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14 Jan - 17 Feb 2012
Richard Pomeroy has made a dramatic series of paintings about the Somerset Levels to be exhibited in the Brewhouse Gallery in Jan/Feb 2012. You cannot cast your eye over the level landscape to the east of Taunton and not witness mans intimate involvement with the land over thousands of years. The view is history illustrated. The drains, rhynes, ditches, trackways and droves have all been created over many thousands of years in an attempt to tame the flooding rivers and threatening sea and make the fertile land productive.
These new paintings explore this landscape/humanity link. They are based around a body print. The artist lies down in carefully prepared wet paint on primed linen. The resulting image can form the dramatic centrepiece of the painting or be gradually subsumed by the subsequent layers of paint. The clothing is clearly modern, zips and denim defining the figure as contemporary. This physical union between body and landscape dramatises the subject of the paintings and creates a memorable image.
Pomeroy has approached the subject through three separate strands: aerial views - which are the only way to display the winding river courses and straight rhynes; the tor, which crops up continually as an astonishing geographical landmark and a powerful spiritual centre; the willow trees, which are a vital crop and provide sculptural verticals in a flat land. In each painting the body print represents human involvement with the landscape, capturing the drama of the relationship.
There is an artist's talk to accompany this exhibition on Wednesday
1 February at 6pm, where Richard will talk about his approach to making paintings.
Tickets for the discussion are free to book call the Box Office on 01823 283244
or for more information visit www.thebrewhouse.net.
The Living Tree of Jesse
An Exhibition of Paintings by Richard Pomeroy, to coincide with the restoration of Wells Cathedral's famous C14th stained glass window.
9 - 17 October 2011
The Chapter House, Wells Cathedral
The Tree of Jesse was a development of biblical imagery in medieval story telling. In part it is a tracing of Jesus' ancestry much as the Anglo Saxon Chronicles emphasised Alfred's ancestry to justify his position as King of Wessex. Today we are still obsessed with our family histories. In the huge window over the altar at Wells the 'tree' is a vine, coiling round Jesse's family.
In these 10 new paintings by Richard Pomeroy, the Jesse window is transformed into a living and contemporary version of the medieval vision. Four of the paintings set the scene, showing the cathedral and the window. The other six paintings are of figures entwined with the vine; leaves, tendrils and bunches of grapes give vitality and sensuality to the theme of ancestral lineage. The Jesse window has been made modern.
Pomeroy's work is richly coloured and exudes energy. The vine is life-like, the grapes pickable, the tendrils reaching out. Background colours glow through the paintings, as though made of glass.
Most of these large paintings - all measuring 183 x 91.5cm - are based on the body. The artist lies down in carefully prepared wet paint on primed linen, creating a body print. The resulting image can form the dramatic centrepiece of the painting or be gradually subsumed by the subsequent layers of paint. The clothing in the body prints is clearly modern, zips and denim defining the period. The figures bring those depicted in the window to the street of today.
The works will be exhibited in the glorious surroundings of the medieval Chapter House and will be open to the public from 9-17 October 2011 during normal Cathedral opening hours.
50% OF THE PROCEEDS OF THE EXHIBITION WILL GO TO WELLS CATHEDRAL
As part of Somerset Art Weeks:
Photography, painting and drawing by Don McCullin, James Lynch, Luke Piper and Richard Pomeroy
19 September - 4 October 2009
Monday - Saturday 9am - 11pm, Sunday 11am - 4pm
The Levels are Somerset's reliquary, holding history and myth in its landscape. They are also Britain's largest wetland area, maintaining diverse wildlife and criss-crossed with rhynes and drains that date back centuries. Don McCullin has brought his immense experience as a photojournalist to the Levels; the painters James Lynch, Luke Piper and Richard Pomeroy show three very different responses to this inspiring landscape.
DON McCULLIN, who made his name as a Sunday Times photographer, has been called the world's greatest war photographer. Since moving to Somerset he has concentrated on still life and landscape. The following is from a recent interview with BBC Radio 3's John Tusa:
People are actually liking my English landscape photographs, despite the fact that they're sometimes a bit gloomy... they're saying, I really like your landscapes, and I hope you do more, so, I'm moving towards one thing and hopefully, miles away from the other thing which was war.
..the English countryside is one of my great passions. I hate the idea of swamping this country with shoe-box housing. People who buy up beautiful pieces of England, and turn them into homes
I love being in England during the winter and I look forward to the evening light, and the naked trees when I go out; and I live in this Arthurian world of Somerset. I really like working with angry clouds, and naked trees, and English hedgerows and things, and you know, I think I'm allowed to use this as a kind of herbal medicine for my mind; to love the environment where I live.
I've also been accused by the way, of my English landscapes looking like war scenes. But I inject these dark skies, and obviously, the dark skies and the reflection of water in the Somerset Levels, the darkness in me is still there, really.
