Located on Kensington Church Street – well known for its fine art galleries and antiques stores – Calken Gallery is an independent, contemporary art gallery that showcases the work of Royal Academy, Landseer Prize-winning sculptor Michael Talbot. Housing the largest collection anywhere in the world of his beautiful and elegant bronze figurative sculptures, Calken Gallery also supplies his stunning artwork to a growing number of prestigious art galleries in the UK and around the world.
The gallery was established in January 2012 as a collaboration between a small group of highly talented and experienced artists, led by Michael Talbot. Its investment in key artists, such as Michael Talbot and Denise Dutton, allows the artists to fully explore their creative potential to the greatest extent; this in turn means that buyers of their art will see the cherished artwork grow in significance as the artists flourish.
The gallery also regularly hosts exhibitions of work by a renowned group of artists. In November, Calken will be hosting the exhibition A poetic liberation of the spirit from 19th to 25th November, showcasing the artwork of David Cottingham. Mr Cottingham is the vice president of the Hesketh Hubbard Art Society, the largest life-drawing collective in London; after studying sculpture at Saint Martin’s School of Art, David worked as a picture editor for BBC Worldwide before becoming a full-time artist in 2003. The exhibition is free, and visitors will of course also be able to view the main collection at the same time. The exhibition is being hosted in collaboration with VC Art.
Do head down to Calken Gallery in November to view their latest exhibition, or head down any day of the week to view the stunning permanent collection. A selection of gallery’s artworks – sculptures by Michael Talbot and paintings by Edo Kaaij – are shown in this post.
Some of you will remember that at the end of last year the art project Portraitkicked off on the streets of Notting Hill. Following the exhibition Balloons – which featured an ever-changing selection from the artist’s series of balloon paintings (see below for two examples) – IMPREINT began photographing locals and visitors alike holding a single red balloon and sharing the images with those photographed later in the day.
The project evolved into the hosting of Portrait Day on 1st March this year, when additional photographs of people – locals, tourist, visitors, workers – holding a balloon on the streets of Notting Hill were taken. On that particular day, however, people from all around the world were also invited to take part, taking photographs of themselves and others and submitting these images to the project online.
Portraits by IMPREINT has also always encouraged anyone and everyone to submit images at any time (images can be submitted online via the artist’s Facebook and via email direct to the artist) – and, to date, over one thousand images have been sent in with tens of thousands of likes and followers of the project online. Amazing!
Now, ten months into the project, its results can be viewed at an exhibition at Arancina on Pembridge Road where 500 images adorn the walls of the first floor. As you enter the room, you’ll be taken aback by the sweeping sea of images that cover almost every inch of wall space, with the common theme of a round object (a balloon, of course!) featured in every single one.
Step a little closer and start inspecting the photographs, and you’ll find out much more – or, perhaps, even start to construct your own story about those that you see. It’s immediately apparent that so many corners of the globe are covered – with people from South America to Asia, Africa to Australasia and many more places besides having taken part. You can easily spend your time trying to find out clues about where the people are from which may sometimes be obvious, given famous landmarks in the background, but other times there’s just a brief hint – a particular item of clothing, the decoration of a room or similar.
It’s even fascinating to see how something as simple as holding a balloon is interpreted by people, and how you can really see different personalities shining through. Whilst some images clearly show that some thought has gone into creating the final photograph, others are a little more candid. Some of the images have been taken by IMPREINT on the streets of London and at galleries in the city where he’s held shows this year – even in these shots, where the people involved had little prior knowledge – you can see how some immediately come up with a fun idea or thought about how to present themselves, whilst others take the task of holding a ballon a little more simply. (I must admit, I’m probably in latter category! See below…)
What’s also fascinating is, as IMPREINT himself explains, the project has been fully inclusive and brings together people from a range of backgrounds, religions, culture and even ages – all of whom are now displayed side by side.
The exhibition is open now and will be held until 15th January 2015. I highly recommend that you head down to Arancina to view this delightful and uplifting project whether you have just a few minutes to spare or want to spend time carefully exploring all of the images.
IMPREINT will also be hosting a talk on Portraits the 12th November at the same venue, at which he will also discuss the original Balloons series of works, which started from six paintings created in 2010 and grew to be a collection of exactly one thousand. There will also be a video installation and a debate.
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.
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.
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”.
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“.
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.
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.
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.
The exhibition is on from Tuesday 2nd to Friday 29th September (closed Mondays) and entry is free.