Tag Archives: aldeburgh

exhibition at aldeburgh gallery : britten centenary

Wednesday 20 November 2013

ahoy there..! after being all at sea for a while, it was nice to be invited to contribute some small artworks for a group exhibition at the aldeburgh gallery, buoyantly entitled britten’s birthday bonanza, which opens later this week on the special occasion of the britten centenary celebrations this weekend – as friday 22nd november 2013 is the centenary of the birth of internationally acclaimed composer benjamin britten.

the exhibition, britten’s birthday bonanza, will feature recent work by three artists: sara johnson (watercolour paintings), gill levin (oil paintings) and chris mound (woodcut prints), alongside a selected exhibition of small artworks by artists associated with the art collective HWAT.

Britten’s Birthday Bonanza
21st – 27th November 2013
Aldeburgh Gallery
143 High Street
Aldeburgh
Suffolk
IP15 5AN

aldeburgh has become synonymous with the life & work of benjamin britten, a lasting legacy of international cultural importance to a once small fishing town on the suffolk coast – and a boon to local trade & tourism.

a leisurely stroll from the car park situated next to maggi hambling’s scallop sculpture (created in response to britten’s peter grimes) along the shingle beach is an idle pleasure later rewarded by the finest fish & chips to be purchased at the very other end of town… never one to push the boat out…

the liminality of sea, shoreline and shingle, a sliver of silver-green sea glinting in sunlight, or the percussive crashing of the waves, rain strumming over the marshes, the dramatic ever-changing skies, all nature’s moody atmospherics, playing out a performance indifferent to us…

benjamin britten was born in lowestoft, further up the suffolk coastline (his childhood home is now a fashionable B&B), and after studying & working in london and travelling to america, he later settled in aldeburgh with his artistic muse & partner, the singer peter pears (their final home, the red house, is now the location of the britten-pears foundation).

in 1948, with the support of peter pears and the writer eric crozier, britten established the aldeburgh festival, an annual event which attracted musicians and performers from far and wide. in 1967 the festival relocated to more spacious surroundings in the conversion of a former maltings building in the nearby village of snape. the new concert hall was officially opened by queen elizabeth II, who later returned to reopen it in 1970 after a fire destroyed the concert hall in 1969 just before the opening of that year’s festival.

the snape maltings complex is now the centre of aldeburgh music: a year-round programme of concerts and performances in tandem with a creative support and education programme for performers and musicians. snape is also the location of the snap art exhibition, and there are some impressive outdoor sculptures too (as written about previously).

suffolk was a source of much creative inspiration to britten; places of significance to britten’s music are included this interactive map of britten. there is more information about benjamin britten, peter pears and the special britten centenary celebrations at these websites:

Britten-Pears Foundation: http://www.brittenpears.org/

Aldeburgh Music’s Britten Centenary: http://www.brittenaldeburgh.co.uk/

BBC Radio & TV programmes: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/search?q=britten

BBC Radio 3’s Britten Centenary weekend:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radio3/posts/Introducing-Radio-3s-Britten-Centenary-Weekend

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:

[Ariel’s Song, The Tempest, William Shakespeare]

artworks, a private view

Saturday 10 April 2010

It was the private view of the second Spring exhibition of Artworks yesterday evening. It was very well attended with well over 150 guests arriving over the two or so hours – all helped no doubt by a lovely, balmy spring evening.


Farmscape II, 2010, mixed media on canvas

There was a policy not to take photographs of the artworks, but I sneaked this little photograph with my mobile phone just as we left. You can read more about this abstract painting here. I also have three smaller paintings on show, together with some mounted artworks in one of the browsers and some little cards in the gallery shop.

It was good to meet and talk with lots of people. I bumped into someone that I see at most private views and she remarked as such (I don’t think she realised I was actually an exhibitor, even though I wore a badge) – so I replied that it was my professional occupation to attend such events, but she was free to enjoy the art and the generous hospitality at her leisure. I even met somebody who had bought some of my work many years ago from a little solo exhibition that I had at Gallery44 in Aldeburgh.

I think that my main work, Farmscape II,  looked a little sombre compared to the other more colourful works on show, but I was a reassured by another artist who said that it looked quite minimal and stylish – and that the point of the exhibition is to showcase the variety of work by Artworks members. Given that some of the inspiration for this abstract painting is the mud, grit and grime of the farm, then perhaps when seen out of that context it succeeds in my attempt to isolate surfaces from their mundane locations – where there’s muck…

The rural setting of the barns is quite beautiful in its welcoming and calm atmosphere, full of history but not at all quaint. As we were all leaving I took this photograph of the courtyard… I have actually exhibited here before, back in late 2004, in an environmental art exhibition entitled Land and Light

The Artworks‘ Spring exhibition is currently on at the Wingfield Barns Arts Centre from 10th to 25th April 2010, open daily 10am – 5pm.

from coast to coast

Friday 23 October 2009

sketchbook - sea study waves

[sketchbook drawing – the north sea – graphite on paper]

i found time to do some drawing in between other things… was sat only about four or five feet from the white foam of the waves and so there is no horizon visible… prior to this larger sea sketch, i did some very quick blind drawing sketches in my smaller sketchbook…

blind drawings of the sea

[blind drawings of the north sea…]

sea sketches at the suffolk coast

i even found time to find even more heart-shaped pebbles to add to my collection…

heart pebbles - found at the beach

i wish i lived by the sea… i am coasting… i am not painting…