Those are questions asked by the artist in the illustrated poem – PALIA HORA – which is Greek for Old Capital City (or town). Palia Hora of Aegina island once was the home of the entire island. It was in the centre of the island and afforded (and still affords) magnificent views over the entire Saronic Gulf – which was it’s downfall, as the inhabitants turned to piracy – and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire ordered his General (Barrabus) to destroy the town and kill all its people – as a matter of a lesson to all – The Greek people built the town over a thousand years – and each important family had their own Chapel to worship God (Greek Orthodox) . Barrabus – (who mother was Greek) however left 32 chapels standing in remembrance of his brother (who died at the early age of 32) and out of respect for his mother. Today the Chapels have been restored (respectfully) by the Greek Church and visitors can now see murals in the chapels from the 12th to the 15th century by master Greek painters whose names have faded with time.
In issue #8 of painters Tubes, we featured an artist who had submitted a number of works for consideration to be featured in the magazine. Most of the work were landscape paintings, and although they were excellent, they was not what TUBES were looking for, at the time. Landscape painting had been extensively covered in tubes issue #5. (click to read free on line)
The artist explained that the landscape work created were essential to help fund ongoing research with preparatory painting for a series of very large paintings, ones that took figurative painting into another direction and subject line that normal figure work, but it would be some time before they were fully resolved.
This special series of paintings, (the artist explained), was connected with a specific investigation into human relationships through the eyes of another age. And how the myths related to our own time. Tubes Editor was quite taken by the paint application and the subject and arranged a personal visit to the artists studio. It was here that he viewed the full range of work and as a consequence featured the artist in issue #8.
btw: issue#8 alone has had an audience of over 9,000 (click here to read free on line )
Some time later, the artist, was financing the large series of work by trying hard to sell selling landscape painting, but one day was surprised by a visitor to the studio. The visitor explained that they were so impressed by the work (seen in painters Tubes magazine) that they wanted to provide funds for the artist, to assist in the creation and finishing off the series. The artist contacted Tubes and told the Editor of the news which “..was in most part, due to the article in painters Tubes magazine…”
For all of us at Tubes, that one story, makes the case for painters Tubes magazine as the most influential Art Magazine real and fills us with delight…. So to the artist in question, congratulations and hoping you paint many more great works of art…all the best from all of us at painters Tubes magazine.
contact the Editor at: email@example.com if you have an interesting series of paintings you would like to discuss or a studio visit (live, or on line or via Skype or apple Face-Time)
Photograph below: Contemporary Artist, Denis Taylor in front of the installation at Crossley Gallery, Dean Clough, Halifax, UK
The exhibition “defining the elemental is an exhibition of painting in the UK. The ten artists participating are showing authentic work that covers contemporary landscape, portraits and new abstract painting. The extensive venue is the Crossley Gallery which is within the extremely large Dean Clough business and culture complex in Halifax, West Yorkshire ( for directions and information- please click here) The exhibition is currently on and is running through to 12th January 2019.
Many of the artists as renown throughout the North of England and beyond for their progressive, dynamic, semi-realist and abstract new work, such as, Denis Taylor, Ian Norris (see TUBES issue #1) and Jeanette Barnes along with major project painters such as Shaun Smyth (Mersey Gateway Bridge project- see TUBES issue #8) and original impasto styled (inspired by Kossoff/Auerbach) portraiture work created by Richard Fitton (see TUBES issue #7)
The full Catalogue with examples of all the ten artists work, comments on their work and poetry that accompanies the paintings (written for the exhibition by David Traves) features in the exhibition is available here: Defining the Elemental catalogue
You can also read a review of the exhibition in issue #10 of painters Tubes magazine Please click here to go to the magazine
“Defining the Elemental”
Dean Clough. Halifax West Yorkshire
27th October through to 12th December 2019
Preview of the exhibition
This is a show that has ten painters and writer who has created poems for the works on exhibition at the Crossley Gallery venue inside the expansive Dean Clough complex.
In the introduction David Traves points out the inspiration of British 20th century painters such as David Bomberg, Leon Kossof and Frank Auerbach, that some of the participating artists may have been inspired by, although that is referring to paint application, more than it is to the subject.
