During these anxious times, the need to write or blog, podcast and make art & craft as calming therapy at home is even more compelling, so I’m continuing to do so and hope you are or will too.
Anyone local who NEEDS help or those who wish to OFFER their help during COVID-19, please contact our Beeston & Chilwell community Facebook site Beeston Chilwell Area Mutual Aid Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/262907364704981/
Saturday 7th March
Nottingham Health & Well Being Show at Jubilee Conference Centre 7-8 March. I attended this 10.00-12.00 and was well impressed - the exhibitors, the location, meeting and talking with Liz & Ian of http://www.lizianevents.com/ . Liz personally took me around the two exhibition spaces where she kindly introduced me to individual exhibitors. Spaces and workshop/lecture rooms were being utilised extremely well. By the time I left, the spaces were buzzing. In the future ACT looks forward to collaborating with Liz and Ian on creative health & well-being projects. In the meantime please look up these exhibitors and see how they can help you by studying their websites, emailing them for assistance and listening to their podcasts. https://lizianevents.org/nottingham-well-being-show/
“Health and well being is your No. 1 in life, as when you are ill you cannot look after your family and loved ones” my father kept repeating to me as I was growing up.
Tuesday 10th March
10.30-12.00 D2N2 Growth Hub 1-1 meeting with Richard Crowden at Broxtowe Borough Council offices in Beeston. This was a very welcome update with Richard advising me about ACT’s next growth steps, especially investment & funding and hence recruitment. Our services have developed excellently over the last six years with all proof on our website and archives. I will complete our What we Do / Consulting section soon. https://www.d2n2growthhub.co.uk/
Our local Beeston Rylands internet goes down causing inconvenience to hundreds of homeowners and businesses. As a result I went into Beeston coffee shops like Green Hood coffee house and Beeston Library to access the internet and carry out valued communications.
Thursday 12th March
PM announces ‘delay’ method for COVID-19.
Friday 13th March
ACT Group catchup calls with Inna Schutts and Dawn Lindson.
Saturday 14th March
10.15 - 12.00 Attended Nottingham Print Fair Contemporary and then to my InterNations group lunch - please read my previous blog about this 15.3.20.
Sunday 15th March
11.00-12.00 Exhibition by Mat Collishaw at Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside Arts University Park (proposed run until 7 June 2020, now cancelled). This was awesome and I’ll be posting my blog & photos about it this week.
Thank goodness, the Internet is now up and running again. 6 days without; apparently a BT cable was accidentally cut through and engineers finally renewed connection.
Monday 16th March
11.00-13.30 Had a wonderful 1-1 tuition on Reduction linocut printing at Long Eaton Art Room by the lovely Fiona Holmes known as www.minifis-oddities.myshopify.com I will be writing my blog about this during the week with photos of my 2-colour linocut prints and creative development process. http://www.longeatonartroom.co.uk/
Stay safe and stay strong in mind. Think and act creatively at home.
Anyone who NEEDS help or those who wish to OFFER their help during Covid-19, please contact our Beeston & Chilwell community Facebook site Beeston Chilwell Area Mutual Aid Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/262907364704981/
I visited Nottingham Contemporary yesterday morning Sat 14th March and really experienced an inspiring few hours downstairs, with over 30 stalls by independent artists, designers and collectives from the city and all over the UK. It continues today Sunday from 11am to 5pm so I really recommend you to go visit if you have the chance.
Talking to several exhibitors I discovered many were from Scotland, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. This is Contemporary’s first Print Fair and I predict they will repeat it annually over the following years.
Above are photos of a number of artists and print makers I spoke to. Those I spoke at length to were Nancy Powers (Original hand-printed lino cuts), Leicester Print Workshop, Canadian Geri Coady (Geri Draws Japan), Peter Knight of The Common Press, Crich, Benjamin at Dizzy Ink now at The Carousel 25 Hockley, and Todd Allan Stewart, Montreal Illustrator currently visiting from Dundee for this print fair.
I treated myself to this fantastic print of Montreal street (above) by Todd Stewart
toddallanstewart.com Wow! I love your artwork and printmaking Todd. Wonderful to talk with you and about your creative journey from Winnipeg to Montreal to Dundee. Being a qualified architect and urban planning expert, which I have just discovered about you this morning from your website, I now see how you have become a master illustrator of children’s books and editorial. As said to you, I hope you enjoy walking around and looking up at our fantastic city centre & Lace Market architecture tomorrow morning. Being an art tourism expert and promoter, I would love to know how our architecture affects and inspires you.
