We said farewell to this masterful painting this week as it went off to its new home.

While the painting was here it was nice to remember Stan, the artist’s father and the painting’s subject, wandering the floors of the gallery from one show to the next, with the realisation gradually hardening that his son had indeed as he liked to say, done good.

Nathan Ford Monument Oil on Panel 122 x 170 cm

Thinking of Stan, these apt lines roll over one another and finish with a wonderful flourish…

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought

I summon up remembrance of things past,

I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,

And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:

Then can I drown an eye, unus’d to flow,

For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,

And weep afresh love’s long since cancell’d woe,

And moan th’ expense of many a vanish’d sight;

Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,

And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er

The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,

Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,

All losses are restor’d, and sorrows end.

W Shakespeare Sonnet 30

So much of an artist’s work is solitary endeavour, some of it self-portrait, some exposition, some memento mori

Nathan Ford Another Sunday Morning Oil on Canvas 28 x 20 cm.

“In my photographic work I was always especially entranced, said Austerlitz, by the moment when the shadows of reality, so to speak, emerge out of nothing on the exposed paper,
as memories do in the middle of the night, darkening again if you try to cling to them, just like a photographic print left in the developing bath too long.”
-W G Sebald Austerlitz

Helen Simmonds Clematis, June 3rd Oil on Board 11 x 14 cm.

After a pre-Christmas and post New Year lull we are seeing more and more visitors into the gallery.

Lovely also to see as I sit here that Toppings bookshop opposite the gallery has enjoyed healthy footfall in its first few months of operation.

Seeing the warmth of the lights shining out from the gallery and the bookshop from the street is enticing (and calls to mind the paintings of Atkinson Grimshaw).

It is always cheering to see the golden lights within…

Lara Scobie S21. Low Bowl with Gold Interior Parian Clay and Gold Leaf 11 x 28 cm.

 

And finally, on remembering……

Atsuko Fujii Tomoshibi III Acrylic on Canvas 41 x 35 cm.

At night the monks sang softly
and a gusting wind lifted
spruce branches like wings.
I’ve never visited the ancient cities,
I’ve never been to Thebes
or Delphi, and I don’t know
what the oracles once told travellers.
Snow filled the streets and canyons,
and crows in dark robes silently
trailed the fox’s footprints.
I believed in elusive signs,
in shadowed ruins, water snakes,
mountain springs, prophetic birds.
Linden trees bloomed like brides
but their fruit was small and bitter.
Wisdom can’t be found
in music or fine paintings,
in great deeds, courage,
even love,
but only in all these things,
in earth and air, in pain and silence.
A poem may hold the thunder’s echo,
like a shell touched by Orpheus
as he fled. Time takes life away
and gives us memory, gold with flame,
black with embers.

Shell by Adam Zagajewski

 

Thank you for reading.

 

Beaux Arts Bath

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