Our latest project has been an absolute joy, bringing strong and bold interpretations of the landscape subject-matter into a prestigious barristers’ chambers.
We have recently curated and installed forty-seven artworks in a contemporary art exhibition at a London based Chambers’ magnificent newly refurbished premises.
Our brief was to curate an exhibition throughout the six conference rooms, to choose strong, inspiring and uplifting artworks that would resonate with the barristers, clerking team and most importantly the clients.
It was important that the artworks were sensitive to the environment (aesthetically pleasing, worked well within the space, were not provocative or offensive) but they also needed to work well alongside a private collection of a further 40 artworks we were also tasked to curate. Above all, the art was to stimulate conversation and interest in the installation.
Taking up our brief, we decided to choose landscape as a subject matter as a way of introducing different techniques, use of artistic materials as well as perceptions and interpretations of this great theme.
We selected six artists working in different mediums from photography, oil painting and acrylics, ink, mixed media paintings and giclee prints, each artist interpreting and portraying landscape in their unique and distinctive style.
A strong sense of form, colour and abstraction were underlying themes we wanted to project across the display in order to compliment an installation of Contemporary art prints loaned to the Company by a private collector, also curated by VEDO.
Leading With The Exceptional
Karina’s art gallery Gallery DIFFERENT has generously loaned five works by her leading artist Denis Bowen.
We have led the exhibition with three large oil paintings by this renowned and important artist to the development of British abstract art.
Bowen, a South African born artist to British parents, returned to the UK after being orphaned at a young age. Raised by his Aunt in Huddersfield, he studied art from the age of 15 and after serving in the Navy in the Second World War he went on to study art at the Royal College of Art.
He became a leading abstract artist and gallery director in the UK, was the founder of the New Vision Group and the New Vision Centre Gallery which played an important role in the British art scene post 1945. He taught art at numerous art colleges and inspired a future generation of abstract artists that followed him.
We see a range of his interests in different landscapes from volcanic landscapes, to explosive skies bursting with colour and energy, to cosmic scenes, displaying distant planets inspiring awe at the lunar landing of Apollo 13 and the Apollo space program.
His “psychedelic works” from 1969-1980 that incorporate UV light show an artist experimenting with live music performance and someone who was thoroughly engaged in an immersive experience.
Bowen’s preoccupation with space activity has left a lasting impression on his legacy, the many artists he inspired. His recognition as a leading figure in British abstract art and avant-garde art is marked by his works in Tate Britain’s museum collection.
These strong abstract oil paintings take prominence in the entrance and reception areas and in a small conference room overlooking Gray’s Inn gardens, bringing guests into close proximity with the power and majesty of the universe as Bowen saw it.
Bowen’s works contrast beautifully with the slick black and white high definition architectural skylines and abstract architectural shots by the Munich based rising star in fine art photography Christopher Hauser.
No one captures the intensity and beauty in the details of urban architecture like Hauser. His fascination with geometrical details, brings to life the stark beauty of immense glass and steel structures, recalling the influence of Bauhaus architects that built and inspired the greatest city skyscrapers.
Hauser stuns us with strong sweeping landscape views of great cities across the globe and we have selected international cities where the barristers work.
A particularly strong and impressive work is his shot of The Millennium Bridge in London, prominently displayed in a ground floor conference room. From Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and Sydney to a stunning night time view of the bay of Hong Kong in hues of midnight blue that dominates a whole wall of a conference room, the picture faces a stunning downtown view of New York City, basking in the glow of a pink sunset. All reinforces the majesty of large urban city development.
It is hard to imagine this young man standing on these extraordinary structures at phenomenal heights waiting for the perfect shot. We step into his shoes for a moment and are in awe of these stunning city views.
On the second floor, the chambers have an arbitration suite and here we decided to set a tone of calm, serenity and elegance.
We chose oil paintings by British artist Richard Wincer. Wincer is heavily influenced by the beauty in the English landscape and coastline. He is drawn to imagining the past and speaking to a by gone age of declining industries, such as the fishing communities.
His paintings have this haunting feel of the past, yet they feel familiar and comforting. Just like the great old masters he captures a timelessness that is the essence of beauty. His skill is in patiently stripping back his abstract oil paintings until he reaches the right tones, hues and texture and in doing this, you feel time has been stripped back too and he has found the right ambience and mood within the abstracted forms.
There is an incredible sense of calm and peacefulness in these works, like the passing of time. The mood and ambience was welcomed by the barristers and so we decorated a second room with earlier works, that were slightly more figurative to show Wincer’s artistic progression, also to demonstrate the strong influence of seascapes, islands, ports and ships at sea that we felt might have some relevance and resonance for a leading shipping law team of barristers within the set, 36 Stone.
Pioneering photography on canvas
In a smaller break out room, we changed up to photography by an established French photographer called Jacques Godard, now in his 70s but possibly creating his best work yet.
He has developed a fascinating technique called pixoplasty. We showed how his work has progressed in the field of landscape across his long career by selecting works in small format prints from different periods and these works demonstrate a complete change in style and techniques.
We took his more recent works, a large triptych called Bacchanales, large monochrome abstract works on canvas onto the barristers’ floors to continue the exhibition throughout the building.
It was a pleasure to be loaned works by this museum-collected artist who is truly a pioneer in photographic techniques and a renowned teacher of photography at colleges in France.
His pixoplasty technique sees a fusion of old and highly modern techniques to manipulate the images and create dramatic abstract forms.
Godard prints the images on canvas and this translation of print to canvas gives the impression of abstract paintings, rather than photographs to stunning effect.
Bright bold acrylics
One of the Gallery’s hot new artists, Gwen Joy Royston has leant several canvasses introducing incredible pops of colour throughout the space. Royston is an established artist too with a long career.
We found that many of the barristers’ loved strong colour and so we were very pleased to have the opportunity to display her wonderful bright abstract paintings.
We have brought a riot of colour into the Silks’ rooms and barrister’s rooms.
Royston studied under Albert Irvin and his influence is undeniable and as two of the best works loaned to the set from the private collection are by Albert Irvin we decided to run with this and display several works by his former pupil.
Royston uses strong brush strokes that strike the canvas filling the central space with bold painterly blocks of colour. She uses large blocks of black and blue paint set against tangerines, purple, gold and hot pinks. Although the subject-matter of the work is often deeply personal and connote moments in the artist’s life, her feelings and emotions are conveyed in these strong abstract forms, there seems to be an inextricable link to the stunning landscape on which Royston would gaze from her magnificent studio based near the Pyrenees mountains.
Distorted beauty – London not as you see it
Last but not least, we have displayed works by one of our favourite artists, Mick Dean.
An artist who held a very successful career in commercial photography before turning his talents to becoming a figurative painter, he has been based in a studio in East India Docks in London, for many years.
His love affair with London is apparent in his work. He is fascinated by beauty in the most unexpected vistas. From moss covered rotting wharfs to mysterious canals that wind their way under graffiti painted tunnels through our glorious city.
Dean brings to life a beauty in landscape views that may go unnoticed or unappreciated. He will show you beauty in a rain flooded cobble stoned street spilling into a drain, to fishing tackle on boats lost to decay and atrophy and the moss strewn undercarriages of wharfs.
His photographer’s eye for detail has meant he depicts water in a very impressive way, but form always takes precedent and it is the structures in the Thames, such as the docks, piers, barges and wharfs that seem to dominate the canvasses.
As mother nature silently erodes parts of old London, with the past urban views ebbing away, Dean also shows us beauty in the process of decline and disintegration.
To see more of the paintings in the exhibition and to receive a copy of our exhibition brochure, please do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.