Galleries - July 2012

N ancy Wilson ‘Dark Angel’, a body painting at Creation Fine Arts. Haroon Mirza ‘Frame for Painting’, installation view (photo Ginny Jory) at Daiwa Foundation Art Prize. E lly Baltus ‘Struggle, Battle and Beauty’, at Twenty Twenty Gallery emporary art medals. Go to see them and you’ll certainly get to view the ‘real’ Olympics also – no ticket problems there! – which run from 8 to 21 July. As might be expected there is a spate of Olympic-y connected shows in London this month that don’t form part of the ‘official’ cultural Olympiad. Among those that particularly caught my eye are the ‘Outsiders’ Celebration of Sport’ that makes up the first ‘Outside the White Cube Open Exhibition’ at the Bermondsey Project (not far from the epon- ymous gallery) and the Millinery Works’ ‘London Eye: London is their Muse’. The first is a juried selection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, digital prints et al, focusing on all aspects of sport, plus a featured display of photo- graphs by guest artists Oleg Tolsto and Moritz Stragolz; the second is a welcome celebration of the inspiration London itself still provides for contemporary painters. or go North . . . Another option – to not being in, or going to, London this month, or even next - is to go and help York celebrate its 800th birthday. Gran- ted its Royal Charter by King John in 1212, the city is rightly proud of its extraordinary history and now, no less, its still remarkably vigo- rous present. ‘York 800’, which includes everything from an Early Music Festival and Medieval Mas- ses to Science and Innovation tours and Dragon Boat Races, will reach its climax on a Charter Day (9 July) celebration when choirs and music groups sing a specially commissioned piece of music by Benjamin Till. Art gets a look in too, I’m happy to report, with the Blue Tree Gallery ’s excellent sounding ‘The Glory of York’ show in which artists Colin Carr- uthers, Richard Burel, Graham K Cooke and Giuliana Lazzerini celebrate aspects of the city’s architecture, gardens and river landscape. Meanwhile the long- established Kentmere House Gallery is celebrating its 21st birthday by 'Going for Gold' in which many of the artists owner Ann Petherick has shown over that time explore the colour gold in their paintings. Then, finally, not far away, in Beverley, Creation Fine Art is displaying ‘Wingbeats’, the final part of ERA’s (East Riding Artists) project for the Cultural Olympiad, in which members have been producing work based on flight and the sensation of standing on the east Yorkshire cliffs. A rich and varied group of artistic experiences . . . A NTENNAE 10. GALLERIES JULY 12 A Medal of Your Own It’s still a surprisingly little-recog- nised fact that the first ‘Olympian Games’ were in fact held in Much Wenlock in Shropshire in 1850 and have, more or less, been held there every year since. Founded by a remarkable local doctor and worthy, Dr William Penny Brookes, to improve the health of the agri- cultural classes, they led directly to the first ‘real’ Olympic Games in 1896, their founder, Baron de Coubertin, visiting the Wenlock games and becoming a great admirer of Brookes’ work. Broo- kes died sadly six months before those first games in Athens but his memory lives on and is being celebrated, as ever, this July with a huge raft of sporting activities from gliding competitions to archery contests and, culturally, as is also historically appropriate, in a de- lightfully appropriate exhibition being organized by the town’s ever-enterprising Twenty Twenty Gallery. Entitled ‘The Art of the Contemporary Medal’, six Inter- national and six British medallists have been invited to make medals to celebrate 2012 (plus a student prize to be donated to the Wen- lock Olympians). As the gallery observes, these are small works of art to hold in your hands as well as a nice opportunity to buy cont-