It has been lovely this week to see a marked increase in visitors to Bath, and to the gallery.
It is great to see the town buzzing again.

When the rugby is able to start up again and I hear the roar going up as a try is scored, I think I will go to the door of the gallery and join in.
Inside the gallery all is calm. It has been a pleasure to have a gorgeous selection of work for our exhibition ‘Still’, which carries on until 29 May.
We have work by Alex Callaway, Atsuko Fujii, Harriet Porter, Helen Simmonds, Jo Barrett, Lewis Chamberlain, Lillias August, Linda Felcey, Rob Pittam.
There are quite a few sold and unsold works by Nathan Ford still on show in the upstairs portion of the gallery.

Near my desk is a gorgeous little gem by Harriet Porter:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The black in Before Dusk is of a rare delicacy, reminding me of the adage that black is not just black.
There are green blacks and red blacks, and in this case a raw umber employed, such that the dark colour is not gloss or matte or satin exactly, but embodies perfectly a sense of bottomlessness, the night closing in.
An ideal setting for the silver jug and the subtle little colour details it shows reflected through the artist’s studio windows.

Louis Chamberlain prefers artificial light for his small domestic-scale mise-en-scenes.

Lady with House Plants, Pencil on Paper 22 x 22 cm £1,800

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To bring us into this mini-world with a range of tone, texture, subtlety in such a physically small (22 x 22cm.) pencil drawing is phenomenal.
It seems insufficient to simply write ‘Pencil on Paper’ as a detail.

Last weekend’s dog-walk was not the sunny idyll it often is in our corner of Wiltshire.
Blustery winds, showers, lots of buttercups and dandelion clocks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shakespeare referred to dandelions as golden lads, and the clocks as chimney sweepers, in these lines from Cymbeline,

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun,
Nor the furious winter’s rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

Fear no more the frown o’ the great;
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke;
Care no more to clothe and eat;
To thee the reed is as the oak:
The sceptre, learning, physic, must
All follow this, and come to dust.

Linda Felcey often uses chimney sweepers in her paintings, their wispy dreaminess such that one wouldn’t be surprised if a fairy (say, from Cottingley) were to appear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, each time I read Sharon Hashimoto’s poem (the second half quoted below), it gets better;

She was on a bed. Two blankets, a thin sheet,
And an old quilt fitted her to the mattress.
Was she young or old? Had she given birth? Was she dying?
She felt a shadow lapping the boundaries
Of the bed. A silhouette leaned close
Strong fingers counted pulses in her wrist
Like the flat ripples of a low tide going out,
The surf’s foam a sea of dandelions
Swaying and bending around the border
Of a wide wooden porch. Each time she knelt
The stiff lace of her sleeves and collar
Would scratch and poke her. Low voices drifted
Through the mesh of the screen door and she listened
to their even tones blending together
the way feathery white seeds clung to the stem
and to each other
before wind blew them apart and far away.

-from Sharon Hashimoto ‘Dandelion’

Thank you for reading.

Aidan

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