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Keeping it local at The Gallery

There's more to their latest show than a talented 10-year-old....

Published on June 22nd 2010.

Keeping it local at The Gallery

MEDIA interest surrounds this quiet little relatively new gallery this month, owing to the inclusion of work in the latest sho by 10-year-old 'prodigy' Hamad al-Humaidhan.

Hamad was born in Kuwait but lives in Bath. His style, bold lines, vibrant colours and disjointed, cubist forms have drawn inevitable comparisons with the paintings of Pablo Picasso, and as a result TV and news media have been quick to feature him. All the work featured here, despite being more highly priced that that of the more established artists alongside, has already been sold, along with many prints.

So let's look at what else is on show:

Julie Dodd shows installations based on repetition, inspired by patterns and shapes found in nature.

"I usually work in multiples to mimic life, growth and regeneration,” she says. “Recently my work has become influenced by the ever growing concern of climate change, and the human impact on the natural environment.

Recycled books have been used to produce Illegal Logging 2010. The rings of the logs have been made by glueing book pages together and the remaining spines have been used for the bark. Trees play an important role in the survival of our planet as they absorb carbon dioxide. Inspired by lung tissue, the miniature Forest: Lungs of the World highlights the impact trees have on the planet. Pods 2008 is based on blood cells: “It is about feeling safe, secure and protected. Being formed from paper the structures look quite robust and yet are delicate too," Julie explains.

Perennially popular Clifford Sayer sold many of his works on the first night, including portraits 'sobella, Adrian and Jane. The impressive work he has on display demonstrates the inspirations he cites: Degas, Sickert, Freud, Picasso, Manet, Velasquez, and Caravaggio.

Susan Brown, an American artist who lives on Merseyside, was described recently as Stuckist. The coastal setting means that beach scenes and images of water feature in her work, along with rural scenes and cityscapes, panted mainly in oils. As a testament to her popularity, much of her work sold at the private view, but there is still much to see including her personal favourite, Finders, with three boys seeking treasure in the water, as well as The Violet Hour: boats at rest during that part of the day when the whole world seems coloured in pastel colours.

David Brown is a figurative painter who is particularly interested in portraiture. A lovely work in this exhibition, Anna, was painted from life about four years ago. He begins with a drawing and then begins the painted version, always working in oils. Several of his works are on show.

Jane Adams says her inspiration comes from my journeys through the city's architecture, humble or grand, and its connection to the past. “A snapshot of a particular place can spark strong memories and emotions. I am amazed at how art can arouse such responses and love being part of the process,” she says.

As to her method, “A painting starts as a line drawing. This is then transferred onto tissue paper, which is bleached and left to dry. Once dry, colours and texture are added by collaging behind the image. The final touches are added using water colour, oil pastel, chalk pastel and ink pen."

Kev Stafford says his work all starts life in sketch books, which he carries everywhere. “My brand of monasticism is a wander down by the River Mersey where my mind unfolds and the work appears. That is easy. My challenge is to find ways to translate the honesty of the sketches into a print medium that does not erode the beauty of the initial line. Drypoint & monotype, such as the Lime Street print, are my usual trademark and have been my love-hate medium for 20 years now. Whatever I choose, I always lose a little along the way, so I search for new ways to capture the essence and spontaneity of the drawings. This collection of my work shows a selection of my attempts to do this.'

This is a wonderfully multicoloured exhibition features many artists at the peak of their powers. Other artists featured include Huw Lewis Jones, Kate Adamson, Sue Lucine, Paul Jones, Terry Kane and Steve Williams.

*Exhibition runs until this Saturday, June 25, The Gallery, Upper Stanhope St: 0151 709 2442

Gayna Rose Madder

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