Kent art round up

PUBLISHED: 16:43 14 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:43 14 November 2015

Garden of England by Rowland Hilder

Garden of England by Rowland Hilder

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From Banksy coming back to Folkestone to hopware sold at auction in Canterbury, Kent is a creative hub for artists and antique collectors

ANTIQUE OF THE MONTH

By Justin Ball of The Canterbury Auction Galleries

As our resident specialist in ceramics and glass, I see a huge and diverse range of fine objects. One day it might be a collection of honey pots, the next a rare pair of porcelain sphinx ornaments made at the Bow factory in London in about 1755, which sold for £4,200. Thankfully, I managed to get the attribution right!

It’s always a thrill for me when something made locally is brought in for sale, so one was more delighted than me to be asked to value a group of pieces made by Frederick Masters, who trained at the Bellevue Pottery in Rye, founded in 1867.

Given the area’s importance as a source of hops for the brewing industry, much of the ware 
produced was decorated with the flowers and foliage of the plant, with the result that collectively, it is described as ‘Hopware’.

After retiring in 1931, Masters opened a studio at his home in Bognor Regis, continuing to produce similarly decorated pieces until his death in 1962. Perhaps the most charming piece in the collection was this four-handled mug, incised on the base ‘Bognor Regis. F. Masters. Sussex Tyg.’ It sold for an above estimate £230.

I love identifying rarities and would be delighted to see anything a reader might own who is interested in learning about it and what it might be worth. The service is free and I can be contacted at the saleroom on 01227 763337.

Hilderscapes in Chatham

Caption: The Garden of England, by Rowland Hilder

Continuing its series of successful and nationally significant art exhibitions, The Historic Dockyard Chatham concludes its diverse 2015 exhibition season in No. 1 Smithery: The Gallery with an eclectic selection of fine art by leading advocate of English landscapes in winter and distinguished artist, Rowland Hilder OBE.

Curated by Rowland Hilder aficionado and friend of the family, Nettie Iles - one of the three Iles sisters who own and run the Francis Iles Gallery in Rochester - the exhibition runs until 29 November 2015.

Also on show will be a selection of work from other talented Hilders; Edith, his wife, so skilled at her botanical watercolours; his son Anthony, another gifted marine painter (who has always painted under the name of Flemming, not wanting to piggy-back on his father’s reputation); Heather and Rado, his daughter and son-in-law, both of whom Rowland influenced with generous pointers in painting technique; and grandson Will, a talented contemporary artist, who mainly shows now in Thailand.

Banksy’s coming home

A Banksy artwork chiselled out from a wall in Folkestone and shipped to the US is to be returned to the seaside town after a lengthy legal battle, in the first example of a Banksy being returned to public ownership.

A British judge has ruled that the mural, titled Art Buff, is to be returned to the place where it was originally painted by the elusive graffiti artist during the Folkestone Triennial last year.

The artwork, which shows a woman looking at an empty plinth while listening to headphones, appeared overnight last September and was verified by Banksy on his website, with the words: “Part of Folkestone Triennial. Sort of.”

The piece attracted hundreds of visitors but just weeks after its appearance the owners of the amusement arcade on which it was painted cut it out of the wall and sent it to a gallery in New York – which valued it at almost half a million pounds.

The legal challenge to return the artwork to Kent was launched by Folkestone-based arts charity the Creative Foundation after public outcry and calls for it to stay in Folkestone, including by Damian Collins MP who raised the issue in the House of Commons.

Creative Coverage

An exciting joint exhibition is currently on show at David Burley Gallery in Birchington featuring the work of Fiona Scott-Wilson and Penelope Timmis.

Kent-based Fiona Scott-Wilson studied as a graphic designer and has evolved as a versatile artist working in different styles from impressionist to realism. Experimenting with acrylics, oils, gouache and inks Fiona has more recently developed a new style with the medium of cut paper in a brightly coloured graphic style that reflects her love of oriental and art nouveau design.

Penelope Timmis, from Shropshire, is an Associate of the Royal Birmingham Society of the Arts and won best entry with the RBSA in 2009 and was shortlisted for the Daily Mail ‘Not the Turner’ prize in 2004.

● The joint Creative Coverage exhibition takes place at David Burley Gallery, Birchington Library, Birchington-on-Sea CT7 9EG until 13 November 2015.

Stuckism: Remodernising the Mainstream

A major exhibition of paintings by the Stuckist art movement, titled Stuckism: Remodernising the Mainstream is on show at Studio 3 Gallery in the

Jarman Building, University of Kent Canterbury until 11 December.

The exhibition focuses on what Stuckism looks like today with the intention of placing the Stuckist movement in the art history and contemporary pantheon while questioning definitions of mainstream.

The exhibitions features more thanr 70 works by 40 artists, both national and international.

Named after an insult by Tracey Emin to her then-boyfriend Billy Childish, Stuckism was founded by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish in 1999 with the aim to revive contemporary figurative painting.

Stuckism still holds deep ties with the Medway areas from which many of the founding Stuckists originated. Fifteen years later, the Stuckists have momentarily hung up the clown costumes from their youth and put the protest signs away, returning to Kent as a mature and scholarly painting movement.

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