A talk by James Trollope in the Whiteway Centre followed by a private viewing of the Eric Slater exhibition in the Grange Gallery
James Trollope writes:
“I bought an Eric Slater colour woodcut of Seaford Head seven years ago because it’s a lovely image of my home town but could find little about the artist’s life so started my own research. One thing led to another!
First an exhibition at Towner in Eastbourne, then a book (“Slater’s Sussex”) followed by a Brighton and Hove bus being named after him, a Slater Trail (a 2 hour walk taking in views which inspired him) and his work being appraised on the Antiques Roadshow (among other things).
His woodcuts are now highly collectable and a few will be on sale at the Grange in October. There will also be a chance to buy framed GICLEE prints of his work mostly numbered 1/250. The talk will explain how a Sussex artist came to adopt a Japanese method of colour printmaking and the exhibition will also include some original prints by Yoshijiro Urushibara (1888-1953), a Japanese friend and colleague of Slater (1896-1963). Some of Urushibara’s prints will also be for sale.
Most of Slater’s prints are of recognisable places in Sussex, evoking the county’s landscape.”
Admission £8, including wine and nibbles.
To book, email MikeGregory@rwc.org.uk or phone 07913 753 493.
Holidays over, a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness approaches, so a moment perhaps to visit Rottingdean’s iconic house, The Grange, which provides the setting for some varied and thought-provoking art exhibitions.
24 August – 5 September. Still time to see Rottingdean Camera Club’s exhibition “In Focus.” Members’ photographs reflect their interests, including landscape, fauna, street and abstract. “The club is in its’ 42nd year. We are a small and friendly club,” says Alan Smallman “We hold competitions and have guest speakers to talk on various photographic subjects.”
7 – 20 September. “Visual Musings” is the title of Diane Avis’ painting exhibition. She lives outside Santa Fe in the foothills of New Mexico and has exhibited in New Mexico, California, Las Vegas and after her Grange exhibition, will have a solo show in Santa Fe. “I work primarily in oils on canvas and wood, though I also make prints and drawings. Art, like mythology, should act as a portal to the spiritual; a way to access the deeper meaning that is often missing in our day- to- day lives.”
21 September – 3 October. “Williams Nicholson was my great-grandfather and I wanted the work for my show as a response to him in some way.” The words of the artist, Rafaele Appleby. “It is wild places that inspire me – rock – seascapes – skyscapes and sometimes a flower.” Rafaele lives in Cumbria and having visited the Grange Gallery for the first time was “Delighted to be offered the chance to have an exhibition here.”
During her exhibition, Rafaele will take part on 23 September in a Study Day at the Whiteway Centre, a joint event with the Rottingdean Preservation Society. “The Nicholson Family of Artists,” will focus on the legendary artistic family and include the official opening of the re-furbished William Nicholson Studio by the Mayor of Brighton and Hove. There will be lectures on William Nicholson, Ben Nicholson; and one by Rafael about Ben Nicholson’s painter wife entitled“Winifred Nicholson and her family.”
After the Artist’s Open House in May, the Grange Gallery continues with a refreshing and stimulating variety of exhibitions for June and July.
1 – 20 June. RETHREADED is a group of eight textile artists who have all stitched from an early age. “We’ve been together as a group since we completed a three year Experimental Textiles adult Education course”
23 June – ll July. HORIZONS: LAND SEA SPACE will show the works of Carol Lawson, Nichola Campbell and Chris McEwan. Carol Lawson’s pastel drawings celebrate the ever-changing patterns and colour of the South Downs. While Nichola Campbell’s new work is inspired by sea, rock pools and creatures of the seashore, working with ink on wood blocks. And Chris McEwan’s illustrates his love of machines, mechanical devices and his own collection of space toys. “Most people assume they know about robots, but faced with several hundred, experience a childlike sense of wonder.”
13 – 18 July. THE LITTLE PEOPLE PHOTOGRAPHS is a child-friendly exhibition by Paul Rowland of toy people photographed in unusual places.
