3 World Renowned Women Artists - Malvern Theatres - Early Summer 2016

by Humph Hack 29. May 2016 18:21

Women artists have suffered from a lack of recognition in the Western World for centuries. There were several reasons for this. Until relatively recently, the training available for women forbad the study of “the nude” – a staple of much public and private art, at the time. There was also a feeling that it was OK for a woman to paint as a hobby, but “leave the matter of earning a living from art” to the men. The net result….in Westminster and the City of London; of 386 public works of art, only 30 were created by women.

The National Gallery in London contains more than 2,300 works. At the start of 2011 only 11 of the artists in that enormous collection were women.

Little has changed. A recent survey of artists found that more than 8 out of 10 of those in Tate Modern were men, and men were 7 out of 10 of those in the Saatchi Gallery. Given that women make up the majority of art students, the fact that they account for just fewer than one in three of the artists exhibited in commercial London galleries might not seem much cause for celebration. But in the context of art history, it does suggest a step forward.

So it is, that among the artists selling from this online gallery - from which the exhibitors in Malvern Theatre are chosen….the majority of the 20 top-sellers are female and of those, the 4 artists commanding the highest prices for their works are all women.

This makes the selection of these 3 world-renowned female professional artists, for this Malvern show, an obvious one.

Arabella Kiszely is a Cotswold-based artist, specialising in semi-abstract landscapes. Painted mainly in oils, her pictures are characterised by a confident, contemporary style, full of colour and form. The result is a painting where you can feel as well as see, the forces of nature.

Louisa J Simpson loves painting strong patterns and shapes in her still-life works. This enables her to combine a traditional style with abstract qualities. She has a particular interest in painting glass and mirrored surfaces that show an unusual perspective; allowing her to create compositions that fill the canvas with colour and light.

Alison Johnson’s atmospheric oil paintings are vibrant and seductive focal points for any space.  By expressing the power of light playing amongst the elements, she shows the abstract, surreal side to the natural world. Her seascapes follow a deep tradition which Johnson modernises and brings to a contemporary conclusion. Colours sink below a piercing white surface as oceans and landscapes drift in and out of a sweeping hazy mist.

The works of all 3 are collected by art lovers from across the Globe.

The exhibition is available to view, both upstairs and downstairs, every day from Monday 30 May until Saturday 9th July.


Walks That Inspired Famous Art

by Aileen Mitchell 13. May 2016 15:38

National Walking Month

To celebrate National Walking Month this May, we take a look at some of the ways that walking has influenced some of the world's most famous and creative artists. Not only does walking get people from A to B, it helps stimulate the brain and gets the cognitive and creative juices flowing.

Many of ArtGallery's own wonderful artists take inspiration from walking, which is something they share with some of the most famous artists from Munch, to Gormley. 

The walk that inspired the Scream


The famous, The Scream, series came as an inspiration to Edvard Munch whilst he was out walking with his friends in Oslo. Munch wrote a poem on the frame of the original pastel of The Scream, which reveals how he was influenced to create this iconic scene:

"I was walking along the road with two friends,
the sun was setting - the sky turned a bloody red,
and I felt a whiff of melancholy - I stood,
still, deathly tired - over the blue-black
fjord and city hung blood and tongues or fire.
My friends walked on - I remained behind
shivering with anxiety - I felt the great scream in nature."

City walking with van Gogh


For a period, Van Gogh lived in Brixton, London. During his stay, he made sure that he went of plenty of walks both in and out of the city. We know this from the letters he wrote to his brother. In one he wrote, "I walk here as much as I can. It's absolutely beautiful even though it's a city."

Coastline ghosts


From coastlines walks to rambles through fields, Antony Gormley's art is continually inspired by the relationship between people and nature. The figures commonly used in his work are casts of himself, which reflect how much Gormley himself goes on the walks featured in his sculpture exhibitions. 

Visitors are also encouraged to walk amongst the sculptures and interact with the landscape around them. 

In 1997, three years after winning the Turner prize, Gormley created the sculpture, Another Place. The piece involves over 100 life-size cast iron figures of Gormley spread over Crosby beach in Southport, looking out to the Irish sea. The sculptures are spread out for around two miles along the beach. 

Walking on thin ice

Contemporary Dutch artist and film maker, Guido van der Werve uses walking as the inspiration for many of his thought provoking video pieces. 

Nummer acht, everything is going to be alright, one of his most famous works, shows Werve walking calmly across open plains of ice directly in front of an ice-breaker. Of course, without the trick of the lens this wouldn't be possible. Although Werve is some distance from the ice-breaker, he uses walking to create the sense of drama and shock in his film.

The speed and non-harassed way that Werve walks inspires the viewers to think about the fragility of life, the human form, and the power of nature (after they've got over the urge to shout, "run!"). 

This piece is one of the most dramatic works of art that focuses on the act of walking - a truly inspired video, if not a bit stressful to watch.

The mechanics of walking

Contemporary maker Theo Jansen uses plastic tubing and sheeting - but never electronics - to create his kinetic sculptures. These seemingly organic structures are powered by wind to move in an uncanny way across surfaces. Jansen's machines explore the mechanics of walking, showing us how we ourselves are part-machine. 

We'd be interested to know how walking has inspired you as an artist or as an art lover. 


Art History

The Golden Ratio in Art

by Aileen Mitchell 6. May 2016 11:46

Frequent readers of The Independent online will remember the New Year's Eve photograph of a street scene in Manchester that went viral.

After a keen observer pointed out that the composition of the photo had the perfect balance of the golden ratio, the image was shared by millions online.

What is the golden ratio? 

The golden ratio is a mathematical tool used in architecture and design to achieve visual harmony and balance in a composition. To many, it's the most pleasing way of arranging shapes in a composition.

The ratio is found when dividing a line into two parts (one longer and one smaller). The length of the longer part divided by the length of the smaller part should equal the same number as the whole line before it was broken into parts. Clever, eh?

Used by some of the greatest artists of all time, this calculation has been found on some of their most famous works.

The golden ratio, also known as Phi is still recommended to art students for advice on laying out their work on canvas.

Leonardo da Vinci was an artist who used the golden ratio extensively. Known as 'the divine proportion' in the Renaissance period, it's clear why it was used so much.

The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci

Saint Jerome by Leonardo da Vinci

We can't always express what it is about art that makes us feel a certain way. However, the golden ratio has stood the test of time as a theory that explains the perfection of some of the greatest works of art. 

There are other patterns and sequences based on the concept of the golden ratio, which all offer a form of symmetry in design and composition. ArtGallery artist Kathryn Edwards demonstrates the use of the Fibonacci series. 

Fibonacci's Fish by Kathryn Edwards

Next time you feel a great satisfaction looking at a work of art, take a moment to see whether everything appears to be in perfect balance. 


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