THE USUAL SUSPECTS WE’RE BACK IN BUSINESS STEALING THE SHOW OUR ARTISTS ON SCREEN
ALFIE BOWEN NEW: CALL OF THE WILD STUDIO SESSIONS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Typically, this season brings with it associations of new beginnings, flowers opening to herald the end of dark and colder days, and we emerge from our winter hibernations reinvigorated by the promise of brighter times ahead. Clichés aside, never has the sense of spring awakening been keener than now. The promise of renewed acquaintances and greater personal freedom lies tantalisingly close, as does the imminent upturn in commerce thanks to businesses reopening across the UK. Taking a somewhat myopic view on the latter, it is with a collective sigh of relief that we are able to open the doors to our galleries and welcome back our much-missed collectors, and friends, once more. The teams of Art Consultants in our galleries have done wonders during the various stages of tier systems and lockdowns over the last year. Make no mistake, it hasn’t been easy, or indeed - I would suggest - enjoyable at times, but
they’ve shown true grit and resilience in the face of adversity. They are quite simply the best at what they do because they love the interaction they get from talking to people about the art, and artists, that they’re passionate about in their galleries. None of which has been possible for quite some time. However, they have demonstrated admirable versatility and adapted to the ever-changing circumstances with indefatigable aplomb. They did so by embracing what is so special about Castle Fine Art; the art on our walls, and the joy it brings to people. Video calls have been used to present brand new art, their windows have been transformed into stages to conduct viewings, curated in advance with the art they know their client will love (albeit from the other side of the glass), and social media has been yet another tool in their arsenal, to keep in touch with our artists and collectors alike.
Arguably, elements of the above will no doubt recede as the need for them diminishes, but the relationships that our Art Consultants have built – and grown – with their clients during the last twelve months, bolstered by a genuine want and need to check and in and say hi, will endure. The reintroduction of gallery events and exhibitions will merely be an added bonus to this newly- established mode of interaction. I leave you with comments made to me in passing by one of our Gallery Managers, said with such conviction that it took root firmly in my mind: “To be able to lift people’s spirits, through whatever medium, was a refreshing reminder of the uniqueness of our jobs. Who knows what the landscape will look like when we open our doors once again, but we face it with great excitement, knowing art has prevailed, and will continue to do so”.
Daniela Quinlan Editor
© 2021 Washington Green Fine Art Group Limited. Printed In England
Fine Art Collector is published by Washington Green Fine Art Group Limited and distributed by Castle Fine Art. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Website castlefineart.com All the art featured in Fine Art Collector is available through Castle Fine Art across Great Britain. Visit our website at castlefineart.com to find your nearest gallery. The images contained within this literature are an artistic representation of the collection. To best experience our art, we recommend you contact your local gallery to arrange a viewing. Prices illustrated throughout this magazine are recommended retail prices.
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On The Cover Emma-Leone Palmer, Jon Jones, Nic Joly, Lawrence Coulson
Call Of The Wild From art to activism with new artist, Alfie Bowen
Sir Billy Connolly Keeping life colourful with his latest collection
John Myatt The undisputed master of the Old Masters
Your World, Our Art® Our art proudly displayed in your homes...
Stealing the show Our artists have taken to the small screen this year!
Art news digest Recent headlines from the world of art
A New Hope Nigel Humphries sets the stage for a pop culture classic
The Copper Collection
Editor: Daniela Quinlan Deputy Editor: Charlotte Brazier
Art meets alchemy in Paul Kenton’s latest collection
Contributors: Charlotte Brazier, Daniela Quinlan, Imogen Cranston, Matt Watkins, Michael Perry
Designers: Ak Suggi, Christy Guan, George Wilson, Matt Johnson
The Dark Knights From shadowy darkness to bright neon with Robert Oxley
The Art of Animation The very best animation art from our archives
New gallery Settling into our new home in Edinburgh
In Every Issue 3. From The Editor 72. The Social Edit 84. Studio Sessions Throughout In the Gallery The best of public art From street art, to installations, exhibitions and more
Special Thanks: Guy Noble, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust The Urban Botanist
Alex Echo The healing power of art…
Stephen Simpson Celebrating 10 years with Castle Fine Art!
Interior design trends What should be on your walls this season
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube and be the first to hear the latest news, events and industry updates! Plus, we’ll keep you inspired with beautiful photography of our art, shots behind the scenes with our artists and information about our exhibition schedule.
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Alfie Bowen ARTIST. AUTHOR. ACTIVIST. AMBASSADOR.
Take note, this is a name to remember.
2021 is already shaping up to be a year of great significance, destined to be remembered for countless years to come, for a multitude of reasons. For Alfie Bowen, it will no doubt come to mean a great many things, inevitably tantamount to a period of great change and flux.
