Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Free Art On The Fringe

I've spent a happy day on the Fringe taking in as many of the art exhibitions as I could. May I recommend that you do the same?

I started at Scrivener's Bookshop on the High Street - if you are coming from the Crescent direction you'll need to go right through the market place (currently the fairground and continue for 100 metres or so). Scrivener's probably competes with Scarthin Books in Cromford for the title of "Derbyshire's Biggest Second-hand bookshop". Apart from getting lost in 5 stories of books - and temporarily losing my hat - I also saw Suzanne Pearson's fascinating exhibition of landscapes on the staircase walls. Take care as you go up and down but her work is getting richer and richer and her self-imposed method is interesting in itself.

At the Buxton Museum -  from Scrivener's going towards the town, down the hill and on the right hand side - there are three separate exhibitions of contemporary art (as well as the permanent galleries and rooms). The first thing you should see is Tony Hall's "From Life" - a collection of small, mostly black and white drawings of flowers, fruit, nudes. Some are drawn on an I-Pad. This is an intriguing little exhibition and easily overlooked - make sure you spent 15 minutes or so admiring the sensitivity and delicacy of this work.

Also on the ground floor of the Museum is the seductive work of Sue Prince. She has produced work drawing on a Swedish technique that resembles in superficial appearance something like the Bayeaux tapestry. A bit like the tapestry closer inspection of Sue's work often reveals a more subversive and questioning element than first strikes you. A memorable exhibition.

On the first floor of the Museum is the Derbyshire Open 2013 - separate exhibitions of young and adult artists. There is a considerable mixture of styles and approaches on display and no one is likely to appreciate it all. Many will take issue with the judges decisions - but that is all part of the fun.

An exhibition that might get overlooked is one called "Amazing Legends & Landmarks". This is on the first floor of the Pavilion Gardens cafe area - in the Art Cafe. About 30 works by local artists each one with a short narrative connecting the image with a story - real or imagined. A very interesting and enjoyable collection.

I made my way back past Scrivener's (to retrieve my hat) and onto The Green Man Gallery which opened about 7 months ago. The Gallery has been a great addition to life in the town.. I was fortunate to be given a personal guide to "It's Not Easy Being Green" - the exhibition is on the first floor and represents a number of responses to doing art that is 'green'. I was fascinated by Harry Knights photograph. Spend some time with that!

I didn't get to see Louise Jannetta's work - her studio is open from 11-14 July.

Reviews of all the Visual Arts entries can be found here: Arts Reviews