Art news: Antique of the Month worth £7,200 and more
PUBLISHED: 09:58 08 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:58 08 July 2016
Art life this month: Antique of the month by Tony Pratt of The Canterbury Auction Galleries and more
When China opened its doors to trade with the West, the potters who had previously guarded the secret of how to make true hard paste porcelain were only too keen to sell their wares to the eager European elite. This charming punch bowl, made in about 1760, was one of the pieces that found its way here. Estimated at £800-1,200, it sold to the London trade for £7,200, the buyer explaining that he had never seen such an early example of Chinese export porcelain in such perfect condition. With no cracks or chips despite its age, it appeared the bowl had hardly been used. The subject matter was also appealing. Hand-painted in the so-called ‘famille rose’ palette characterised by its pink-red overglaze enamels, the bowl was decorated with a group of classical Mandarin scholars engaged in a tea ceremony in a river estuary landscape. It is a scene that would have appealed to the European connoisseur interested in Chinese culture. It was ‘discovered’ wrapped in paper on top of a wardrobe by our valuer Tina Rackham. She had been asked to make a house visit to appraise something else that proved to be worth a fraction of the family’s expectation of it. Perhaps you too own an unrecognised treasure? We are always happy to make house calls or come to one of our free Friday morning valuation days. The service runs from 10am-1pm, and it’s free and entirely without obligation. For more information, call 01227 763337.
Seeing Round Corners
Turner Contemporary in Margate is currently showing (until 5 September) the first major exhibition to explore the centrality of the circle in art. Featuring more than 100 works, from 3000BC to the present day, Seeing Round Corners: The Art of the Circle brings together artworks and artefacts that reflect a vast range of themes and ideas. The exhibition encompasses film, sculpture, painting, installation, performance and photography, with works by leading historical and contemporary artists including JMW Turner, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Nash, Barbara Hepworth, Rebecca Horn, David Shrigley and Bridget Riley. From the globe of the earth and the rotation of the planets to the shape of the human eye or the smallest atomic particle, the circle as both form and an idea is at the heart of our relationship to the world. Seeing Round Corners, The Art of the Circle explores the significance and symbolism of the circle and sphere in art and culture; architecture and engineering; astronomy and geometry; optics and perception; religion, spirituality and everyday life.
Buzz of success
Winner of the 3D art and objects category in the first-ever Kent Creative Awards, held in association with Ashford School at the Alexander Centre in Faversham, is Kate Linforth (who also featured in June 2015 Kent Life). The prize was in recognition of the Faversham-based artist’s HIVE project, which brought art to communities in an unusual form and involved working with groups in beautiful surroundings such as Rochester Cathedral and Upnor Castle. HIVE was inspired by a visit to Rochester Cathedral, when Kate found herself so taken by the mathematical floor tiles that she returned to trace them. Using beeswax donated by local beekeepers, Kate worked with small groups to encourage people of all ages to ‘have a go’ at arts and creativity. In the free workshops she taught participants how to create a tessallated pattern which they then carved into tiles which now sit among hers on a four-leaf screen in churches across Swale and Medway.
Victoria at 21
Royal Victoria Place in Tunbridge Wells has scooped the top award at this year’s BCSC (British Council of Shopping Centres) Purple Apple Marketing Awards. West Kent’s largest shopping centre was named overall winner in the Cause-Related Category for its Community Art Project Victoria At 21, a community inspired art project to commemorate the shopping centre’s 21st birthday and its links with the town’s royal heritage. In keeping with the centre’s royal namesake, the innovative 18-month community art project was undertaken to create a giant photo-mosaic portrait of Queen Victoria. The final artwork created by leading UK artist Helen Marshall is now on permanent public display at the centre and features more than 3,500 photographs created by local school children at educational workshops and submitted online by the public.