This year CCA artist Lucy Farley has been selected to exhibit 'Golden Valleys, Gloucestershire' at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition. Clare Clinton caught up with Lucy to find out more about being part of this prestigious and unique event.
CC: What does it mean to you to have a piece selected for the RA Summer exhibition?
LF: Each year I feel very lucky to be included in the summer show, having been at the RA completing my fellowship, I have been around when the buzz of the selection process is taking place upstairs and I know how competitive it can be.
At the Royal college I was taught printmaking by Chris Orr RA and Eileen Cooper RA and they always encouraged us as students to enter works that demonstrated the best of our printmaking abilities/ personal style and have our work seen by a wider audience.
The show attracts around 150,000 visitors and I really value the individual, personal response to my work. I am now in touch with a loyal group of people who have been coming and buying each year and follow my progress. You must, as an artist have your work seen as much as possible so you can investigate that interaction further and hope that what you are communicating touches people- this makes the lonely studio days worthwhile!
There is a lovely quote by David Smith, the American post-war Sculptor who inspires my drawing- ' The point at which my sculpture 'meets' the world is when it is complete'
CC: Tell us about the piece you are exhibiting.
LF: 'The Golden Valleys in Gloucestershire'. The image came from many drawings of the same place in Chalford Valley (near Stroud), along the canal. I love to interpret a particular spirit and visual deconstruction of place, which has meaning to me and through editing, re-introduce it to a public audience.
American painter Richard Diebenkorn who inspired this piece, had a way of obsessively painting the same streets and valleys in Ocean Park in California and somehow his angle on these familiar streets starts to draw attention to aspects that would otherwise go unnoticed. This is the point at which, when viewed within the new context the artist has placed them, objects and places become symbolic and command fresh enquiry from the viewer.
I grind the lime stones by hand upon which this Lithograph was drawn, and drawing on this three dimensional object makes the whole process very tactile and sculptural. There is more sensitivity with Stone lithography but it is becoming rare these days as Zinc plates and photographic litho have taken the place of stones and enable mass production.
I always hand colour my work using a variety of media, so as a result each one is unique.
CC: How does the selection process work?
LF: The selection process takes place over three stages- the first is a submission of the image, if this is successful then you are asked to deliver the picture in person and the final stages are the hang. A work can still be under consideration once it's hung and sometimes taken down and rejected at this final stage.
CC: As a fellow at the RA you obviously have strong ties to the institution, do you feel that it's relevant and accessible for young people and young artists?
LF: I think young people and artists should enter work every year as the benefits of being seen are fantastic.
As well as sales, you receive a great deal of enquiries about your work in general and I have had other shows happen because of this. There are many hidden gems at the RA to make the most of- the prints and drawings archive (which is open by appointment for public viewing) is truly inspiring, I discovered whilst doing my fellowship, that so many of the works by British artists I have looked at over the years are in the collection and for printmaking purposes it makes a huge difference to see these techniques on paper up close.
It is also worthwhile to keep an eye on the smaller shows in the Sackler wings which often get overshadowed by the blockbuster shows in the main galleries- I'm particularly looking forward to the 'Modern Art of South America' opening on 5th July and Allen Jones RA in Burlington Gardens on 13th November.
CC: What are you working on at the moment?
LF: In the studio at the moment,I have just finished a series of monoprints made at a Barcelona print residency which are based on Carribbean seascapes and wildlife I experienced by boat. My Father crossed the Atlanic and I was able to join him at the finish and bring my art equipment. The next project I'm looking forward to starts this weekend, when I travel to Jersey to make work in response to the coastline and history of the Island.
This will result in a show in the Autumn at CCA Galleries International in St. Helier, which will include paintings, watercolours, prints and new ceramic painted reliefs which I haven't shown before.
The RA Summer Exhibition runs until 17th August. For more information please visit www.royalacademy.org.uk
CCA Galleries is delighted to present a new edition by Peter Blake: USA Series.
Following from the success of 2013’s Wooden Puzzle Series Peter Blake takes the USA as the inspiration for his latest series of collage-based works. Creating pop art compositions from his own eclectic collection of Americana Blake explores a nostalgic world of movie stars, childhood games, sports and everyday objects. Through the use of collaged elements, embossing, glazes and glitter Blake gives this series a tangibility and depth that is akin to the original materials. The series has been made into two editions, with a smaller edition of 25 using 3D printing technology.
