2016/04/21

Private view at St-Barbe

Thursday 21 April 2016
Fabulous launch of major exhibition

St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington 23rd April – 3rd June 2016

Thanks to everyone who attended

2016/03/22

The Arborealists – trees in contemporary art at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington



The Arborealists – trees in contemporary art exhibition
St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington 23rd April – 3rd June 2016


The Arborealists, a major new exhibition at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, Lymington will showcase works by 35 contemporary artists on the common theme of trees. Although united in their subject, they use an incredibly varied set of working practices. The exhibition opens on Saturday 23rd April and runs until Saturday, 3rd June 2016.

In 2013, St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery mounted a successful two-part exhibition Under the Greenwood – Picturing the British Tree; the second exhibition featured contemporary artists’ responses to the subject. Such was the impact of this show, and the spirit of camaraderie engendered in a truly diverse group of artists, that they took on a more permanent identity as the Arborealists.

The artists have joined together for exhibitions in galleries across the south and are now coming to St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in April. Their artworks are at turns dramatic and contemplative, demonstrating that trees still have relevance in contemporary art and retain the power to move us all as a vital element in our landscape and sense of national identity.

Those exhibiting include Jemma Appleby, Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis, Jo Barry, Guillaume Brandy and Francis Dalschaert, Tim Craven, Michelle Dovey, Dan Hays, Ffiona Lewis, Fiona McIntyre, Wladyslaw Mirecki, Michael Porter, Howard Phipps and Celia de Serra.

Trees provide a wonderfully versatile subject for artists, not only in terms of the incredible diversity of form, character and colour they provide, whether individually or collectively, but also in terms of the wealth of association, myth, folklore, religious and symbolic significance, which they have come to embody. In Britain they have inspired artists from Gainsborough and Constable through to Paul Nash, the Neo-Romantics and the Ruralists.

The Arborealists at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery will be open Monday-Saturday, 10am-4pm. Tickets, which include entry into the museum, cost £6 for adults, £5 for senior citizens and students, £3 for children aged 5-15 years and £12 for a family of two adults and up to four children (including a voluntary gift aid donation); under fives are admitted free of charge. For details visit www.stbarbe-museum.org.uk or telephone 01590 676969.


Press release (pdf)



www.stbarbe-museum.org.uk/whats-on/current-exhibition.php

2016/01/27

The Arborealists: The Art of the Tree

ADVANCE INFORMATION

The Arborealists: The Art of the Tree
With essays by Angela Summerfield and Peter Davies

Publication date:  April 2016 
Price:  £20  softback


Trees provide a wonderfully versatile subject for artists, not only in  terms of the incredible diversity of form, character and colour they provide, whether individually or collectively, but also in terms of the  wealth of association, myth, folklore, religious and symbolic significance which they have come to embody. In Britain they have  inspired artists from Gainsborough and Constable through to Paul Nash, the Neo-Romantics and the Ruralists.  

The Arborealists grew out of the exhibition Under the Greenwood:  Picturing British Trees – Present held in 2013 at St. Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, an exploration of contemporary artists' responses to the  tree. Such was the impact of the show and the spirit of camaraderie engendered in a truly diverse group of artists that they took on a more  permanent identity. Under the Arborealists' banner a loose association of artists, including such luminaries as David Inshaw, have  come together for exhibitions in galleries across the south. The thirty-seven artists who have contributed to this book include Jemma  Appleby, Ann and Graham Arnold, Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis,  Buckmaster and French, Tim Craven, Michelle Dovey, Ffiona Lewis, Annie Ovenden, Julian Perry, Howard Phipps, Michael Porter,  Wladyslaw Mirecki and Angela Summerfield. 

The work included in this lavishly illustrated book, at turns dramatic  and contemplative, demonstrates that trees still have a relevance in contemporary art and retain the power to move us all as a vital  element in our landscape and sense of national identity. 


