For Kai

photo: Alastair Grant

Kai arrived at The Rowley Gallery over 30 years ago, I can’t be sure of the exact date, but her name back then was Kathy. And to all who knew her in pre-Rowley days she always remained Kathy. But there was already another Cathy at The Rowley Gallery so she abbreviated her name to Ka. That was her Chinese name. But pronounced Kai, so that was how she spelt it thereafter. To avoid confusion. Continue reading “For Kai”

Frames of reference

Spring Paintings

For March we’ve got a wonderful new window display of paintings by Debbie George, a garden of spring flowers to enliven these grey, wet days. We’re hoping they’ll work their magic and inspire the sun to shine again, and transform our winter weary street with a carnival of colourful new life. Continue reading “Spring Paintings”

Frames of reference

To Win Green

Win Green From Berwick Down

We asked Howard Phipps to fill our window with a display of his wood engravings and linocuts. So it seemed like a good idea to go down and collect them, and take a walk around some of the places that had inspired them. We followed a circuit up to Win Green, a prominent landmark and the highest point in Cranborne Chase, crowned by a clump of beech trees on a Bronze Age bowl barrow. Continue reading “To Win Green”

Frames of reference

A Handful Of Twigs

St James the Less

I photographed these Twig Saints quickly, against the trellis on the south-facing wall outside my workshop, as a farewell gesture, just as we were returning them to Chris Kenny for a forthcoming exhibition at the After Nyne Gallery in September. They are all framed by the artist, often in adapted and reformed cigar boxes, cobbled together with the wooden backs of old picture frames sourced from The Rowley Gallery. The little Twig Saints are delicately fixed inside and their weird and wonderful stories are told in captions displayed on the reverse of their box-frames. Continue reading “A Handful Of Twigs”

Frames of reference

Cakes & Ale Press

I went down to visit Jonny Hannah recently at the Cakes & Ale Press, a deceptively humble garden shed strategically located at the heart of Darktown, its inspirational source leaking pervasively up through the floorboards and onto the drawing board. Sited with the aid of dowsing-rods, it serves to trap the hidden force within. The door opened with a howl and I rushed in, cameras blazing. Continue reading “Cakes & Ale Press”

Frames of reference

Still Life Still Life

A selection of chalk-pencil drawings by Aaron Kasmin displayed in the Rowley Gallery window together with the objects that inspired them – the depictions and the depicted. The objects are not for sale but the pictures are; they’re souvenirs, simulacra, tokens of affection. Continue reading “Still Life Still Life”

Frames of reference

Ouvrez Les Fenêtres De Votre Coeur

The Rowley Gallery has a new, hand-painted February window. It’s a vibrant cornucopia of visual delights. The notice reads Ouvrez Les Fenêtres De Votre Coeur: A Darktown Valentine’s Window by Jonny Hannah, and wherever you look you’ll find lovehearts on parade. Along the front lower edge of the window there’s a collection of found records, their sleeves lovingly repainted and still containing a vinyl disc, though not necessarily the one illustrated on the cover. Continue reading “Ouvrez Les Fenêtres De Votre Coeur”

Frames of reference

Paradise

Panarea

paradise /ˈpær.ə.daɪs/ noun: The word “paradise” entered English from the French paradis, inherited from the Latin paradisus, from Greek parádeisos (παράδεισος), from an Old Iranian paridayda – “walled enclosure”. Paradise is the term for a place of timeless harmony; the abode of Adam and Eve before the Fall in the biblical account of the Creation; the Garden of Eden; a place or condition of great happiness where everything is exactly as you would like it to be; an ideal or idyllic place or state – synonyms: Utopia, fairyland, Shangri-La, heaven, nirvana, Arcadia. Paradise may also refer to the collection of holiday paintings by Will Smith displayed in The Rowley Gallery window. Continue reading “Paradise”

Frames of reference

Six From Susan Foord

Summer Landscape

These are paintings of great sincerity and refinement. White paper is stretched over board, sized and primed, and then the search begins to find the image. Care is taken to avoid becoming too figurative, as if recalling a long since forgotten moment, a vision blurred with the passage of time. Perhaps a view from childhood. A distant memory evoked just as the dark closes in. A delicate membrane illuminated with light years of paint. It was Easter Sunday, day of resurrection, when I came to visit. Continue reading “Six From Susan Foord”

Frames of reference