Monday, May 23, 2011

Art House

Over the years I've gathered an eclectic mix of artwork, bric-a-brac and gewgaws. And following a discussion about this magpie tendency I thought I'd post a tour of my personal art gallery. Let's start in the garden with two life-sized African bird statues made from recycled cars.

There's also a surrealist mermaid sculpture by Gary Pollard, the man who sculpted Yoda for the Star Wars films and most of the creatures in the Harry Potter films.

Moving inside, we'll start upstairs with these two signed prints by Govinder Nasran who died tragically young ust a couple of years ago. The dog is called Mr Whelks and the cat is called Mr Cockles. Both are very limited edition (60 only) artist's proofs and I'm glad I bought them when I did as you can rarely find his signed work for less than £500. You'll meet Govinder again when we move downstairs.

Walking downstairs we pass this print by Cesar Manrique, a Lanzarote-based contemporary (and friend) of Picasso whose work can be seen all over the island. You can also visit his house and studio. I fell in love with his work on my first visit to the Canaries and have been back many times since. Ah, if only it was an original ...

And on another wall of the stairwell is this wonderful batik I bought on a visit to Sri Lanka. I managed to blag a tour of the silk factory and saw how it was produced, woven and how the batik was created using inks and hot wax. It's a wonderful skill. This piece is about six feet high.

Moving into the lounge, we start with an original animation cell from the 1990s cartoon series Count Duckula, made by Cosgrove Hall - the same people who created Dangermouse. Below this is a cartoon of me by my late father Myghal. It captures a moment in the mid-1980s when I was visiting my native Cornwall with two very young children and Dad couldn't believe the amount of paraphernalia I had to carry with me.

This next print is a very early hand-coloured piece called Puffin/Nuffin by Simon Drew. I met him on the Scilly Isles in the early 1980s when he was just starting out as a pro artist and I loved his work immediately. I got him to sign it and have taken great pleasure from it ever since. Simon now owns his own gallery in Devon and is also sold at the exclusive Chris Beetles gallery in London. Hanging below that is a ceramic tile piece by Cesar Manrique.

Here's a photographic print by Staffordshire artist Peter Fellows called A walk on the beach. I love this one because the beach in question is Godrevy in Cornwall, a place that holds wonderful childhood memories for me. I love the fact that it takes a moment to spot the people and get the actual scale of the image.

Now we come to the star of my 'collection' if we can call it that. It's a signed and limited edition Beryl Cook print called Elvira's Cafe that I was bought for my 40th birthday. I've always been a huge fan of Beryl and was lucky enough to meet her during an exhibition at the Portal Gallery in London. She was one of the jolliest people I've ever met and couldn't understand what people saw in her work. she told me she painted for the pleasure of painting and actually hated letting any of them go. Necessity forced her to eventually as she was running out of room in her house in Plymouth.

This next piece is a curious collaboration between me and the sculptor Sophie Thompson. The skeleton is by Sophie. The frame above it was made by me from Cornish driftwood I'd gathered and contains a photo I took of one of Sophie's fish sculptures.

Some 3D work now with two Govinder Nasran sculptures called Elvis and Bandit, both signed artist's proof.

And on the mantel you'll find a Poole Pottery vase I bought because the colours were amazing, a wonderful bronze field mouse sculpture - sadly I have no idea who made it - and a robin milk jug by Anthony Theakston.

At the risk of becoming boring, I'll stop now and leave you with a small collection of some of the wooden sculptures I've picked up around the world. The frog is from Lanzarote, the Buddha is from Sri Lanka, the elephant is from Egypt and the group of Guineafowl (my favourite) came from Kenya.

I have a lot more pieces of a art to show you, some on the wall and many many more still rolled up in tubes or sandwiched safely within sheets of card. Maybe I'll do a Part 2 blogpost sometime soon?

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