We’ve always had a slight reservation about of teachers at the Norfolk Painting School, I know it sounds odd – what with us being a school and all, but for NPS staff we put working as self representing artists at the top of the daily to do list. Painting gives us the credentials to teach, not the other way around or as Kipling put it ‘think but don’t make thoughts your aim’.
All of that means that while I love teaching – I love painting more, because just like all of our tutors I’m a painter first and last. That’s no slur on teachers of course, just an acknowledgement that I’d rather be taught by a successful practicing artist than a full time tutor.
The Bowes Museum – which is currently hosting a landmark show by the great Norman Cornish, was built to bear this out. It’s a repository of amazing stuff – costume, furniture, glass, paintings, ceramics – put together so the folk of the North East could teach themselves to become the best craftspeople and artists they could become.
This heritage makes it the ideal venue for my new solo show ‘Regeneration’. It’s a show about how the places we choose to inhabit determine whom we become. In brief the work is a portrait of the North from its wild upland moors to the teeming post industrial sprawl. Its a show about beauty and urban deprivation, about mindfulness and anxiety, and most of all about the transformative power of change.
You can read all about how this came together up here since I first took a studio in the Dales in this blog, or better still come to my artist talk at The Bowes (exact dates to be announced – but most likely November 2020).
In the meantime here are some of the latest bits and pieces I’m putting together for it .
As The Bowes is a public gallery nothing will be for sale however if you may be interested to learn that I’m putting on a sort of interim show of the better working sketches and oils I’ve done for this over the last few years at Tennants of Leyburn , this Spring. It’s an opportunity to bag the kind of works that I’ve put in the last two Paris Salons, before The Bowes show.