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Alfie’s emergence onto the art scene has been nothing short of phenomenal thus far, achieving unprecedented recognition and acclaim for his fine art photography. His now-established aesthetic is formulated by delivering an achingly beautiful composition designed to tell a story within a single frame. Think of Alfie’s portraiture as the visual representation of Sir David Attenborough’s much loved narrations in a solitary snapshot, and you won’t be too wide of the mark. Alfie’s fascination with animals began in childhood, and his enduring love for his subject matter radiates from within his work; authentic, respectful and insightful. First experimenting with photography in 2014, he saw it as a natural progression from the hours of quiet observation he had conducted at animal sanctuaries and wildlife parks across the UK. Crucially, at a time when his autism made him a target for bullying and life became unbearable, photography became Alfie’s escape, and he credits the art form with ultimately saving his life.
One of the many reasons that Alfie’s photography captures people’s imaginations, and
attention, is the sheer amount of time he devotes to achieving the exact shot he has envisaged for a particular subject. Renowned conservationist, presenter and author Chris Packham had this to say: “Alfie is a special photographer — he sees his subjects rather than just looking at them, he not only responds to their form, but also to their feeling. He has a keen eye for detail, ultra-detail, not in terms of resolution, but in terms of connection and emotion. And that is a rare and magnificent success.” Much of this new work will appear in his new book – called Wild World: Nature Through An Autistic Eye – due to be published later this year. Happily, we need not wait until then to experience the animal kingdom through Alfie’s singular gaze. His debut limited editions, each hand-signed and presented in expertly-chosen framing by our in-house team, are now available to view and purchase as both individual titles or as a portfolio of three.
Click here to view the collection
Alpha Innova Soft White Cotton Fourdrinier 300gsmMuseum Paper | Edition of 195 Image size 51cm x 33.5cm | Framed Size 76cm x 62cm £395 Framed
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‘AN EYE FOR DETAIL’
An Eye For Detail has been one of my favourite productions so far, and I am excited to see what the future holds for Alfie as his career takes off to great heights!” Click here to watch the trailer, or sign up for free to watch the full documentary.
We spoke to Andrea Walji, Head of Content and Production for the WaterBear network, who told us: “Alfie is a true professional and also a genuinely lovely human being to work with. As you can see from his photography, he’s incredibly dedicated to detail and is very talented. He’s also extremely enthusiastic about conservation issues and all that we are doing at WaterBear with our NGO partners.
Alfie found himself in front of the camera for a change when he was the subject of a documentary called An Eye for Detail which aired on the WaterBear network in February 2021. The short film lays bare many of Alfie’s struggles to date, which – far more than simply overcoming – he has radically transmogrified into fortitude and a compassion for the plight of others.
Prince of Darkness Innova Soft White Cotton Fourdrinier 300gsmMuseum Paper | Edition of 195 Image size 33.5 x 51cm | Framed Size 63.5cm x 79cm £395 Framed
It’s Been a Long Day Innova Soft White Cotton Fourdrinier 300gsmMuseum Paper | Edition of 195 Image size 33.5cm x 51cm | Framed Size 61cm x 79cm £395 Framed
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A brainchild of the British luxury sustainable brand Bottletop, co-founded by Cameron Saul and Oliver Wayman, the project aims to raise awareness of the UN Global Goals. The pioneering duo designed the #TOGETHERBANDs - a set of ethically made and sustainably sourced friendship bands, produced in 17 different colours to represent each of the Global Goals. Their aim in doing so was to encourage individuals to think about which Goal most speaks to them when choosing their band, then turning them into something manifestly tangible; a call to arms visible at all times. Earlier this year, Alfie was appointed an ambassador by #TogetherBand, joining the ranks already occupied by a great swathe of high-profile personalities, from Princess Eugenie of York, to Joanna Lumley, Richard Curtis, David Beckham, Cara Delevingne and more. He explained: “I have been a champion of the Global Goals since their creation, and a supporter of the #TogetherBand movement since attending the launch event in London, therefore it is a great privilege, and important responsibility, to have been appointed as one of their ambassadors. ‘Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities’ was a natural fit for me. I am a passionate believer in equality of all forms, and am determined to increase acceptance and reduce inequality for autistic people around the world, after suffering ten years of horrific bullying myself. We are all human, and we must treat each other accordingly.”
with COP26 and WWF. He will sit on the judging panel, alongside Simon Reeve, Geri Horner and – most excitingly – Alfie himself! Alfie told us: “It is a great privilege to have been given the opportunity to be part of the judging panel for this exciting and important competition. COP26 marks an important moment — it has the potential to form the foundations upon which to build a greener future following the Covid-19 pandemic. I have been a big supporter of the power of today’s youth — they are filled with intelligence, determination and awareness, and I can’t wait to see submissions from across the UK.”
The UN climate change conference COP26 (Conference of the Parties) will be the biggest and most important world event of 2021 outside of sport. It will see over 80 world leaders converging in Glasgow later this year, to make critical decisions on how we tackle climate change and then commit to action. Joining them will be climate experts, scientists, and campaigners. In the lead up to the COP26 UN climate change summit in November, actor Cel Spellman (star of Netflix’s White Lines and BBC Radio 1) launched the art competition, Creative Earth, in collaboration
Call of the Wild - Set of 3 Framed Editions £995 Framed
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Bob Barker Taking us back to happier times, the two heartwarming new limited edition prints by Bob Barker explore themes of friendship, romance and shared experiences. During the COVID-19 lockdown, the Yorkshire-born painter “pulled the blinds down and shut the world out” to create what he says are amongst his most accomplished works yet. He told us: “In this altered state, my world just seemed to slow down, which encouraged me to spend more time on each brushstroke.”
