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.
Helen Tabor was born in Middlesex but has lived in the Scottish Borders with her partner and three children for more than twenty years. She graduated in 1981 from York University, travelled widely to India and Bhutan where she worked within the voluntary sector.
Having gained her post graduate certificate of education in York in 1984, she taught Art, Drama and English, first at Boroughbridge School in North Yorkshire and then at Paro High School in Bhutan.
Pursuing her first and most passionate calling, Helen has developed as an artist over the past two decades, and has exhibited widely in public and commercial galleries. Her skill as both a land and sea-scape artist is widely recognised, most recently winning the Gullane Gallery Award at the Royal Scottish Academy.
A truly gifted artist, Helen's paintings are owned and collected internationally. Her fluid use of texture and colour, combined with a delicate and insightful interpretation of the world around her has justifiably led to both public and critical acclaim.
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.
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.
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, not so, as was the case at Wimbledon College of Art in the summer of 2014. 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.
We brought Jess’ work to the gallery that autumn and have followed on with two successful exhibitions. Jess continues to paint around a centre theme; tress. It’s fascinating to see how, as time goes on, her work evolves and grows around that theme.
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
November 2016 – Castlegate House Gallery - Continuance
March 2015 – Castlegate House Gallery – New Talent
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.
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
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
Not only one of only eighty members of the Royal Academy of Arts but also 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 is in charge of the RA Schools, a prestigious position she has held since 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
Based in Galloway, Scotland, Hannah produces pottery that is often a fusion of the domestic and the artistic. Continuing with a tradition of slipware within the British Isles that has lasted centuries, she is passionate about the creation of pottery that uses slipware decoration, often with sgraffito designs influenced by the eighteenth century potters of Staffordshire and Devon. Hannah’s work has been widely exhibited, most recently in Japan.
Geoffrey Key 1941
Geoffrey Key was born in Manchester in 1941. Attending Manchester’s High School of Art, he progressed in 1958 to degree and post graduate studies at the Manchester Regional College of Art. Successful studies lead to a post graduate scholarship in sculpture, and the award of the Heywood medal in Fine Art and the Guthrie Travelling Scholarship.
Now in his sixth decade as an artist, Geoffrey Key's painting style is instantly recognisable; almost a unique blend of early twentieth century avant garde with modern twenty-first century observation. His colour palette has developed over time, from muted tones, to the vibrant use of colour he is now so well known for. Geoffrey Key has had numerous solo exhibitions and is regarded as one of the most important and striking artists working in the UK today.
Geoffrey Key's works are held in international private collections, and can be seen in many UK public collections, including The Manchester Art Gallery, Salford Art Gallery, National Art Library and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Tim Lake is a highly respected British potter, living and working in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Tim’s approach to his art can be best described in his own words:
'Fluidity, fullness and lift are attributes I look to impart into my pots, always trying to bring the softness and suppleness of the material through to the end of the processes. This combined with the alchemic adventure of taking a base material and transforming it into objects of use and beauty is the satisfying goal.
A variety of different voices inform my ceramic practice, from East to West, Korea to Marshall, Karatsu to Button. I hope that the combination of these influences and personal endeavour lead to pieces of work that have a subtle beauty that only clay can allow to happen.'
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.
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.
Doug produces his works from his in Scotland with wife Hannah McAndrew. Anyone looking at his work will see in it the clear influence of medieval and early English potters, but his form, decoration and glazes are simply stunning. Equally so are the sgraffito jugs Doug produces, which combine the art of the pottery with the art of the illustrator. There are few better potters at work today, anywhere
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.