I’m also currently writing a series of small children’s books (already recorded as diaries with photographs) - The Adventures of Tag and Miss Zippy - based on Tag, my English wire haired fox terrier (with sticky up ears like Tin Tin’s Snowy) and our explorations and adventures together in regional areas of England and Wales. So they will also become small tourism aids for each visited area. See my framed photo below with representational fine painting (actual) by Daniel Rose in pocket fob and my 'bible' Children's Writers' & Artists' Yearbook 2020.
At 12.00 I ambled down to another Wow! venue - https://www.yamas.co.uk/ on Thurland Street, Nottingham - to meet up with my InterNations group for superb Greek traditional Tapas & Meze. After two hours there and upon leaving, the restaurant was packed out and people queuing at the door to be seated. I thoroughly recommend this place for superb food and service. Bravo Yamas! Such an enjoyable lunch with international friends who had travelled from Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire.
At 2.00 pm, I drove back home to Beeston and rested reflecting on what an awesome morning I had experienced.
I've created new developments to my GARDEN ART front and back. You can see how my garden developed 2014 to 2019 under our More... Events and scroll down, on our artculturetourism.co.uk website.
At the end of February my front patch was changed from wild flowers area (of 5 years) with ground cover being copied to match the sandy coloured pebbling of my back garden. Existing lavenders, pulmonaria, cyclamen and other perennials remain in place as you can see.
In my back garden the seven year old lavenders had got too woody so are being gradually replaced with new ones continuing with the same and different species. All existing perennials and roses are growing well and being cared for. New roses are being added this month. I do like moving shrubs and perennials around if their current location doesn't suit them and re-arranging the garden colour palette to my taste.
Nature is my inspiration for my writing and blogging as well as my own art. My creative development embraces my sense of place and identity. The wild life visiting my garden increases in harmony year by year. Over the last six years, Art Culture Tourism has been evolving organically to keep in tune with nature, health and well-being.
Last Tuesday 25th February saw myself and our ACT Team - Caron Lyon PCM creative, Inna Schutts and Dawn Lindson - launch our first 2020 podcast, and what an enjoyable and enthusiastic production it was!
Led by Caron, who is our podcasting and ‘extending the audience’ guru, we all met up at 10.00 am at The Bean upstairs, 1 Stoney Street, Beeston,
to set up the laptop microphone to catch our close chat together on all things “What’s On Local” for March. You can listen to it here on the link...
We had a lot to talk about so Caron had prepared a running order schedule with all our relevant event links to information, photos and blogs. It was a slick podcast, thank you Caron! We started off reviewing our experiences about Nottingham #LightNight 7th/8th February and then followed with what events we had selected and were attending during March.
Our special guest, John Currie, director of the Beeston Film Festival, gave a 5 minute talk about this 6th annual event 25th - 29th March. Launch night takes place on Wednesday evening 25th at The Berliner Bar, Chilwell High Road, Beeston from 7pm. ACT is a Sponsor of the BFF for Best Audience Award every year. Thank you John, you were fab!
Catch all the film session schedules and purchase tickets (only £4.00 each) on http://www.beestonfilm.com/ and Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
You can listen to the podcast here and download the Anchor.FM App to your phone. We hope you like it and please 'Like' and leave your 'Comments' after this blog - we’d really appreciate them! www.anchor.fm/artculturetourism
Our monthly Tuesday schedule for 2020 will be as follows, taking place at The Bean Upstairs, where we’ll invite you to pop in and join us as our studio audience including any of our local sponsors & contributors. Our
10-15 minute podcasts will be recorded between 10.30 - 11.00.
Tuesday 24th March
Tuesday 28th April
Tuesday 26th May
Tuesday 23rd June
Tuesday 27th October
Tuesday 24th November
Thank you everyone and let’s see how our ACT-ive audience extends and expands over the following months. We wish you to benefit from our “What’s On Local” podcasts because YOU are our best audience, and we care about you and community.
Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham
I had the pleasure of experiencing a retrospective exhibition tour of Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) led by writer Peter Khoroche who got to know the artist personally during the last ten years of his life in Sussex.
The exhibition considered a full scope of the artist's career spanning a remarkable six decades. The gallery was divided into four areas from Beginnings 1920s to his final years 1960s - 1970s enabling a wonderful sweeping walk through nature's landscapes and personal scenarios from daily life. It was visually and emotionally uplifting to watch his colour palette change over the years and heighten in the last decade of his life into almost abstract expressionism.
Peter Khoroche began his tour explaining about Hitchens' early life and start of his career. I took notes of his talk so this is the result of them. His father, Alfred Hitchens, was a Royal Academy member who made his main income as a portrait painter. After leaving St John's Wood Art School, Ivon entered the Royal Academy Painting School in 1911, and in 1919 he set up his artist's studio in Hampstead, London. 1920 saw his first mixed exhibition and in 1925 his first solo exhibition. It was the start of a "twenty-year struggle, with sallies to Shropshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Sussex".
