A Review Of The Last Decade
James Stewart looks back at some of his highlights from 2010 to 2019
As we start a new decade it seems appropriate to look back at the last ten years. Here Zimmer Stewart Gallery founder/curator, James Stewart looks back at some of his highlights from the last decade.
It is hard to choose just one or two events for each year, every exhibition is special and has been carefully planned, promoted and prepared for by both artist and gallery, so apologies in advance for any of your favourites that have been missed out!
At Zimmer Stewart we have a relatively small 'stable' of regularly showing artists. We like it this way because it enables us to show a new body of work by each every two years or so as well as introduce new ones from time to time. Many of the exhibiting artists have been with us since the early years 2003-5, and we have enjoyed working with them and seeing how their work has evolved over that time.
I hope you enjoy reading this page as much as I have enjoyed drafting it. Let me know what you think by contacting us, commenting on social media, chatting with me online or in person at the gallery!
In 2010 we exhibited at the Royal Academy London Original Print Fair, this would be the first of many ventures/pop-ups outside of Arundel. At the Fair we featured a range of gallery artist printmakers (Nick Bodimeade, Gary Goodman, Phil Tyler & Giles Penny).
During the fair we showed Ann Sutton MBE's 'Stocking' lithographs from 1969, and later in the year in the gallery we showed her 'Body Pieces' for the first time in any gallery!
In April of 2011 we posed the question "Does Drawing Matter?" in our exploration of the medium in "Out of Drawing", an exhibition of works by Tom Hammick, and two of his former students, Laura Carlin and Betsy Dadd.
Since we lived in caves people have expressed themselves visually using a personal vocabulary. We looked at the development of mark-making skills, subject selection, observation & composition - the action from eye to paper.
The exhibition featured painting, monoprint, animation, illustration & ceramics. The main wall featured over 100 drawings/studies by the three artists.
Although we had shown Phil Tyler's paintings since 2008, its was after his first few exhibitions that we were able to appreciate his draughtsmanship and ability to create stunning works on almost any subject (People, the Downs & cityscapes).
In 2012 he presented his 'London in the rain' paintings, but is was his earlier Swimmer paintings in which he showed his skill in representing water.
Phil Tyler has since written two books on drawing the nude and painting the landscape, and in 2019 was promoted to head of department and senior lecturer at University of Brighton.
This was the tenth anniversary of founding Zimmer Stewart Gallery, so it seemed right to start the year off with a Retrospective of ceramics & paintings by Derek Davis.
Derek Davis (1927 - 2008) was a great source of support for me, he came to almost every opening and was one of our first customers. He would also come in at quiet times and talk about his work, the work on show or another artist, who he thought I might be interested in.
Derek, a founder of the craft potters
association in the 1960's with work in collections around the world including the V&A had a vision for Arundel, which he repeated to me over the years: He thought the Town could become the St Ives of the South. In the fifty or so years that he lived here, his support and encouragement for artists as well as being a founder of the Arundel Gallery Trail in 1988, helped this dream to become a reality.
In 2014 there are two highlights I want to share.
The first is our August Festival exhibition which this year was a Review of the work of Sir Terry Frost, RA. Working with his Estate we had access to a range of works including collage, paintings, prints and studies. Some of which were being shown for the first time.
The second highlight was "Love Stories" by Gary Goodman. The exhibition was completely immersive with not only paintings and prints, but also hanging bunches of flowers & hares in painted cardboard and a 'table set for two' with unique ceramic plates & goblets by the artist!
At the preview Gary Goodman read out a selection of his love poems.
In 2015 we were lucky to have a further performance at the gallery, this time Elaine Pamphilon on the harp.
Having studied at the Royal College of Music, Elaine Pamphilon only started painting in the 1980's after encouragement from her husband, sculptor Christopher Marvell.
The music performed at the exhibition Private View was well appreciated as were her naive, folk art, landscape paintings.
This was the year we did TWO exhibtions outside Arundel, both at the Menier Gallery, Southwark St, London, SE1.
This fantastic big space allow us to exhibit larger & more varied works.
One exhibition was "Sempre Endavant, Mai Morirem" by Piers Ottey.
The other was by Spanish abtract expressionist, Felix Anaut: Visual Music & Poetry. The exhibition included paintings and ceramics, with
some works in collaboration with, poet, Lemn Sissay.
A short film, "Synaethesia",
accompanied the exhibition with Lemm Sissay's poems read out by Dame Diana Ring.
November 2017 saw the welcome return to Arundel & the gallery of Giles Penny after a gap of several years.
This blockbuster exhibition included a large centre piece sculpture, 'Bubblegum', twelve new small bronze editions, four new screen prints and several paintings.
The following year saw Giles Penny's large scale, 'Waving Man', on a local roundabout for that years' Arundel Festival. Giles Penny was the first artist to place such works in the early 90's when resident in Arundel.
This year saw a further welcome return to the gallery.
We first showed Holly Frean's paintings in 2005 & 2006 as a new emerging artist. Unsurprisingly, she was quickly signed up by one of the top London galleries and her work was then shown all around the world, and highly collected.
Collaborations followed including on the creation of wallpaper & fabrics with Andrew Martin and several high profile exhibitions with Paul Smith at his flagship Albemarle St store.
The exhibition 'Holly's Ark' featured a range of animal paintings, and for the first time from this artist, ceramics.
In 2020 we will be working with Holly Frean again, this time on an exhibition outside the gallery. More details of this will be available soon.
The most recent year in our look back on the last decade saw a first for Zimmer Stewart Gallery.
We exhibited the work of six gallery artists at The Hub, Farnborough Business Centre.
The historic building was built in the 1920's and was the birth place & home of British Aviation for many years.
The Hub is now a business centre with over 6000 people working on the site (also in ancillary buildings) for some of the top high tech companies in the UK.
We exhibited works by Matt Bodimeade, Nick Bodimeade, Katharine le Hardy, Phil Tyler, Tom Farthing and Emma Hurst. We also selected several works from the local Farnborough Sixth Form Art College and held a seminar with some of the students.
The exhibition, in the long ground floor corridors & reception area, was well received, with many of the employees of the resident businesses asking if they could stay permanently. This reinforced our view that well placed contemporary art in the workplace can motivate staff, delight clients and provide wide ranging benefits to the business.