Threadneedle Prize finalist David Storey is a British figurative painter. His psychologically charged paintings are about memory, with half-remembered people and places emerging from complex layers of texture and colour.
David says, 'Personally, I find working with memory very therapeutic as well as creatively invaluable. I become haunted by the image I'm developing and it's tremendously satisfying when I manage to get the milky idea from the back of my mind onto the canvas.'
"My paintings are an exploration of memory. They offer glimpsed or half-remembered figures and faces – 're-imagined ancestors' recovered from a personal archive of the forgotten.
I come from West Cumbria, which is a bleak coastal plain, welded onto the side of the Lake District. The municipal buildings and churches are mainly Victorian and built of sand stone that turns black when it rains... and it rains an awful lot there. This melancholy and primordial world of black buildings, rain, sea and mountains in which I grew up is the one that I paint.
Wherever possible I paint using my fingers, palette knives and rags instead of brushes, I achieve a much more expressive result and find I can create a fuller range of tones, colours, textures and lines working this way"
Born: 1954, Workington, Cumbria
1996 - 96 Slade School of Art, Summer School
1973 - 76 Middlesex University, BA honours degree, art & design
1972 - 73 Hornsey Art College, Foundation Course
1967 - 72 St. Bees School, Cumbria
1995 - present: Artist.
1986 - 94 Artist/designer, The Bureaux
1991 - 92 External Assessor Croydon Art College
1987 - 90 Visiting lecturer Central St. Martins, London
1983 - 85 Art Director, Chrysalis Records and 2-Tone Records
1979 - 82 Designer, Chrysalis Records and 2-Tone Records
1977 - 79 Designer, Rocket Records
Winner of the Turner Prize in 2003, elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2012 and awarded a CBE in 2013, Grayson Perry is of the most well know, respected and recognisable of British artists at work today.
Born in Essex in 1960, after completing an Art Foundation Course at Braintree College, Grayson studied for a BA in Fine Art at Portsmouth, graduating in 1982.
Perhaps initially best known for his often controversial pottery, his commentary on modern life, its injustices and hypocrisies has transcended into many forms, with his incredible large and powerful tapestries being at the current fore. His commentary on aspects of society, including child abuse and natural disasters, the juxtaposition of such narratives being carried upon the traditional and familiar forms of pottery, adds to the impact. Other elements appear within his work, including references to transvestism, a somewhat autobiographical link to his own alter-ego, Claire.
Exhibitions of Grayson’s work have been held at the National Portrait Gallery, Musee d’Art Moderne, Andy Warhol Museum and the Barbican Art Gallery, amongst many others.
Grayson Perry delivered the memorable Reith Lectures on BBC Radio 4 in 2013, and has been the subject of two notable recent TV programmes, the BAFTA winning Channel 4 In the Best Possible Taste, and receiving a second BAFTA for Grayson Perry; Who Are You?
Leon Kossoff was born in Islington, London in 1926, and continues to live and work in London to this day.
In 1943, after returning to London following evacuation during the Second World War, Leon Kossoff obtained a place at the Saint Martin’s School of Art; somewhat interrupted by National Service, he was to return in 1949, supplementing his course by taking part time classes at Borough Polytechnic under the tutelage of David Bomberg. It was at these studies that Leon was to meet and befriend a young Frank Auerbach. Both artists were to be heavily influenced by Bomberg and undoubtedly in some ways, each other.
Kossoff studied at the Royal College of Art from 1953 to 1956, and it was upon graduation that, again as with Auerbach, Kossoff was nurtured by Helen Lessore at her Beaux Arts Gallery in London, arguably one of the most important commercial sites of young artistic talent in the mid part of the twentieth century. He began teaching art at Chelsea School of Art and Saint Martin’s School of Art and was to befriend and spend time with other emerging talents of the British art scene, including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud and Keith Critchlow.
As with Auerbach, Leon Kossoff’s work is typified with studies of the human form and the area of north London where he lives and works. His use of heavy impasto in painting and strong, powerful lines in his charcoal portraiture are instantly recognisable.
Regarded as one of the true talents to emerge in Britain during the twentieth century, Leon Kossoff continues to work in north London. Major exhibitions have been held, such as in 2007 at the National Gallery in London and his work is held in many of the world’s most respected public and private collections.