12 Bars Past Midnight (above) Hand-Varnished Canvas on Board | Edition of 295 Image size 91cm x 54.5cm | Framed Size 109cm x 72cm £850 Framed
More Than A Glimmer (opposite) Hand-Varnished Canvas on Board | Edition of 295 Image size 91cm x 54.5cm | Framed Size 109cm x 72cm £850 Framed
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Combining real-life memories with imaginary elements, his music- inspired ‘12 Bars Past Midnight’ artwork draws upon his love of playing folk, pop and blues classics on his guitar. Capturing the bonds that can be created through a shared passion, or a quiet conversation outside, this neutral-toned piece features his signature inner glow. His romantic ‘More Than A Glimmer’ artwork depicts a stroll through a secluded woodland, including the shifting light through the trees. Bob says: “As the rain starts to fall and the shadows lengthen, the light between seems to get brighter, along with the love that over the years has become much more than a glimmer.” For the first time, Bob’s artworks are each available in two framed, hand-varnished presentations. The 3D element of the larger boxed canvas edition is perfect for creating a central focus within a room, while the canvas on board edition mirrors Bob’s original paintings.
“Working on large canvasses is something I have come to love, as it enables much more narrative within the piece.”
12 Bars Past Midnight Hand-Varnished Boxed Canvas | Edition of 95 Image size 122cm x 72cm | Framed Size 124cm x 93cm £1,350 Framed
More Than A Glimmer Hand-Varnished Boxed Canvas | Edition of 95 Image size 122cm x 72cm | Framed Size 124cm x 93cm £1,350 Framed
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Billy Connolly It seems strange to think that it was little more than a year ago when we last had the pleasure of hosting Billy at our London and Glasgow galleries in March 2020, when he unveiled his first-ever sculpture, And On Monday, God Made The World . How much has changed, and continues to change, since then. HIS ARTWORK MAY HAVE BEEN ‘BORN ON A RAINY DAY’, BUT SIR BILLY KEEPS LIFE COLOURFUL WITH HIS LATEST COLLECTION
Bursting with more colour than ever before, the six new limited edition giclées, each hand-signed by Billy, are printed on an opulent watercolour paper, highlighting his distinctive bold lines and contemporary style. We asked Billy about the deviation from his more established monochromatic palette, and he told us: “I was looking at the drawings and sometimes they were crying out for colour and I didn’t know why. It was a kind of question. So I put it off for ages and then started to dribble a little colour in. And once you’ve put it in, you’re kind of stuck with it – you have to put other colours in. It ended up different from the way it started out – it had a totally different attitude to it.”
These days, Billy can be found at his beautiful home in the Florida Keys, embracing all that which he loves. Happily for his collectors here at Castle Fine Art, aside from indulging his passion for fishing and spending time with his family, art is a continued joy for our national treasure. Nowhere was this to be seen more plainly than in his latest collection, the seventh instalment from his enduringly popular Born On A Rainy Day series.
Zebra Crossing Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm | Edition of 295 Image size 77cm x 57cm | Framed Size 85cm x 65cm £1,250 Framed
Brahmarama Llama Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm | Edition of 295 Image size 77cm x 57cm | Framed Size 85cm x 65cm £1,250 Framed
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In terms of subject matter, the images – and indeed their titles – are reminiscent of Billy’s comedic style. Often giving the impression of a stream of consciousness rather than a contrivance of ideas, they are charming. From Glaswegian slang, to his admiration of Bob Dylan and even a zebra crossing the road, no topic is too surreal to be deemed worthy of inclusion. Billy explains: “It’s lovely, the way people think you do it. People think I paint or draw things on purpose. I don’t, I just draw. And then as it goes on, it becomes obvious what it’s going to be (to me). And then I can think about it along those lines: a horse, a man or a balloon. That’s when I name it – at the end. Sometimes I think it’s a bad thing to give it a title, because you force the person looking at it to think along those lines – whereas if you didn’t give it a name, they would come to a different conclusion, a conclusion of their own and get a relationship with the drawing. I think that would be better, but people seem to want the titles, and they find them funny sometimes. So do I.” For more from Billy himself about this latest collection, visit his playlist on our YouTube channel. Go Fly A Kite (opposite) Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm | Edition of 295 Image size 77cm x 57cm | Framed Size 85cm x 65cm £1,250 Framed Tambourine Man (bottom right) Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm | Edition of 295 Image size 77cm x 57cm | Framed Size 85cm x 65cm £1,250 Framed It’s Raining On The Moon (right) Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm | Edition of 295 Image size 77cm x 57cm | Framed Size 85cm x 65cm £1,250 Framed Wearing The Ring (top right) Double Hit Flatbed Giclée Print on 100% Cotton Aquarelle Arches - Torchon 300gsm | Edition of 295 Image size 77cm x 57cm | Framed Size 85cm x 65cm £1,250 Framed
DID YOU SEE…?