The original concept and title for the exhibition. “Defining the Elemental” was his original idea and it conjures up a whole range of meanings behind it. Essentially the artwork to be shown in the main is based on nature, although one or two of the artists have expanded that to include the human figure and one or two with pure abstraction work that perhaps have broader and more expansive connection with the title of the show, i.e. “initium aquam” (Latin: Life began in Water) by Denis Taylor and “Rebuilding ground zero” by Jeanette Barnes. Richard Fitton, another fine painter, shows some new work, one in particular that is removed away from the ‘impasto paintings’ he is known for, to a more delicate surface finish and his growing concern for the drawing content in his creative output (e.g: “Amy” mixed media- on loan from a private collector). Ian Norris exhibits his highly developed semi-abstract work with his accomplished handling of paint, art works that are always based on dedicated charcoal sketches.
Nicki Heenan and Miranda Richmond are to exhibit their delightful and unique landscape paintings along with ‘imagined’ landscape paintings of Richard Clare and the more definite subject based work of Stephen Stringer. Shaun Smyth shall be showing a large panoramic painting of the Mersey Gateway Bridge, one of the many works that are to be shown at the Brindley Gallery, Merseyside with the exhibition ‘Constructing the Mersey Gateway Bridge’ (18th February 2018 to 5th April 2019). Shaun will also demonstrate his dedication as a skilled draughtsman by placing several charcoal sketch pieces next to his large painting. Barry De More, another painter whose work gives more than a nodding reference to Kossof and Frank Auerbach, will show works that range from the local environment of Keighley to Bradford (Yorkshire UK) to images of industrial workers on site.
All the painters and the work have a dedicated poem (prose) created by David Traves. His writing also extends to the brief introduction of the exhibition catalogue. David concentrates on his own reaction to each of the painters and their work and gives his own personal interpretation of the essence of each artist, words that are laid out in a classical manner, or style (i.e. short lines of words), but with deeper meaning behind them, meanings that perhaps encourages the reader to think more about the Art, and the artist(s) who created them.
All the work is available for acquisition by art institutions, public art galleries and the private art collector. Interested parties can contact, Crossley Gallery at Dean Clough (https://www.deanclough.com/) the artists directly or via painters Tubes magazine at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The exhibition runs from the 27th October 2018 through to the 12th January 2019
Dean Clough, Crossley Galleries, Halifax HX3 5AX
Tubes artists contributor, Laurence Cause Parsley, reviews a new exhibition of the work of Alun Williams. London – on show until 10th November.
Tucked away in a quiet street of Islington, The Handel Street Projects run by its passionate owner, Fedja Klikovac, presents until the 10th of November the first Alun Williams‘ solo show in London for thirty years. Alun Williams was born in Manchester in 1961, and lives and works in America. He is involved in the experimental projects undertaken by Parker’s Box, Brooklyn and supports the activities of Triangle in New York, Marseille and La Vigie in Nîmes, France.
The visitor is presented with a variety of artworks, ranging from vintage-framed drawings in graphite and ink in the hall way, small scale resin sculptures covered with blue or gold paint on the mantelpiece, more sketches and drawings in the main room next to larger paintings. They all have a common point: a sinuous, irregular-surfaced abstract shape. In fact this abstract shape is the signature of Alun Williams: passionate about History and historical characters, he sets on a search to discover an accidental ‘trace’ close by a landmark linked to the character he is interested in. From there the artists embarks on a pictorial narrative.
“No Paine No Gain”… refers to Thomas Paine (Thetford 1737- NY 109) the British philosopher… “who was a pioneer of democracy and equality having an enormous influence on both the American and French revolutions. He was also a pioneer of innovation in spreading information-very much a precursor of recent politicians realising the potential of social media. In Paine’s case his famed political texts such as Common sense, Rights of Man, and American crisis were published as ‘cheap’ pamphlets in print runs up of up to 500 000, a circulation volume previously unheard of in the 18th century.”
Alun Williams visited Lewes where Paine lived for a while and on the doorstep of his house found a splash of blue paint. The shape is more than a seducing form under a glass globe as seen on the mantelpiece: in a surrealist way, Williams decided that the splash will be the symbol representing Thomas Paine thus opening a very interesting dialogue between past and present and, in the case of Artist’s Impression: Golden Thomas Paine statue at the ICA Philadelphia, even future! The painting depicts a night view of the ICA in Philadelphia, the first town Paine visited when he went to America. Williams makes the viewer stand outside the building and look through the bay window inside the hall, where a somehow incongruous large stone pedestal is set with the gold sinuous shape at the top. It is a very powerful statement, painting of a memorial monument which does not exist, the symbolic historical presence of Paine in an existing building questioning the meaning of democracy and equality in today’s and tomorrow’s America and thereby in today’s and tomorrow’s world.
