All posts by Alan Beckett

Mining Art Gallery, Bishop Aukland

An explosion of mining art – that is the way this gallery mentions the fantastic development of art in the region by local miners. This gallery is a beautifully refurbished building in the middle of the town. The exterior and particularly the interior are worthy of awards for the design and ambience lending to a superb venue to display these unique works of art on its walls. This gallery of course specialises in works of art produced by miners from the local community… Norman Cornish Brian Brown Tom McGuiness Robert Heslop and William Hindmarsh … amongst others. Sparing no sensitivities, the works illustrate the fears, dangers and uncertainties of the mining occupations. They also display the camaraderie, social cohesion, community spirt obviously most positively strong in the area. A fact necessary against the adversity of the type of employment where … Continue reading Mining Art Gallery, Bishop Aukland

Stroll with Constable and Turner

A stroll through the English Countryside: Stroll with Constable and Turner I’ve given several talks at Brockenhurst Village Hall on a number of art interests. We’ve looked at ‘perspective’, ‘what is the point of art’, ‘women in art’ and now by popular demand we’ll be looking at the English landscape in paintings. We’ll be strolling in the company of Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable, JMW Turner, Eric Ravilious, Laura Knight and Paul Nash. Included will also be some of the works of Heywood Sumner who resided in the New Forest at the beginning of the 20th century and produced some of the most enigmatic paintings of this unique part of England. I’ll be looking at the artists and their background and influences, their pictures – composition, colours and Fibonacci formulas (there’s a challenge). We’ll be setting many of the pictures against … Continue reading Stroll with Constable and Turner

Sonia Boyce Turner Contemporary

Sonia Boyce Turner Contemporary Margate Turner Contemporary You have to let the power of this work inculcate into your senses. It’s an ‘immersive installation’ – allow yourself to be immersed! At first it just seems to be random videos of female singers alongside wallpapering of faces and patterns, but talk to the curators, read the guidelines, think and work at what you’ve now learned and let the works, work on you and the exhibition speaks volumes. What performed best for me was the gold boxes supporting the CD cases: iron pyrites, fools’ gold contrasting with the real gold of the black female artists’ genuine works. But what do we see first? What are we in danger of mistakenly holding up as more valuable? With contemporary art, you have work at it. The interpretation is not done for you, the image … Continue reading Sonia Boyce Turner Contemporary

Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry

We find here an influence of the Fauves, Impressionists, Post Impressionists particularly Vincent, a little Alfred Wallis and naivety, moving onto self confidence and assurance to develop a unique personal style. A potent mix of styles. Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry – and I’d like to ignore influences and look at Fred’s work as ‘standalones’. They deserve that and not some spin off from other artists. This is Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry Never heard of him? That would not be unusual and it’s only thanks to the brilliant Penlee House Gallery in Penzance Cornwall that we stumbled, albeit deliberately, on this most unusual and inspiring artist. A brief bio… Fred Yates was born in 1922 (hence the exhibition at Penlee) He had a twin brother Arthur, both raised in an apparently cold, undemonstrative household. We are told that Fred … Continue reading Fred Yates – Cornwall’s Lowry

Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler

This is a stunning piece of art installation presented at Southampton’s Hansard Gallery in September 2022. Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler It is in the form of a steam cloud against a darkened background upon which a scrolling image is projected. The image is an historic letter written by India’s Mahatma Ghani just before WWII in a gesture of peace and friendship. The installation is by India’s contemporary artist Jitish Kallat (b 1974). Who refers to Gandhi’s letter as essentially a plea for peace and refers to Hitler as ‘My Friend’. Plenty of space here for contemplation is there not? Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler Art-Tales is a magazine blog site following the journeys and reflections through the art world of artist, sketcher, art historian and critic Al Beckett. Merely to amuse, inform and entertain, Art-Tales is aimed at people … Continue reading Mahatma Ghandhi to Adolf Hitler

Vacant space occupied in idyllic landscape

So, it is with sculpture occupying idyllic landscape. It adds considerable enhancement. It gives us something to think about, to consider, to contemplate, to form an opinion on, to seek further reference, to compare and contrast, to add to our body of experience and knowledge. Where would we be without sculpture?

Gormley and Caro Roche Court

The New Art Centre Roche Court near Salisbury Wiltshire is a breath-taking open air sculpture park set within the dramatic hills of southeast Wiltshire. Gormley and Caro Roche Court It is a pure joy to wander through the gardens against the backdrop of the stunning landscape and enjoy the spaces occupied by the modern and contemporary works of art. In 2019 on BBC Radio 4, Antony Gormley spoke of sculpture changing the real world, being no longer a mere reference to it and no longer dependent upon it. Sculpture doesn’t need a wall, a room or even a label to exist. Its presence occupies its own space and thus it can alter people’s behaviour. Gormley and Caro Roche Court Cast your mind to some of the world’s most dramatic and successful architecture and sculpture. Consider the landscape, the room even: … Continue reading Gormley and Caro Roche Court