In December 2020, Billy Connolly: It’s Been A Pleasure aired in the UK. The documentary showcased his unparalleled career in stand-up comedy, fondly remembering five decades worth of entertaining audiences to the point of distraction, as illustrated by a variety of well-chosen clips. Exclusive insights and anecdotes came from a legion of Billy’s most famous fans, including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Dustin Hoffman, Whoopi Goldberg and Russell Brand among others, all of whom painted a very clear picture of the very high esteem in which he is held. Talking about life after stand-up, Billy spoke about his love of drawing reveals how his art has given him “a new lease of life”. Viewers were treated to a glimpse of his studio, where his Born On A Rainy Day artworks could be seen proudly displayed. He commented, in a typically humble fashion: “I managed to get pictures together and people like them, which surprises me and amazes and delights me. It’s a lovely thing to do with yourself.”
Born On A Rainy Day Portfolio 2021 (6 Editions) £4,950 Unframed | £6,750 Framed
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In his dark and intricate sculptures, Dan Lane twists natural forms through mechanical intervention, presenting an industrial version of life. Antiquity meets contemporary culture in his Modern Relics series, which sees Dan juxtapose a modern aesthetic against classical form in this singular body of work. Dan says: “I first created the original for this stainless steel edition a few years ago. Looking back now, it seems like the motivation and inspiration behind its conception is even more poignant in today’s world. “I wanted to create a sculpture that showed that mankind and the natural world can live in balance and harmony as equals. Nature has never taken from us, yet we have exploited nature’s generosity.
“The piece features one of my ever-popular hummingbirds. I use these a lot in my work and see them as one of the most delicate and beautiful things in nature. For me, this hummingbird symbolises how fragile the natural world is – yet with some hard work, we can fix things. “The idea of fixing things is represented by the arm reaching out to hold a single flower for the hummingbird to feed from. The arm itself is wrapped in a 3D cherry blossom tattoo, which links the sculpture to my ongoing Modern Relics collection.” Read more about the Modern Relics series on our blog.
When All Is Equal Polished Stainless Steel with Black Granite Base | Edition of 95 Sculpture size 290(H) x 350(W) x 175(D)mm £2,950
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Billy Schenck Taking us on a journey to the Wild West, Billy Schenck , also known as the ‘granddaddy’ of western art, returns with three new limited edition prints for spring 2021. Billy faced adversity early in 2020 after suffering a heart attack, but found that his recovery brought with it a new lease of life. All of a sudden, he had more energy than he had enjoyed for some time, and rediscovered his ability to walk and paint
endlessly. Then, in a cruel twist of fate, lockdown set in and Billy needed to find new ways to channel his newfound drive. Watching classic western movies almost daily, and exploring work by other artists both living and deceased, meant that inspiration was readily at hand. In fact, Billy told us: “I suddenly found I had new ideas and themes that I couldn’t keep up with.” “This piece is about a real-life Mexican rancher who lived in South Texas, very close to the border with Mexico. The local sheriff came by Gregorio Cortez’s home in June 1901 to ask him about a stolen horse. After a misunderstanding, guns were drawn and Gregorio’s brother and the sheriff were shot dead. A 600-strong posse of Texas Rangers chased and eventually captured Gregorio, who had made national news and became a folk hero in both Mexico and the USA. “In 1982, Hollywood made a movie called The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez , shot in New Mexico, which I have watched many times. I created a late dusk in the background as many of Gregorio’s escapes occurred at dusk or night, when he could once again slip away unseen, but I did take artistic license in placing a saguaro cactus in the painting, as they are mostly found in southern Arizona. “Gregorio Cortez is a hero to me. I strongly identify with outlaws, having been one myself many years ago. There’s an old rock ‘n’ roll song performed by the Bobby Fuller Four called ‘I Fought the Law’ (1966), and I have always identified with that song too.” LEGEND OF GREGORIO CORTEZ
Legend Of Gregorio Cortez Silkscreen on Coventry Rag 300gsm Paper | Edition of 80 Image size 66.5cm x 86cm | Framed Size 91cm x 114cm £1,950 Framed
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“The female in this artwork is a family friend who wanted me to photograph her a as a cowgirl. Misty brought her own cowboy hat, along with a pair of pistols and a leather jacket. From this photoshoot, I made a halftone painting, which I think adds a sense of mysticism – much like the film noir movies of the 1940s. “The two-tone dot paintings look very contemporary, and I love painting women as strong, powerful, independent, no-nonsense
individuals. The pink background is an homage to Andy Warhol, while the silver version can be likened to his infamous Factory studio on East 47th Street, New York City. When I first saw it, I was knocked out – I loved it, it looks so modern. “The title comes from the film Smokin’ Aces (2006). It is an absolutely insane, over-the-top, shoot-‘em- up, drug-fuelled inferno.”
Discover more about western art here on our blog.