Melissa Kiernan is a hugely talented English sculptor of porcelain form, located in the south west of England. Born in 1966 and having studied ceramics at the University Of West Englang in Bristol, we'll leave Melissa to express he work in her own words..
"I draw inspiration from expressionism, medieval art, and history. My figures are constructed from pieces of paper-thin porcelain vitrified to create translucency. In my work, I create ethereal movement and delicacy to convey a sense of the fragility of life. I’m working with the strength, the suffering, and the fleeting beauty of the human form. Life impacts and leaves its mark."
One of the most respected and influential of British artists of the twentieth century, Patrick Heron was born in Leeds in 1920 but spent much of his life in London and then Cornwall, where many of his most influential works were created. It was in St. Ives, Cornwall, that Patrick was to meet and befriend Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth, amongst other contemporaries of that era, becoming part of what was to become regarded as one of the most inventive and influential British “collectives” of the last century.
At aged seventeen, Patrick Heron secured a part time position at the Slade School of Art, a positioned spurred from his fascination with painting following an early visit to the National Gallery in London, where he was astounded and influenced by the work of Paul Cezanne.
His first solo exhibition was at the Redfern Gallery, London in 1947; at the same time Patrick began working on a series of portraits of T.S.Elliot, the final one being purchased some years later by the National Portrait Gallery.
Patrick Heron’s reputation spread and in 1960 his first solo exhibition in the US was held, at the critically regarded Bertha Schaefer Gallery, New York. Throughout this time, and beyond, Patrick Heron became a highly regarded writer and lecturer on art, delivering several prestigious lectures both within the UK and beyond.
Patrick was offered and declined both a Knighthood and membership of the Royal Academy of Arts. He died, still painting until the end, aged 79 in March 1999. Several retrospective exhibitions of his work have been held, including a major show at the Tate Britain in 1998. Work by Patrick is held in numerous national and international public and private collections, including the Tate and National Portrait Gallery.
Richard is a young artist with a tremendous talent and an equally exciting future.
Originally from Oldham, he studied for a Fine Art degree at Loughborough University, and whilst there was accepted into the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, an amazing achievement for someone still a student, indeed, he is the youngest to have been admitted in its approximate 150 year history!
If you can have such a things as considered spontaneity, it lives within Richard’s work. With traces of Bomberg and Auerbach, there’s a power that draws you in, bringing more out the longer you take in the work.
Now living in Rochdale following graduation, we’re thrilled to be working with Richard, and bringing his talent to a wide audience.
Born in 1931, Sheila Fell grew up in Aspatria, a typical West Cumbrian mining village. Whilst gaining a place at the Carlisle College of Art at 17, within two years she had obtained a place at St. Martin’s School of Art, London. Here, she befriended Frank Auerbach, amongst other contemporaries, and went on to teach at the Chelsea School of Art.
Sheila Fell held her first exhibition in 1955, courtesy of Beaux Arts, London. It was from this that she met L S Lowry, who purchased a number of paintings from this exhibition, and many more in the years that followed. This was to be a friendship that lasted until Lowry’s death in 1976. Indeed, he assisted her financially to the tune of £3 per week for two of her early London years.
Acclaimed by critics, collectors and her peers, she began exhibiting at the Royal Academy in 1965, being elected an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1969, and a fully blown Member of the Royal Academy in 1974.
Sheila Fell died in 1979, aged just 48. It is likely that she only painted some six to seven hundred paintings during her life, but what arguably makes them so powerful is her almost unique ability to convey the emotion inherent in a landscape; not just the landscape itself, but the impact it has on you. As Lowry suggested, Sheila Fell was arguably the greatest landscape painter of her age.
Many of Sheila’s paintings are held in major public and private collections throughout the UK, including the Tate Gallery, Walker Art Gallery and in the Government Art Collection.
One of the most internationally lauded of living artists, Frank Auerbach was born in Germany in 1931, however, in 1939 his parents sent him to England to escape the Nazis as part of the Kindertransport Programme. Even at a young age, his artistic ability was evident. He went on to study at St Martin’s School of Art in London from 1948 to 1952. After that he studied at the Royal College of Art in London from 1952 to 1955.