Blake uses a diverse range of source materials including currency, cartoon figures, lettering, matchboxes, movie stills and bus tickets to create a vision of what the USA means to him.
Using the bold colour blocks and geometric shapes most associated with his pop art work, Blake balances everyday objects including a knife, an airline label, matchboxes, a sports card of boxer Sam McVey, and children’s playthings such as spelling blocks and toy soldiers around the iconic star spangled banner.
Blake creates a richly tactile surface through the juxtaposition of natural materials such as shells, pebbles and wood with man-made elements like porcelain fragments, coins and plastic. Using finishing techniques including silver leaf and glazes Blake seeks to mimic the original materials as closely as possible.
James Dean, a vintage postcard of Florida oranges, textile patches, children’s board games and a silver dollar feature in the fourth USA collage.
At the centre of the image is a metallic plaque of New York City with an eclectic array of objects and imagery surrounding it from advertisements to postcards and games.
Each print is available to purchase individually or as a boxed set portfolio of all five.
Watch this space for details of the forthcoming 'USA Series-3D' a small edition of 25 made using 3D printing technology.
PETER BLAKE: POP VICTORIANA
Exhibition at Watts Gallery 7th June- 31st August 2014
Watts Gallery in partnership with CCA Galleries are delighted to announce Peter Blake: Pop Victoriana an exhibition of original limited edition prints by this renowned British contemporary artist.
Famous as the ‘godfather of British pop art’ Peter Blake is fascinated by Victoriana; an interest that has surfaced in his work throughout his career. The exhibition will include a cross-section of the artist’s print editions from the rare Through the Looking Glass series of 1970 to the iconic album cover artwork for Band Aid (2005) and his latest ‘found art’ pieces such as To a Darling Child (2013). These works all reflect Blake’s focus on nostalgia as a key tenet of pop art, as well as his desire to explore mass culture from an intrinsically British perspective. Whilst Blake’s work is concerned with addressing the issues of its day, it is also full of backward glances both to his own personal history and to Victorian aesthetic and social culture.
The work reflects his fascination with all streams of popular culture, and the beauty to be found in everyday objects and surroundings. His interest in popular leisure activities and commercial art naturally traces back to the nineteenth century when such concepts started becoming relevant to an emerging middle and working class. Many pieces feature found printed materials such as photographs, comic strips or advertising texts. He takes much inspiration from his own collection of objects and printed materials acquired over a lifetime and stored in his studio, which includes Victoriana such as postcards, magazines, advertisements, toys, fairground and circus art, animals from taxidermist Walter Potter’s collection, illustrated reference books and much more. There is a strain of sentimentality and nostalgia running throughout his work, with particular focus towards childhood innocence and reminiscence that taps in to a certain type of Victorian sentimentality.
Printmaking has been central to Peter Blake’s career; both in reinforcing his belief that art should be accessible, affordable and as democratic as possible, and also allowing him to experiment with new techniques, pushing the boundaries of his work. Pop Victoriana will showcase the variety and longevity of his printmaking career featuring media ranging from silkscreen to digital, and method ranging from the centuries-old to the latest computer technology. This desire to use new techniques, to learn and to experiment id what keeps the artist’s work so fresh into his 80s,
‘I started to be an artist at the age of 14, so it’s been 66+ years as a student and then artist, so it’s become a long career. And it’s had its high points, and it’s had its bad points. I think most of my ambitions have been achieved. Most of the things I’ve wanted to do strangely I’ve done. I’m delighted to have a show at the Watts gallery, I was lucky enough to have been here a few years ago and see GF Watts’ own collection of photographs and postcards as well as admire the marvellous restoration of the gallery.’
Blake became interested in English folk art and Victorian painters whilst studying at the Royal College in the early 1950s. Later on in his career he was a founding member of the Brotherhood of Ruralists; a group of artists who had turned their backs on city living and moved to the west country, and whose name as well as their aims bore an obvious affinity with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood from a century earlier. Their aims were ‘the continuation of a certain kind of English painting; we admire Samuel Palmer, Stanley Spencer, Thomas Hardy, Elgar, cricket, English landscape, the Pre-Raphaelites, etc.’. His knowledge of folk art and homage to artistic predecessors had always been a distinguishing characteristic of his pop art in comparison to his peers, and the ruralist phase in his career marked a decisive break from bold geometric urban pop art into an exploration of nature, literature and fantasy. During this period Blake depicted Shakespearean subjects (as GF Watts had done before him) and well as children’s literature including Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’.