Smokin’ Aces - Silver (above) Silkscreen on Torn Moulin du Roy 300gsm Paper | Edition of 80 Image size 53cm x 81cm | Framed Size 76cm x 105cm £1,495 Framed
Smokin’ Aces - Pink (opposite) Silkscreen on Torn Moulin du Roy 300gsm Paper | Edition of 80 Image size 53cm x 81cm | Framed Size 76cm x 105cm £1,495 Framed
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Emma-Leone Palmer LET THERE BE LIGHT
video for our 5 Questions With YouTube series, they are also deeply personal, exposing “little pieces” of herself. “Some are created in times of desperation and feeling lost, some with a rippling sensuality, some whilst I dance with music and fun pulsing in my veins,” she says. “It’s representing your thoughts and feelings, confusions and energy – what you’re emitting, and also what you’re receiving. I want to create paintings that make people just stop and think, so they can feel what they need to feel.” Exploring the cinematographic potential of working with low-frequency electricity, Emma photographs in complete darkness and allows her subjects to interact organically with pliable lighting strips and neon wires. She then uses the reference photography while painting the original works in oils on large-scale canvasses. “It’s all about how light touches the surface of the skin,” she adds, with a glint in her eye. “The sensation, the intimacy of those points of connection. Night is the time for lovers and adventures, a time for magic.”
Emma-Leone Palmer is an artist with a goal. “I’m looking forward to conquering everywhere,” she tells us whilst signing the new artworks from her Afterglow collection at Castle HQ. “I’ve never doubted it would happen, just because that’s the one thing I’ve been aiming to do since I was a little girl.” This determination has taken Emma from an aspiring painter who once envisaged having her work in our Guildford high street gallery to an award-winning artist who has painted at the great Raphael’s studio in Italy, appeared as a contestant on Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and won the acclaim of celebrities including the interior design expert Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. The latest chapter of her story includes her first- ever limited edition prints, which are now available online and in galleries nationwide. Named after moons – which have been linked to madness and the occult – these figurative artworks use light as an allegory for connection and energy. As she revealed during the filming of our exclusive Q&A
“I’m excited that we can offer a different size to people. Not everybody can have a really big ‘Emma - Leone Palmer’ on their wall!”
Cyllene Hand-Varnished Canvas on Board | Edition of 95 Image size 63.5cm x 91cm | Framed Size 84cm x 112cm £895 Framed
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LIGHTING UP 2021 Emma’s collection is bang on-trend, with light one of the biggest style statements this season. During 2020, Pinterest reported an 800% increase in searches for ‘neon room’ while Real Homes and House Beautiful have featured it in their must-haves for 2021. Team with a neutral colour palette to add atmosphere to your living space or home office.
WATCH OUR EXCLUSIVE Q&A
Afterglow - Set of two editions £1,595 Framed
Umbriel (opposite) Hand-Varnished Canvas on Board | Edition of 95 Image size 63.5cm x 91cm | Framed Size 84cm x 112cm £895 Framed
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John Myatt John Myatt’s spring releases are a masterclass in fine art technique. Years in the making, these limited editions pay tribute to works by Monet and Chagall, and hold particular significance for John. The two Monet-inspired works, while inextricably linked by their subject matter, proved entirely different in their execution. John initially began working on ‘Sunrise On The Seine’ in 2003, returning to it intermittently to add elements and play with the colour composition, until finally the image on the canvas matched the idea in his mind’s eye. Relaying that Monet was known to do likewise, John commented: “I thought it was quite nice that I was working in the same way that he would.” In contrast, John says that ‘Mist On The Seine’ was “one of those miraculous paintings” that came together effortlessly, all the elements fell into place and calls it “one of the most remarkable works I’ve ever done.” In fact, John told us that he actually
reached a point where he carried on working on the painting only to recognise that it needed nothing else, saying: “When I felt the painting slipping away from me I stopped, pulled back, repaired what I’d done and left it.” The completion of these works proved pivotal for John, who said: “I don’t think I’ll do any more in the style of Monet along the Seine – I’ve done that now.” ‘The Mystical Wedding’ began to form as an idea for John after viewing a drawing by Chagall entitled ‘The Vision’, which shows an artist sitting at an easel with an angel overhead. Taking his lead from Chagall’s interest in weddings in subject matter, and introducing other elements such as the joker and the violinist - also taken from Chagall paintings - John recalls the moment that his painting was so very nearly there, and yet in his eyes not quite finished.
pigment into the reds, inspired this time by David Hockney’s technique of doing likewise, and found that giving the tone “the little bit of punch, the little bit of bite that it needed, to be a powerful image” provided the finish he needed to regard the painting as complete. His final painting was one from which he was loathe to part, telling us: “I’d had the finished piece in my home for quite some time, hanging in the sitting room, and I was reluctant to let it go because I’d lived with it for so long. It begins to feel like yours. But on the other hand, it lets the painting have a life of its own. Instead of just residing in my sitting room, it’s anywhere it needs to be. And that’s just a brilliant thing.” Listening to John speak about his inspirations, drawing upon his vast retinue of art history, is always a pleasure. Watch our full interview with him here.
His solution was to add a very small amount of fluorescent
The Mystical Wedding Hand-Embellished Stretched Canvas | Edition of 95 Image size 76cm x 91cm | Framed Size 96.5cm x 112cm £2,500 Framed
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Sunrise On The Seine Hand-Embellished Stretched Canvas | Edition of 95 Image size 81cm x 79cm | Framed Size 101.5cm x 99cm £2,250 Framed
Mist On The Seine Hand-Embellished Stretched Canvas | Edition of 95 Image size 81cm x 79cm | Framed Size 101.5cm x 99cm £2,250 Framed
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We love how these giclée prints on glass by Richard Rowan complement the décor in the home of one of our Milton Keynes clients! The rich orange and blue tones in the pieces add an extra pop of colour to the vibrant room.
