Next week Messum's will exhibit a unique exhibition from a remarkably talented family of artists.
One of Britain's most celebrated sculptors, Guy Taplin will exhibit new works alongside ceramics by Robina Jack and paintings by their daughter, Nancy. Each of their extraordinary and distinct works were made at Anglesea Cottage, the Taplin family's home in Essex.
The result of a nearly a year's worth of creative effort and mutual support, the Taplin family's exhibition is also a tribute to Sam Taplin, their son and brother, a talented artist who died last year.
Guy Taplin's work is now instantly recognisable. Evolving from a combination of nature's accidents and his own eye for the comic grace of his subject matter, each of his 'birds' is a rare creature. Scouring the shoreline near his home, Guy gathers washed-up driftwood, boat parts and other flotsam, which most of us would overlook (or even avoid), but to Guy, spell pure inspiration.
Painted on reclaimed ledgers and other non-literary books, Nancy Taplin's work mixes a fascination with birds (inspired in no small part by her relationship with her father) with her informed knowledge of art history. Ian Collins, a noted expert on East Anglian sums up Nancy's work:...'she scours the world via eBay for evocative old volumes (ledgers, account books, songbooks, guides, diaries, journals) on which she paints audacious and often Audubon-like birds in tiny strokes of gouache - mimicking the technique of medieval masters in tempera on poplar panels and on vellum.'
Nancy's technique is so fine and exacting that usually, she can only produce a dozen such works each year, and her paintings have become increasingly sought-after.