Pop Victoriana is a welcome return to Watts Gallery for Blake (as well as the Art Bus), whose love of Victorian fairy painting resulted in him judging wands and wings created by children for the Fairy Fair held at the gallery in 2010. The CCA Art Bus- a mobile art gallery designed by Sir Peter- will be visiting on the evening of 25th July and exhibiting further work by the artist on its top deck. It also marks a local collaboration between the gallery and Tilford-based firm CCA Galleries leading publisher and gallery for British original contemporary prints.
For more information on Peter Blake: Pop Victoriana please visit www.wattsgallery.org.uk or for further information about Peter Blake’s limited edition prints contact CCA Galleries on 01252 797201 or visit www.ccagalleries.com
To coincide with the exhibition at Watts Gallery Wey Gallery in Godalming are showing an exhibition of Blake's pop art prints. for more information please visit www.theweygallery.com
Did you know that as well as publishing new silkscreen and digital editions by established and emerging contemporary artists CCA Galleries has an archive of past publications by artists including Sandra Blow, John Hoyland, Terry Frost, John Piper, Patrick Hughes, Kathleen Caddick, Richard Tuff, Ken Howard, Terence Millington and many more.
A few highlights from the CCA Archive:
Sandra Blow RA (1925-2006) was one of the leading lights of the abstract art movement of the 1950s. Her works are often on a large scale and consist of abstract collages made up from cheap discarded materials such as sawdust, cut-out strips of old canvas, plaster and torn paper. The use of such materials is designed to create an expressive informality and promote a natural, organic feeling. Her works have a tactile as well as visual emphasis on surface, and her use of simple large geometric shapes lends a feeling of expansiveness and dynamism.
Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003) was a giant of British abstract Art. Born in Leamington Spa in 1915, Frost left school at the age of 14 and worked at Curry's Cycle shop and then Armstrong Whitworth in Coventry until the outbreak of war. He served in countries as diverse as Palestine and Greece, before being captured in 1941. Frost remained a prisoner until the end of the war, an experience that changed his outlook on life and introduced him to the possibilities of art. In prison camp in Bavaria Frost began to paint and draw, encouraged by young artist and fellow prisoner Adrian Heath.
Frost's work reflects his gratitude and joie de vivre at having survived wartime incarceration; it is full of colour, light and the pleasure of existence 'a sense of delight in front of nature'. Frost took his inspiration from nature; the sun, moon, water, boats and the female form are recurring motifs abstracted into sensuous circles and curves. These shapes are often coloured in dramatic blues, reds, oranges, yellows and blacks. Frost believed that the interplay of colour and shape could realise an event or image more successfully than imitation. He combined strict formal discipline with great expressive freedom and a natural sureness of touch.
Born in 1939 Patrick Hughes had no formal art education and was largely self-taught. He became fascinated by paradoxes and visual trickery at a young age. From 1964 to 1969 he was Senior Lecturer in Painting and Drawing at Leeds. His first solo show was at the Portal Gallery in London in 1961. He has held several one-man shows particularly at the Angela Flowers Gallery and has participated in various group exhibitions in the UK and Europe. His work is in several private and public collections including the British Council, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Print Collection at the Tate Gallery. In 1979 he won first prize at the Tolly Cobbold/Eastern Art National Exhibitions. His first one-man exhibition in New York was held at the Edward Weston Gallery in Soho in 1983. Hughes' surrealistic leanings have been influenced by artists such as Paul Klee, Marcel Duchamp and Rene Magritte.
John Piper’s (1903-1992) career in art spanned over sixty years and has incorporated a huge range of artistic media including printmaking, painting, drawing and illustration, photography, stained glass, fabric design, murals, stage sets and costume design. However, Piper is most well known for his prints and paintings of the romantic heritage of Britain; his explorations of rural Britain throughout his life (a passion that started with bicycle adventures in his native Surrey as a boy) have much influence on his paintings. Piper developed a fascination with vernacular and ecclesiastical architecture. In his prints, his subject matter was predominately architectural; often abbeys, churches, houses, castles, cottages or details of architectural design . His style comes both from his English heritage and his commitment to the emergent modern and abstract movements that were developing as he left art school. Dramatic, romantic combinations of colour, calligraphic line and experimental textures are the tenets of his oeuvre.
