Sam Branton
New Collection – Holy Ground

Fragments
Inspired by the frescos and reliefs in remains from ancient Greece and the reconstructions made from them, Branton’s series Holy Ground looks at the aesthetic quality and mystery of the fragment. Branton creates his fragments by composing and painting the entire scene first to look like a lost painting by George Stubbs or Jean Baptiste Oudry.
Branton then carefully chooses the section that will become the fragment, cuts it out and discards the rest. From the fragment, the viewer can reconstruct their own painting and create their own fable from the clues left behind.


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New Collection – Holy Ground”

Agent X
Joins The Art Circus

Agent X jumped onto the radar when named as a semi-finalist in the 2011 New York Art Marathon, with multiple international honors that rapidly followed including winning Top Entry in the competitive Curious Art-Pie Show at Curious Duke Gallery, London and being named among ‘12 Artists to invest in now’ by New Blood Art Gallery, London.
Currently based in Vancouver, Agent X has exhibited in art meccas around the world including London,Singapore, Los Angeles, Germany, Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco, Spain and Toronto.


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Joins The Art Circus”

Natalie Toplass
Joins the Art Circus

Natalie started painting professionally shortly after moving to Shropshire in 2003, following her earlier formal training in fine art and later, stage and set design.
She began working on a series of intricate flower and bird portraits, which have been heavily influenced by Georgia O’Keefe, Karl Blossfeldt and early 17th century Dutch painters such as Ambrosius Bosschaert.
Natalie has had several well received exhibitions throughout Great Britain, for example; the Judith Blacklock Gallery in Knightsbridge, several Cork Street galleries in London, Birmingham City Art Gallery and the Royal Academy.


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Joins the Art Circus”

Alice Gur-Arie Solo Show
Coningsby Gallery 4th – 22nd Feb
Talk with the artist – 18th @ 6:30

The Coningsby Gallery is pleased to announce its first exhibition of emerging artist Alice Gur-Arie,
on view from Tuesday, February 4th to Saturday, February 22nd
Plus… ,Conversation with the Artist Alice Gur-Arie 6:30pm on Tuesday February 18th

Alice Gur-Arie first appeared on the art scene eight years ago, when she was nominated for two series of Icelandic works in the Terry O’Neill Tag Photography Prize competition, Drama in the Fog, and Love on the Rocks. A year later, another work from Iceland, Tapestry, was longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize. Drama in the Fog has not been shown since its debut at the Embassy of Iceland in London, in Alice’s solo exhibition Works from The Iceland Trilogy, and we are pleased to have it at the Coningsby Gallery.


Since then, Alice has focused on developing a distinctive creative style that combines her
own photography from around the world with digital painting. Inspired by the natural world, landscape, seascape and wildlife images dominate her portfolio, ranging in style from bold saturated abstracts to soft, textured tones. This mixed media approach has garnered additional attention: The Romantic, from the series Becoming Harlequin, was long listed for The Secret Art Prize, and Heraldry, also from Becoming Harlequin, was a featured entry to the Gemini Art Prize. Becoming Harlequin can be seen in Spring and Other Reasons.

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Coningsby Gallery 4th – 22nd Feb
Talk with the artist – 18th @ 6:30″

Shari Denson & Karen McBride
A Very Insecure Exhibition

Manchester based music photographers Karen McBride and Shari Denson presented a one-night exhibition and book launch in Manchester’s city centre on 22nd February at the Projekts MCR Skateboard park beneath Manchester’s Mancunian Way. Both women are known for their often grainy, atmospheric black and white images of well known bands as well as lesser known local talent.

A Very Insecure Exhibition displayed work dating back to the beginning of the millennium, such as Elbow, I am Kloot, Editors, James Brown, Interpol, Ian Brown, Morrissey, Scissor Sisters, Al Green, amongst other works.
The book was a special double-cover edition produced by UKGiclee and published by Art Circus Books.
Available from UKGiclee.co.uk.

Both Shari and Karen shot primarily on black and white film until around 2010, giving their respective work in such low light situations a distinctive high contrast look. Their paths had crossed in the photo pit at gigs many times since those earlier years, but they were finally brought together last year by their inclusion in ‘Suffragette City’ – an exhibition featuring portraits of 25 of Manchester’s most influential women in music, organised by Manchester Digital Music Archive.

Shari and Karen were interviewed by Manchester music-journalist John Robb.


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A Very Insecure Exhibition”

A Cautionary Tale
Claire Partington’s Solo Show
at the James Freeman Gallery

claire

A Cautionary Tale is Claire Partington’s first solo exhibition at the James Freeman Gallery. Part fairy tale, part social commentary, part art-historical treasure trove, the show exhibits a wide collection of her ceramic figures together with a series of plaques and smaller precious works.

Claire Partington is an artist who revels in historical influences. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 1995, she went on to work at a number of museums, most notably the V&A. In A Cautionary Tale we see Golden-age Spanish portraiture, eighteenth-century salt glaze bears, Renaissance madonnas and medieval pilgrim badges. We previewed some of the pieces ahead of the opening on the 7th September.

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Two of the pieces that stand out (pictured above) are the devotional plaques inspired by the works of the fifteenth-century Italian sculptor, Luca Della Robbia. A single mother cradles her infant; she wears her engagement ring around her neck. On the right, a bull terrier, garlanded with fruits, standing guard. The borders have been decorated with apples, lemons, and pears which would feature in Robbia’s work, but in this case they remind us of Eve and the Garden of Eden as well as the apple which is present in pictures of the Madonna and infant Jesus as a sign of redemption, and as a warning against sin and temptation.

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Folklore and fairy tales are an important influence on her work, both for their vivid imagery and for how the narratives mutate over the years and in different contexts. Some works make direct references such as that of a Flemish saint holding a silver nutmeg and a golden pear in allusion to the Tudor nursery rhyme. Other sculptures are zoomorphic reflecting fairy-tale characters. On the above right, a super-gold Goldilocks is seen engaged in a private moment with a towering bear which appears to be dripping in maple syrup. Goldilocks lightly places her palm on top of the bear’s paw, gently pushing away his grizzly advances.

Alongside these are figures that seem to have emerged from an unspecified history; characters surrounded by animal friends drawn from a medieval master’s symbolic lexicon. A dandy king with a white hart standing to attention (above left) – is this Richard II? And in the middle, A matron, making her entrance. Small colourful birds hold up her hair as she holds her squirrel monkey, on a small gold chain. Her outfit – part armour and part tapestry, displaying intricate patterns.

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Underpinning all of Claire’s work is a social commentary, particularly about women, and particularly about power. All Claire’s women have attitude; these are women who use their aesthetic presence to project strength and power more than to attract. Contrast this with her dandified male figure counterparts who seem beholden to whimsy. In part, this is a conscious redressing of the gender motifs that have prevailed unquestioned for centuries in folklore and aesthetics. But it is also a means of re-evaluating the beautiful object – that beauty can be far more complex and far more mischievous than it may at first appear.

A Cautionary Tale is on show at the James Freeman Gallery from the 7th to 30th September, 2017

Read our previous Q&A with Claire Partington.