Agata Wojcieszkiewicz's show Assimilations opened on Thursday evening to unanimous acclaim. We've seldom had such a big crowd in total agreement that this work needs to be seen to be truly appreciated.Read More
A great turn out for 'Small Works' our exhibition of very small pictures by an array of artists. Some are local to Portsmouth and you can always rely on artists to come out on a damp wintry evening to support each other and enjoy the chat.
It won't surprise those that saw Amartey Golding's film in the gallery in October 2016 that we caused something of a stir in what was Jack House Gallery's first Art Fair. Our little custom built screening booth was the busiest stand at the fair with a constant stream of visitors eager to see the most talked about exhibit of LAF 2017.
With the work of Amartey Golding you are never quite sure what will happen and he does rather fly by the seat of his pants! For a little while we thought we'd be screening 'Strictly' instead of this stunningly beautiful and very thought provoking first film. Initial technical problems soon sorted the response was overwhelmingly positive and the main film was followed by another 'short' documentary film featuring an interview with Amartey and his brother Solomon. This fly on the wall insight into their lives had Amartey's Auntie tut-tutting at the pile of dirty dishes in his kitchen.
We broke our normal rules and re-hung here at the gallery in order to meet demand. John Green is a prolific artist and we have had a lot of work to show so those of you that have been already it's now worth another trip. For those that haven't there's only one more week of this show left so come and see this excellent display of John's draughtsmanship and versatility. Now that the stock of his work is down to 'manageable' levels we have started adding it to his artist page on the website so have a look if you can't along to the gallery.
An evening of Dockyard inspired art by John Green and poetry with readings by Tongues and Grooves Thursday 29th September 2016
6:30pm - 8:30pm
It is the aura of portent that first strikes the onlooker as this artist’s recent collection is revealed, the intimation that something insidious is afoot and change is seeping into the canvas. Rachel Levitas says that she believes most artists have the ability to sense a shift in the air and can perceive potentially catastrophic indicators before anyone else. As we ponder the foxes foraging on a draped trestle, the augury of some sort of collapse beneath the weight of their mischief, is never far from our suspicion.
Foxes, flags, dahlias, her vision is indisputably British and her family background takes some surprising routes across an unusual yet familiar map of political history and the artist grew up seeing the world through a particular ideological prism that took her beyond the iron curtain. In the foxes, we see new and opportunistic forces as they dismantle the old guard, the blowsy flowers referencing the more reverentially observed ostentatious still life displays of game and bloom once commissioned by the elite country estates.
Levitas finds much to be optimistic about however and there is a shimmer of playfulness in her work. Still Life Interrupted includes pictures that are an interruption of her previous set of expressions, Still Life Disturbed, and the series of works je suis désolé, considers the relationship of Manet and his muse, Berthe Morrisot. The eclipse of Berthe in these paintings is a comment on the role of artist and his muse, in this case, his female muse, also an artist. Madame Swann, although a fictional literary character, is also a muse and in the Madame Swann paintings represents the relentless social surge of her animal equivalent, the urban fox.
Not dissimilar to the fox, the artist herself has pluck but patience, plus a shrewd eye for advantage and her interest in the animals as opportunists was triggered by the sight of a single arrogant fox sitting on her doorstep that waited unfalteringly to be fed. Brought up in the far North, she has found stability in the city with a growing family, teaching, talking, observing, her airy modern studio overlooking Burgess Park a far cry from the stereotypical clutter of creativity. It is full of thought.
Educated at a “state comp” she was influenced by one of those fabled inspiring teachers who successfully saw several of his protégés arrive at the top institutions. Levitas herself studied at Camberwell before “falling in love” with the crumbling metaphorical and physical edifice of the Royal Academy Schools, saying that stepping into the ‘still life room’ and finding it filled with skeletons, a model of a flayed man and the cast of a real crucifix, she felt a jolt of recognition. Having trained extensively as a printmaker, her fascination is with discovery, deconstruction and corruption, and has won her several prizes including the Lynn Painter-Stainers.
The smaller pieces, as she experiments with surface and quality, have the effect of decoration on porcelain, possibly echoing the country house hierarchy, of china to be laid out, to be smashed. Grand trees also inhabit her landscapes as sentient signposts, prophesying the unsaid. While we have fun at the table, we disregard the warning of impending disintegration at our peril and certain sleek scavengers won’t pass up the chance to augment their good fortune.
That's Solent TV's Shan Robins reports about our first show of 2016.
Our very special opening of "Dockies" with John Green's beautiful paintings kicks off 2016 at Jack House with a great success. Even the Mayor was there on the opening night of John's first Portsmouth show.
There was also quite a bit of press with 2 articles in the Portsmouth News:
Strokes Of Genius
Dockies Pictures Capture Portsmouths Proud Herritage
A massive dose of german expressionism arrived all the way from Bochum to Portsmouth in the back of a Mini! They are larger than life and definitely brighten up our early winter evenings.
We had quite a few guests at the preview including our first artist to show at Jack House Amartey Golding! He is also the subject in one of Stephan's paintings, see if you can spot him!
Of course Woody came too all the way from the big smoke just to see Trixie the gallery dog!
Exhibition runs from 23rd October to 28th November 2015
Dylan Thomas's 'Under Milk Wood' read by Richard Stride with images by Sir Peter Blake as well as paintings by Lyndon Hayes.Read More
Dylan’s Thomas’s groundbreaking 1954 ‘play for voices’, ‘Under Milk Wood’, has long echoed in the imagination of the founding father of British Pop Art, Sir Peter Blake. Jack House Gallery is showing a selection of prints from the richly detailed sequences of 140 watercolours, pencil portraits and collages comprising the illustrations he made in response to this wonderful and much loved work.