20 July – 8 August. Mick Bensley, marine artist, will be showing new works. He divides his time between painting, teaching. “I continue to paint a range of subjects including portraits of people, their pets, landscapes, seascapes.”
Proving that the Brighton Festival isn’t confined to the city of Brighton, The Grange Art Gallery once again has an Artists’ Open House exhibition throughout May.
It covers an intriguing multi-art genre: watercolours, acrylics, oils, collage, photography, woodwork, pottery…and much more. A remarkable group of fifteen local artists are participating: Mike Hatchard, Maggie Cummings, Paul Rowlands, Susie Patterson, Amanda Davidson, Bob Webzell, Nichola Campbell, Jan Mnich, Sara Hill, Rob Upward, JCJ Pottery, John Plater, Mick Bensley, and Barry Hinchliff.
And against this background( perhaps before or after you’ve relaxed in the lovely Lutyens/Jekyll tea garden), the Gallery bolsters the exhibition with a wide- range of events and talks for all ages:
6 May. 2.00 – 3.00 p.m. “Art should be accessible and shouldn’t be daunting to children” says Rob Upward, who will give a talk to primary aged children entitled “Picture This. What is Art?” This will be an informal talk in Rottingdean Library, followed by a tour of the AOH exhibition in the Grange Gallery. Rob was a headmaster, who found more time to concentrate on painting once he retired.
10 May. 6.30 p.m. Bob Webzell, who has competed internationally with his photography since 2000, helped form a charity and build the Noonkodin Secondary School for the Maasai people in Tanzania. All the proceeds of Bob’s photography go to the Maasai school, and this talk will reflect his latest visit to the school and the one- man exhibition he produced here at the Grange.
17 May. 6.30 p.m. An Artist’s Lecture by John Plater, woodturner. Most of John’s work is based on natural edged hollowed from timber ‘in the round. Simple shapes without decoration, colour or texture are used to allow the subtleties of grain to come through.
24 May. 6.30 p.m. Jazz Piano Artist’s Concert with Mike Hatchard, entitled The Music of an Artist.
27 May. 11.00 to 3.00p.m. Photography Workshop for Children. Three workshops. Paul Rowland, photographer – toy macros photography.
Meanwhile, over at Rottingdean Windmill, Baron Gilvan is Artist in Residence for “Snowball Down A Mountain”. On May 6/7: 13/14:20/21: 27/28 between 1.00 to 4.30 p.m. he will set up his studio in the windmill to create what he describes as paintings, drawing and animations investigating psychological dreamworlds through automatism and intuition. “Art is born of trauma,” says Gilvan, whose work references his own life experiences which have made him question the relationship with reality and illusion. The windmill will become “a fantastical playground studio where the Baron feverishly converts line and paint into food for the soul.”
The Society of Sussex Painters, Sculptors and Engravers was founded in 1924, around the time that the Bloomsbury Group began, and their first exhibition was in 1925 at Worthing Museum of Art. And it was in the same gallery that they celebrated their 90th anniversary with an exhibition in 2014.
The SSP have frequently exhibited at The Grange Art Gallery, and in November they will present a diverse range of work from fifteen to twenty Sussex artists, each contributing up to five pieces of work.
“There is no ‘house style’ in the SSP,” says Barry Hinchliff, the society’s president, “but perhaps because of our proximity to London or even Ditchling and Charleston, together with an excellent College of Art in Brighton, the work of members has always been fresh, lively and contemporary.” He explains that the title of the society covers the disciplines in most of their exhibitions; incorporating abstract and mixed media painting, oils, acrylics,water colour, print-making and sculpture in various media.
Barry has had a long association with the Grange Art Gallery. In 1993 when The Rottingdean Preservation Society took over running the Grange, Barry was co-opted onto their team to be the gallery’s first curator. A role he had for eighteen years. And although he is still painting he is now retiring as the SSP President. “I would like to hand over the mahl stick to someone else.”
For information on SSP membership, contact Helen Armstrong on
01273 881304: or email firstname.lastname@example.org