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.
Richard Cook possesses an ability to work with paint and charcoal, exercised over multiple decades, which stands him out as one of the most talented artists at work in the UK today.
Born in Cheltenham 1947, Richard Cook studied at St Martins School of Art (1966-70) and then the Royal Academy of Arts (1970-73). He was tutored by Leon Kossoff and in the early 1970’s Richard shared a studio with Kossoff, creating incredible impasto portraits under the influence of his tutor, works which command attention and acclaim almost five decades later.
To develop and mature as an artist without influence, Richard moved to Newlyn in Cornwall to be closer to what inspired him as a child – nature. Here, Richard started to create large canvas landscapes, using his hands to energetically create form, most often from a sketch or memory. An image is produced rather quickly, sometimes within minutes, and Richard then considers more carefully the detail of the image, drawing from memories and feeling rather than sight, always using his hands to create and recreate his works. In an interview for the Tate, Richard described his work as being ‘a response, different to the actual thing’ and this is fundamentally evident in the work we see today, either latterly created or those of decades past; each having a power and fluidity to draw the viewer in time and time again.
In 2001 Richard achieved further critical acclaim when the subject of a solo show at Tate St Ives, a short Tate film may be viewed HERE
We are proud to be working with Richard Cook
Francis Bacon was one of the dominant figures of British and International post-war art, and his works remain unmistakable for their contorted emotion and visceral physicality.
“I would like my pictures to look as if a human being had passed between them, like a snail leaving its trail of the human presence... as a snail leaves its slime,” he once said. Among his signature motifs were screaming and disfigured heads, grappling homosexual lovers, and flanks of meat, and his style is characterized by its flat backgrounds and sense of motion, derived from the frequent use of photography and film stills as sources for portraiture.
Mostly self-taught, Bacon nonetheless drew influence from an impossibly wide range of artists, from Vincent van Gogh, Eadweard Muybridge, and filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein, to Rembrandt, Masaccio, Titian, and especially Diego Velázquez, making explicit visual references to many of their works in his paintings. His lasting influence can be seen in particular among Young British Artists such as Damien Hirst, Jenny Saville, and Jake and Dinos Chapman.
Francis Bacon is rightly regarded as one of the greats of British art, from any age.
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ESTATE OF THE LATE NORMAN CORNISH
One of the most celebrated of the mining painters of the last century and this, Norman Cornish was born in 1919 in Spennymoor, County Durham.
As with most of his generation, he began work in the pits at an early age, but was driven to paint at a similarly early age, and was accepted into the Settlement at the age of 15, later to become known as The Pitman's Academy.
Exhibiting with his peers at the Laing Gallery, Norman Cornish held his first exhibition in 1959 at the Stone Gallery, Newcastle, one of, if not the leading contemporary art gallery in the North. There he exhibited with LS Lowry and Sheila Fell, and in 1963 was the subject of a TV documentary by a young Melvyn Bragg about both Norman and Sheila.
In 1966 Norman Cornish left the work of a pitman and became a full time artist. Continuing to live in and amongst the mining community continued to provide him with a seemingly endless source of material from which to create his paintings. His work is a wonderful record of the life of a northern mining community, at work and at leisure, and one that is highly sought after across the UK and internationally. Norman sadly died on 1st August 2014, aged 94.
Castlegate House Gallery are proud to represent the estate of Norman Cornish, working with his family, and have a number of Norman Cornish paintings for sale depicting scenes from his time working in the collieries. If you would like more information, please call 01900 822149.
A young artist who is perhaps one of the most exciting new talents at work in the UK today. An astounding ability with figurative work, work which conveys as much about Will as artist as it does about the subjects he paints. Working from his studio in Essex, Will is what the art world classes as an "outsider", an artist with huge talent and yet not the product of formal art school training; perhaps in this instance, such training may have been counter-productive. As an introduction, we will be showing a small selection of works from May 2019
We first came across Louis in the summer of 2014, at his graduation show at Wimbledon College of Arts. Individual certainly describes Louis’ work, with a depth and complexity that transcends the oft apparent simplicity of composition. Louis is a master of taking perspective and deconstructing parts, rearranging elements to unsettle the composition whilst at the same time gelling it all together; it’s a thoroughly intriguing approach and one that you find yourself getting more and more from the longer you live with a work.
Gaining a BA at Wimbledon, part of the St Martins campus of art schools, Louis was to return to his home town of Lancaster where he continues to painstakingly work towards each painting he produces. A prolific worker, but without prolific output; painting every day but with limited numbers emerging from his studio.
