It was an incredibly hot, thundery day.
So, what did we think of the Jeffrey Camp?
Many of the paintings were of Beachy Head, with figures looking down from the top - a good sense of the drop, the wind etc. Others were of nudes, some lying in a downland landscape, or on the cliffs, or in one case, on a roof-top? by London Bridge. They were attractive, and we liked them. However, for my taste, too many of the paintings came over all visionary,with
In the second exhibition room, the abstract wispiness increased until the paintings were just washes of colour, but there were some nice small pictures - one of a woman with breasts like fried eggs, with lots of other fried eggs floating about, and one of a baby's head looking like the boiled egg in an egg-cup beside it.
All in all, the show was OK - better than some of the earlier exhibitions Battleaxe has gnashed her teeth over, but not great art to stop a body in their tracks. It was low-key pleasant to look at, and not annoying - that is something, I suppose. It is alright for us, we are members, but I am not sure how I would have felt if I had had to pay money to see the paintings.
Unfortunately, we had just viewed some really mind-blowing and genuinely visionary and spiritual art, which did not make a helpful point of comparison when viewing the Jerwood exhibition. On Friday, we went on a long car journey to the Sandham Memorial Chapel, near Newbury, which Philosopher has wanted to visit for a long time. The walls of the chapel are covered in murals by Stanley Spencer, painted to honour the dead of the First World War. It is incredibly poignant, powerful and moving stuff. Oddly, we learned that the chapel had to be consecrated in its unpainted state, because the big Resurrection scene that Spencer wanted to produce included the resurrection of animals - indeed, it depicted many horses and mules.
Anyway, back to the Jerwood - I was concerned to see that the gallery has actually increased its visitor entry prices, despite all the feedback they must have received about it already being too expensive. I also read a letter in yesterday's Observer saying that visitor numbers are well below target. I can't really comment on that, as I don't know where the writer got his figures from, but certainly, the gallery never seems overly busy. I have ranted on enough before about their opening times, and the repeated and prolonged closures for exhibition re-hangs, but I would also say in general terms that for any organisation, raising prices is not a good way to balance the books if customer demand is already low.
|Stanley Spencer - Resurrection of the Soldiers|