BBC Big Painting Challenge

We are delighted to currently be displaying a new contemporary artist who is currently taking the world by storm! Leeds based painter Suman Kaur is the winner of this years BBC’s ‘The Big Painting Challenge’.

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Suman says of her work “The themes in my work tend to vary but for the most part I love to experiment with layers of human psyche and expression as well as contrasts of texture to create form.”  Her stunning works utilise a multitude of unorthodox mediums such as shoe polish and coffee and she works on different substrates such as old wood or newspaper!

Portraits on newspaper by Suman Kaur

Portraits on newspaper by Suman Kaur

Close-up of The Ballet Dancer by Suman Kaur

Close-up of The Ballet Dancer by Suman Kaur

As well as experimental mediums, Suman’s forte lies with figurative or portraiture work. The portrait of her father she made as part of the show’s challenge was a beautiful rendition in ochres and soft browns, and the Degas style painting of ballerinas showed confident movement of the dancers.  For Gallery & Barrow, she has sent us another ballet dancer, this time painting on wood with a street-art vibe. 

Suman’s image of the ballet dancers was part of the Big Painting Challenge

Suman’s image of the ballet dancers was part of the Big Painting Challenge

Suman’s arresting portraits and observations of daily life

Suman’s arresting portraits and observations of daily life

Suman Kaur’s work is shortlisted for The Sunday Times Watercolour competition

Suman Kaur’s work is shortlisted for The Sunday Times Watercolour competition

Hang About!

Unique figurative oil paintings on old wood, have just arrived at the gallery and we love them! Cool, edgy, innovative art on rustic wood - exactly what we crave here at Gallery and Barrow. These artworks are the result of a dedicated creative career - A BBC hair & make up artist and trained wig maker by trade, painting, drawing & making have been intertwined in Sally Whelan's day to day life since she was a child.

"Leap, Dangle, Climb" by Sally Whelan

"Leap, Dangle, Climb" by Sally Whelan

“Dangle” by Sally Whelan

“Dangle” by Sally Whelan

Sallys paintings provoke a feeling of curiosity from the viewer. Her work has strong narrative and bold composition. A witty charm and well observed sense of humour blends uniquely with a hintingly dark undercurrent.  "I mainly work with oil paints on a combination of canvas, collaged old maps, and found bits of wood. Things like rusty street signs and industrial gas tap flaps are popping up more and more in my work these days too. I like an unusual surface...and a challenge!"

Close up detail from “Leap, Dangle, Climb"

Close up detail from “Leap, Dangle, Climb"

“Jump” by Sally Whelan

“Jump” by Sally Whelan

 I paint because it gets the feelings out. If i could sing, or write songs, play music or articulate myself properly I would...but painting just seemed to sort of "happen" along the way. I'm totally self taught so it all happened very naturally, and now I just feel physically wrong if I dont do it."

"Bodies, people, the hidden shades and depths, from the inside out, a fabric that is always changing. Never predictable, always challenging and something I feel compelled to depict."

Swing by the gallery to see them in the flesh! 

Sculpture Garden

If you have a spare moment while the sun is out, do pop by the sculpture garden in Bradford-on-Avon (Woolley St).   Sculpture is a lovely addition to a beautiful garden and how nice on a summer’s day to be able to wander through the flowers exploring the one-off sculptures.  On display are wood, bronze, wire, stone, ceramics and all manner of different mediums. Exhibitors include Derek Nice, Cathy Wood, Andrea Cryer, Willa Ashworth and Karen Edwards.  Here are some samples

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Gallery Launch Party

Although we’ve been open for a few months already, we finally got round to holding the Gallery & Barrow launch party! It turned out to be great night, the wine flowed, lots of people came and the small gallery was full of smiley visitors. Thank you to the artists who managed to swing by, including Jacqueline Byrne, Otto & Elena, Mark Thomas, Anna Harley and Heloise O’Keefe. Thank you for helping with the bar, Roman and Emma and thank you BathLife magazine for covering the event. Many guests even came from afar including Bristol, Portishead and Salisbury. 

We held an art raffle and the prizes included two lovely screen prints by Anna Harley and Sarah Targett, greetings cards by Nick Cudworth and Clare Cutts, a wooden easel, handmade papers and canvasses.  Well done to the winners! 

Thanks for a great evening. We look forward to seeing everyone again at the gallery soon!

Don’t forget if you’d like to join our newsletter to hear about other events and news happening at the gallery,  email: studio@galleryandbarrow.com

Weber moves into new studio/gallery space in Los Angeles

Mixed media artist Mike Weber is moving! He has outgrown his previous studio space in Venice, California and is now moving to new premises in W Adams Blvd, LA.  “I wanted somewhere I can use as both a gallery space with window frontage as well as studio space” he told us.  He is moving to a very cool arts district and we can’t wait for the grand opening!

Mike Weber new gallery space, Los Angeles

Mike Weber new gallery space, Los Angeles

With this new space people can walk in right off the street to buy artwork and there is plenty of room for storage and for Mike to work in the studio area at the back.  He is currently renovating, unpacking his artwork and getting ready for the big launch party

Gallery renovation underway

Gallery renovation underway

Courtesy Mike Weber

Courtesy Mike Weber

Mike Weber preparing to store his large canvasses

Mike Weber preparing to store his large canvasses

We can’t wait to see it all finished Mike!  Send us more photos soon!

Studio Visits: Artist Anna Harley

It’s always a joy to go on a studio visit to see where an artist works and all their prints in one place. This week Screen Printer Anna Harley opened her studio doors and inside was an Aladin’s cave of fabulously ordered screen prints. Having seen work online it’s sometimes a wonderful surprise when artwork in the flesh looks even more breath-taking

Anna Harley screen print

Anna Harley screen print

Anna Harley graduated from UWE with a Masters Degree in Printmaking, specialising in Screen print, and is now an active member of Spike print studio in Bristol. Anna uses a combination of drawing, digital photography and objects directly exposed on the screen, to create the individual layers in the prints

Mendip Hinds by Anna Harley

Mendip Hinds by Anna Harley

While so many screen printers are tempted to use bold, bright colours, we love the muted tones of Anna’s work. Anna’s talent combines fine art and design and is a happy crossover between the two.  Anna recently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and The Mall Gallery in London, ArtEZ Institute of the Arts (AKI), Enschede, Holland and The Victoria Art Gallery in Bath. It’s really worth viewing these in the flesh though, to get the full appreciation of the subtleties in the work. Come find us at the Hampstead art fair in May or in the Bath gallery space in April (details coming soon!)

Willow with Seagulls by Anna Harley

Willow with Seagulls by Anna Harley

Cityscapes and dreaming spires... the works of Chitra Merchant

Chitra Merchant’s work is strongly influenced by Indian culture and many of the Temple series feature dreaming spires of dilapidated temples situated in front of a large glorious sun where you can almost feel the heat beating down on the vista, or in the foothills of distant evocative mountains.  They have a dreamy quality to them, evoking wistful travels.

Shores 3: Screen print by Chitra Merchant

Shores 3: Screen print by Chitra Merchant

Chitra specialises in screen printing and etching which she teaches at the infamous Spike Island Studios in Bristol, UK. Lately Chitra has been working on a new series called Hinterland, which delves into derelict and overlooked urban spaces, creating her own “temples” from these wasteland areas. Chitra’s illustrative drawing techniques are the starting point from which these temples transform into etchings or screen prints

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