‘Quiet Comfort’

Please join us for the Opening Evening on Saturday 17 June, 6-8 p.m.

This body of work explores the theme of loneliness. Being alone can be positive, a time for reflection and self-discovery; to be still and to notice the little things that might pass us by in the hubbub of everyday life. Involuntary solitude may however cause isolation and alienation. Our thoughts can take us to dark places. We crave company and conversation, and the stillness and quiet of being alone can become deafening. We are, after all, inherently social animals and a lack of social interaction can lead to depression and other psychiatric disorders.

From a young age I think we are acutely aware of the need for companionship. When that is missing we can be quite resourceful in seeking it out by other means. At bed time when a child finds themselves alone within the darkened space of their room they will often turn to something for comfort – a favourite bear, doll or other object that they hold dear. They can imbue the object (for even a child secretly knows that it is inanimate) with personality and character, offering solace amidst their perceived aloneness.

Convention tells us that as we grow older we no longer need this kind of reassurance, but of course as adults we don’t stop needing company and interaction.  We may well find ourselves alone more frequently, often not through choice. So different tools help us through the feelings of isolation. Some turn to religion, for others it might be the company of radio and television or music and books. We might turn to nature as our quiet companion – plants that we nurture, birds that we feed and of course pets that we own.

This new collection is a visual exploration of the feeling of being alone and our human need for social interaction, and our resourcefulness in inventing our own company when it cannot be found elsewhere.

Bobbie Russon, May 2023

Tamed, Oil on Panel 30 x 20 cm. Sold

A shot from Bobbie’s studio shows how the painting is framed:

New Sculptures

Please join us for the Opening Evening on Saturday 17 June, 6-8 p.m.

Boy with Unicorn, Bronze Ed. of 15, 91 x 37 x 53 cm. £10,800

Jung described dream animals as frightening, or minatory;  how they would often appear to the subconscious engaging in strange behaviour, or exaggerated in size. This he claimed was connected to how we deal with our raison d’être. This new collection of  Beth’s work is akin to wandering in a Jungian dreamscape. The shadow waits, and the ghosts of strange beings beckon, frighten, beguile and terrify in equal measure. In these visions, we are not excluded but invited in.

Beth currently has three large bronzes on show in Southern France at invitation of the Musée d’Art Classique de Mougins (MACM), part of the 50th anniversary of Picasso’s death. Picasso spent his last twelve years in Mougins, in a villa named L’Antre du Minotaure (The Minotaur’s lair), next to the exquisite Notre Dame de Vie Chapel. Two of Beth’s giant bronze sculptures are now in the grounds of the Chapel, with a smaller scale minotaur inside. MACM have one of Beth’s bronzes in their collection, currently displayed beneath Picasso’s ‘Dying Minotaur’ drawing.  Beth’s work will also be shown at the Louvre-Lens in September of this year.

Beth studied at Bath College and at Sunderland University. She won first prize in the Northern Graduate Show 1995 at the Royal College of Art. She then travelled to Sri Lanka and India to study mythological sculpture and later to New Zealand, Mexico, Gambia, Kenya and Tanzania to further explore the precedents for this genre of sculpture. In 2021, Beaux Arts teamed up with Emmy award-winning cameraman Mike Pitts to make a short film about Beth (click the image below). In the film she explains her fascination with the minotaur as a subject.  Beth has exhibited extensively in the U.S. and Europe.

Young Hector, enquiring of Beth Carter’s Giant Minotaur if he is in the queue for the Roman Baths…….

New Ceramics

Please join us for the Opening Evening on Saturday 17 June, 6-8 p.m.

Paul Wearing’s hand-built sculptural vessels are inspired by the interconnectedness of nature’s seasons and rhythms. There is a correlation between the gradual cycles of nature and the making processes, which harness innate material qualities, leading to a kind of alchemy within the fire of the kiln.

The vessels are formed using two techniques. The bases are press-moulded and the main bodies of the pieces are hand-coiled. This is a slower, more developmental, meditative procedure. Certain marks and textures revealing the making process remain as a ground for glazing. This approach mixes control and chance; there are purposeful brush marks and evidence of chemical reactions. Multiple layers of glaze interact, and volatile components mean further disruption through blistering, cratering and crawling. Glazing and firing processes are repeated until the optimum depth and complexity of surface appears.

Paul is a Selected Member of the Craft Potters Association and was elected to its Governing Council in 2018.  He studied ceramics to post graduate level in Cardiff and has exhibited in Japan, The Netherlands, and across the UK. He has been the recipient of numerous funding awards from the Arts Council of Wales, including Welsh Artist of the Year in 2002.  This is his first solo show with Beaux Arts.

Ellipse H26 x W30 x D17cm. Cylinder 17.5 x Ø21cm. Cylinder H11 x Ø15cm. Hand-built stoneware, multiple oxidised slips, engobes and glazes.

And finally.…our hero takes the minotaur to task, though the big fellow seems to be taking it quite well.

Hector, and Beth Carter’s  Giant Standing Minotaur   Bronze Ed. 10   185 x 64 x 61 cm.  £38,000

And finally.

Don’t fill up on bread
I say absent-mindedly
The servings here are huge

My son, whose hair may be
receding a bit, says
Did you really just
say that to me?

What he doesn’t know
is that when we’re walking
together, when we get
to the curb
I sometimes start to reach
for his hand

Robert Hershon Sentimental moment or why did the baguette cross the road

You are very welcome to attend the opening evening on 17 June.  Come along and have a glass of prosecco.  All three artists will be in attendance.