On Wednesday I decided to take my Nan & Grandad to New Art Gallery in Walsall. I had heard that Elizabeth Rowe was currently in residence and hadn't seen her or her work in a while so really wanted to check it out. Had no idea what other exhibitions were on at this point in time.
To my pleasant surprise there is a group exhibition with the work of Ruth Claxton and John Stezaker (to name two) called FOUND.
I really enjoyed this exhibition - probably as it reminded me a lot of my A Level Photography work, where I was manipulating images, dealing with mistakes that can occur in photography and experimenting with collage and amalgamating.
In Ellen Gallagher’s work, she works into and on top of the photographs with all sorts of materials to build up on the images.
Ruth Claxton’s work I had seen before in images but never in person, which obviously gives more depth and you can see carvings of the scalpel/knife clearly which draws you eye across the image, in ways the original, undoctored image would not have done.
I loved Julie Cockburn’s work. Having just recently been experimenting myself with thread on images it was great to see someone who had worked at it in a much better fashion!
Erik Kessel’s photographs explore the beauty of mistakes, which I love but the more I look the more I started to consider that they could have been forced mistakes, which would have ruined it for me had I not known these were found images.
My Nan and Grandad seemed to enjoy the playfulness of John Stezaker’s work and also I think the content helped as they images used resembled old film stars. Overall, unfortunately my Nan & Grandad weren’t too enthused by this exhibition. Which I did expect as they have old fashioned values when it comes to art. They appreciate painting and sculptures by the classics. My Grandad went to Moseley Art school and I have always loved his drawings and paintings and despite his old fashioned views on art – I do tend to agree on a lot of the opinions he has on art work.
We continued our venture around the rest of the gallery which was predominantly their permanent collection – much to my Nan & Grandad’s delight!
The collection consists of a great range of Jacob Epstein’s work. I love his sculptures. They are beautiful but there is almost a slight imperfection to them that gives them character. My favourite is this piece below, it reminds me of Brian Froud’s work – has an elvish/pixie style to it.
Here are some other highlights from their collection. Enjoy!!