Eyeballing the competiton

It was very nice of the Atkinson Gallery to include two of my paintings, Nostalgia for the Body and Brain Dysfunction in their exhibition of work by selected MA and other Post Graduates. The Gallery is within the grounds of Millfield School in Somerset and has in the past  shown work by an impressive range of artists, including Andy Warhol, Anthony Caro, Marc Quinn and Elizabeth Frink. The aim of the Post Graduate Exhibition is, according to the press release, to showcase “the work of students who express particularly fresh, innovative ideas and  reflect the talent and wide range of work being produced in art schools today” So thank you.

McDougall: Nostalgia for the Body 2014

As I had never been to Glastonbury before, mud and blocked loos not having much appeal, I decided to go down for the Private View to see what fellow artists had done and at the same time visit the Abbey and stay at the George and Pilgrim which claims to be the most haunted hotel  in England.

Finding the Attkinson Gallery itself without psychic help proved quite a challenge and if Andy Warhol et al ever made it there, it just goes to show what a resourceful lot artists are; the signage is non-existent, and even some of the school  kids seemed unsure where it was. I would still be wandering the grounds had not a very nice lady in reception come to my aid and took me there despite having no coat and it being a cold night.  Once inside,  I desisted muttering about signage as I thought the works that had been chosen were genuinely interesting and I was pleased to be part of it.

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Two visitors look at my paintings, A work by Caroline Pick is in the foreground

Here are some of the works which appealed to me. I particularly liked the latex steps by Caroline Pick which you can see above. Caroline is a fellow MA student at Brighton and I featured her work last year in the MA Exhibition . It was also good to see this work by Paul Tuppeny, Wing and a Bag. Paul is also taking an MA in Fine Art at Brighton. With this piece there is a satisfying contrast between its appearance, which resembles a cellophane bag, and its actual solidity.

Paul Tuppeney, Wing and a Bag
Paul Tuppeney, Wing and a Bag

I seem to have a penchant for black and white paintings and I particuarly liked this one by Slade student Konstantinos Giotis. In this case it is more just black than black and white and you can just make out an enigmatic kneeling figure,which I presume is supposed to be there, unless it is like one of the photographs shown in the George and Pilgrim where a ghost was supposedly visible in what the photographer had thought was just an everyday picture of people drinking in the bar,

Konstantinos Giotis: Untitled

Among the prints I thought the textures and colours interesting in Martha Oatway’s monoprint Terrain 14,

Martha Oatway, Terrain 14
Martha Oatway: Terrain 14

and was also impressed by the draftsmanship in Kathryn Poole’s lithograph  Trachyphyllia Macrosoma, The bright light in the top middle left is a reflection and unfortunately the reflections in the photograph also stop you fully seeing the cleverness of Garry Wiggins superb drawing of a bulldog,.

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Kathryn Poole: Trachyphyllia Macrosoma
Gary Wiggins: Phoenix the Gladiator

I am a great fan of Tori Day’s tiny paintings of everyday objects. This one Finger Thing is only 12.5cm x 11cm; not only is it beautiful in itself but it makes you look round you at other overlooked objects.

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Tori Day: Finger Thing

Finally I really liked this rather spooky hand set in glass by Catherine Jones from the University of Gloucestershire,

Catherine Jones: Held

Talking  of spookiness, to my disappointment I did not see any severed hands or floating forms at the George and Pilgrim. Well, perhaps I didn’t really want to see severed hands. But while at dinner in the hotel my mobile did send a text to my daughter without any intervention from me, I can now report that ghosties use the rather over jolly way of speaking favoured by IT technicians. “cant talk now – what’s up,” it said. Now, if it had managed it in Shakespearean English, or, even better, had done it earlier and sent me a handy map of Millfield School, I would have been well impressed.

The MA and Other Post Graduate Exhibition is showing at the Atkinson Gallery until 29 March

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