Auerbach’s work is focused mainly on scenes in and around his home in London and landscapes of Camden Town. His portraits usually feature friends and people close to him, such as his wife, Julia and the professional model, Juliet Yardley Mills (usually referred to as J. Y. M. in titles). A major monograph was published on Frank Auerbach in 2009, with a TV documentary, To the Studio, in 2002
His paintings of the 1950’s and 1960’s are characterised by heavy impasto and earth colours, giving way more recently to vivid colours to depict subject and place. The power and creative tension in his drawings is equally apparent in his rare, but carefully considered etchings.
The subject of a major 2015/16 solo retrospective exhibition at Tate London, Frank Auerbach is an internationally acclaimed painter and currently lives and works in London. His works are held in many of the world's most prestigious public and private museums and collections.
Born and brought up in Cumbria, Helen left the county at the age of 18 to study Geography at Manchester University. After years living in and exploring various parts of the UK she has now returned, and has a studio in Fletchertown, the village she grew up in. The land sandwiched between the Solway and the 'Back 'o' Skiddaw' is one she she knows intimately and has been hugely influential in her work, even though she was initially known for her depictions of the west coast of Scotland.
Her landscapes are highly evocative, full of atmosphere and alive with movement. They are usually unpeopled, depicting those wild, remote places which she loves to explore. Helen has spent many hours walking, sailing, cycling and cross country skiing in all weathers. She has climbed all 284 Scottish Munros (mountains over 3000 feet) and has sailed extensively off the west coast of Scotland, all the while observing and experiencing the best and worst of British weather, which she is not afraid to express in her work.
Her language of mark making is distinctive and self taught. Initially, she works in rapid, sweeping, almost frantic movements, using her hands to apply the chalk pastel and acrylic ink. A basic image emerges very quickly, but the pace then slows and her technique becomes more considered, until the piece is compositionally and tonally balanced. The resulting work has been exhibited widely in the UK.
Percy Kelly was born in Workington, Cumbria in 1918, being one of eight siblings. Despite an early aptitude for drawing, Percy left school at 14 to work for the Post Office. Interrupted by war, he served in the Royal Signals, where his talent for draughtsmanship was utilised in the production of maps. In 1946 Percy returned to Post Office employment, and obsessional painting, working at the Post Office until taking up a full time place at the Carlisle College of Art and Design from 1961 until 1965. In the early 1950s, Percy submitted works to the Royal Academy, Royal Institute and Royal Society of British Artists; all were accepted, and from 1956 until 1963, Percy was a member of The Lakes Artists Society.
Percy’s first solo exhibition was in 1966 at the Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven, courtesy of Sir Nicholas Sekers, as too was an exhibition in Sloane Street in 1968. In 1969 a solo exhibition of his work was held at the Fermay Gallery, Kings Lynn, and in 1976, a seventy-painting exhibition was held at Abbot Hall, Kendal. His final solo exhibition was held in Troutbeck, Cumbria, 1984.
During his life, Percy rebuffed many approaches to exhibit his work, amongst them from the Crane Kalman Gallery in London, Tib Lane Gallery, Manchester, Goldmark Gallery, Uppingham, and not least from Chris Wadsworth at Castlegate House Gallery. There was much interest in his work during his lifetime, but despite this, only five exhibitions were held; Percy refused to sell all but a very small number of his works.
Percy moved to Norfolk in 1980, and died there in poverty in 1993. After many successful exhibitions at Castlegate House Gallery, the works of Percy Kelly have been shown in two highly successful solo exhibitions at Messums, London.
In our search for new art talent, we travel much of the UK and visit countless Art School graduation shows during the course of the year. Much of these travels culminate in varying degrees of disappointment, but now and again, quite the reverse occurs. For the first time, in 2014, I visited Wimbledon College of Arts, and was blown away by the work of Jess (Jessica Pigott). Tucked on the top floor of one of the college buildings, I saw large paintings, very large paintings, with more energy, skill with colour and light/dark and sheer boldness than I've seen in a long time. Jess has progressed, and progressed in a unique and wonderful manner.
