May's Art News
PUBLISHED: 17:54 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:04 20 February 2013
What's happening in Kent's art world this month
Antique of the Month
Nowadays, its only the very best cars that have a mascot, Rolls-Royces famous Spirit of Ecstasy and the Mercedes Benz three-pointed star being among the very few survivors in our health and safety era. Now vintage car mascots are collected eagerly, the most sought after and expensive being those made in glass between 1915 to 1930.
Doyen of all glass mascot makers was the master French glassmaker Ren Lalique (1860-1945) whose most famous was commissioned by CitroÑ‘n, entitled Cinq Cheveaux (five horses) for the 1924 5CV car.
Others include St Christopher, Coq Nain (cockerel), Perche (fish), Grand Libellule (dragonfly) Tte d'Aigle (eagles head), Sanglier (boar's head), Chrysis (kneeling nude), Longchamps (horse's head), Tte de Paon (peacock's head) and Victoire (female head) and the Archer, pictured, which sold for 1,100 in our last fine art auction.
They were hugely popular. The eagle's head, which symbolised military might, was chosen by Hitler for his commanders Mercedes-Benz staff cars, and rich British motorists bought them eagerly too, through Lalique's London agents, the Breves Galleries in Knightsbridge. Many were sold also as paperweights, but mascots are distinguishable by the heavy brass bases which allowed them to be mounted to car radiators or bonnets.
More than 400 works will go on display this month as the annual exhibition by the Pilgrims Way Artists is opened by the Ashford-based childrens illustrator Mike Spoor.
A dedicated group of like-minded artists, the exhibitors are of all ages, talents and range from amateur to professional, working in oil, watercolour and pastels, with sculpting and pottery well represented, too.
Joined by six specially invited guest artists, this years featured artist is Marina Elphick, who produces stunning batik paintings of richly coloured life-like portraits set in landscapes or mythically inspired decorative backgrounds.
And if all thats not enough, on Wed 26 May from 6.30pm many of the artists will be at their easels demonstrating their skills and discussing their work. Refreshments are provided, and tickets are 5 including a catalogue.
The exhibition will be at the Tithe Barn, Lenham from Sat 22 to Mon 31 May, from 10am to 6pm daily. Entry is free, catalogues 1.
A London exhibition featuring work by a pioneer of landscape painting is to include a Kentish scene, as the Royal Academy of Arts celebrates the life of Paul Sandby RA.
Celebrated in his day, the father of English watercolour had a profoud influence on artists of successive generations, including Thomas Girtin and Turner, but from the mid 19th Century, his work had begun to slip into obscurity.
Aiming to redress his position in the history of British art, this exhibition showcases a variety of Sandbys techniques and subject matter, from Surrey to Scotland by way of Wales, to his capturing of everyday life in 18th Century London.
A View of the Vintners at Boxley, Kent, with Mr Whatmans Turkey Paper Mills, 1794 will form part of the exhibition, which will run at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, until 13 June. For more information, tel: 0844 2091919
Diners at Lenhams Limetree Restaurant are in for a treat this year, as spectacular abstract paintings by local artist Marc Lawrence grace the walls in what has become his first solo exhibit.
Inspired by anything from Kentish landscapes to drunks in doorways, life, energy and lights are a constant presence in Marcs paintings and edgy prints, and staff at the Limetree are encouraging people to browse the art with a coffee, or absorb each piece while dining. Fore more information on Marcs art, tel: 07908488513, and to contact the Limetree, tel: 01622 859509.