night and light and the half light paintings, collage, woodcuts, ceramic sculpture, pottery and furniture by
David Inshaw, Tom Hammick, Marzia Colonna, Alfred Stockham ARCA RWA, Fiamma Colonna Montagu, Richard Batterham and Petter Southall
Saturday 4 November 2017 to Sunday 21 January 2018
As the nights draw in and the winter solstice approaches, light and its absence becomes more and more central to our attention. This is a celebration of partial light, moonlight, night lights, bonfires and white flowers in the dimness. In half light nothing is certain, we enter a world of dream and possibility where love and longing dance close to the cliff edge.
David Inshaw’s paintings seem to spring from the subconscious mind and speak powerfully to a place in us that is rarely stirred. Lyrical and yet often edgy, his work holds a unique place in the great English Romantic tradition. As a painter of the English landscape, particularly West Bay in West Dorset in his two Dancing Couple paintings, or Wiltshire chalklands in Cloud, the countryside, sea and cliffs work together with the figures to express Inshaw’s poetry. In Cats and Comet and Angel in the Firmament he takes us out of this world completely. Inshaw’s is a feisty modern-looking Angel. As a painter of animals and birds he is unsurpassed, his creatures emanating directly from the magical source he alone seems able to tap into. Inshaw is 75 this year and has been visiting West Bay since the sixties. His painting style is looser now, softer perhaps. Areas of the canvas may be left sketchy. More is left to the imagination. yet the magic is always there, potent and utterly bewitching.
David Inshaw grew up in Biggin Hill, close to Samuel Palmer’s Shoreham. He studied at Beckenham School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools, with a six month scholarship to study in Paris, before he started to teach painting and printmaking at the West of England College of Art in Bristol. In 1975, with Peter Blake and five others, he formed the Brotherhood of Ruralists, who devoted themselves to painting subjects drawn from nature and English mythology and literature. Inshaw came to prominence in the seventies and has been painting his mysterious captivating paintings ever since. His most famous painting, The Badminton Game, was acquired by the Tate in 1980. His work is in many other public, private and corporate collections worldwide. He lives in Devizes. A biography by critic Andrew Lambirth was published in 2013 to coincide with his 70th birthday.
The night has been a recurring image throughout Tom Hammick’s work, and last year he curated the acclaimed exhibition of work by over sixty artists entitled Towards Night at the Towner Gallery in Eastbourne. As an artist with a busy life, Tom paints late into the night, finding then the imaginative space for dreams and escape. His paintings feed into his woodcuts and the other way round to create his potent interior landscape. Hammick’s emotive use of colour and his dazzling skill with the decorative surface of his woodcuts create works at once thrilling and edgy. Clearly linked to a Romantic tradition, he expresses poetic meaning through the awe-inspiring power of nature, at the same time portraying a vision of the world at its most fragile and deeply loved. An art teacher and a passionate advocate of other artists’ work Hammick also shares sensibilities, subject matter and inspiration with all kinds of other avenues of contemporary culture from uneasy fictional dystopias to current affairs, fashion, design and architecture.
After studying History of Art at Manchester University, Hammick became a stonemason working in Dorset with St Blaise Restoration. He went on to study Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art, followed by an MA in Printmaking. His work has been exhibited in London, New York, Canada, Paris and Beijing. He is now a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Painting and Printmaking at the University of Brighton and Visiting Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Ulster and at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University).
Hammick has work in many major public and corporate collections including the British Museum (Collection of Prints and Drawings), Victoria and Albert Museum, Bibliotheque Nationale de France (Collection of Prints and Drawings), Deutsche Bank, Yale Centre for British Art, and The Library of Congress, Washington DC. In 2015, Lund Humphries published a major new monograph on Tom Hammick, with text by Julian Bell.