We've listed below her CV to-date, and what Jess has to say about her own work
2011 – 2014 BA Fine Art: Painting, Wimbledon College of Art
2010 – 2011 Foundation in Art & Design, Wiltshire College
April 2015 - New Talent, Castlegate House Gallery
Aug 2014 - 2015 Clyde & Co Art Awards, London
June 2014 Wimbledon College of Art Degree Show
April – Oct 2014 Capsticks, Wimbledon
June 2012 Open Exhibition, Pound Arts Centre
My work confronts the emotions and individual relationships we have with certain places, reflecting on both urban and rural environments and the pastoral setting in which I grew up. I look to express a sense or spirit of a place and a way of communicating how it feels to be in these places. I consistently revisit themes of alienation and estrangement, but it is the recurrent quality of solitude that pervades much of my work. These depictions are rarely a true record of a particular place, but a combination of memory and experience. I choose subjects that are directly known to us, familiar and quotidian, whilst also ambiguous and open to shifts in mood and sensation. What is familiar and recognisable in these subjects is undermined by the incongruous use of colour and immediate mark-making.
Each painting undergoes a time-consuming process that involves reworking the material over multiple layers. This process of working generates certain outcomes and idiosyncrasies concerning atmosphere, tone and colour, derived from my recollections and feelings towards these evocative places.
Born in Wallasey in 1953, Edward was to become one of the most talented of UK studio potters.
Studying firstly at Cardiff School of Art, and thence the Bath Academy at Corsham Court, Edward was to follow up with a period working with the legendary Ray Finch at Winchcombe Pottery, in Gloucestershire.
Obtaining a Japanese government scholarship in the late 1970s, Edward was to spend almost two years at art school in Kyoto, learning and absorbing an oriental approach to the art of pottery-making that mirrored the inspiration of the likes of Bernard Leach in the early part of the twentieth century. In 1979, Edward held his first solo exhibition, in Japan. The success of this show enabled Edward and his young Japanese wife, Shizuko, to set up home and studio in rural Kyoto. Here Edward continued to experiment with his art, continuing in the Japanese tradition which had decades before been the inspiration for the emergence of what became known as British Studio Pottery.
For five years Edward held successful shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, but the pull of his native country drew him and Shizuko back to the UK in 1984, setting up home and studio in Cumbria. Continuing to change and perfect his art, a majority of Edward’s work continued to be sold in Japan. Here, the practicality of his pots was celebrated; they were relatively expensive items to be prized but importantly, used. In the UK, his pots were seen as more pieces to collect and be looked at rather than have a practical function; a very different ethos to the Japanese market he was so successful in. Successful UK exhibitions did, however, follow, with notably the V&A purchasing a number of his pieces.
Edward saw value and merit in all his pots, from utilitarian cups and dishes, to the most exquisite platters and boxes. This value place on the usual, the everyday, was no doubt a product of his time in Japan. What can’t be argued is that Edward’s work displays a quality of form and glaze that truly set him apart from many studio potters of his generation, and why his work is highly prized both in the UK and Japan, today.
Edward tragically died in a mountaineering accident in 2006, aged just 52. We are proud to be working with his family in bringing previously unseen work to collectors, old and new.
A true northern talent, Ian's ability is to convey, through paint, how it was to stand by the land or sea; be battered, at times, by the elements. Ian paints in the open, it's the only way he knows. He doesn't work from photographs back in the studio, he stands with canvas and easel on the fell-side, beach or cliff tops and paints. It's a combination of that uncompromising approach and his natural ability that produce astonishing work, often almost sculptural in his use of paint.
Ian attended Blackburn Collage of Art, obtaining a First Class Honours degree in Fine Art. Elected as a member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts (MAFA) in 2010, Ian went on to win the Dr Barbara Oldham award at the MAFA Summer Exhibition in 2011.
Widely exhibited, from his native North West to major galleries in Wales and the South of England, Ian's works are held in several public collections, including Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Greater Manchester NHS Trust and Blackburn University Centre.
Joan Eardley was born in Sussex in 1921. A tragic childhood, with her father committing suicide when she was just nine years old, she moved with her Mother and sister, Patricia, to Blackheath, London in 1929.
