Sep 9, 2011

MIDWEEK, The Rose and Crown

Sculpture by Al Johnson
Yesterday I finally made it to the Rose and Crown and I'm very glad that I did. There's a great selection of work on show, responding to a range of themes from film to local wildlife.
Leaning against a bench opposite the bar is Jim Jack's circular wooden sculpture, with its many layers that people have said make it "look like a giant crinkle cut crisp".

Sculpture by Jim Jack
There's more from Jim Jack in the room at the end, alongside sculpture by Kris Watson and Al Johnson. The Trail Guide listing for these pieces is pleasingly matter of fact, "three sculptures by three sculptors". Although they are quite different, these pieces look good shown together (but their modern feel clashes somewhat with the old patterned pub carpet). As I got closer to Kris Watson's elegant white piece I saw that the interesting shapes balance delicately on top of each other and it feels as if they would all topple down if it wasn't for the sweeping curve at the back. In Al Johnson's curly sculputres the black metal has been bent into softer circles and contrasts with the red felt at the centre. They look a bit like broken wheels, or tangled tape.

It's apt that Jim Jack's nature-inspired sculpture is shown near David Elms's photographs of wildlife in and around Walthamstow. I had just come from seeing David's photographs that are displayed in the library and enjoyed seeing more from him. These photographs examine the impact of building the Olympic site on local wildlife, which is very diverse. Lots of helpful information is displayed on what you can do to help local wildlife and where you can go to see it, with maps and even seeds to feed to birds.

Painting by Pete Smith
Pete Smith, Essex artist started painting because he wanted to "do something worthwhile as opposed to getting drunk every night". His paintings use text and colour to communicate often humourous and, in the case of the one that says "vote T party", relevant messages. "Saturday football weekend, ruined" can be interpreted as responding to this year's Olympics theme, "On Your Marks". Adam Graff's rants of the day also comment on a variety of topical items. I wonder what Elton John would think of his portrait.

Films are another excellent starting point for art and Picture Show: Film-Inspired Art has been a hit. Over 20 talented East London artists, designers and photographers give their take on films from Ghostbusters to The Birds. There's even a response to "On Your Marks", with Build's "Lord of the Rings", a figure holding out the Olympic circles. I especially liked Katherine Green's "Take Away, Lea Bridge Road" from Chungking Express, the swirling patterns in Anna Alcock's "The Lion King", the penguins in Martin Adams's "Happy Feet" and Danny Coope's lovely "Brief Encounter", which made me want to rewatch the film and hear Celia Johnson saying the words that Danny has written out in her clipped accent.

After going on a lot on this blog about how the Art Trail sometimes feels like an Art Hunt because some of the art is exhibited in such a way that you could easily miss it, I was delighted to see that Gabriela Castellanos has stuck an arrow to the wall pointing visitors to her work with the message "don't forget to look up!" Her love of colour shines through in her expressive work. Deborah Naylor's life paintings, excellently titled Nude Dude, Bare Mare, are also very expressive and I liked all the bold lines.

Photograph by Penny Dampier
 Penny Dampier's photographs show the beauty in everyday scenes. In one image, road markings by a curbside are turned into an abstract composition. Well-composed photographs by Sally Ross are also exhibited, showing scenes from Walthamstow and further afield, with wonderful attention to detail.

Next stop, Inky Cuttlefish studios...

1 comment:

EM said...

So glad you enjoyed 'Picture Show'. The artists were invited by E17 Art House to create work inspired by movies. Well worth seeing - on opposite wall to the Red Room, Rose and Crown.
Another great show, on at E17 Art House Picture Framers and Gallery is 'London You're A Lady'. A special selection of quality work by Walthamstow and East London artists exploring the different sides of this great city.
'London You're A Lady'
Number 63 on E17 Art Trail.
Open Sat 10th Sept 9.30am-5.30pm, Sun 11th Sep 11am-3.30pm