Louis was shortlisted for the 2016 Contemporary British Painting Prize and also won the Lynn Painter Stainers Award for Young Artist of the year in 2015. From Autumn 2017 Louis gained a position at the Royal College of Art to study for an MA in Painting, graduating in the summer of 2019.
Louis has had tremendous success since leaving art school, and we’re thrilled to be representing him.
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
Not only one of only eighty members of the Royal Academy of Arts but also until 2017, the first female Keeper of the Royal Academy in its almost 250 year history, Eileen is one of the foremost names in British contemporary art. As Keeper, Eileen was in charge of the RA Schools, a prestigious position she held from 2010.
Born in Glossop in 1953, Eileen Cooper studied at the prestigious Goldsmiths College, subsequently studying painting at the Royal College of Art. Gaining commercial and critical success from the 1980s, Eileen began and has continued to teach at many of the most well respected institutions, including St Martins School of Arts, the Royal College of Art and, as mentioned, as head of the RA Schools, in her capacity of Keeper.
Instantly recognisable, Eileen’s work clearly displays a female perspective, covering a multitude of themes, including motherhood, sexuality, transition and death. Her works span a multitude of disciplines, from painting in oil and watercolour, to printmaking through lino and woodcut, to drawing and collage.
Hide and Seek, a highly successful solo exhibition, was held in 2015 at the Royal Academy of Arts, coinciding with the publication of a book by Martin Gayford, "Between the Lines", covering four decades of Eileen's work.
In June 2016, it was announced that Eileen had received an OBE for services to art.
A short film of Eileen in her studio may be seen here
William G Bell 1928 - 2006
William G Bell was born in Barrow-in-Furness on April 20th 1928. Following the death of his mother when he was just ten, he was raised by his grandmother. Due to financial constraints, Bill left school at 14 and went to work at the then Vickers Shipyard in Barrow.
Always interested in drawing, Bill began experimenting with painting in his late teens, soon gaining an interest not in the nearby Lake District, but in the immediate world around him, be it working or leisure.
As a capstan operator and machine shop foreman, Bill had hands on experience of the industrial process. The variety of skills and the environment in which they were employed proved an endless source of inspiration. He was
fascinated by industry, having a lifelong interest in mining, shipbuilding, transport and heavy industries.
When away from Barrow, be it day trips or family holidays, Bill always sought out subjects to sketch for possible future paintings on his return home.
On a holiday to Glasgow for example, he journeyed to the Gorbals, to capture the unique architecture and atmosphere of the place. As with many of the
paintings in the exhibition, the painting of the Gorbals will be exhibited with the preparatory sketches completed on such a trip.
When back home in Barrow, Bill continued to be inspired by what he encountered every day; the shipyards, the pigeon pens, the back streets of Askam. All were a constant source of inspiration.
The shop floor at Vickers proved to be a somewhat fertile ground for young artists. Not only was Bill painting, whenever he could, what he saw about him, he was also working with a young apprentice, Keith Tyson, who was to later become a Turner Prize winner.
Bill had other interests. He was a talented engineer, an enthusiastic owner of three classic cars and an avid bibliophile. Painting was, however, his first love and abiding passion throughout his whole adult life.
Bill mostly worked in oils, occasionally in watercolour, pastel and charcoal. He was a founder member and President of the Barrow Society of Artists, a member of the Lakes Artists Society and was widely exhibited, from the 1950s until his death in 2006, including the Royal Academy London, the Royal Scottish Academy, Abbot Hall, the Harris Museum, Preston and the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts. One of Bill’s paintings, Bath Time, chosen by L S Lowry, was even filmed for a BBC television programme in 1958.
Bill’s paintings are instantly recognisable. His subject matter displays little of the romanticism of many of those painting Cumbria, both then and now. At times, purposefully naive, always honest. Bill has left a legacy; a record of how life was in Cumbria and beyond from the 1950s onwards.
Stephen Chambers is one of the most critically acclaimed and respected artists at work in the UK today. A member of the Royal Academy of Arts, Stephen Chambers studied at Winchester School of Art from 1978 to 1979 and then at St Martin's School of Art, London from 1979 to 1982.
Graduating with a Masters from Chelsea School of Art in 1983, Stephen Chambers won many scholarships and awards, including a Rome Scholarship, a Fellowship at Winchester School of Art, and a Mark Rothko Memorial Trust Travelling Award.
Through both paint and printmaking, Stephen’s work often flows from the figurative to the abstract, with narrative both subtle and overt. His work is held in many of the most high profile public and private collections, with exhibitions staged internationally, including the Royal Academy of Arts, London.