Showing an early aptitude and enthusiasm for art, Joan attended the local art school in Blackheath, but soon won a position at the prestigious Goldsmiths College. Following a family move to Glasgow, Joan secured a place at the Glasgow School of Art in 1940, a move which was to significantly influence the course of her future life and art work. Here she was awarded the Sir James Guthrie prize for Portraiture.
Following spells away from Scotland after graduation, Joan returned and set up home and studio in Glasgow in 1949. Close to the tenements of Townhead, Joan began to paint the children from the “slum areas”. These are regarded as amongst the most powerful and prized of her life’s work; depicting the deprivation and yet humanity within the faces of the children.
In the early 1950s, Joan purchased a cottage at Catterline, a small coastal village close to Stonehaven. Here she began to experiment with both land and sea-scapes, working with paint to depict her surrounding world with a life and energy few had managed before.
Joan was made and associate member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1955, and voted a full member in 1963. Sadly, it was in that same year Joan lost her battle with cancer and died, aged just 42.
Regarded as one of the UK’s most influential and highly respected artists of the twentieth century, her work is held by most of the UK’s best regarded public and private collections, including the Royal Scottish Academy, National Galleries Scotland, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the National Gallery.
Born in Lancaster in 1967, Chris attended the Storey Institute, Lancaster & Morecambe College, Art and Design, before going on to study at the prestigious Falmouth School of Art.
We first came across Chris' work whilst in Cornwall. Not your typical Cornish tourist painting, but more a northern house, in its semi rural surroundings, at night. It was the use of light, and tone that amazed us, and it's that use of light and tone that stands Chris' work apart from most. Whether used within his more urban scenes, or of rock-faces in the Scottish Highland coasts, Chris displays a true painting talent. Suffice it to say, we were thrilled to discover that Chris lives and works on the Lancashire/Cumbria border!
Chris' work has been widely and successfully exhibited across the UK. Notable exhibitions include the famous Beaux Arts, Bath, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal and The Mall Galleries, London, with over 25 solo and 45 mixed exhibitions under his belt.
We're thrilled to welcome Chris to Castlegate House.
Born in Oxford in the latter stages of the nineteenth century, Winifred was an early starter at art school, at just eleven. In 1920 she married the thereafter and now internationally renowned artist Ben Nicholson, whom was to credit Winifred with much of his development in the use of colour.
Jointly part of the “St. Ives” movement (although arguably Winifred was more on the periphery) Ben was to leave Winifred for the famous sculptor Barbara Hepwoth, also a member of the “group”. Following a spell residing in Paris after her divorce, Winifred was to move to Cumberland, firstly at Boothby and latterly at Bankshead, near Lanercost, where she lived until her death in 1981.
Widely exhibited, written about and critically acclaimed, Winifred has become recognised as one of the most enduring and important of British artists of the last century. She is known for her trademark of capturing still lifes through open windows, but her work also spans her trips to both Scotland and Greece, where a more vivid colour palette emerged.
Significant works are held by many prestigious public and private collections, including the Tate, UK Government Collection and Tuille House, Carlisle
Living near Wigton, in Cumbria, Jim is one of the most internationally celebrated and collected UK potters at work today. Potting in the true traditions of British pottery, using his self-built wood fired kiln to achieve a variety of truly wonderful forms and glaze finishes.
Born in 1946, Jim attended the Camberwell School of Art, London from 1972 to 1976. During this time, he spent time on placement working with Ray Finch at the legendary and important Winchcombe Pottery, in Gloucestershire.
For much of the 1980s Jim spent time teaching, passing on what he had learnt, but importantly what inspired him in the making of his pottery. He held positions at Camberwell, Wrexham School of Art and until 1990, at Cumbria College of Art, Carlisle.
Jim has been featured in numerous publications over the years, including British Studio Ceramics of the Twentieth Century; British Studio Pottery in the V&A Collection; A guide to Collecting Studio Pottery and Modern British Potters and Their Studios.
Public bodies which hold Jim Malone's work as part of their permanent collections include the Victoria and Albert Museum, Paisley Museum Glasgow, Liverpool Museum and Art Gallery and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, amongst many others.