Ken Howard RA is undoubtedly one of the most acclaimed artists of his generation with a successful career spanning more than 50 years. Ken was born in North London in 1932 and studied at the Royal College of Art . After several years teaching he decided to dedicate himself to painting full time. He now divides his time between his studios in Cornwall and London. He has earned numerous awards and appointments for his work. He is renowned for his preoccupation with the effect of light upon the subject such skills were handed down from such artists as Monet Whistler and Sargent. A constant source of inspiration is the human figure Ken is fascinated with the relationship between the figure and the space surrounding. Ken Howard has established a reputation as one of the most accomplished figurative artists of his generation. He is renowned for his remarkable draughtsmanship. Ken Howard is a member of the Royal Academy Royal Watercolour Society Royal West of England Academy and the new English Art Club. From these Ken has had a number of sell out exhibitions.
Terence was born in Birmingham in 1942. He studied painting at the Birmingham College of Art before moving to Manchester to attend a printmaking course. Since then Terence has taught at many art colleges around England. He has a long established reputation as an accomplished etcher and printmaker and has been regularly published by CCA Galleries since the mid Seventies. His painting and prints have been exhibited across the UK and overseas. His work is also included in public and private collections worldwide notably the Arts Council of Great Britain Tate Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum. Terence's favoured subject matters are landscape and still life. His work often follow a theme where one subject can hold so many different images for him that he will create a series of paintings or prints. Although working in the European still life tradition Terence does not set about imposing his specific artistic style upon his subjects. Each object has its own innate character and his skill is in identifying and expressing it independently. The result as always is a highly individual and jewel-like image.
CCA Galleries is delighted to announce a special exhibition of original collages by Joe Webb at Art 14 (London Olympia 28th Feb- 2nd March).
Joe Webb (1976-) worked for many years on computers as a commercial artist and designer before deciding to return to fine art...his artworks are strictly hand made and 'analogue' after growing tired of the unlimited options of Photoshop, he wanted to get back to a more simple way of working. Recently Webb has worked with CCA Galleries at Coriander Studio to make limited edition silkscreens, but at Art14 we are delighted to present a collection of his original collage work. Webb’s collages explore a range of ideas from the political to surreal, each piece carries a visual message to be deciphered by the viewer. The artist often displaces the central figure or object into an unusual setting, holding a mirror up to conflicting cultures and experiences.
Antares & Love X On a Platter Small Steps
"I started making these simple hand-made collages as a sort of luddite reaction to working on computers for many years. I like the limitations of collage...using found imagery and a pair of scissors, there are no Photoshop options to resize, adjust colours or undo. My collages work to a basic rule of sourcing just two or three images... I then present them as a reinvented single image to communicate a new message or idea. I suppose I'm fairly anti-technology although I now promote my art on websites, own an iPhone and use Facebook...I wish I had been born 100 years ago.
At the Gallery Super Conductor
Collage has a long running tradition of political satire, sourcing material from the mass media and manipulating it to explore topical issues of the day. My recent artworks pick up this baton and attempt to run with it - observing worldwide, economical, social and environmental dilemmas…as well as contemplating our place in the world and beyond, far off into the cosmos.
The core of the work appropriates ideologic imagery of 1950s home and garden magazines, juxtaposed with conflicting and alternative ideas, reinventing the scene and weaving narratives within. The messages embedded into the artworks are not intended to take a higher moral position, but aim to reflect on and to consider the world we live in. The high impact graphic nature of collage helps me communicate these ideas directly with immediacy, as the old cliché goes, 'A picture is worth a thousand words'. In a time of the remix, bootleg and mash up, collage seems to have become a more relevant medium than ever before."
The Cloud Eaters Voodoo Child
Art14 taking place at Olympia, London from 29th February-2nd March. Come and see us on STAND M4.
We will be exhibiting work by artists including Peter Blake, Dan Baldwin, Joe Webb, Bruce McLean, Barbara Rae, Lucy Farley and Henry Hudson.
CCA's Dan Baldwin's print 'Cyclone' is being used as the cover art for Paolo Nutini's new single 'Scream'. This is not the first time that Baldwin has collaborated with musicians, most recently he worked in partnership with Alison Mosshart of The Kills to create the imagery of 'This is the Big City Baby', in 1996 he created almum artwork for The Levellers, in 2007 for Dylan Donkin and in 2011 for Kill Keneda. Baldwin's training in illustrative art as a student created a respect for and a desire to create commercial art. I caught up with him to find out more.
