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.
Born Peter Richmond in Isleworth, Middlesex in 1922, Peter went on to add Miles to his given name in the 1980’s, thereafter being known as such.
Initially studying at Kingston upon Thames school of art (now known as London South Bank University), Miles Richmond spent the duration of the Second World War working on the land as a conscientious objector, much to his family’s chagrin; his father worked for the Admiralty and his brothers served in the armed forces.
In 1946 Miles moved to London to study at the Borough Polytechnic in Southwark under the tutelage of the famous David Bomberg, a route shared by other young students including Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and Dennis Creffield. In 1947 he became a founder member of the influential Borough Group of artists. Here Miles Richmond was producing paintings that were heavily influenced by the early cubists and inevitably by his tutor, Bomberg.
Richmond and his wife moved Aix en Provence and then onto Ronda in Andalusia, Spain, where Bomberg was running his own art school; Richmond was to teach at this school for twenty years. After Bomberg’s death in 1957, Richmond taught at the International School in Spain. Miles Richmond moved back to England in the 1979, eventually settling in Middlesbrough.
In 1992 Richmond painted one of his most celebrated commissions, a 36 foot wide mural for the newly named London South Bank university to celebrate both it’s centenary and it’s elevation to a university and in homage to David Bomberg
Miles Richmond died in Middlesbrough in 2008 surrounded by his family.
Born into an artistic family in Edinburgh in 1885, John MacLauchlan Milne was the son of the Scottish landscape painter Joseph Milne. Studying at the Edinburgh School of Art, he went on to serve in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War. Between 1919 and 1932 John spent a substantial part of the each year in France, initially in Paris and then in Cassis at the same time as Duncan Grant, S.J. Peploe and F.C.B. Cadell.
At the outbreak of the Second World War, MacLaughlan Milne returned to Scotland, settling at High Corrie on the Isle of Arran where he remained and painted until his death in 1957. Milne’s reputation was built on his working in a light, broad and self-assured manner, reflecting the influence of the colourists; indeed, Milne was often referred to as the Fifth Colourist, such was his reputation and connection, often exhibiting alongside the Scottish Colourists and sharing many of their patrons
John was elected an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1934 and as a full member of the Academy in 1938. MacLaughlan Milne exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Glasgow Institute and exhibited his paintings in London and New York. A Centenary Exhibition of his work was held at the Dundee Art Gallery and Museum in 1985
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.
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.
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
John Bratby RA 1928 - 1992
Born in Wimbledon in 1928, John studied at the Royal College of Art from 1951 to 1954. So well respected was his work there, that within three years he had taken a post as a tutor at the same college.
It was during the 1950s that John’s work began to achieve critical acclaim. Its mix of impressionism and the depiction of daily life and images led to the phrase “kitchen sink realism” being coined for his work, and many thereafter.
John was elected a member of the Royal Academy in 1971, and built a large collector following for his colourful and heavy use of paint, including the likes of Paul McCartney. He became known as somewhat of a maverick, both in terms of his art, but also in terms of his public persona and ability to self-promote.
Over 100 works by John Bratby are housed in major international public collections, including the Tate, UK Government Collection, Hepworth Museum, Birmingham Museum, Laing Art Gallery and the Museum of London.
John is firmly and rightfully seen as an important and influential part of the British mid-to-late twentieth century art movement.
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.
Alan Lowndes 1921 – 1978
Born in Stockport in 1921, Alan left school at 14 to become, ironically, an apprentice decorator. That particular burgeoning career was interrupted at the outset of war, and Alan was to serve for several years in the British Army during the second world war.
On return to the UK, Alan attended evening classes, studying art at Stockport College, committing to a full time course in the late 1940s.
Taken up by the Crane Kalman Gallery in Manchester soon thereafter, Alan was to have many successful solo exhibitions, in time transferring with Crane Kalman to its London location. Many additional exhibitions followed, included the Osborn Gallery New York. After Alan’s premature death in 1978, retrospective shows were held at the Stockport Art Gallery and in 1995 a major retrospective at Crane Kalman in London.
In the early 1950s, Alan began to visit and paint scenes in and around St. Ives, Cornwall, and was to settle there for over a decade. He subsequently lived in Gloucestershire, but continued to visit and paint his native Stockport.
Alan is today regarded as one of the most important of the painters within the twentieth century Northern School, with his work held by many prestigious public bodies, including the Arts Council England, University of Liverpool, Museums Sheffield and Glasgow and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.