20th Century British & Contemporary Art
Castlegate House Gallery

Publications

  • Publications
  • Gallery Articles
Kate Bentley Christmas Card 2013
Kate Bentley Christmas Card 2013
£1.50

Blue Light

Percy Kelly Xmas Card 2013
Percy Kelly Xmas Card 2013
£1.50

Houses on the Brow, Maryport

Hercules and the Farmer's wife
Hercules and the Farmer's wife
£10

The story of a Cumbrian art gallery as told through a series of paintings. Lowry's fish and chip shop at Cleator Moor, The man who was irresistible to women, Fedden's striped cat, The Cumberland of Sheila Fell and the pursuit of Percy Kelly. Hard back 280 pages.

Whitewash and brown paint
Whitewash and brown paint
£10

The sketchbooks of Percy Kelly 1918 - 1993. Hard back full colour.

The Painted Letters to Joan David
The Painted Letters to Joan David - SOLD OUT
£20

Illustrated letters sent from Percy Kelly to Joan David 1983 - 1993. Hard back. Full colour 240 pages.

Letters to my step daughter
£10

Letters to my step daughter 2009

Percy Kelly - Fifty Little Gems
Percy Kelly - Fifty Little Gems
£5

Fifty Little Gems Catalogue 2011

Percy Kelly Catalogue
Percy Kelly Catalogue
£5

Percy Kelly Catalogue

Percy Kelly Catalogue
Percy Kelly Exhibition Catalogue
£5

Percy Kelly Catalogue

Percy Kelly Catalogue
Percy Kelly - Catalogue
£SOLD OUT

Percy Kelly Catalogue

The Man Who Couldn't Stop Drawing
The Man Who Couldn't Stop Drawing
£30 Special Offer Price

The extraordinary life of Percy Kelly

Today a piece of charcoal or chalk is like an extension of my forefinger. Drawing is as natural as walking.

Percy Kelly began to draw as soon as he could hold a pencil. He didn`t draw like a child. He had an innate understanding of perspective, draughtmanship and balance. He drew or painted every day of his life even through his army service in the second world war often in defiance of orders to send his materials home. In his first job in the postal service he would occasionally draw on the mail he was about to deliver until there was a complaint from one recipient. He drew on plastic plates in hospital. He drew on the back of cereal packets and envelopes. He drew and painted on anything in his orbit. It was a compulsion. A day without drawing plunged him into depression. It was as necessary to his health as eating and drinking.

He was always reluctant to sell any of his efforts. He liked them all around him which meant when he died in 1993 aged 76, he had a cottage stuffed with paintings and drawings, prints and letters. He preferred to live in poverty than sell any work. He hated exhibiting his work and was highly critical of galleries.

After his death in 1993, Chris Wadsworth brought his life`s work back to his native Cumberland and has been his champion, building his reputation from nothing. In the last 18 years she has gathered information from many sources, built it up piece by piece like a jigsaw and now is ready to tell the story of the extraordinary life of Percy Kelly which began in a terrace house in Workington, Cumbria, through Cornwall and Brittany to a derelict house in Pembrokeshire and a cottage in the backwoods of Norfolk. On that journey he discussed art with the Prime Minister Winston Churchill during air raids, shook hands with the King, George VI, at the National Gallery and dined with members of the Royal family. He corresponded with some of the highest in the land and ended up lonely and confused in a cottage in Norfolk surrounded by his beloved collection of work.

Investing in Art

A piece we recently wrote for Cumbria Life, focusing on Investing in, and displaying Art.