Art news from across Kent
PUBLISHED: 12:34 10 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:34 10 January 2016
From Canterbury students' artwork to Margate's Turner Contemprary turning five
Antique of the month
By Tony Pratt of The Canterbury Auction Galleries
In 1898, William Moorcroft was offered a job as a designer with Staffordshire pottery manufacturers James Macintyre and Co. The mainstay of their business back then was utilitarian earthenware products, but Moorcroft’s flair was quickly recognised and he was given control of a new department to meet the demand for Art Pottery.
The ware was very successful and, with each piece carrying his bold signature backstamp, Moorcroft’s name soon became better known than that of his employers. He left in 1913 to open his own factory and when top London department store Liberty began carrying the Moorcroft range, the future was assured. In 1928, the company won Royal Approval, being appointed potter to Queen Mary. It continues today.
A distinctive feature of the ware is its designs outlined in trailed runny clay, called slip, using a technique much like piping icing onto a cake known as tubelining. Thus, no two pots are absolutely identical and with some designs being more popular that others, collectors pay handsomely for rarities.
So it was when we sold this charming pair of vases decorated with the ‘Claremont Toadstool’ pattern, introduced in 1903. This particular pair shows the white-speckled red caps of the Fly Agaric, actually a mushroom. They measured just four inches in height and sold for £2,000.
Do you own any Moorcroft pottery? Are curious about what it might be worth? We run a free saleroom valuation morning at the saleroom every Friday and I can be contacted there on 01227 763337.
Turner turns five
After a successful programme in 2015, Turner Contemporary’s ambitious fifth anniversary programme will include exhibitions by Joachim Koester, JMW Turner and Rose Wylie, as well as a large group show including work by Barbara Hepworth, Anish Kapoor and Paul Nash.
To open 2016 in the ground-floor Sunley Gallery space, the Margate gallery is showing a group of paintings and drawings by Kent-based artist Rose Wylie.
Her bold, large-scale figurative paintings draw on ancient and folk art, such as Mexican street art and contemporary Egyptian Hajj painting, as well as art history and film.
This display – the first time the Sunley gallery has been used for painting – will focus on recent works from her ongoing Film Notes, a series of paintings inspired by remembered images from contemporary films.
An avid and discerning film fan, her recent paintings and drawings have paid homage to directors as diverse as François Ozon, Werner Herzog, Claudia Llosa and Quentin Tarantino.
St Edmund’s on show
The Art Department of St Edmund’s School Canterbury presented its second major public exhibition at The Horsebridge in Whitstable at the end of 2015.
The exhibition was an eclectic display of GCSE and A-Level work from the last two years as well as work by the Art department staff, headed up by Director of Art, Alison Slater-Williams.
Some exceptional examples of Fine Art, Ceramics and Photography filled the Whitstable gallery allowing the public to enjoy highly creative and skilful work from talented pupils and their teachers.
On the road
Kent artist Matthew Alexander has just started his 10th solo show in Dallas, USA. The Monkton artist is getting used to crossing the pond as more and more Americans fall in love with his landscape paintings.
This year’s show is an exhibition of small paintings with the majority of works no larger than 12 x 16 inches.
Back home, Matthew sold virtually all his paintings in his exhibition entitled ‘In the footsteps of the Impressionists’ at John Davies Gallery in the Cotswolds.
To finish off his year Matthew, held his Christmas exhibition in Monkton.
This year looks even busier with another exhibition in Naples, Florida followed by a major London exhibition in March 2016.