JAMES LYNCH, born in 1956, has been painting professionally for thirty years. From his first sell-out exhibition in the 1980s he went on to win awards from the Royal Academy, the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and The Spectator. His patrons include the National Trust, the Folio Society and many eminent private collectors. He exhibits regularly with the Maas Gallery in London.
He became known in the 1980s and 90s for his monumental animals set in visionary landscapes, but his recent work focuses on the seasonal light and dramatic weather of the Somerset and Dorset landscape, and its different moods at different times of day.
James paints using the ancient medium of egg tempera. He mixes traditional gesso from raw ingredients and makes his paint according to Quattrocento recipes, using pure ground pigments, egg yolk and water. The paint is built up in thin layers and the surface hardens to one of the most durable and lightfast there is, with a sheen which gives a translucent glow to the colours.
James is married to painter, Kate Lynch, and they live on a hill overlooking the Somerset Levels and Moors where his studio commands breathtaking views over King's Sedgemoor towards Glastonbury Tor. His interest in paragliding provides inspiration for his paintings.
LUKE PIPER works at speed in a mix of media - the ingredients usually include pencil,
ink, watercolour, pastel and gouache. His paintings have the idiosyncratic Piper look. Though Luke picked up many of his father's working practices while working alongside him as a child, Edward advised him not to become an artist. However, a degree in geography from Cambridge only encouraged his passion for landscape, its inner workings and interrelations. While this knowledge undoubtedly informs his paintings, the work itself is about vision, and the specific conditions that can make a particular landscape or cityscape, for a moment, magical. The struggle then is a romantic one - to capture that moment.
born in 1960 and brought up in Somerset, pursued a career in the London contemporary
art world before taking up painting full time 12 years ago. On moving back to
Somerset the local landscape became the overriding inspiration for his work.
He exhibits regularly in London and the West Country.
Recently Richard has been using his body to create body prints in the background of his paintings and drawings. This creates an intriguing play of images and serves to remind the viewer that it is impossible to look at landscape without seeing the influence of humanity. For the last year the Somerset Levels have dominated the work in his studio - they are both the ultimate man-made landscape and a vast refuge for wildlife. Willow trees and Cider orchards are the subjects of these paintings.
The following is a quote from a recent catalogue essay:- 'Discovering his motifs in many countries (including his own), Richard Pomeroy re-presents them in his pictures with a strong focus on visual facts and with a clarity enhanced by the elimination of superfluous detail. His painting processes are comparably straightforward. Curiously, however, the effects are strange. Whether from New Zealand, Scandinavia, Portugal, Devon or even London, each motif transmits the atmosphere of its region of origin, yet it has also been relocated to the world of Pomeroy's imagination.' Richard Morphet.
At The Chapel, High Street, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 0AE
01749 814070, firstname.lastname@example.org
Previously a C17th former coaching inn and later a congregational chapel, At The Chapel now features a bakery, with artisan breads baked in a huge stone beehive woodfired oven, a well-stocked winestore, a bar, café and restaurant which altogether form a stunning exhibition space showcasting local artists. Open all day, At the chapel offers locals and visitors a warm and friendly place to shop, meet, drink and eat the very best seasonal local food.
PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
PRESS RELEASE PRESS RELEASE
Tyre Tread and Fall
The Air Gallery 32 Dover Street, London W1
Monday 1st - Saturday 6th December 2008
Richard Pomeroy is renowned for his fresh interpretations of landscape and architecture. His new paintings overlay haunting physical impressions of himself with the wildflowers of his local Somerset hedgerows, creating a startling juxtaposition that highlights the disjointed relationship between nature and man.
Pomeroy has often used hands, shirts and bundles of leaves to move his paint around. When his cycle of flower paintings was interrupted by the brutal lacerations of mechanical hedge trimming, he persuaded a local farmer to drive a tractor over the prepared canvases.
The resulting Tyre Tread, a distinctive pattern with strong intrusive/destructive connotations, creates a background for exquisite paintings of native flowers, a metaphor for the wanton destruction of our environment.
To make the Fall paintings the artist falls onto the paint, reminiscent of Jasper Johns and Yves Klein. The image - part x-ray, part memory, part theatrical performance - forms the backdrop to hugely magnified flowers and insects that float almost off the canvas.
These powerful images evoke Adam's fall from the Garden of Eden, Icarus, and, poignantly, the 'jumpers' who fell from the Twin Towers on 9/11. We also see the plunge taken by the artist as he embarks on a new body of work, in which he reveals himself - literally.
Yet there is also a sense of ecstasy, of man plunging into nature and art, an echo of Marvell's sensuous 'green thought in a green shade'.
Click on highlit listings to view
Art Issues July 1992
Country Life April 1993
Apollo October 2000
The Independent October 2000
The Art Newspaper October 2000
Harpers & Queen October 2000
The Week June 2001
NW Magazine (Cover image) January 2003
Artists & Illustrators April 2003
The Standard November 2006
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