Your World, Our Art ®
There’s nothing we love more than seeing our artists’ work taking pride of place in homes and workplaces. Whether it’s a statement piece to add personality to a room, or smaller artwork to complement your décor, art in your home can be enjoyed over and over again whilst having the ability to completely transform a space! If you would like to be featured in the next issue of Fine Art Collector and on our social media channels, enter our competition by emailing your photograph to email@example.com or, enter on social media by tagging us @castlegalleries and hashtagging #YourWorldOurArt . You could even be in with the chance of winning £100 off your next purchase!
This Vinylgraph™ by the Bisaillon Brothers is the perfect addition to this #YourWorldOurArt winner’s retro corner!
Robert Oxley’s We Three Kings look majestic in this client’s home! Using a set is an easy way to create a gallery wall within the home that will make a powerful statement.
Paul Kenton’s bustling cityscapes are the perfect finishing touch to this client’s contemporary home. A city scene allows the viewer to escape to a new setting, whilst adding personality to a space.
JOY’S PARISIAN PARADISE
“Parked Up Paris was the first Paul Kenton original that I purchased from Castle Galleries, and I have since purchased two more Parisian pieces. Paris is my favourite city in the world and these paintings let me daydream that I’m still there - even more so now lockdown means we can’t visit!”
‘Wooly Ruff’ adds a perfect touch of humour and character to this client’s dining room. It’s sure to be the topic of conversation at the next dinner party! @GILMORE_HOUSE
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“It’s a connection between two people; it’s more than family and brotherly love. The respect between two gangsters – like the Kray twins – means that no matter what happens between them, there is an unbreakable bond.”
In the shadows of Jon Jones’ haunting paintings are stories of family, courage and bonds that will never be broken. Capturing the infamous Peaky Blinders gang, who ruled the streets of Birmingham in the late 19th and early 20th century, Jon drew upon his own family history and classical painting techniques. His research took him to the aftermath of World War One, when many British men joined gangs upon returning to a country with no jobs left for them. Desensitised to violence, the loyal husbands and fathers found themselves doing whatever was necessary to survive and protect their family. Jon says: “The soldiers were so young, and saw such terrible things. When you read about it in books or watch it on television, you can’t smell those smells, or feel the cold. They could not fear death. My grandfather was in World War Two and fought in the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940. He was my hero.”
Tommy & Alfie First Meeting (above) Hand-Varnished Boxed Canvas | Edition of 295 Image size 56cm x 56cm | Framed Size 73.5cm x 73.5cm £575 Framed
I’ve Heard Bad, Bad, Bad Things About You Birmingham People (left) Hand-Varnished Boxed Canvas | Edition of 295 Image size 40.5cm x 40.5cm | Framed Size 58cm x 58cm £425 Framed
Flanders Blues Hand-Varnished Boxed Canvas | Edition of 295 Image size 56cm x 56cm | Framed Size 73.5cm x 73.5cm £575 Framed
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Using tone and shade to create an intimacy between his figures, along with unexpectedly tender moments like the touching of hands, Jon creates drama by focusing the viewer’s attention on the eyes. He explains: “Once you look someone in the eye, there’s no backing down or looking away, as that would show weakness or fear.” Jon’s new works are hand-embellished with a special combination of varnishes and gels. He has previously visited our atelier team to watch this process, adding: “They follow the brushstrokes of the original artwork to give the print texture and depth. It’s incredible what they do.” The release also includes Jon’s first- ever triptych (an artwork that is divided into three sections). Fantastic for hanging above a sofa, bed or mantlepiece, this statement artwork features a striking black frame that elevates the atmospheric portraits. “I want the eyes to be alive and the viewer to be connected. You can see a glint in someone’s eye and wonder what is going on. Whether the character is sad, scared, angry or happy, you can put yourself in that situation.”
Tommy Triptych Hand-Varnished Boxed Canvas | Edition of 295 Image size 18cm x 18cm (x3) | Framed Size 86cm x 43cm £395 Framed
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Lawrence sources the majority of the subject matter for his work from his beloved British countryside, and his two brand new limited editions are no different. He told us: “I just love it, to be honest. We’re a relatively small island, but the variety is immense. Over the last few years, I’ve tended to capture my local area – East Anglia – which offers both woodlands and coastal scenes.” As an artist, Lawrence recognises the need for his work to provide pure escapism for the viewer, saying: “We’re all wrapped up in fairly hectic lives, and if someone can look at my work and it can take them somewhere else, even for 30 seconds, then I’ve done my job. It’s that simple, really”. Capturing the elements – the extremes of weather and natural phenomena – has also been an ongoing theme throughout his career to date. We
saw it feature allegorically in his previous release ‘ We’ll Brave The Storm ’, created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the piece conveying a message of hope. Staying true to this, Lawrence explained to us why weather continues to be thematically significant within his new editions: “In both ‘Divided Sky’ and ‘Thunder Passing’ I hoped to capture the sense of tension felt during thunderstorms. There is an anticipation that builds between one lightning strike and the next followed by the silence shattering thunderclap. It is this level of drama and contrast within nature that continues to fascinate me and provide endless inspiration for my paintings.”
