Winner of the Turner Prize in 2003, elected a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2012 and awarded a CBE in 2013, Grayson Perry is of the most well know, respected and recognisable of British artists at work today.
Born in Essex in 1960, after completing an Art Foundation Course at Braintree College, Grayson studied for a BA in Fine Art at Portsmouth, graduating in 1982.
Perhaps initially best known for his often controversial pottery, his commentary on modern life, its injustices and hypocrisies has transcended into many forms, with his incredible large and powerful tapestries being at the current fore. His commentary on aspects of society, including child abuse and natural disasters, the juxtaposition of such narratives being carried upon the traditional and familiar forms of pottery, adds to the impact. Other elements appear within his work, including references to transvestism, a somewhat autobiographical link to his own alter-ego, Claire.
Exhibitions of Grayson’s work have been held at the National Portrait Gallery, Musee d’Art Moderne, Andy Warhol Museum and the Barbican Art Gallery, amongst many others.
Grayson Perry delivered the memorable Reith Lectures on BBC Radio 4 in 2013, and has been the subject of two notable recent TV programmes, the BAFTA winning Channel 4 In the Best Possible Taste, and receiving a second BAFTA for Grayson Perry; Who Are You?
Sarah Jane Bellwood is an award-winning Lancaster based artist, one with an ability to convey exquisite detail seldom seen through paint. Sarah turns what may appear to be the common-place into studies of intracacy and detail that draw you in, further and further.
In Sarah's own words:
"My work is predominantly about life and death through my obsession with objects and light. The arrangement of objects, when I am happy with its composition, is painted from life over a period of weeks. The light changes daily and the reflections and shadows merge, grow, recede and flicker. The excitement of painting comes from the new arrangement of light collected in the bowl of a spoon, or resting on the edge of a knife.
The finished painting is not like a photograph of a moment, but the capturing of the moving and changing light over weeks. Life cycles, food chains and their relationship with humans form the concepts underpinning this fascination. The people who created the hedgerows and landscapes that form homes for these creatures equally fascinate. I am constantly struck by the sculptural aspects of hedgerows, the way they are tended, cut and their yearly cycle of regrowth homing their inhabitants.
The cutlery I collect has been equally shaped and formed with edges scraped and worn away through constant use and handling. The user now dead, the ghost of his or her existence present in their unique wear and tear of the cutlery that they once owned. Entropy degrades the elements within the metals and everything ultimately returns to the earth."
Sucessfully represeted and shown in both London and New York, we're very pleased to be bringing Sarah's work to a Castlegate audience.
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.
Born and brought up in Cumbria, Helen left the county at the age of 18 to study Geography at Manchester University. After years living in and exploring various parts of the UK she has now returned, and has a studio in Fletchertown, the village she grew up in. The land sandwiched between the Solway and the 'Back 'o' Skiddaw' is one she knows intimately and has been hugely influential in her work.
Helen's landscapes are highly evocative, full of atmosphere and alive with movement. They are usually unpeopled, depicting those wild, remote places which she loves to explore. Helen has spent many hours walking, sailing, cycling and cross country skiing in all weathers. She has climbed all 284 Scottish Munros (mountains over 3000 feet) and has sailed extensively off the west coast of Scotland, all the while observing and experiencing the best and worst of British weather, which she is not afraid to express in her work.
Her language of mark making is distinctive and self taught. Initially, she works in rapid, sweeping, almost frantic movements, using her hands to apply the chalk pastel and acrylic ink. A basic image emerges very quickly, but the pace then slows and her technique becomes more considered, until the piece is compositionally and tonally balanced. The resulting work has been exhibited widely in the UK.
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.
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 is proud to represent the estate of Norman Cornish, working with his family, and has a number of Norman Cornish paintings for sale depicting scenes from his time living and working in the colliery town of Spennymoor. If you would like more information, please call 01900 822149.
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
Born in 1934 in Sheffield, Hoyland studied at the Sheffield School of Art (1951-56) and then the Royal Academy (1956-60) and went on to teach at the Slade and Royal Academy art Schools. John Hoyland's artistic development in the 1960s ran parallel with the Abstract Expressionists in America. Hoyland was interested in their work and ethos, moving to New York in 1964. In London he had had a series of one man shows in a variety of well know galleries including the Whitechapel and Waddington.
Hoyland's prints like his canvases are rich in colour and bold in composition. Though they may appear spontaneous, much preparation and thought is given to the balance of colour and form. For every colour in the print a separate stencil is created through which paint is pushed; gradually building up layers to complete the image, necessitating a great deal of forethought. The compositions generally focus on a central cell-like element; this gives the work a definitive structure and focus as well suggesting a biological/natural/stellar form.
Hoyland’s first solo show took place at the Marlborough New London Gallery in 1964. This was followed by a series of national and international solo exhibitions, including the Whitechapel Gallery, London. He showcased his work at the Waddington Galleries throughout the 1970s and 1980s; and a retrospective of his work was held at the Serpentine Gallery in 1979 and again in 1999 in the Sackler Galleries. Hoyland’s work has also been included in numerous international group exhibitions from 1964, when his work was selected for the New Generation exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. More recently he had participated in group exhibitions at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool and the Barbican Gallery, London in 1993, and at Galerie Josine Bokhoven in Amsterdam in 1994.
Hoyland received many awards throughout his career, including the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Purchase Award; a Peter Stuyvesant travel bursary; he was a Prize Winner at the John Moore’s Liverpool Exhibition in 1964 and won First Prize in 1982; he received an Arts Council purchase award; joint first prize with William Scott in the Korn Ferry International and first prize of the Athena Art Award in 1987. In 1998 he won the Wollaston Award for the most distinguished work in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
John Hoyland passed away in July 2011 at the age of 76. His contributions to British contemporary art have been revolutionary and have had great influence on younger generations of artists.
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
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.
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 Martin's School of Art, 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
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.