Galleries - May 2013

their own spaces. This movement began in the 60s in Hammersmith when Julian Trevelyan and Mary Fedden (coincidentally featured on p11) did just that with artist friends and neighbours. It was a roaring success from the word go and has since gone nationwide – just this month, for example, we know of two in Fifeshire, the East Neuk Open Studios (which came directly out of somethingI once wrote on these same pages, apparently!) and North Fife Open Studios, two down in the West Country, the Wylye Valley Art Trail and Bath Open Studios and, in London, Crouch End Open Studios. I know there are more and plenty to come too as the summer progresses. Organisers, let us know about them and we’ll do our best to update our readers – as everyone, artists and visitors alike, enjoys and appreciates them and buys from them too. N U Trad v. Mod "Without any doubt, terre vernissée (slipware) is a traditional technique. I love its ability to bring joy into everyday life." The words are those of the French potter Jean-Nicholas Gérard, currently exhibiting at Goldmark . Goldmark has thrown itself (no pun intended) into bringing the best of contemporary ceramics to the notice of the British public, and seems to be fulfilling its role of ‘the potters’ gallery’ with gusto and exuberance – exactly the qualities that sometimes seem to be ironed out by the super-cool digital technology exponents, called variously ceramicists or ceramists. And yet there is no denying the attraction of the ice maidens of the craft world – the Tilda Swintons as opposed to the Liz Taylors – to be seen at ‘Collect’ this month. The Wills Lane Gallery from St Ives, for example, shows an extremely fastidious and beautiful selection emanating from Falmouth University. To further prove the point that ceramics recognises no borders, Blackwell is showing the work of Danish maker Bodil Manz, a near contemporary of Liz Fritsch (whose work often elicited the reaction, ‘Oh, she’s been to Denmark’). Elegant, precise and subtle, her pieces will sit well in the Baillie Scott house which is proving both an inspiration and a remarkably felicitous backdrop for an inspired programme of applied art exhibitions. At the other end of the country, the Garden Gallery in Hampshire shows work by regular gallery artists with a particular emphasis on stone, its geological and historical memories: the identity of landscape no less . . . SD Artists Direct With commercial galleries more numerous nationwide than they have ever been, it is a curious paradox that artist-led exhibiting initiatives are also expanding. The reasons are complex but at heart I think it is a deep–rooted desire by artists to exert some control over their own destinies. The older, more established route for artists is the exhibiting society – the RA was one such – which has its obvious drawbacks in clique-iness and exclusivity. There are ways round this though, as the peripatetic London Group, celebrating its 100th birthday this year, has shown. Here, built into its history almost, is the willingness to put on open exhibitions where non- members have equal billing with members. I helped judge this year’s Biennial show as one of three external selectors, the results to be seen at the two part show at the Cello Factory later this month – lively, I hope you’ll agree. And there are at least three other such group shows of various shapes and sizes taking place this month – the United Society of Artists at the Menier Gallery, Teddington Artists in South West London and the Pilgrims Way Artists in Maidstone. The other, more recent, phenomenon is the Open Studio/Artists’ Trail idea where artists gather in geographical groupings to show their work in 13. GALLERIES MAY 13 OPEN STUDIO S hani Rhys James ‘Skinny Rib’, at King’s Place Gallery. Maurice Cockrill ‘Water from the Rock’, at Ffin y Parc. Shanti Panchal ‘The Last Order’ at Piano Nobile. Bodil Manz at Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House. Sue Trindle ‘Quercus Silver’ at Bath Open Studios