View Lawrence’s full collection here.
Divided Sky (opposite) Canvas on Board with Hand-Varnish | Edition of 195 Image size 46.5cm x 46.5cm | Framed Size 56cm x 56cm £350 Framed Thunder Passing (left) Canvas on Board with Hand-Varnish | Edition of 195 Image size 46.5cm x 46.5cm | Framed Size 56cm x 56cm £350 Framed
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Nic Joly has inarguably been a leading light in how to handle the events of the last twelve months. From ‘pivoting’ [how we’ve all come to loathe that word] and using his studio in the early days to fabricate visors for NHS staff and key workers, then subsequently being inspired to launch the #WhoCaresWins campaign – read more about that here – Nic has succeeded in teasing opportunity from adversity by focusing in on what truly matters. For Nic, that translates to family. When times get hard, and we are tested by circumstances beyond our control, it is our loved ones to whom we turn for solace and respite. Looking at the artist’s spring releases, first launched in February,
it is clear to see the inspiration he drew from the renewed importance of family during the pandemic. Highlighting the love we are lucky to experience during this difficult period, both pieces feature Nic’s signature level of exquisite detail, including miniature scaffolding, a dancing couple and a real playing card. Nic told us: “I’m a romantic at heart and I always have been - but it’s having all the people you love around you during lockdown that has brought out this side of my work.” Find out more about these releases, and our ongoing #WhoCaresWins campaign, on Nic’s YouTube playlist
All You Need Hand-Made Studio Edition Wall Sculpture | Edition of 190 Framed Size 71.5cm x 71.5cm £2,500 Framed
Winning Streak Hand-Made Studio Edition Wall Sculpture | Edition of 190 Framed Size 49.5cm x 49.5cm £895 Framed
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WARMING HEARTS WITH BILLY CONNOLLY
In December 2020, the much-loved comedian, actor and musician starred in the ITV documentary Billy Connolly: It’s Been a Pleasure , in which he revealed how his Born On A Rainy Day collection has given him “a new lease of life”. The long-running series of idiosyncratic sketches first launched in 2012 and featured prominently in the show, which filmed Billy at his home in the Florida Keys. Billy told cameras: “I managed to get pictures together and people like them, which surprises me and amazes and delights me. It’s a lovely thing to do with yourself.”
Stealing the show: OUR ARTISTS ON SCREEN
SHOP BILLY CONNOLLY
If, like us, you’ve been binge-watching your favourite boxsets during lockdown, you may have caught a few of our artists’ creations appearing on UK television screens. From Billy Connolly’s ITV documentary to Robert Oxley’s cameo on Channel 4’s Grand Designs , our artists are showing why their art is a must-see.
OUR TOP PICK
Our new artist Alfie Bowen is also no stranger to the camera! Along with appearing in the news for his photography and campaigns to raise awareness for wildlife and autism, he also recently was the focus of a new documentary on the WaterBear network, An Eye For Detail . Exploring the young photographer’s astonishing career and offering a unique insight into his creative process, the touching documentary can be viewed for free on the WaterBear website.
ROBERT OXLEY’S WILDLIFE ART MAKES A SCENE
Robert Oxley’s lion-themed artwork took centre stage in a January 2021 episode of Grand Designs . Creating a statement feature against the exposed brickwork of Nathan and Amye’s colossal chimney breast, the piece showed that wildlife art can be mixed with industrial elements. Robert told us: “It’s so fantastic that my art was on Channel 4, especially as it’s in someone’s home – so it means a lot to them, and this means a lot to me. I even went out and bought a new television! “It’s great to have this recognition, and hopefully it will lead to more exciting things. I was just hoping the presenter [Kevin McCloud] wouldn’t ‘diss’ it – he’s always got a sarcastic comment about everything!”
SUBSCRIBE TO YOUTUBE
For more videos and behind-the-scenes access to your favourite artists, subscribe to our YouTube channel. Each week, we upload new product videos, interviews with our artists and much more.
SHOP ROBERT OXLEY
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Richard Rowan As we have seen across the full length and breadth of the creative community, Richard Rowan’s personal experience during the pandemic has translated thematically into his artistic output. As keen explorer, and one who looks to new horizons as inspiration, it is understandable that his wanderlust has been uncomfortably inhibited over the last year. He told us: “Lockdown has created a longing to travel and see the aurora and mountains again, particularly for my children. I wanted to give hope to everyone longing to get away and go somewhere different. I want them not to feel lost, and to strive for the future and the places they want to see. It is my passionate belief that we should not give up on nature.” A continuation of his Twilight series, Richard’s three new giclée on glass limited editions pay homage to visible lightscapes, and document how moonlight, sunlight, starlight and light from auroras can affect the night sky. Speaking about these works, the artist said: “This new collection captures the journey after twilight. It’s a glimpse through the night sky from late evening to early dawn, stopping off at midnight with a moonlit view of the Swiss mountains. The more we look, the more we can see, from the subtle light changes to the mesmerising colours.” If, like Richard, you are also keen to find escapism in new surroundings, take a look at his YouTube playlist and lose yourself in the mesmerising terrains he has visited, photographed and used as inspiration for his stunning portfolio.