Peter urged us to see "the beauty of his brush works, his sheer bravura". For sixty years he was passionate about his art. Ivon always carefully thought out the type of canvas he would use. Peter remembered seeing about 100 brushes carefully stored from decorator brushes to the finest brushes in the studio.
Ivon was finding his way, through the Arts & Crafts world, and had a strong spirited side, always sensitive and sensitized. He focused on landscapes, rarely touching hills, mountains - trees and woodlands were his comfort zone.
In 1935 he married Mary 'Mollie' Coates. In 1940 their Swiss Cottage home was bombed and they moved to live near Petworth, West Sussex north of the Downs. Here they stayed until 1979, starting out in a real gypsy caravan with no electricity so it was tough going. As the years went on, they added a studio and built on a flat- roofed bungalow called "Greenleaves". This area became very important to him. He never owned a car so painted in his woodland garden or near his house. It was the experience of place that meant so much to him. They scraped a living but prevailing all, he had an iron will and sense of humour, and could be very serious but charming. Above everything, he wished to give pleasure, and he knew his own worth.
Ivon had very good patrons to help him. Howard Bliss, son of Arthur Bliss, was one of them who collected Ivon's paintings from 1944, and he loaned many of them to exhibitions around the world.
He made friends with Ben Nicholson and his wife Winifred, and Henry Moore, and in 1925 he stayed with them in Cumberland. Inspiration came to him on discovering Cezanne and Roger Fry's "Vision" and Clive Bell's "Art". Colour and colour composition were his focus and, thanks to Winifred, a lighter palette and paring down.
In 1936 and during the wartime he turned to wide format canvases. He met Mr and Mrs Cecil Harris in 1929, who were to become Hitchens' first major patrons for the following ten years. Hitchens was very interested in the composition, becoming more and more intrinsically pleasing using vertical and horizontal brush movements. Every scene was well plotted, and he had to paint in front of the subject or motif. It was the tension between Nature versus chaos and then bringing order into chaos.
He was a master colourist with space and hence the title of this exhibition. One can see he was much influenced by Cezanne, Matisse and Braque, and in some parts I think by Dufy. We enter the 1950 to 1960s area where we see water pools with white priming providing the sunlight. 'Colour is descriptive.' The 'River Pool' 1955 is very powerful and we discover Ivon's work is getting more abstract.
In the 1970s, we see, from the below images, brighter and broader sweeps becoming more and more abstract.
I am not a professional artist but I do know how to look at paintings and to 'read' them. In the 1970s I lived and worked for most part in London, Islington being my home territory. For me, the colours and musical vibrancy of this time among the architects, designers and media houses I worked for, brought the final stages of Hitchens' artworks of the exhibition really close to me. They sang the same tune; I wore the same colours so this area really 'hit' home with the swathes of pinks, purples, blues, turquoises, reds, maroons, mustard and eggy yellows. This exhibition was my first introduction to Ivon Hitchens and I left elated at the discovery of such a master of colour and space who brought Nature up close and personal.
Thank you Peter Khoroche for telling us the story and journey of Ivon Hitchens as you knew and understood him. You certainly 'sold' his art to me...and your book at the Djanogly shop! Thank you for signing and dating it for me, because now I'm delving even more into the beauty of Ivon's brush works and appreciating his sheer bravura.
Left - photo of Peter looking at his favourite painting - Spring Day. 1973. 'Not bad for an 80 year artist!' as you said.
Ivon Hitchens by Peter Khoroche
Published by Lund Humphries
£25.00 from bookshops & on line.
My photographs of the artworks account for only a small part of the exhibition and I have captioned them as best I can. Spec details will be added to those not captioned.
This exhibition ran from 2 November 2019 - 23 February 2020. For further exhibitions and events at Lakeside Arts, University of Nottingham, see https://www.lakesidearts.org.uk/
Below are some black and white photographs of Ivon Hitchens I selected which are captioned and photo credited.
The Victorian Nottingham world of architect Watson Fothergill appeared in full colourful glory with Lucy Brouwer explaining and showing why he was such an important influence on the red city. As storyteller, she brought him alive giving us fascinating snippets into his life, his personality, family, apprenticeship, practice, and his recognisable architectural trademarks...his brand.