Marzia Colonna returns to Sladers Yard in a very special exhibition with her daughter the ceramic sculptor Fiamma Colonna Montagu in the ground floor gallery. Mother and daughter work in similar beautiful natural colours and tactile textures. Together their work creates a marvellous close and revelatory conversation. Marzia Colonna has lived and worked in West Dorset for many years. She draws inspiration for her collages from her surroundings in the coastal landscape here in West Dorset and in her native Italy, the flowers from her garden and the interior of her studio. Her disciplined approach to collage underpins the work with a strong abstract quality of mark and pattern. Her collages are made entirely from paper painted beforehand. Marzia Colonna’s sculptures have been commissioned for public spaces including ‘St Aldhelm’ in Sherborne Abbey, ‘The Mermaid’ at the National Sailing Club, Portland, the ‘Christ’ in Salisbury Cathedral and the ‘Kite Flyer’ in Winchester. Collected widely in the UK and abroad, Colonna’s unique voice speaks to us through her sculpture and her collages.
We are excited to show the stunning ceramic sculpture of Fiamma Colonna Montagu for the first time. Monumental in scale and impact, her work has subtle natural colours and finishes and strong simple forms. Now living in West Dorset, Fiamma Colonna Montagu grew up in London. She studied at Bryanston, a co-educational liberal arts school in Dorset, followed by Oxford University. Since then she has worked as a film maker and ceramic artist specialising in large scale ceramic work and installations. Working with artist Paul Cummins she was the Producer for the acclaimed ‘Blood Swept Fields’ installation of 888,246 ceramic poppies at the Tower of London in commemoration of the centenary of the start of WW1. Works in her Portal series of ceramic sculptures which will be showing at Sladers Yard, have been shown at Knebworth House. She has also shown at the New Art Centre, Roche Court. Her sculpture is in private collections in Britain and US.
Alfred Stockham is a master of the poetic statement. His small jewel-like paintings often have the simplest of structures and yet convey an emotional and imaginative force that only grows stronger over time. His use of colour, shape and composition are based on a lifetime of study. Each painting is the result of hours of contemplation and sometimes radical changes to achieve works of extraordinary vision. spent seven years in the Royal Navy before studying at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College of Art where he was awarded a Silver Medal. He was a Rome Scholar and Grenada Arts Fellow at the University of York before he arrived in Bristol in 1968 to take 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. His work is in public collections throughout Britain and Ireland and in private collections worldwide.
Potter Richard Batterham is generally accepted to be this country’s leading maker of domestic stoneware. Last year he celebrated his 80th birthday. After a summer of what he calls ‘reconstruction’ with a hip replacement and cataracts on both eyes, he is back in action, fulfilling a very long list of orders, many via Sladers Yard. The stock we are showing is either newly fired or selected by Richard from his personal collection of favourite pots gathered over the last thirty or so years. Richard’s pots are made to enrich life rather than to adorn it. A superb craftsman, his colours are soft blues and greens through to caramel, browns and blacks with the nature of his glazes varying from thin and bright to thicker softer glazes. His forms are functional – simple, satisfying and beautiful. Some pots, he says, ‘call out to me that they are really good ones’ and those are the pots we are showing this winter.
Born 1936, Richard Batterham became interested in pottery at a very young age at Bryanston School, where an interest in craft and design was greatly encouraged. He learnt under the guidance of Donald Potter, who was a student of Eric Gill and had also worked with Michael Cardew at Winchcombe. After National Service, Batterham worked for two years under Bernard Leach at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall. There he and his future wife, Dinah Dunn, met Atsuya Hamada, a son of Shoji Hamada. ‘I think we got a lot from him,’ Batterham says, ‘about how to handle clay. We were very lucky.’ He set up his pottery in Dorset in 1959 and still works there, firing multiple times a year producing his fabulous work.
Petter Southall has been making his distinctive furniture at his studio outside Bridport since 1991. He makes his designs by hand using an innovative combination of boat-building and fine cabinet-making techniques. Originally a boat-builder in his native Norway, Southall learned cabinet making in Northern California and came to UK in 1989 to study sustainable design with John Makepeace at the forward-looking Hooke Park College. He left with a number of commissions including a dining room for the sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink and has been in the same workshop designing and making in wood ever since. His work is in private, public and corporate collections in US, Norway, Italy and across the UK. Currently he is working on a sculptural piece for the Literary and Scientific Institute in Bridport.
For more information on any of the artists above please contact Anna Powell at Sladers Yard, Contemporary British Art, Furniture & Craft, West Bay Bridport Dorset DT6 4EL t: 01308 459511
Open: Monday to Saturday 10am – 4pm, Sundays 12 noon - 4pm