“Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No Sir, when a man is tired of London his is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Samuel Johnson, 1777
An exhibition of the views of London by eleven artists. The artists we have invited to exhibit at the gallery have captured an essence of this great City from their personal point of view; the streets and allotments of North London to the banks of the great river Thames from Woolwich. Iconic buildings and and well-loved street scenes.
The exhibition includes work from Michael Alford, Peter Brown NEAC (better known as Pete-the-street!), Patrick Cullen NEAC, Piers Ottey, Alex Pemberton, Nicholis Poullis, Michael Quirke, Janey Sharratt and Phil Tyler.
We will also be exhibiting paintings of London scenes by Frederick Gore CBE RA (1913-2009) and Charles Cundall RA RWS (1890 -1971).
Peter Brown , otherwise known as ‘Pete-the-Street’ for his irrepressible desire to paint regardless of the weather en plein-air rather than in his studio. “I work entirely from life using the cities and the countryside as my subjects. I start with what tickles me and this is likely to be a certain play of the light, weather, space and everyday life. Most of my drawings and paintings take several sittings over consecutive days and in that time I may meet police officers, dog walkers, road sweepers, residents and tourists."
Piers Ottey was born in London and studied at Chelsea School of Art. Piers’ distinctive style is precise with robust observation and controlled mark-making. He applies mathematical and geometrical theories, specifically the Fibonacci Series and the Golden Section upon which to structure his paintings. The colour key, often seen around the edge of his canvasses, is a record of those used - in the order that they were applied - forming a diary of the painting, which becomes an important and intrinsic feature of his work. The surface of an Ottey painting is rendered, as he often points out when inviting you to feel it with your eyes closed. Each painting is worked on exhaustively for months to achieve the exact quality that Ottey requires.
Michael Alford studied Modern Arabic and Spanish at the University of Durham before continuing at Chelsea School of Art and at the Slade School of Fine Art. Internationally renowned as a muralist and painter, Michael has work in notable collections worldwide. His impressionistic imagery is moody and evocative, capturing a sense of literature and poetry in a visually compelling style. The London he brings us is familiar and inviting. He paints with effortless strokes and his figures are studies in gesture and relationships.
Patrick Cullen is a painter in oils, pastels and watercolours, better known for his scenes of Tuscany, Andalucia and Southern France, in all seasons and weathers. Cullen is a member of the New English Art Club and has received numerous awards and prizes for his work, which is not surprising considering his skills as a draughtsman. He masters whichever medium he chooses to work in.
Alex Pemberton habitually paints a stretch of the Thames around North Woolwich, and has over the years recorded the development of this area of London. His work is objective and articulate and captures the industrial nature of his subject, but the delight in his work is the subtlety of shape and colour and the application of the paint on the canvas creating a very poetic interpretation of what he is seeing. So, as this area of London has changed and continues to change, Alex continues to record the ‘life blood’ of London.
Michael Quirke was born in 1946 and studied at St Martins School of Art from 1972 to 1975. After moving from Hampstead to Cornwall, Michael became a vibrant member of the art community in St Ives and was elected President of the St Ives Art Club for two years in succession. He now travels between the two regions. However, the move away from London has never altered his perception or passion for this great city’s arterial river and ever evolving skyline which he continues to represent in his inimitable bold expressionistic style.
Nicholas Poullis , artist and illustrator, paints watercolours directly from life with a perceptive and personal style. Originally from England, Nick moved to Southern France in 2000, where he has become established. He continually travels back to the UK to paint London’s iconic buildings using his unmistakeably subtle and deft technique, working quickly en plein-air.
Phil Tyler studied Fine Art both in the UK and the USA, followed by an MA in Printmaking at Brighton Polytechnic. That was 24 years ago and since then he has had many successful shows in the UK and overseas and has work in private and public collections. Phil currently lives in East Sussex and teaches Foundation, Fine Art (Painting). He paints with integrity; immersing himself in his subject matter until eventually finding the ‘essence’ before beginning to paint. He is fascinated by the balance between shape and light and the interaction between people and spaces.
Janey Sharratt lives and works in London. She teaches spatial design at Chelsea College of Art, the influence of which can be seen in her handling of composition, pictorial balance and tone. The subtle application of paint onto canvas gives both a soft and gentle physical tone to her work which highlights her distinctive style. Janey loves London, often painting the view across the Thames - capturing a moment and special characteristics of the buildings that occupy its banks.
Frederick Gore inspired many future artists whilst he was Head of Painting at St Martins School of Art and became one of the most effective members of the Royal Academy both as an artist and as a key figure in the revival of the Institution during the last century. As a painter Freddy developed his own characteristic style and became a master in the understanding and use of colour and its association with nature. Famous for his French Provencal landscapes, Freddy also frequently painted from his first floor studio in Chelsea. His view onto Elm Park Gardens, especially in the snow, delighted and inspired him.