A summer selection
25th July, 2020 - 29th August, 2020
An ever-changing selection of some of our favourite works together with new work from gallery artists
An ever-changing selection of some of our favourite works together with new work from gallery artists
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.
Watercolour, gouache and acrylic on performance flyer
15 x 12 cm
Watercolour, gouache and acrylic on performance flyer
15 x 12 cm
Watercolour, gouache and acrylic on performance poster
42 x 30 cm
Gore was born into the world of art; his father, Spencer Frederick Gore, was a painter, President of the Camden Town Group until his early death in March 1914, and his mother, Mary Joanna (Molly) Kerr, was a dancer from Edinburgh.
As a young man Gore's ambition was to be a philosopher, but as a student at Trinity College, Oxford (following in the steps of his great uncle Bishop Charles Gore), he soon found that his real passion was for drawing and painting at the Ruskin School of Art which he attended almost daily.
Leaving Oxford, and arriving in London, Gore trained at the Slade under Henry Tonks and at the Westminster School of Art with Mark Gertler and Polunin from whom he learnt the flat-on-the-floor method of painting backdrops for the theatre.
Pre-World War II, his career took off when a Greek patron saw his work and asked him to spend a year travelling and painting in Greece. Visits and extended sojourns to France followed, and an exhibition at Gallery Borghese in Paris in 1938 when Vauxelles called him the English fauve. Soon after, however, he was forced to leave and return to the UK.
In 1946, Gore began teaching at Saint Martin's School of Art, where he was Head of Painting from 1951 until 1979. In 1961 he was appointed Vice-Principal of Saint Martin's until he retired from the post in 1979. His students and colleagues there included many of the most accomplished artists of the twentieth century who continue to acknowledge the encouragement they received from Gore.
Summer months for many years were spent painting outside: on the Greek islands of Paros (1950s) and later on Aegina. Then during the 1960s, the rich hinterland of Majorca, followed by the brilliantly-lit landscapes of Provence.
In 1972, Gore was elected as a Royal Academician, and from 1976 to 1987 he was Chairman of the Royal Academy of Arts Exhibitions Committee.
In 1980, Gore visited the US for the first time to deliver a dissertation at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut. Staying en-route in New York he was so exhilarated by its exciting light and ambience that since then he visited almost yearly. He made an important contribution as a figurative painter with an enormous experience of paint, composition and colour to show the vitality of the US, when American artists had mostly turned to abstraction and were exploring painterly possibilities in a different direction. Gore was made CBE in 1987.
Exhibited regularly during his career, Gore’s last solo exhibition was at the Richmond Hill Gallery, London in January 2009.
Frederick Gore died age 95 on 31 August 2009.
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.
Born in 1926, Tom McGuinness was to become one of the "Bevan Boys" during the Second World War, working in the coal mines as a vital part of the war effort, keeping both industry and communities across the UK functioning.
Along with his contemporary, Norman Cornish, Tom McGuinness was a "graduate" of the Spennymoor Settlement, a mid-century arts centre designed to provide and encourage a greater understanding and involvement of the arts within the County Durham mining community. Tom McGuinness also studied at Darlington School of Art and became, through self education, immensely knowledgeable about art history and the works of other artists throughout the centuries.
Tom's style was very much his own; distinctive, engaging and innovative, his work is instantly recognisable and captivating, often depicting the reality of life working the coal seams; the oppression and the clautraphobia as well as life above the pit; the life he lived and in which he painted for over six decades.
Tom died in 2006 aged seventy nine, leaving a unique artistic legacy, one we believe will continue to increase in importance and merit as the years flow on.
Alistair’s work is based upon the British landscape; its shape and form and the effects of the weather and light upon it. He states that “the landscape is always changing depending upon the weather or the season; this excites me enormously and I see my art as a visual record of an ongoing playtime where I am searching, probing, observing what I see, feel and experience whilst outdoors. My aim when working back in the studio is to preserve the frisson of the first encounter, to try and capture the timeless nature of a place, the presence and essence or what Paul Nash called the “genius loci”, hopefully without slavish verisimilitude.”
That seems to sum Alistair’s work up rather well.
Acrylic on board
60 x 80 cm
Born in 1871, Samuel Peploe was to become one of the most influential Scottish painters of the last century, one of a group of four artists who were to become known as the Scottish Colourists. Born in Edinburgh, briefly living and working in Paris for two years prior to the first world war, Samuel Peploe was to holiday in northern France where, influenced by the strength of light and colour, he began to incorporate such strong bold colour into his compositions, something he was to later become recognised for in his still lifes along with his fellow Colourists, Ferguson, Cadell and Hunter. The same influence of light and its effect on colour was to influence him once again on trips to the Scottish isle of Iona, where many such seascapes and coastal paintings emerged.
