Colour and Light
Recent paintings by Julian Bailey, Michael Fairclough, Alex Lowery, Alfred Stockham RCA RWA, furniture by Petter Southall, and ceramics, textiles, gifts and accessories by leading artists, designers and makers
Very sadly, Alfred Stockham died peacefully on the eve of Remembrance Sunday 8 November aged 87. This exhibition celebrates his work.
Saturday 14 November – extended until Friday 29 January 2021
At the darkest time of the year, colour and light in good paintings lift the heart day after day in ways we can hardly put into words. Art can bottle time bringing insight and deep comfort. Like great music, paintings communicate mind to mind, heart to heart, stirring in us the wonder the artist felt, encouraging us to look with new eyes.
Each of the four painters in this exhibition takes everyday subject matter and reveals it to be something remarkable.
Please follow the links above to view each artist’s work.
A well established and very popular artist, Julian Bailey’s paintings combine strong lines with expressively simplified gestures and details. He studied art at the Ruskin School while attending New College, Oxford, followed by the Royal Academy Schools where he was awarded the Turner Gold Medal and later the Landseer Scholarship. He joined Browse & Darby in Cork Street in 1999 as their youngest artist, showing there regularly since. He moved to Dorset in 1998. In 2011 he was elected to join the New English Art Club and awarded the David Messum Prize, also winning the Manya Igel prize that year. His work is in numerous collections including those of HRH The Prince of Wales, New College Oxford, Pembroke College Oxford, Reed Executive, Old Mutual Assurance, Daiwa Bank, SG Warburg and many significant private collections. He has shown regularly at Sladers Yard since 2009.
He works in oils on board, enjoying the resistance of the hard surface. ‘I have a fairly wide range of colours but try to limit my palette as much as possible in one painting. I try to keep the colours fresh and clean, using clearly visible brush strokes which define the objects.’ The results look remarkably effortless and spontaneous. Both his figures and his landscapes express mood through anatomy and colour. His paintings give the sense of a particular place and person at a particular moment, coming together to make something remarkable.
Michael Fairclough explores the immensity of sun, sky and sea in richly coloured, multi-layered and roughly textured paintings. His recent works contemplate the transition from light to darkness. Michael Fairclough’s compositions encompass the subtle shifting interplay of light and cloud to capture the wonderful succession of light effects of sunset, dusk and twilight. In a great Romantic tradition that goes back to Turner and Constable, painting the sky has been a fascination for English landscape painters, a source of energy and a means to convey mood and consciousness.
Michael Fairclough has always been a landscape artist. He met Alfred Stockham when they were both Rome scholars. Editions of his aquatints were published by Christie’s Contemporary Art 1978-88 and he contributed a number of aquatints to their National Trust series of prints. He moved away from prints in the 1990s to concentrate on painting and two exhibitions at the Berkeley Square Gallery followed. The Meteorological Office in Exeter commissioned five large sky paintings for their boardroom. Michael’s work has been exhibited all over the UK and internationally. His work is in many private and public collections.
‘To me painting is about glimmering reflections of sea and wet rock or colossal shafts of light through clouds – and always, always changing texture, structure, rhythm and light. The texture and structure are in the paintings. The rhythms are those of the wind and the waves, of bird wings and calls, drawn out and slow or sharp and frenetic like the music of Donegal. The light is all-pervading.’ Michael Fairclough
No-one seems to capture the breath-taking light of the Chesil beach and Devon estuaries like Alex Lowery. Often focusing on the unnoticed built environment seen from unusual angles, his eye and his paintbrushes transform the places we know – or think we know. Evening light hitting Portland, lines of lampposts, low water under a bridge, these are the simple-sounding things that catch his imagination, and ours, thanks to him. His paintings distill place and light over time into something potent and seriously addictive.
Born 1957 in London, Alex Lowery studied at Bath Academy, Sir John Cass School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. He has painted and shown regularly in Dorset and London since 1994. He exhibited for many years with Art First in London and has shown at the Estorick Collection and at Browse & Darby. His work is in many distinguished private collections as well as the Dorset County Hospital Art Collection, Great Ormond Street Hospital, St George’s Hospital Tooting and the Fidelity International Art Collection. He lives in Charmouth with the artist Vanessa Gardiner.
Alfred Stockham’s small jewel-like paintings often have the simplest of structures and yet they convey the deepest imaginative force. His use of colour, shape and composition were based on a lifetime of study. Hours of contemplation went into each painting, resulting in works of extraordinary vision.
‘My aim is to create an underlying visual dynamic, a tension between the motifs in the painting so that the poetry of the subject and the poetry of the composition support each other. The real or observed world and the subconscious dream world both play their part to make a painting sing.’ Alfred Stockham
Alfred Stockham spent seven years in the Royal Navy before leaving to study at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College of Art where he was awarded a Silver Medal. He was a Rome scholar and Granada Arts Fellow at the University of York before 1968 when he took up a post as lecturer at Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England) where he became Head of Fine Art. He left to devote himself to painting full-time in 1988. Alfred was elected a full member of the Royal West of England Academy in 1993 and was Honorary Curator of their permanent collection from 2001 until his retirement.
Although his life was constrained by illness, Alfred defied the odds by continuing to paint and remaining as witty and perspicacious as ever. His work is in public collections throughout the UK and in private collections worldwide. As a painter, art teacher and friend, Alfred Stockham inspired and influenced many artists working today. He is the subject of the film ‘Alfred the Great Inspirer’, made by painter Stephen Jacobson and film-maker Alex Kirby. He exhibited in Europe and USA and widely around the UK, including regularly at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and annually at Sladers Yard since 2008 when his recommendations helped to shape the gallery.
Petter Southall’s beautiful bentwood furniture brings together exceptional design with exquisite craftsmanship. As exciting to domestic scale as to his monumental steam-bent outdoor structures, his work is distinguished by simple confident lines and brilliant detailing. Petter has been making his designs in sustainable solid Northern European hardwoods in UK since 1991. His work is in numerous exceptional private, public and corporate collections in UK, Europe and USA.