CC: How did the use of your art for the 'Scream' cover come about?
DB: Unbeknownst to me the Head of Atlantic Records in London, his wife bought him one of my paintings back in 2006. He has one of my 'Cyclone' prints in his office. Paolo saw it there and loved it, he felt it was perfect for his new album cover 'Caustic Love'. We didn't know much about each other; I had only heard a few of his songs. Before we met in December I bought his two albums and played them solidly in the studio for two weeks. . . they are excellent, he really is a great songwriter and musician.
CC: How did the process of deciding how to use the image work?
DB: In the end we changed it to the single cover- though excerpts from 'Cyclone' may be used for several of the singles from the album, with different parts of the image used each time. So the image is cropped, focussing on about a quarter of the original 'Cyclone' image. In that one quarter is love, pain, religion, conflict- and even a Scottish thistle. I was very open to however they wanted to use my image; their ideas allowed me to see my own work in a new light. I really like the simplicity of the end result and enjoyed working in a collaborative way.
CC: What else is on your agenda at the moment?
DB: I am currently working on my new collection to be shown in New York in December, the working title for the show is The Innocent.
CC: Best of luck with that, really looking forward to seeing the new work.
An overview of Baldwin's career with over 100 images and exclusive interview is now available from ccagalleries.com: DAN BALDWIN 23 YEARS.
CCA Galleries is delighted to present our first publication with British contemporary artist Lucy Farley: To the Lighthouse, Ile de Re.
Lucy Farley (1982-) lives and works in London. She studied at Central St. Martins graduating in 2005, and has an MA in printmaking from the Royal College of Art (2009), she is currently completing a two-year Fellowship at the Royal Academy. Exhibitions in London have included the ‘Originals’ Printmaking show at the Mall Galleries in London, as well as The Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“Painting, drawing and printmaking are all part of my practice. I am interested in depicting places that I have a personal connection with or a history that inspires me. My work aims to build up a record of time, spirit of place and changing feelings which occur through travel, my existence in the city and a connection with nature and the landscape. ‘The fragments of memory, past sensations and experiences, that are associated with a particular urban or natural landscape, form the basis of my work.'
CCA Galleries is delighted to unveil two new limited edition silkscreen prints by renwoned British contemporary artist Bruce McLean.
McLean finishes these two beautiful new silkscreen prints with hand-painting, giving them texture and depth, as well as making each one unique. The use of collaged elements adds an extra tactility to the surface. His perfectly balanced compositions are dynamic and have an abstract quality, whilst the floral subject matter gives an overall tone of tranquillity and serenity. McLean has been exploring nature, flora and plant forms in his recent paintings and prints, here we see the embodiment of that journey in print form.
CCA Galleries is delighted to present a new limited edition silkscreen print by Peter Blake: The Aquarium (large).
The Aquarium (large)- signed limited edition silkscreen print with glazes by Peter Blake.
Following 2009’s Aquarium from the Classroom Suite, Peter Blake continues his exploration of aquatic life complete with underwater palaces, a sunken galleon and coral reef. By enlarging the scale we are able to see every detail of this marine menagerie, to immerse ourselves as if we were one of the crowd in the foreground. Combining his interest in popular leisure activities with that of vintage illustration and collage, Blake creates a beautiful complex and richly detailed composition.
Every fish, figure creature and object in the piece are sourced and cut-out from old reference, fishing books and encyclopaedias by hand. Blake describes these "cutting" sessions as his relaxation time; he doesn't consider it work.
‘I have a very comfortable desk in the sitting room and I sit with my back to the television – although if the football is on, I’ll turn round to watch the goal when they play it again- and cut things out or do illustrations for Under Milk Wood. It’s how I relax.”
The result is a visually arresting collage from which this silkscreen has been created. Aquarium is so densely packed with fish it appears almost pattern-like.
A series of five new silkscreens created from collages of printed ephemera and objects from Peter Blake’s extensive personal collection. Through the use of collaged elements, embossing, glazes and glitter Blake gives this series a tangibility and depth that is akin to the original materials. His theme throughout the Wooden Puzzle Series is once again the everyday and popular from a bygone age. Cutlery and crayons meet postcards, cartoons and pin-ups. Each work is a jewel of colour and form; together they tell a story of the major influences in Blake’s work; from his interest in found art and objects to his nostalgia for a childhood age of innocence and excitement.
Also available to purchase individually: 50, Friendship, Landscape, Everley Brothers, The Kiss