Samuel Peploe died in 1935, leaving behind a body of work that continues to influence contemporary artists today.
Mike Bennett was born in Windermere, Cumbria in 1934. Studying at Lancaster and Leicester Colleges of Art from 1950-56, he was to meet June, a fellow student during this time, with them marrying in 1959 after Mike concluded a two year spell of National Service.
Already aware of, and influenced by a new wave of British artists, such as Vaughan, Hitchins and Sutherland, Mike spent much time during his college years painting at home for his own pleasure and development, and a number of paintings from this era are shown within the exhibition.
Starting off married life employed as art teachers in London, Mike and June would spend a huge part of their spare time in and around Bond Street and Cork Street, the Tate and Whitechapel Art Galleries. What was happening in the art world, and particularly within London, was having an impact on them, and it was this impact that Mike was to share with his students in his next teaching post from 1960 at the King Edward VI School in Nuneaton.
Mike loved his teaching role, and with it came the energy and physical studio space to allow him to let his artistic creativity explode. Recognition of Mike's work and talent grew, with successful exhibitions within many parts of the UK, including London, Nottingham and Leeds. In 1965, the newly-growing family moved to Yorkshire, where Mike had secured a teaching post as Lecturer of Painting at Bretton Hall (now better known as the Yorkshire Sculpture Park). He continued to exhibit his work, gaining further national recognition and critical acclaim, particularly once taken up by the Park Square Gallery, Leeds, one of the leading provincial lights for artistic talent. Mike's work was also exhibited at this time along side that of Sheila Fell and Sandra Blow at the influential Ashgate Gallery in Farnham, Surrey.
Further accolades followed Mike's acceptance into the Artists' International Association (AIA), a prestigious art group exhibiting work in it's Soho gallery. Mike was also accepted into the Midland Group of Artists. Despite its provincial underpinnings, it was regarded as one of the leading art groups during the 1950s and 60s, with Mike's work hung along side that of David Hockney.
The 1970s were to be a turning point for Mike and June. Moving to Seascale, the decision was made and both gave up formal educational employment to concentrate fully on their respective art careers. It was also at this time that Mike's work began to take on a more figurative bent. As Mike says "my work began to develop with much more realism, based on the landscape and the sea, sky and hills, but still retaining the ideas and shapes and movement of the earlier work".
Mike's work continued to be exhibited throughout the decade in both mixed and solo shows, including Abbot Hall, Kendal. As the decade progressed, Mike began to experiment with etching and was awarded a Northern Arts Printmaking Bursary in 1979 and 1980, working at Lowick House printmaking studios.
Moving from Seascale to Port Carlisle, Mike and June spent the next thirty years looking out over the estuary; both influenced by its light and movement. During this time, Mike's work developed, but themes remained, and lineage can be seen back to even many of the large abstract works of the 1960s. Mike exhibited at Castlegate for over two decades. He deservedly has a reputation as an accomplished and highly gifted artist.
Mike sadly passed away in October 2016.
Graduating in 1999 from Edinburgh University with a sell-out degree show, Sarah Carrington began her artistic career based in Edinburgh. Her work focuses on the Scottish coastline, a passion she has had since childhood holidays on the west coast and sailing excursions around the Hebrides. Her paintings are often large in scale (up to 6 x 12 feet long), colourful yet at the same time subtle. Her understanding of the nature of the sea and sky is evident in her work. The viewer is enveloped by the vastness of the sea and sky. Depth and distance of sea and sky are constant features in her work, emphasised by the triptych format she often uses
Most of the paintings are created in the studio from photographs and sketches executed on-the- spot at the beach. The beaches tend to be local due to their accessibility, such as Gullane, North Berwick, Longniddry and Catterline (Aberdeenshire). However, more recently she has been drawn back to the west coast of Scotland, to Ullapool and Ardnamurchan, and to its Hebridean islands, in particular, Iona.
Sarah uses household emulsion, acrylic, oil, sand and varnish to create a variety of surfaces to describe the different textures of the land and shore and to evoke the mood and weather of the place. For Sarah, these places remain a constant inspiration for her work.