I could hear and see the hustle and bustle of Nottingham market square and surrounding streets with the clatter of horses hooves pulling carts, trams and carriages on the cobblestones, and Victorian ladies and gentlemen briskly walking and weaving in between wearing elegant attire. Nottingham was a booming town with banks and businesses being built to match its meteoric trading growth. It was the world’s lace market capital with textile manufacturing and engineering utilizing a huge human workforce. Queen Victoria visited in 1843 and Jesse Boot was building his chemist shop and pharmacy empire. In 1896 Nottingham becomes a city and it is Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The stories that particularly delighted me were about Zebedee Jessop and William Daft, sculptor Benjamin Creswick and his terracotta panels, the architect’s showcase office on George Street, Queen’s Chambers and colonnade and the magnificent Notts Bank head office building on Thurland Street now housing ‘All Saints’ clothing store and ‘Bravissimo’ lingerie shop. Try and spot the monkey peeking out between the chimney support and roof tiles!
My photographer friend Ray Teece who started his Nottingham21 website in 2004 of Nottingham in Photographs - Nottingham in Pictures - has many fine photographs of the Notts Bank building, as well as other Watson Fothergill buildings, so please do take a look. http://www.nottingham21.co.uk/build_nottmbank_thumbnails.htm
The three photographs below are by Ray Teece from above link.
Whilst on the subject of Victorian building and Queen Victoria, Ray and Spanish artist Joe Ganech collaborated, together with Art Culture Tourism, on Joe’s magnificent artwork ‘Queen Victoria Complete’ referenced from Ray’s photograph of the late Queen 1905 statue in the Nottingham Embankment Memorial Gardens and which earlier had moved from the city square in 1953. Please find out more about this fascinating story with NottsTV clip 23 Nov 2017 by clicking on https://www.artculturetourism.co.uk/screen-media-room.html
I only managed to take a few photos myself on this ‘Watson Fothergill Grand Tour’ before my mobile charge ‘died’ halfway through but you can see excellent photos taken by Lucy and Nottingham photographer Lamar Francois on the official website together with all facts, blog reviews and how to book a tour. https://watsonfothergillwalk.com/
Many fine slices of architectural history were served by Lucy, as well as tea and cake by Debbie Bryan where we finished the walk and sat down in welcome comfort in her shop on St Mary’s Gate in Nottingham’s Lace Market. https://debbiebryan.co.uk/
Applause to Watson Fothergill himself and his architecture, and many thanks to our guide Lucy Brouwer.
Remember...please look UP whenever you walk around the streets of red brick Nottingham because you’ll be surprised at how many architectural curiosities, embellishments, stone animals and birds reach out to proudly display themselves!
Great talk and presentation Wednesday 19th Feb "On the trail of T.C. Hine", Nottingham architect and known as the 'grandfather of the Midlands architects', by Lucy Brouwer at Beeston Library Inspire Nottinghamshire Libraries. From his prominent house/architects office on Regent Street, to the magnificence of Thomas Adams building on Stoney Street with back entrance on St Mary's Gate, to his serpentine Broadway showing off the Birkins HQ and loads more. For those of you who had grand/great-grand parents working in Nottingham's Lace Market or who like grand living in the Park Estate, then this is for you!
Lucy is known for her Watson Fothergill walks in Nottingham so she can be contacted via her website for walks about both these famous Nottingham architects. https://watsonfothergillwalk.com/ Good to meet you Anna Wels and thank you for taking the photo of me and Lucy in front of the gentleman himself, TC Hine.
After each walk in Nottingham city centre, Lucy always leads her group for very welcome tea and cakes at Debbie Bryan's shop. https://debbiebryan.co.uk/
Okay, time for new Marysia working profile pix! Here's a few from this morning at my home gallery/studio taken by Marcus and a selfie. I'm promoting my artistic side with my own lino-cut prints and some of my art collection on walls. What else do you read into the story here?!
Thanks Marcus Gilmore, graphic designer/illustrator, for taking the better photos!
Fascinating facts for you about Ghino di Tacco, a noble brigand in the vein of Robin Hood. I think there must be just 10 people in Beeston who know about this real character and have visited Radicofani & Mount Amiata with ACT Tuscany Grand Tour in 2015. See ACT section 'Cultural Exchange'.
How many more people from Nottingham and Britain know about Ghino di Tacco? I'm fascinated by the fact that Charles Dickens visited Radicofani in 19th century and wrote a book called "Pictures of Italy" in which he featured the medieval fortress, village and Ghino di Tacco. Italy's most famous poet/writer Dante Alighieri wrote of Ghino di Tacco in his Divine Comedy. See the link details below. There are great connections between Nottingham and Siena country as well as teaching and academic staff at University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Siena University!
To top it all, there is great lead up to Dante 2021 in Italy and the world - it will be 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death 1321. So the poster art designed by Joe Ganech below of Dante Alighieri and Ghino di Tacco, produced for ACT 2018 ITALY Art & Photography exhibition at Nottingham, will be much in demand.
All the ACT artists and management team contribute to this blog. Press Releases, Reviews, Events and Calls to Participate are posted here too.