Galleries - April 2018

and ‘Outside City Walls’, the two startlingly evocative series of photographs that resulted are forming the first show of the 2018 season at Kestle Barton , the superb rural art centre just 30 or so miles away on the Helford River. Using a homemade ‘Caffenol’ developer – coffee and washing soda basically to make direct paper positives – Arnold’s images convey a sense of ‘no time’ that is searching, troubling and very beautiful. NU Like one of his great heroes William Blake, Alasdair Gray is that rare phenomenon – an artist and writer, equally expressing his ideas and feelings in line and words. It is little surprising then that a man who has published over 40 books, painted a number of public murals and produced numerous paintings and drawings in every genre should be described by writer Will Self as a “creative polymath with an integrated politico-philosophical vision”. Gray’s first and most renowned self-illustrated novel ‘Lanark’ (1981) set the agenda for the multi-various output of his subsequent prolific career which was celebrated in 2012 with his autobiography ‘A Life in Pictures’. Now, a specially curated exhibition at Open Eye Gallery ‘Alasdair Gray: Selected Works 1962-2018’ focuses on his distinctive style of draughtsmanship with a selection of his line drawings. These include arresting portraits and revealing life drawings showing his fascination with human subject matter in all its forms – physical and metaphysical. BH Ulverston’s Printfest reappears early in May with the work of 44 chosen artists showing contemporary hand made prints to an expected audience of up to 2,000 visitors, if previous years are a guide. With the aim of being a Northern hub for printed works and last year drawing 40 per cent of visitors from outside the area this is an ambition to encourage. Print is a great medium for a new collector to get a taste for buying contemporary works as it really can be affordable and rewarding aesthetically. The repeated image and methodology of production wooed Picasso into significant series of works, so a medium to be savoured. PH Influenced by poets Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts’ eponymous book, the term ‘edgelands’ has gained widespread ecological acceptance in recent years as a kind of shorthand for those scruffy landscape margins that have sprung up around the edges of almost every major city – that hitherto largely ignored rural urban fringe of waste ground, allotments and marshy bits, odd semi-derelict buildings, abandoned cars and indeterminate hutments. The French have, typically, a rather more romantic but untranslatable phrase for it – ‘terres vagues’ – the vague territories is not quite ‘it’ somehow – which I like more. In any event we all sort of know it and pretend it isn’t really there. But for artist-photographer William Arnold, working in a teaching job in the small, expanding city of Truro in West Cornwall, this territory has become a kind of creative lifeline and, taking to heart, as far as possible, the advice of the great 19th century American nature writer Henry David Thoreau that he could not “preserve [my] health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day sauntering through the woods and over the hills”, has taken his camera on a series of one hour walks through the back blocks of Truro. Entitled ‘Suburban Herbarium’ APRIL 2018 GALLERIES 9 from left A lasdair Gray ‘Nude on a Peach Coverlet’ Open Eye Gallery Freddy Tsimba ‘Forme n°13003’ Beaux Arts Hugo Dachinger ‘Portrait of a Man (Huyton Internment Camp)’ © The Estate of Hugo Dachinger, Ben Uri Gallery Georgina Bown ‘Large 2’ Printfest 2018 William Arnold ‘Potentilla Reptant Cinquefoil’ Kestle Barton P rint works Picture books On edge contributors: Nicholas Usherwood, Bill Hare, Paul Hooper