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An exciting new art gallery, Lacey Contemporary, is to open in Notting Hill next month on 9th October, with its inaugural exhibition Processed Space showcasing the works of three outstanding young British painters.

Located right in the heart of Clarendon Cross, Lacey Contemporary aims to promote an ethos of nurturing and fostering relationships with its cutting-edge artists. Gallery Director Andrew Lacey says,

“Lacey Contemporary is a contemporary art gallery focused on promoting British based artists to provide a complete business service to allow the artists to focus on their artistic practice. With innovation and technical excellence at the forefront of everything we do Lacey Contemporary aims to change the model for commercial galleries.”

It’s Andrew’s long business experience and an impeccable eye for new artistic talent that really brings together the aims of the gallery. Completing the team at Lacey Contemporary are Tessa Yee, Associate Director and Gallery Manger, and Charlotte Meddings. Tessa has managed contemporary art galleries for the past six years in Melbourne, Australia and in London; she has also curated two international urban art festivals for the city of Melbourne. Charlotte, an independent art curator for the past five years, has worked with a range of international artists and London galleries, as well as producing live art events, running an advisory service and writing and lecturing on art and her curatorial practice.

Lacey Contemporary

The gallery’s opening show Processed Space will exhibit the works of Ross M Brown, Geoff Diego Litherland and Merlin Ramos. Each artist’s works investigate space, whether the cosmos or the physical space that’s occupied in real time or imagined.

Lacey Contemporary - Ross M. Brown
Ross M. Brown ‘Pavillion (interior)’ Oil, oil stick and spray paint on board – 2014

Ross M Brown studied BA Fine Art and MFA Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee; he says “I’m a traditional painter in the terms of working with paint and canvas and at the core of my work is an interest in urban space”.

Lacey Contemporary - Geoff Diego Litherland
Geoff Diego Litherland ‘Space Ship Earth (Window no.11) – Always Returning’ Oil on Canvas 150x150cm

Geoff Diego Litherland is a Mexican-born painter, now based in Nottingham, who graduated in 2002 from Falmouth College of Arts with a BA in Fine Art, and in 2012 from Goldsmiths with an MFA in Fine Art; “My work is painting and a foremost concern is to create a space where my work can sit between figuration and abstraction“.

Lacey Contemporary - Merlin Ramos
Merlin Ramos ‘Is Tropical’ Oil on Linen – 2014

Merlin Ramos received a BA in Fine Art at Falmouth College of Arts in 2007, and an MA at Prince’s Drawing School where he became the artist in residence; “My work represents a collection of moments, everyday minutiae that make up the contents of the day – but become important enough to remember“.

Future exhibitions at Lacey Contemporary include Bacon, Fenn and Moran: A dedication to form (5th – 16th November); Winter Pride UK Arts Awards (18th – 29th November) and Launch Part 2 (3rd – 23rd December). Find out more on all of Lacey Contemporary’s exhibitions at www.laceycontemporarygallery.co.uk.

Processed Space
9th October – 2nd November 2014
Lacey Contemporary
8 Clarendon Cross
W11 4AP
www.laceycontemporarygallery.co.uk

One of Notting Hill’s finest bookstores, Book & Kitchen, has a couple of exciting events lined up for September!

First up, a ten-week masterclass in children’s picture book writing and illustration starts that month, taught by Dr Karenanne Knight. Starting on Monday 15th September, the course is perfect for anyone that’s got an idea for a children’s book  – whether actually properly planned out, only roughly jotted down, or even just kept in their heads for the moment – as at the masterclass, you’ll be able to find out exactly what it takes and what’s involved to develop such a book. The course will include special guest visit from publisher’s and children’s authors, which will help attendees find out more about not only the creative process, but also about the publishing side of things.

Book and Kitchen - Children's Book Masterclass

The ten-week course costs £399, which includes a copy of Dr Karenanne Knight’s The Picture Book Maker. More details on the course can be found here: www.bookandkitchen.com/ai1ec_event/masterclasspicturebookmaker/?instance_id=931

Also in September, Book and Kitchen will be hosting the Poster After Life exhibition by artist Gosia Łapsa-Malawska. The exhibition is based on a collection of old posters that Gosia photographed and collected in Europe and South America. The Polish artist – who is now based in London – has created new artworks from neglected ones, offering a fresh outlook on our streets and cities that is tinged with nostalgia.