We will also have available on sale in the gallery a limited number of the paperback books published by Enitharmon Editions as well as a De Luxe clothbound limited edition which includes a print by Sir Peter Blake.
We will be hosting an evening of ‘readings’ from Under Milk Wood alongside these marvellous pictures with the kind collaboration of Richard Stride of Portsmouth’s own Groundlings Theatre Group on Thursday 1st October 6-9pm.
Thursday 10th September 6:30pm-8:30pm
11th September-18th October 2015
Finishing this weekend and with an end of show drinks party tonight, two 'must see' exhibitions, Andrew Holmes's paintings 'Democratic Beach' and our first 'Summer Show' hosting an array of well known artists and lesser known talent. Join us for a glass of wine and a final chance to see this wonderful art.
Lyndon Hayes has a long and impressive CV as a commissioned artist for magazines and publications here and abroad making regular contributions to The Observer, The Telegraph and The Times as well as periodicals, Variety Magazine, Wired, Wallpaper, New York Magazine and even Le Monde. You will have seen his work somewhere.
We are pleased to be showing a series of paintings made especially for Jack House Gallery telling stories of his home town in the East Midlands but that could as easily be here in Portsmouth. Lyndon composes his stunning paintings like a spy with a Polaroid camera. Informed by his years as an illustrator he selects and shoots with an unerring eye for the interesting and quirky in the everyday corners of ordinary life.
Thursday 10th September 6:30pm-8:30pm
11th September to 18th October 2015
Jack House Gallery's first Summer Show opens this weekend and amongst the many and varied treasures on show are lithographs by established and renowned RA Chris Orr and rising star Caroline Walker. We'll be introducing ceramics with specially commissioned 'Portsmouth Pots' by Alice Mara and Marion's Brandis's mischevious feline beauties. Some very German Expressionism from Stephan Geisler, drypoint poetry by Kate Boxer and Anita Klein's distinctively stylised and quirky linocuts as well as John Dilnot's exquisitely devised 'boxes'. And there's more...Barry Goodman's collographs of vintage vehicles, Fabio Coruzzi's city scenes and Susie Perring's rather badly behaved dogs.
Bathers: These pieces are inspired by my visits to the Caribbean where the people of the island use the sea to socialize, relax and refresh. Each morning, groups walk down to the beaches and share time together in the sea. These meetings are sometimes locally referred to as “the breakfast club”. From childhood, at weekends and after school, the children spend time together in the sea. This experience forms an important part of their lives on the islands.
Observing a group of bathers is, to me, a representation of how we can interact, both with each other and with nature. On the fringe of our world we push just slightly into the unknown space of the ocean. It’s a place where, for a short time, we can leave the material “stuff of life” behind, and simply enjoy the company of family and friends, or spend time alone to reflect. If we enter the sea on our own or break off for a few minutes from the group, we can swim a little, float, walk or stand, and there – in isolation – have nothing impinge from the outside into our thoughts. It can offer the chance for reflection or dreams; perhaps, even a neutral state where we can spiritually relax too.
I found these scenes uplifting and was compelled to try to capture the experience. I love the sea and the Caribbean is a wonderful blend of natural and cultural richness. Upon visiting, walking slowly along the beach at the beginning and end of each day becomes a ritual, however, sketching from the beach has to be quick. There’s little detail to be seen and bathers are constantly moving. Whether bright sunlight or overcast, the rich starkness of the figures’ forms silhouettes against the warm, pale sea and this is the most important image I hold in my emotional and visual memory. After returning to the studio in London and working from fleeting scribbles made on the beach, I wanted the drawings and paintings to reflect these figures and scenes exactly as I saw them.
I began with using the beach sketches as a source reference to make preparatory working drawings and, in turn, used these to paint the panels. The first bather was painted in February 2014 and the final piece in May 2015. During this period I continued to make new drawings using charcoal and acrylic paint on layers of polyester film. These sketches helped me to continually progress the painting. I chose oil on panel for the main pieces because wood offers a smooth surface to work with. This aided the techniques I used to both apply and move the paint around to communicate the sense of water and bathers immersed in the sea.
Dogs: This group of oils, painted onto panel or paper, was produced between June 2014 – May 2015, and is an expression of particularly fond memories from an early summer trip on the river Thames with friends and their dog, Horace. The Thames is a beautiful river which, affected by the light and weather, can change so much as it flows through different landscapes. It was a few years later I decided to work on paintings of a dog in water and was able to use photographs and sketches from the time spent on the river with Horace.
Apart from the simple image of a dog enjoying the water I wanted to try and depict the varying quality of light reflecting off the surface of the river as the dog moved through it. Thus, apart from using wood panels for some of the pieces I chose oil on paper as an alternative substrate that would offer a softer feel to the painting.
My love of water and the connection we have with the sea and rivers is the underlying interest I have in the subject of figures in water. Because we have spent hundreds of thousands of years living near or navigating along the natural waterways and coastlines our relationship with water is almost primordial. I believe for most of us, there has always been a special and strong attraction to the sea.
With a huge array of work on show of 16 Greenwich Printmakers as well as the stunning paintings of Richard Colson there are literally hundreds of pictures to see in the gallery this time round. There is something for everyone in this show.
Surrounded by all this art, Kit will be giving a short talk in the gallery to give an insight into the process that forms his unique and beautiful works as well as talking about the art that inspires him. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see and handle the actual plates that made the works and view the proofs and development of the artworks.