'10 Castle Street'- Contemporary Classics
Cob Gallery are delighted to announce a gallery residency appointment for an English countryside members club with a group show exhibited across the rooms of an 18th Century Grade II* listed building.
10 Castle Street, formerly known as Cranborne Lodge is situated of the edge of a favourite hunting ground of medievel kings with links to Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Ubervilles . Built by the Stillingfleet family, the house was altered and extended by Thomas Erle-Drax of Charborough in the late 1750s. Today the house is owned by the Cranborne Estate and is one of a few original country mansions steeped in history, character and charm.
Artists to feature in the '10 Castle Street' inaugural exhibition are known for their contemporary reworkings of classic artistic styles, mediums and movements.
Kate MccGwire is an internationally renowned British sculptor whose practice probes the beauty inherent in duality, employing natural materials to explore the play of opposites at an aesthetic, intellectual and visceral level. Growing up on the Norfolk Broads her connection with nature and fascination with birds was nurtured from an early age, with avian subjects and materials a recurring theme in her artwork. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2004 her uncanny sculptures have been exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery (London), the Museum of Art and Design (New York), Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature (Paris) and most recently at the Venice Biennale, 2015 .
Alexander James pays homage to the still life 'Vanitas' works of the 17th century Dutch Masters. Vanitas had its renaissance in the 17th century, when Dutch artists became focused on the theme of mortality using natural specimens such as flowers cut from the root and starting to wither, or pieces of decaying fruit to express a memento mori – a reminder of the inevitability of death in all things living. Moreover, “precious” metals, and objets d’art were used to remind the audience of the meaninglessness of a superficial existence. James uses period props, food and real insects that form his carefully constructed tableaus. James breeds the butterflies as well as grows all of the flora and fauna which feature in his works. These still life scenes are all created underwater and documented with a single photograph. James uses a technique which he calls ‘painting with light’. This refers to a meticulous process disturbing the waters surface tension, rippling light across the subject using paintbrushes or his bare hands. He does this whilst exposing onto the camera film. This subtle distortion of light & movement from the waters kinetic energy creates a unique and painterly effect. The final images are free from all post-production methods, either traditional or digital.
Ben Ashton is a London based visual artist specialising in hyper-realist portraiture. Ashton's work combines precision in execution with humour and character, balancing emotive response with a strong contextual foundation. Ben Ashton's extraordinary submission for the 2015 BP Portrait Award is proudly on exhibit at 10 Castle Street.
Alan Rankle is most often defined as a landscape painter revitatlising the genre by challenging and uprooting traditional ways of painting. Rankle paints iconic and powerful oils on canvas, often based landscpaes found in Languedoc, which reference Turner and other classicists. Significant for Rankle too are figures like Joseph Beuys , Anselm Kiefer and Antoni Tapies, artists who utilised found materials while dealing with questions of deep social importance.
"Rankle is moved by the sense of otherness, the magic, brutality and wilderness of the natural words; and yet at the same time follows the formalism of his hero Francis Bacon. He paints as the romantic poets write verse. Wild, untamed, adventurous yet at the same time elegant, restrained and with perfect narrative form."
Nina Fowler is a predominently known for her large scale enigmatic pencil and graphite drawings with accompanying sculpture. Her subject matter often centres around icons of cinema and popular culture, presenting a dark and contradictory side to their otherwise idealized lives. In 2008 Fowler was nominated for the BP Portrait Prize with her painting of Royal Ballet dancer Carlos Acosta. In 2014 Fowler was shortlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize, The Young Masters and the Drawing Now Award. Her work has also been shortlisted twice for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2010 and 2015. In 2013 Fowler took part in her first public exhibition as part of the group show Starke Frauen (Strong Women) at Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, Germany. Her work is included in international private collections as well as public collections in Europe and the USA.
Wendy Bevan's signature Polaroid photographic work explores the identity of women, the iconic female image, and the characterisation of the femme fatale; often using fashion as costume. Bevan is young artist of startling achievement, having exhibited internationally, and produced photographic and film work for a panoply of titles including Vogue Italia, POP and i-D. Her photographic subjects have included iconic figures like Tilda Swinton and Debbie Harry, while she places herself in an artistic lineage that takes in other female artists such as Maya Deren, Francesca Woodman and Claude Cahun.
Nancy Fouts is considered a modern day Surrealist, with her work frequently exploring themes of time, religious iconography, nature and humour. The artist works typically with everyday objects, injecting them with her unique wit and manipulating them in such a way that we seem to recognize them for the first time. During the 1960's Fouts co-founded the pioneering design and model-making company Shirt Sleeve Studio, creating seminal ad campaigns for Tate Gallery and album covers for significant bands including Jethro Tull and Steeleye Span amongst others. Examples of the artist's works are to be found in private homes and established collections across the globe, including that of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
"I love the work of Nancy Fouts, she makes the everyday object extraordinary"
- Sir Peter Blake
Walter and Zoniel are an artistic duo who have revitalised techniques and processes of early photography are transformed into a crucible of creativity. Walter and Zoniel subversively re-introduce the role of the craftsman through early techniques like ambrotypes, tintypes, salt prints and pigment prints. This techniques are re- discovered and re-applied to startlingly contemporary ends, invoking a pioneering solution of the mechanical and the magical. And it’s within their concept of the “implicit” that these practices gain their fullest expression. Part physicist and part geologist, Walter and Zoniel push the medium of photography against itself and away from the digitised everyday.
On exhibit at 10 Castle Street is an example of their self-developed technique of the “photographic fresco” - characterised as an astonishingly inventive blend of Michelangelo and Man Ray. These frescoes formed the core of Walter Hugo & Zoniel’s exhibition at the Cob Gallery 'Developing Shadows' which was composed of portraits of artists who lived and worked near to their former studio in east London. The images were developed directly onto the walls of his the subjects working-space, sprayed with the chemicals normally found on photographic paper. The finished work consists of fragments of the wall itself, extracted shortly in advance of the building’s demolition.
The duo continue to receive much acknowledgement for their interactive public commissions for art institutions including TATE and the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as their participation in international biennale festivals.