It is worth mentioning that the artist has used the same process with Edgar Allan Poe or Jules Verne and more obscure characters, all gathered in a book, LEST, Manuella Eds, 2011.
Alun Williams – “No Paine No Gain.” at: Handel Street Projects, 22/09 – 10/11. Wednesday to Friday 12pm-6pm, Saturday 10am-1pm and by appointment.
14 Florence Street, London N 1
…way back in 1986, I decided to become a full time artist (painter). At least painting full time when it was possible. My self imposed rule #1 – was “to live for Art, and not live off Art.” – which sort of boxed me in, as I still needed to earn a living. This I did by working in a variety of jobs, writing articles and catalogues and selling the occasional canvas to interested parties, or taking on commissions, but only when someone asked me.
Somehow, years later, I found myself ensconced on island called Aegina. The island is close to Piraeus (19 kilometers) and thus Athens, where I could buy (piecemeal) oil paint, when I had the money, for Art supplies that is. It was here that I confronted the age old enemy of creatives – Ego – And it was here that I defeated it, albeit with the help of an invisible helping hand, which many people call their God. Unlike my home in Northern Europe, the Greek belief system was strong, and it would be unnatural for any creative not to absorb the atmosphere that surrounds them. The outcome was work which, up to then, I had never envisaged painting. This was linked to an incident, one that is too long to explain here, but let me just say, a miracle occurred that saved my life.
Time passed and my collection of paintings grew. Eventually I met my future wife, on another island, where I had accepted a commission to paint ‘Walls’ for a Greek friend who was setting up a ‘Rock and Roll cafe on Anti-Paros, a very small island in the Cyclandic’s. This chance meeting led to a Gallery exhibition in Stockholm (1995) and another one in the same year, before I knew where I was I had several shows, created a ‘radical’ group of mixed media Artists and curated, designed and participated in three major exhibitions, one of which was a commissioned [non paying] job for the Swedish Government Estonia Trust Fund and the International Support Group, that one took over four years to complete [sic: Heart 2 Art- Stockholm January 2002]. And all the time, keeping to my #1 artists rule, I was earning a living doing other things [in the UK] remotely or directly.
Almost twenty years later, and now an artist in the Grey hair sector, I and my wife could scrape together enough time and money to spend a month on Aegina [July 2018]. And, as luck would have it, we were able to take my ‘Greek-Niece’ up on her kind offer to stay at her family home – which just happens to be above my old studio from all those decades ago. Hence the ‘time travel’ headline of this post.
The studio had not been lived in or attended to for some years (my niece no longer lives there) And nature had began to take the place over. I resolved to spend the cooler mornings and late evenings bringing the place into ship shape. Mainly because I couldn’t bare to see it in that condition, and I wanted to ‘feel’ what I felt when I was a much younger artist, how I’d grown and developed in comparison, which was insightful. I recalled every single canvas I had painted there, in that place, the struggles, the ecstasy of a breakthrough and the disappointment of failure. I remembered the people, those characters who became more than close friends, now most of them, passed to the other side. At the back of the house I found my white plastic chair, and another for visitors, who would sit with me to discuss the painting I would have been currently working on.
I was time travelling, inside my mind, as I doggedly swept and moped, and swept and moped again and fought the weeds that had embedded themselves in ever crack and cranny. My human form bled salty water from every pore in its body, to cool itself down, but my mind was far to busy ‘travelling back in time’ to take any heed or warning to rest up and drink water.
At the end of all this, my voyage ended with a realisation of what I had actually achieved in Art per se, despite my rule #1, or because of it – And a truly personal sadness, that I could not share with them, that their high expectations, ones they were convinced that I could achieve in Art, had been.
So, ‘Time Travel’ is not easy – for many reasons – but I am sure it’s a trip everyone takes at some point in their life, the good, the bad, the tears the happiness. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
posted and written by Denis Taylor. Artist and Writer.