Galleries - April 2018

One ofthe many advantages of being features editor on Galleries magazine for some 20 years is that you develop fascinating insights into the radical ways in which various parts ofthe gallery scene have changed over time. Quite apart from the ever increasing number ofgalleries always opening, the apparent lack ofany influence ofvarious economic crises (like farmers, gallerists tend to be perennial pessimists!) and the booming international character ofthe London market, perhaps the most remarkable feature has been the dramatic expansion ofregional gallery networks. The explosion ofinternet and social media and a growing exodus from London have played their part of course and the effects are apparent everywhere, none more so than the Cotswolds. Where once it was a case of galleries clustering round a picturesque tourist destination like Broadway, now really good ones can be found in virtually every small town and some really quite remote locations also. For example Architectural Heritage at Taddington Manor, in a remote hamlet high up on the Cotswold Hills near Moreton-in- Marsh, their original specialisation the most superb antique, ornamental and bespoke garden sculpture. This, almost inevitably, developed into historical sculpture for interiors and then, more recently, following owner Alex Puddy’s personal passion, into Modern and Contemporary British Sculpture. Thus their latest displays include excellent examples ofwork by such big names as Anthony Caro, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Randall-Page, William Pye and Bryan Kneale. Sculpture parks have, unquestionably been changing the game for serious collectors and this is a very impressive response. Sculpture is central also to the activities oflong-established Gallery Pangolin , housed in Victorian cloth mills outside Stroud, though the raison d’être here is the thriving sculpture foundry close by that produces much ofthe work on show in the gallery space. The principal show currently is sculptor Marino Marini’s prints (Galleries March issue) but pieces like Terence Coventry’s forceful ‘Horse Head I’, Anthony Abraham’s lyrical ‘Playing’ and major Modernist Reg Butler’s exuberant ‘Girl on Back’ illustrate the range and quality of the work always exhibited. On the more north easterly side ofthe Cotswolds are two galleries that focus more broadly on painting, prints and ceramics – The Stour Gallery in Shipston-on- Stour and Wychwood Art in picturesque Deddington. The first, founded by Sarah Stoten in 1997, has always had a particular penchant for Cornish and West Country artists but is now also looking to Ireland. Their current spring show ‘Trees’ features expressive plein air landscape watercolours by the well regarded painter, the late Richard Kidd with big name gallery artists like Bruce McLean and new comers like Fiona McIntyre and James Campbell. Meanwhile Wychwood Art have overcome their apparently out of the way location by a dynamic online presence, participation in art fairs and, of course, a strong roster ofartists. Their current show features three of them; Kate Boxer with her stylish, sharply observed animal etchings, Jeremy Houghton with his shimmering, evocative paintings offlocks of birds in flight and Emma Levine’s dextrous paper pieces oftrees. Following a not dissimilar path is GreenStage Gallery on the northern edge ofthe Cotswolds. Part ofthe Hop Pocket Craft Centre at Bishop’s Frome, their Easter show features some 19 painters, ceramicists, jewellers and textile, metal and glass artists in a broad and eclectic mix. N icholas Usherwood 10 GALLERIES APRIL 2018 above B ryan Kneale ‘Oasa’ Architectural Heritage rt ‘. . . the dramatic expansion of regional gallery networks’ Cotswolds