Book and Kitchen - Poster After Life

The exhibition is on from Tuesday 2nd to Friday 29th September (closed Mondays) and entry is free.

Book and Kitchen
31 All Saints Road
W11 1HE
www.bookandkitchen.com

As we edge ever closer to the fifth month of the year and to proper, glorious spring, we’re also soon to see the latest edition of the Notting Hill Mayfest! This month-long cultural festival will once again host a number of exciting events, from music and opera to talks, art, cinema and kid’s activities, which will take place at a number of different venues in Notting Hill.

Notting Hill Mayfest 2014
Mayfair

Celebrating the history and cultural life of the area, the main base of the festival will be the beautiful St John’s Church on Lansdowne Crescent. For this reason, Mayfest will pay tribute to the Church by celebrating its life and work and that of the communities that make use of the building. This includes the opening event on the 1st May which will see a performance by the Church’s choral scholars and musicians-in-residence, as well as an event on the 10th May given by the Filipino community of St John’s. An art exhibition of work by upcoming young artists will be helf in the Church’s Sacred Space Gallery, and there’s also the ever-popular village-style May Fair that takes place on 17th May.

The 2014 Mayfest will see partnerships will the Pop Up Opera – performing Bizet’s Le Docteur Miracle (shown below) on 3rd May – and Pop Up Screens who will show the charming Notting Hill with a specially filmed video introduction from its writer, Richard Curtis.

Notting Hill Mayfest 2014 - Pop Up Opera
Pop Up Opera

Kids can join in the fun with the Mayfest’s two children’s days, run in association with the groundbreaking Multi-Story Orchestra. This will be a amazing opportunity for local children to learn more about and actually perform with a full orchestra and the newly restored organ at St John’s.

Musical elements of the 2014 Mayfest will see the festival once again champion young and upcoming talent. A selection of wind soloists from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama will perform on 8th May, whilst dynamic young vocal ensemble Schole will be performing Monteverdi madrigals and Britten part-songs on 7th May. On 22nd May, the St John’s musicians in residence, The Outcry Ensemble, will present a concert of established chamber music as well as a new commission from young composer and Multi-Story artistic director Kate Whitley.

Notting Hill Mayfest 2014 - Thomas Trotter
Thomas Trotter

An organ recital on 9th May by Thomas Trotter will launch the St John’s Organ Recital Series 2014; the performance will be preceded by a community film from the Video College – an organisation which offers free production-based video training to local residents – which shows the restoration of the St John’s historic organ.

The 2014 Mayfest Lecture on 12th May will see well-­known author, broadcaster, columnist, lecturer and campaigner for prison reform Jonathan Aitken discuss his journey in a talk entitled From Power To Prison To Peace.

As well as the events at Notting Hill’s churches – St Peter’s Church, St John’s Church and St George’s Church – for the first time this year, Mayfest has also teamed up with the wonderful Gate Cinema on Notting Hill Gate, which will be screening Grounded during the month of May.

The festival is generously supported by both Strutt & Parker and the Heritage Lottery Fund. All proceeds from the festival are donated to charities and charitable causes.

The Mayfest’s full line-up can be found on the official website nottinghillmayfest.org.uk, where you can also purchase tickets for all the events.

Notting Hill Mayfest
1st May – 31st May 2014
various locations
nottinghillmayfest.org.uk

Last Saturday, 1st March saw the second Portraits Day take place in Notting Hill – and in many other places around the world too! Artist IMPREINT and his team took to the streets of W11 during the afternoon to take photographs of people holding a balloon – with many of these photos then printed off to be collected by the portrait subjects in the evening from Arancina on Pembridge Road. IMPREINT himself was also on hand to sign the photos!

Portraits Day - IMPREINT
The artist IMPREINT signs photos taken during Portraits Day

Portraits Day also took place around the world, with many other artists and people taking part. If you take a look at the official Portraits Day album on IMPREINT’s Facebook page, you can really see some of the far flung places that people sent in their pictures from! And with over 21,000 fans of the official page, you can also tell that this is one initiative that’s getting more and more popular every day.

Here’s a selection of some of the photos taken in Notting Hill last Saturday, to give you an idea of what it was all about:

Portraits Day Portraits Day Portraits Day Portraits Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re keen to take yourself, please do send through a photo of yourself holding a balloon to the Facebook page. And check the page regularly to see all the latest Portraits news!