  • Essay by Royal Academy Senior Curator sets out the historical and international background to artists' relationships with trees (inc. Gainsborough, Constable, Van Gogh, Munch, Klimt etc.)
  • The first study on one of the most significant British artist groups to emerge in the 21st century
  • Features previously unpublished images and personal insights into the work of these contemporary painters
  • Will appeal equally to lovers of art, nature and the British countryside
  • Lavishly illustrated throughout 


Published in conjunction with an exhibition at St Barbe Gallery, Lymington 
23 April – 4 June 2016 



To look inside the book, please click on the cover image above


Extent: 128pp
Size: 270 x 210mm
Illustrations: over 70 full colour
Binding: softback
Price: £20

ISBN: 978-1-908326-86-7



Sansom & Co
81g Pembroke Road
Clifton
Bristol BS8 3EA

www.sansomandcompany.co.uk 

2016/01/07

Next exhibition

The Arborealists will stage their third exhibition at St Barbe Museum and Art gallery, Lymington. The Arborealists , 23rd April – 4th June 2016, will feature new works by 35 artists  and each will show just one work to emphasise the diversity of art practice prevalent within the group – in terms of size, medium, style and philosophy.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication on the group. This will include an introduction on art historical links, the origins and development of the group by Tim Craven, an essay entitled “Why do Artists Paint Trees” by Dr Angela Summerfield, an essay entitled “Cultivation of Trees and western Culture” by Philippa Beale and a survey on of the work by the exhibiting artists by art historian Peter Davies. The catalogue will be fully illustrated together with a statement by each artist.

St Barbe is an excellent art gallery in the heart of the New Forest and was the venue for the group’s originating exhibition, Under the Greenwood: Picturing the British Tree in 2013. It’s great to be back with more and new artists!



Ann Arnold 1936-2015

Ann Arnold exhibited with the Arborealists at The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, in 2014 and at Mottisfont Abbey NT, Romsey, in 2015. She also showed in the seminal Under the Greenwood: Picturing the British Tree exhibition at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, in 2013 – the originating exhibition for the Arborealists. Ann was a brilliant artist with an strong personal, pastoral vision and she will be sorely missed.

Ann was born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and brought up in Surrey. She was educated at Sutton High School for Girls. Despite being beset by illness, she graduated in painting at Epsom School of Art. Also in Epsom she was introduced to the Burgh Heath Centre for the care of young people with mental illness, where a range of the arts, music, drama and especially painting were employed as therapy. At the forefront of a new profession, Ann trained to become an art therapist, working in many hospitals and she also assisted with setting-up the first degree course. Ann later founded the Association of Art Therapists. In 1961 she married the painter Graham Arnold and together they, and David Inshaw founded the Broadheath Brotherhood of artists, the forerunner of the celebrated Brotherhood of Ruralists of which she was also a member. 
The Brotherhood of Ruralists staged its inaugural exhibition at The Royal Academy in 1976. The seven members who included Peter Blake of Pop Art fame, proclaimed to express through personal vision and experience of their native heritage, a celebration of the English countryside. A ruralist is defined as someone who moves to the country from the city, and this was largely true of the group. The brotherhood believed that Romanticism was a neglected strand in British art, and that if re-introduced, might solve some of the problems that they believed were rife in much of contemporary painting. They looked for inspiration to the art of William Blake, Samuel Palmer and the Brotherhood of Ancients, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and to Victorian painting, design and photography in general. They profoundly disagreed with the view espoused by modern art orthodoxy that the sensibility and practice of their favourite nineteenth century artists were merely an eccentric dead-end and marginal to the progression of mainstream western art.

The Ruralists’ unfashionable stance however struck a chord and with assistance from substantial media publicity (including a BBC film) and various sell-out touring exhibitions, enjoyed huge popular success. Espousing a Romantic approach to art and life, their vision is encapsulated by a John Piper quote as: of something significant beyond ordinary significance, something that for a moment seems to contain the whole world and when that moment is past carries over comment on life or experience besides the comment on appearances.

In 1974 Ann and Graham moved to south west Shropshire where they acquired a steep hill of 50 acres. With the help of a tree specialist friend, they planted 6,000 trees on the hill. Ann was continuously inspired to draw and paint the surrounding landscape and she exhibited widely, at prestigious galleries throughout the UK and as far afield as Berlin and Tokyo to universal acclaim. Ann was an academician of the South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts.

Tim Craven

2015/11/10

Under the Greenwood, Picturing the British Tree From Constable to Kurt Jackson

Under the Greenwood
Picturing the British Tree From Constable to Kurt Jackson

Anne Anderson and  others

This celebration of the British Tree features the work of approximately 80 major artists of two centuries from the early 1800s. The twentieth century is strongly represented, as are our contemporary artists.
...

