New exhibitions at The Ropewalk this autumn

By janetuplin |

Two exhibitions with very different themes have just opened at The Ropewalk in Barton upon Humber.

Australian artist Alan Jones began a six month studio residency at The Ropewalk in April and began the process of collecting images he saw as relevant to his family’s British ancestry which he traced back to his convict ancestors Robert Forrester and his common law wife Isabella Ramsay.

On various road trips through England he collected photographs and drawings of places that were central in the story of their lives and convictions and it was these outdoor studies which became the groundwork for a new body of work that sought to read as a documentation of his family heritage.

His exhibition in the Artspace, The Mother Land, is the outcome of his research into his family history.

“Making this body of work was quite an experimental process. From the beginning I was interested in making something new as I wanted to push the works in a direction I had not seen before,” Alan explained.  “Letting this body of work slowly evolve and define itself has been as much a part of the journey as researching the family history.”

In contrast, Grimsby artist Madeleine Vernau’s exhibition, New Paintings, works to capture transient moments, emotions, reflections of time and space and places for contemplation both within the artwork and within the viewer.

Her paintings begin with an image – maybe an old photograph, perhaps a model or sometimes a recollection.

“There’s something of the abstract impressionist about her painting, the ghost of each work’s inception held in the oil and brushwork,” said The Ropewalk’s Exhibition Officer Richard Hatfield.  “In contrast Alan’s work was quite an experimental process, which grew and evolved organically with as few as possible pre-formed ideas about what direction the work will take. “

Alan’s exhibition continues until Sunday, October 14, while Madeleine’s ends a week later.

The Ropewalk is open between 10am and 5pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays.  Admission is free.

 

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Jill Stewart

Metal Clocks

There’s something about the contrast of textures of the different metals and etched parts that is so compelling. Metal is not always a hard shiny intractable thing – it can have a softer look, have variable colours created by the act of heating, can be a way of drawing in the air.

Jill Stewart was brought up in rural Northumberland, surrounded by nature and colour, always noticing the tiny details that surround us. After city adventures and unsuitable jobs, she started to make things, and developed unique ways of working in brass, copper, silver and titanium. The clocks developed after she was challenged to make larger items than jewellery, and to really develop a colour palette using the effects of heat on different metals. After cutting out the shapes, a large flame is used to solder parts of the design together, but also makes copper go beautiful unpredictable shades of dark red, and changes the look of other metals, especially the etched parts. The handmade look is important, that you can tell an actual person worked closely with their materials here, not absolutely sure how each process would turn out.

 

By devonb |

Luke Jerram

Harrison’s Garden

If John Harrison had a garden, how might it have looked?

In 2017, artist Luke Jerram took that thought and turned it into an amazing and imaginative exhibition that has been touring the UK. His idea was to create a ‘an imagined garden’ of clocks clustered into species, forming ‘flowerbeds’, ‘islands’, ‘pathways’ and borders’. Luke’s array of around 3000 timepieces has now visited the beautiful National Trust properties of Nostell Priory, Gunby Hall and Penrhyn Castle.

And in January 2019, Harrison’s Garden will reach its final destination at The Ropewalk. Bringing Harrison’s Garden home has been organised by the Better Barrow Community Project and Luke has kindly offered to donate the clocks to their fundraising cause to erect a statue of John Harrison. The clocks will be auctioned at the end of the exhibition – for further information visit betterbarrow.org

Harrison’s Garden was originally commissioned by Connect! and presented over 5 days at Devon’s Thelma Hulbert Gallery in 2015.

By richardhatfield |

Chrissy Collinson – Sites Unseen

The Tenfoot Series of paintings is a distillation of Hull’s hidden and unseen urban routes. These hidden routes have provided inspiration for me as an artist who lives in Hull and is intent on discovering the picturesque of the everyday, the roughness and irregularity of the mundane. My paintings are not though to be viewed as exploitative of the ‘down at heel’, but observation of this urban picturesque, and are paintings first and foremost.

As a keen walker of the Tenfoots I am never without my camera. I observe and record the fragility of rotting wood, holed by worm and beetle alike. I find the ad hoc nature of Hull’s Tenfoots fascinating: the make do and mend fences; the mock Tudor and Swiss chalet style garages; patched up boundaries and beguiling attempts at security. It would seem that Hull’s Tenfoots appear to be held together by flaking paint and rusting hinges. My paintings are as varied in subject matter and colour as the Tenfoots are in diversity.

Back in the studio I use photographs to compose and decide the subject matter to be painted. The resulting compositions are intended to concentrate the viewer’s gaze to a certain mark, form and/or structure of, or upon, a surface that initially caught my eye. There is no visual clue of a horizon or vanishing point. Nor are they meant as decorative shape and colour. The Tenfoot Series is an expression and first hand exploration of a familiar (to me) landscape through the concentrated and detailed process of painting in oil paint on an intimate scale.

By richardhatfield |

Studio Artists’ Show

The annual Ropewalk Studio Artists Exhibition features work from

David Alcock
Sally Beaumont
Emily Connor
Deborah Grice
Gill Hobson
Richard Hatfield
Judith Land
Tim Needham
Michael Scrimshaw
Reginald Swinney
Shirley Trumble
Keith Woodcock
85 Fathoms

By richardhatfield |

Fair Ground Fables – Michelle Forrest-Beckett

Michelle recalls a frightfully fascinating childhood memory of a former sideshow attraction in Whitby. Her recollection of witnessing a pickled dicephalic baby and the staked bones of Dracula began the blurring of the boundaries between reality and fantasy.

‘Fairground Fables’ was conjured to question the satirical and moral ambiguity of fringe entertainment presented behind the curtains of Vaudeville theatres and Victorian Side Shows. Michelle draws from idioms and fables that play with tales of tragedy and fortune as well as the traces of life that befall the discarded or well loved, by enlivening everyday objects with an air of uncertainty.  She assembles things left behind on dusty shelves, creating magnetic forms that encourage the viewer to take an encounter with the apprehension of things.  ‘Fairground Fables’ is bent with a nostalgic and melodramatic allure that bestows something provocative and enchanting.

 

On November 24 Michelle will be running a workshop teaching participants how to make their own Fairground Fable. Bookings can be made in the Craft Gallery.

By richardhatfield |

Richard Hatfield – Tim Needham

Richard Hatfield & Tim Needhams’ interest in painting stretches back through careers that began just one year apart. Working independently, both find common ground in their references to landscape, yet it is their divergent approaches which spark the dialogue in this show.

I paint out of doors and in the studio. Landscape embodies form, colour and light. Painting can reflect these primal elements and leave us with an object akin to poetry. I play with the picture plane and use paint on various surfaces, abstracted to convey feelings and form with a sense of the drama of the place.
Tim Needham

The subjects are the amalgamation of the remembered, the fleetingly observed and the repeated, emblematic motifs left, like an afterimage imprinted on the retina. I look for a sense of the unfamiliar in the ordinary – a gentle disquiet. Some pieces recall a particular moment or episode, often dramatic and transient such as the effects of light or weather, frequently in the extreme. It is at these times that nature can reassert itself into our consciousness and provide us with a taste of something that is awesome in the true sense of the word. Other paintings are less dramatic and conjure up emotions and associations of particular memories and universal fears from early childhood.
Richard Hatfield

By richardhatfield |