Nowhere To Be Found Giclée Print On Glass | Edition of 295 Image size 35.5cm x 71cm | Framed Size 63.5cm x 99cm £795 Framed
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Letting Go Giclée Print On Glass | Edition of 295 Image size 35.5cm x 71cm | Framed Size 63.5cm x 99cm £795 Framed
Don’t Give Up Giclée Print On Glass | Edition of 295 Image size 35.5cm x 71cm | Framed Size 63.5cm x 99cm £795 Framed
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From the world of art
Here’s our regular digest for all the latest news and trends, including robot art, a century- old secret in one of history’s best-known artworks, and how galleries are making art accessible for everyone.
Credit: National Gallery of Norway
Credit: Felipe Simo
Credit: Viktor Forgacs
Credit: James Eades
Credit:André François McKenzie
Credit: Taylor Heery
Despite the UK government’s £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts, culture and heritage industries, many art galleries and museums have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, with some – including the Royal London Opera House – forced to sell their art to raise crucial funds. In the USA, the prestigious Metropolitan Museum of Art is facing a $150 million budget deficit, and its director, Max Hollein, told The New York Times that it would be “inappropriate” not to consider selling items from its permanent collection. The idea has divided critics, with some stating that it could disincentivise future art donations, potentially leaving future generations without access to groundbreaking works. In more positive news, the museum also recently announced its first fully-paid internship programme. London’s National Gallery has also revealed plans for a £25 million upgrade ahead of its 200th anniversary in 2024.
With art such a visual medium, it can be difficult to imagine how it can be enjoyed by those with limited or no sight. But galleries and artists around the world are now exploring ways to make their art more accessible to visitors with alternative needs. The V&A has a ‘Touch Tour’ playlist that describes the items available to touch at the museum, while the Guggenheim Museum recently launched ‘Mind’s Eye: A Sensory Guide to the Guggenheim New York’, which is an audio experience that transports listeners into the space through descriptions of sensory aspects like sound, touch and light. For more news
A team of archivists, conservationists and curators at the National Museum of Norway have uncovered a secret message in the Norwegian Expressionist artist’s infamous 1893 work. Long thought to reveal the complexity of Munch’s mind, the rumoured self-portrait is a haunting depiction of human fear. Now, using infrared technology, experts have matched handwriting samples from his letters to an inscription in pencil on the top- left of the painting: ‘Can only be the work of a madman’. Curator Mai Britt Guleng believes that the “ironic comment” was Munch’s way of regaining control amidst speculation regarding his mental health. His sister was institutionalised in a mental hospital, while he once wrote: ‘My sufferings are a part of my self and my art. They are indistinguishable from me, and their destruction would destroy my art’.
We’ve all been starved of cultural excursions during the last year, which is why more of us than ever are supporting art galleries by attending virtual tours, classes and lectures. Until we can visit our favourite venues once more, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cultural entertainment. At the epicentre of the creative industry, London has been one of the key players, with the V&A, British Museum and National Portrait Gallery all offering virtual experiences for anyone interested in art. At the top of our wish list is a virtual reality tour of the National Gallery’s Sainsbury Wing, housing a world-class collection of Early Renaissance paintings. Over at the Royal Academy of Arts, you can watch their video for the fascinating Picasso and Paper exhibition, which spans the artist’s 80-year career.
Controversial art is nothing new, with artists historically pushing boundaries to provide commentary on societal and political issues, or simply for the ‘shock’ factor. From female nudity in Édouard Manet’s ‘Le Dejeuner sur l’Herbe’ (1863) to Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ urinal (1917), no subject has been off limits. But at what point does outrageous become offensive? As people become more educated on topics such as race, what has previously been considered art has instead become a bone of contention. In 2020, the art curator of the Palace of Westminster admitted many of its artefacts had a “racist history”, while Marc Quinn’s statue of a Black Lives Matter protestor provoked a similarly heated reaction. Some critics have claimed that ‘cancel culture’ will erase key moments from history, while others say it will create a more harmonious society. What are your thoughts? Let us know on social media at @castlegalleries.
As if the art industry wasn’t already hard enough to break into, budding artists may now have to compete with robots! Ai-Da, the world’s first AI robot artist, will headline her own exhibition at the Design Museum in London in May 2021. Named after the pioneering female scientist and mathematician Ada Lovelace, this life-size humanoid uses AI algorithms to produce self- portraits that explore the use of artificial intelligence and the “confusion in human/machine relations”. She was created with the help of PhD students from the University of Oxford. In February 2021, Christie’s made its first foray into cryptocurrency – a digital or virtual currency that is secured using codes – for the auction of ‘Everydays: The First 5000 Days’ by the digital artist Beeple. It is believed that this new payment method will allow the auction house to a reach a new audience and engage more people with the arts.
from the art world, visit our blog.
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