Read more on :
sansomandcompany.co.uk/shopping/under-the-greenwood


Under the Greenwood, Picturing the British Tree From Constable to Kurt Jackson
Under the Greenwood, Picturing the British Tree From Constable to Kurt Jackson
Sansom & Company, 2013
ISBN  978-1-908326-30-0
270 x 210 mm
204  pages with 100 mainly colour illustrations
English, Softback

2015/11/01

Alex Egan

Alex Egan
mail@alexegan.co.uk
alexegan.co.uk


Alex Egan, Giant Oak
Giant Oak

I live in the Norfolk broads, a gentle terrain, flat and marshy where trees stand out. It's off the beaten track and I'm surrounded by wildlife and ancient woodlands. I also still have strong links to Shropshire where I spent many years.

Alex Egan
Our Inheritance, Ink, acrylic, graphite on paper , 2017, 41 cm x 65 cm

A thread has, for some time run through my art practice, the depiction of trees. Until fairly recently I was using them merely as objects to draw so that I could practice honing my drawing skills, or so I thought. Subconsciously though, I realise now that they have been and are much more than that. 

Through recent life events they have increasingly crept into the foreground of my art. This coincided with an unexpected house move and having no established studio to work from. 

Alex Egan
This Ancient Oak, Houghton, pencil, acrylic, ink on paper, 2017, 30 cm x 42 cm

At the time I was already committed to an existing deadline for a show. I decided to go back to the beginning with a subject that had always been a source of solace, a sense of peace.

Intimate and intricate drawings of trees, small in scale with the intention of increasing the size of the work through time. My car became my mobile studio, restricting and liberating in equal measures: restricting the size of my work and narrowing down the range of trees I could draw to those that I was able to park up in front of. Liberating in being able to keep warm during very cold winter days and thus enabling me to spend more time on the detailed drawings, while also giving me the ability to travel further in search of the right one.

Large Chestnut, Graphite and watercolour, December 2015

Many of the trees I have so far been led to on my quest are not necessarily in the upper echelons of the tree world, they are quite often the scruffy specimens, the dead trees, the Ivy clad misshapen hunchbacks.

I am gearing myself up for the supermodels but as with all things appearance is just the start; beauty is more than skin or bark deep. Last winter when I finally had somewhere to work from, I spent a few weeks drawing the most magnificent oak in the garden, it is directly outside my studio window. I had the luxury of being indoors in the dead of winter and drawing it on a relatively large scale. In the summer, when clothed in all its glory, this tree’s branches stretch out and down, creating a perfect circular canopy to lie beneath and absorb its serene energy. 

Alex Egan
Ancient Sweet Chestnut, pencil, acrylic, ink, 2017, 42 cm x 30 cm

I am without shame a tree hugger, their energy is powerful in its stillness. I am in search of discovering through my art a way of depicting this. 

I hope as a human being I am evolving and this will extend to my art practice, very much helped by the wisdom of trees.



J’habite dans les Norfolk Broads, une terre douce, plate et marécageuse, sur laquelle les arbres se détachent. C’est hors des sentiers battus et je suis entourée par la faune sauvage, par des forêts anciennes et de très vieux arbres.

Depuis quelques temps, un fil conducteur parcourt mon travail : le besoin subconscient d’être parmi les arbres et de les représenter dans mon art. Je me sens maintenant tellement reliée à eux, comme si j’avais mon propre système racinaire, qui communique avec les arbres que j’observe et que j’aime.
Visuellement, bien sûr, ils sont magnifiques, et nous avons tous le souffle coupé devant un bel arbre. Nous sommes d’abord frappés par sa taille, puis par ses plus infimes détails : les bourgeons qui se forment, les feuilles qui se déploient, étapes annuelles de sa vie, vie incroyablement lente, longue et fière.

S’arrêter et méditer ; quand nous contemplons un arbre ancien, nous nous demandons de combien d’évènements il a été le témoin. Dépeindre visuellement tout cela et bien plus encore, c’est pour moi le travail en cours de toute une vie.

Ma vision est maintenant tellement sensibilisée à rechercher et à observer les arbres, que c’est la première chose sur laquelle je me concentre devant un nouveau paysage. C’est bien évidemment ce qui s’est passé quand nous avons visité Vaux au début de l’automne 2016. C’était une belle journée, parfaite pour observer et pour respirer l’air chargé d’oxygène exhalé par ces arbres français.