why you are doing this course,I have done 4yrs of C&G and you don`t need it as you have natural talent.

neki desu said...

thanks for the links.some very interesting works

neki desu

Olga Norris said...

Interesting to read what drew you at the RA. We have not been yet, but I'm with you on the McKeever - I'm a great fan of his work.

This business of doing things 'properly' is a strange one. I know exactly how you feel. I did not even do O or A level art, although I did study aesthetics and art history at university. I have had not had any practical teaching other than the odd textile workshop when I started this stitching business in the late 90s.

I still worry about how I do things, I still have the urge to go on a workshop which will help me to progress - to do things 'properly'. It is good to be able to measure oneself from time to time, and all learning is positive, even when it is negative.

Linda’s Textiles said...

I too enjoyed the tour & links, thanks.
I'm amazed that you haven't had formal art training, your work is stunning. I don't think you need worry about doing things 'properly' but I think there is benefit from doing courses even if it's just looking at things from another viewpoint. This is one I should do I have terrible trouble keeping up a journal!
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