Thursday, 24 October 2019

The London Ultra

The London Ultra
  @ Bargehouse, 

OxoTower Wharf,
 Bargehouse St, 

Bankside SE1 9PH

31st October – 10th November 2019 | 
Open daily 11am - 6pm

Preview Party: Thursday 31 October 6pm I 
Open theme Fancy Dress
With Live Performances throughout the evening

 I 7.30pm Prize Giving

The Free Painters and Sculptors Collective 
are delighted to invite you to the London Ultra 2019

Back for its second year, The London Ultra is a unique exhibition
format that brings together artists and performers from a multitude
 of disciplines in an art extravaganza at London's iconic Bargehouse.

Visitors are invited to discover a multi-sensory spectacular of over 
one hundred artists, showcasing styles ranging from traditional to 
eccentric, conceptual to accidental and from minimalist compositions
 to opulent installations and intriguing abstractions. Providing a take 
home piece to suit every visitor.

Paintings, sculpture, installations and photography are carefully 
grouped in curated sections, including The Artist's Garden,
 Gaia’s Room and The Luminism Room, deliberately breaking 
conventional definitions and themes.

West London Galleries Bus Tour

West London Galleries 

Bus Tour

Saturday | 2 November 2019 | 2-6pm

meet at the corner of Portobello Road and Oxford Gardens
The Muse Gallery | 269 Portobello Road | London W11 1LR
The art bus is on the road again for an extended route
 from North to South Kensington and back again for an
after party under the Westway.

All are welcome on the vintage double decker bus with
 live onboard commentary, interviews, opinions and music
courtesy of Portobello Radio.

All aboard!

Monday, 14 October 2019


1985.” Eds. Steve Lobb and Carol Kenna
Published by Greenwich Mural Workshop isbn 9781870100076

Floyd Rd Mural by Greenwich Mural Workshop 1976

Art, culture and politics have long existed in a complex and fascinating interrelation. This is the territory that “FOR WALLS WITH TONGUES” explores as it happened in regard to the creation of public murals in Britain in the late twentieth century. 

FWWT mainly concentrates on formally trained artists who sought, in various styles, to make accessible art by painting large murals in places such as street walls and gable ends, where their work was freely viewable.

The work of thirty-one muralists is included both through striking and beautiful illustrations, and via transcripts of interviews, supplemented with five essays about artists, on their motivations, as well as the techniques, problems and influences that contributed to their artistic creations.

During the time covered by the book most such work was often funded by local and national state bodies, for instance the Arts Council, and the Greater London Council. This is discussed in an introductory essay by the editors.

The economic, cultural and political contexts of the time often led to works which were in some senses ‘against’ dominant cultures and structures Some works explicitly depicted and promoted causes and movements such as nuclear disarmament, anti-racism and feminism. Also, many of the more figurative murals drew on artistic traditions of depicting workers, or local residents of working class areas, as deserving of as much attention and celebration as that customarily accorded to high status powerful individuals in artworks. Arguably, even an abstract mural in a working class neighborhood is a political act, as it has taken art out of museums and galleries, where it might only be viewed by the relatively privileged.

An essay by Professor Bill Rolston about murals in Northern Ireland, includes a place where there was, and is, a different mural tradition, not coming from formal art education, but related to political and physical conflict between republican and unionist communities.

Macey House Mural by Greenwich Mural Workshop 1976

Could a similar movement to the muralists covered in FWWT exist in contemporary Britain? Surely the emergence of climate change as a mainstream political issue must provide muralists with a fantastic wealth of subject matter. However, the drastic cutbacks made to public funding of art, and to almost every other area of society, probably means that we won’t see the like of this public art movement, at least in England, until the stranglehold of neo-liberal economics over public life is broken.

Murals and other public in the spirit of the works presented in FWWT still are being made but in a less friendly climate and new creations may be made in ways which involve different interactions between trained and untrained art workers. Whatever the increasingly uncertain future holds, the work shown and described in FWWT provides an example of the great potential of genuinely accessible public art. Steve Lobb and Carol Kenna have done an excellent job in presenting this.                                       P.Murry 9/2019

Alexandra Harley sculptures on line

I crave forgiveness for another email hard on the heels of the last, I don't send many overall and the frequency is erratic. This missive highlights a written contribution by yours truly, to an online portal so no galleries to visit or trekking out in gloomy winter evenings -:

Highly flattered I was, to be asked to contribute to the online forum  a website devoted to abstract art, examining and debating the diverse forms of art practise. I am indebted to the incredible patience and skills of the editors John Bunker and Matt Dennis. As I had chosen to write about a visit I had made to an open studio event many years ago (and it was a very very long time ago!!), we had some interesting discussions about the subsequent changes in the art world once I had submitted my first draft. This whole project has been challenging as well as food for thought for me certainly, and extremely rewarding. I hope you enjoy my foray into the past

My sculpture Lledr is top, a small ceramic sculpture and with kind permission of Tony Smart, Stirrup 3, below. .