Now with over fifteen years of highly successful exhibitions to her credit, we’re delighted to welcome Sarah back to Castlegate
A 2017 graduate of the prestigious Duncan of Jordanstone Art School in Dundee, Alice Campbell embodies all that is great about the true resurgence in British contemporary painting. Inventive, skilled, mature and aesthetically exciting, Alice's work has both the energy you'd expect from a immediate post-art school artistic life and the maturity to recognise influences and produce something truly unique in itself.
Based in Edinburgh, Alice could almost be described as a latter-day Scottish Colourist; her ability to deploy strong colour whilst avoiding distraction and confusion shows a maturity and talent beyond her years.
Awards to-date include:
Alexander Graham Munro Travel Award, Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour, 2018
Ninewells Hospital Radiology Art Prize, Dundee, 2017
Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour invited artist for the ‘Student Award’, 2017
John Kinross Scholarship, Royal Scottish Academy, 2017. Award based in Florence, Italy, October – December, 2017.
Watermark Award, presented by the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour, 2015
RSA John Kinross Scholarship group show, Italian Cultural Institute, Edinburgh, 2018
RSW open exhibition, Edinburgh, 2018
Gallery Heinzel, New Faces exhibition, Aberdeen, 2017
DJCAD degree show, 2017
‘Sneaky Peeks’, DJCAD reception, Dundee, 2017
‘Multi’, DJCAD reception, Dundee, 2017
Higher Bridges Gallery, Enniskillen (N.Ireland), 2016
‘Selection Box’, Tin Roof, Dundee, 2016
Laurel Gallery, Edinburgh, 2016
Velvet Easel, Edinburgh, 2016
RSW open exhibition, 2015
Edinburgh Macmillan Art Show, Edinburgh 2014/15
Royal Scottish Academy Collection
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art Collection, (University of Dundee)
Ninewells Hospital Art Collection, Dundee
John Bellany was born in Port Seton, a coastal town in East Lothian, Scotland. Born into a fishing family, both his father and paternal grandfather captained fishing boats.
Regarded as one of the most notable British artists of the 20th century, he was viewed as an outstanding student at Edinburgh College of Art from 1960 to 65, during this time gaining the Andrew Grant Scholarship in 1962, taking him to Paris. He went on to win the Burstain Award to attend the Royal College of Art in London in 1965, where he studied under Carel Weight and Peter de Francia.
In 1968 he became Lecturer in Painting at Brighton College of Art and 1969 – 1973 he was Lecturer in Painting at Winchester College of Art.
He moved to London where he was the visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art. It was during this period that he separated from his first wife that his reputation for being a heavy drinker began. From 1978 until 1984, Bellany was Lecturer in Painting at Goldsmith College of Art. He remarried in 1978, but his second wife spent long periods of time in hospital suffering with schizophrenia which contributed to his increased bouts of heavy drinking, a “curse” that was to persist throughout his life.
In 1986 Bellany was given the first solo show ever at the National Portrait Gallery, and a solo show at the National Portrait Gallery, Scotland in 1986. In 1988 he survived a pioneering liver transplant. His surgeon Sir Roy Calne said he was the only patient he had known that had gone back to work the day after surgery.
John Bellany died in 2013, he was found in his studio clutching his paintbrush.
Works by John can be found in The Tate, the National Portrait Gallery, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, National Galleries of Scotland, to name but a small few.
Among Bellany’s honours are a Major Arts Council Award (1981), Athena International Art Award (1985), Royal Academy’s Wollaston Award (1987).
He was made a Royal Academician in 1991 and awarded the CBE.
Leon Kossoff was born in Islington, London in 1926, living and working in the city until his death in 2019.
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 kived and worked in north London until his death in 2019. 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.
Born in Hutchesontown in Glasgow in July 1859, moving to Paisley to live with his brother when orphaned at an early age. William Kennedy attended the Paisley School of Art. He moved to Paris in the early 1880’s where he studied at Acadamie Julien. Upon returning to Scotland he established a studio in Stirling where he gained a reputation for painting accomplished rural landscapes. William Kennedy became a prominent member of a young (and now internationally famous) group of artists known as the Glasgow Boys; these young artists represented the start of modernism in Scottish painting, painting rural subjects, sketching and painting directly in front of their subject. In 1887 Kennedy was elected president of the society formed by the group’s members.
He first exhibited in London in 1886 and his painting of Millet’s house in Barbizon was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1883. William moved to Berkshire in 1890 and latterly Tangier where he died in 1918.
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.