Galleries - July 2016

Equally accomplished as both a painter and a printmaker –she was a founder member of the Printmakers’ Council back in 1961 –McLaren’s artistic language has always been profoundly shaped by the landscape in which she has been living, in particular that of East Dorset, her home since the late 70s. As anyone who knows it in the slightest, it is a landscape particularly resonant with human history and though McLaren’s art is never directly concerned with this particular aspect of its appearance, her deep sensitivity to its inherent truth informs these lyrical, sensitive evocations of the place –its winds, clouds and changing light –arriving at a vision of subtle truths. Last month’s piece about Cynthia Corbett’s Young Masters project may have given the impression that Deborah Azzapardi is one of the Young Masters in question. She is, of course, a Pop artist of some 30 years standing, her participation here being in her own right. Nicholas Usherwood Founded nearly 160 years ago as the Society of Female Artists, today’s Society of Women Artists remains, for all the apparent huge shifts in attitude towards the idea of women artists that has occurred over the last four decades or so, a hugely thriving – currently 140 members – and much needed organisation, as their latest, extremely punchy 155th Annual Open Exhibition at the Mall Galleries makes more than clear. For although many of the members of the Society are now also members of other major exhibiting bodies, a clearly female voice about what they would like their art to convey can often remain surprisingly muffled – similarly with the lively ‘open’ aspect. I am a big fan of this show and can highly recommend it. “Whoever told people that ‘mind’ means thoughts, opinions, ideas and concepts” the great Zen master Dogen once observed. “Mind means trees, fence posts, tiles and grasses”, an under- standing of the phenomenological nature of seen experience that the writer Mel Gooding uses to quiet effect in his catalogue essay accompanying Sally McLaren’s 80th birthday retrospective exhibition at Bankside Gallery. Clear picture Amends the surroundings’ antiquity and magnificence, the work seems rather to focus the spiritual relevance, the ever-approaching terrors of the refugee crisis in Syria and the Middle East underlying ever more emphatically its simple and magnificent story, one seemingly deriving from the opening of Virgil’s Aeneid, as Aeneas carries his crippled father Anchises out of the burning ruins of Troy. It is one of the key sculptures of our generation; if you have yet to see it, go now. Cornwall comes to London this month with a group of renowned contemporary artists at the A & D Gallery showing ‘West Cornwall Perspectives’. Organised by dealers Eleven and a Half, it includes names like Terry Whybrow, Ben Catt, Michael Praed and John Piper (not that one!), and with work ranging across painting, sculpture and ceramics, this looks well worth catching. Also worth noting in this context is Cricket Fine Art who are mounting a Cornish themed show ‘Out of Cornwall Past and Present’. Some good names here too: Fred Yates, Terry Frost, Nicola Hicks, Mary Stork and David Pearce among them. See this month’s Cornwall and West Country focus starting on page 19. Cornish catch JULY 2016 GALLERIES 11 from left T erry Whybrow ‘Painting 133’ A & D Gallery Sally McLaren ‘Before Dusk’ Bankside Gallery Ana Maria Pacheco ‘Shadows of the Wanderer’ (detail) Chichester Cathedral Kate Sully ‘Rejuvenate’ HillsFest Penelope Lee ‘English Countryside’ Mall Galleries Frank Dobson ‘Study for Sculpture – Two Figures’ Goldmark Gallery T hink landscape