Tag Archive | "Cheltenham"

Anti-Mass by Cornelia Parker, 2005

Artist in Profile (Aug ’14): Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker. Photo by StOuen (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cornelia Parker is a sculptor and installation artist based in London. She was born in the county of Cheshire in England during the year 1956 on a smallholding. Her work is highly regarded internationally for its dark, humorous, complex, ironic style. Cornelia Parker’s work is highly patterned with cultural reference to cartoons, which is a style she adapts for her need to capture objects in the moment before they dissipate and slide beyond any human perception.

Upon holistic examination, it can be seen that many themes drive her work forward; consumerism, globalisation, and the role of the mass media in modern life. In 1997, Cornelia Parker was nominated for the Turner Prize and also featured in the 8th International Sharjah Biennial held in Sharjah, UAE in 2007.

Early Life and Education

The Distance (A Kiss With Strings Attached), 2003

The Distance (A Kiss With Strings Attached) by Cornelia Parker, 2003 [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Cornelia Parker lived a hard rural life with a sickly father who met and married his first girlfriend at the age of 34 years. Parker’s father married an ex- Luftwaffe nurse who was traumatised in the course of her war time duties. Life on the smallholding was hard physical work and tough for anyone with animal husbandry as paramount, which included milking the dairy cows and mucking out pig pens. Parker claims her father wanted a boy and was happy to stand in as surrogate son, coping well with the manual labour required.

After taking her foundation course at Cheltenham Art College, Cornelia went on to study art at Wolverhampton Polytechnic after being turned down by the larger London art colleges and received an MFA in 1982 from Reading University. After completing her Master’s degree she moved to London where she adopted a bohemian lifestyle on the fringes of East London and worked from home.

She has been awarded honorary doctorates from the Universities of Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Gloucestershire over eight years in the 2000’s. Although she obtained teaching positions in the colleges that had originally rejected her, she remained extremely opposed to the commercial art market for many years and it was not until 1997 when she was nominated for the Turner prize that she had any representation from a gallery.

Marriage and Influences

Anti-Mass by Cornelia Parker, 2005

Anti-Mass by Cornelia Parker, 2005. Photo by Marc Smith, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Parker is married to the American artist, Jeff McMillan. The couple have a daughter Lily who was a later life baby with Cornelia Parker being 44 years of age when she fell pregnant. The pregnancy is depicted in a piece of artwork which features the nightgown that was worn in the film Rosemary’s Baby. Parker hoped to be able to wear this nightgown for the birth of her own child but it was too small in size hence she created an art piece instead.

Many of Parker’s art pieces are created for the singularity of a particular place at a particular time. For example, Parker prevailed upon the British Army to create an explosion in a garden shed suspending the fragments from the explosion in the air around an illuminated source that cast shadows of the fragments onto the walls.

The work went on display at the Tate Modern.

Hanging Fire by Cornelia Parker

Hanging Fire by Cornelia Parker. Image from rheaalba.com and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Parker developed a striking style with suspended sculpture, and another work is “Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson)” (1999) in which charred pieces of a building allegedly destroyed by arson are suspended by pins and wires in a pattern which is somehow geometric yet chaotic.

Cornelia Parker has now had many solo exhibitions in Europe, UK and USA. Her works have been exhibited in many prestigious venues including the Serpentine Gallery, London (1998), the Galeria Civica de Arte Moderne in Turin (2001), Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts, San Francisco, California (2005), and Museo de Arte de Lima, Lima Peru (2008).

The work of Cornelia Parker has also been included in various group exhibitions and public collections at MOMA New York, Tate Gallery London, British Council, Henry Moore Foundation, and many other places.

Posted in Artist in Profile, generalComments (0)

Plaster study for St John the Baptist Preaching cerca 1880

Artist in Profile (March ’14): Auguste Rodin

Rodin The Kiss 20050609

The Kiss (1886) by Auguste Rodin taken at the musée Rodin in Paris, France.

It’s extremely exciting that Auguste Rodin’s famous sculpture ‘The Kiss’ (‘Le Baiser’) is currently on display at The Wilson (previously Cheltenham Art Gallery) for six months.

The display, which will be in place until August this year, is celebrating the centenary of Rodin’s visit to Cheltenham when he left France at the start of the Great War with his biographer Judith Cladel. Visiting with Cladel’s sister gave Rodin the opportunity to visit the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum where later in 1933; “The Kiss” would go on display for the first time.

About Auguste Rodin

Early Years

Auguste Rodin was born in a poor part of Paris in the Rue de l’Arbalete on the 12th November 1840. He is revered as one of the most significant sculptors of the times. His legacy has given the world such iconic works such as “The Kiss” and “The Thinker” possibly some of the most well-known pieces of sculpture to emerge in modern times.

"The Man with the Broken Nose"

“The Man with the Broken Nose”

At the age of 14 years, Rodin persuaded his father to allow him to attend the “Petite Ecole” where he was taught by painter Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran. The four years spent at the school were an essential part of his art training. He learnt to develop powers of observation and traditional art techniques. He won a medal for his drawing work and joined the class in sculpture, spending time at the Louvre. Rodin applied to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in order to study sculpture but to his dismay he failed the entrance examination three times. In order to contribute to his family finances, he commenced work with many different decorative artists and met the sculptor Jules Dalou who he made a bust of to celebrate Dalou’s Salon award. Rodin sculpted his father as a Roman senator during this time.


Deeply affected by the death of his sister Maria, Rodin entered a monastery as a novice known as Brother Auguste. He sculpted a bust of the founder, the Father Pierre-Julian Eymard. As time passed Rodin took animal anatomy classes and in 1864 met Rose Beuret who was to be his muse and lifelong companion. In 1865 Rodin presented a work entitled “The Man with the Broken Nose” to the Salon which was promptly rejected. The following year saw the birth of Rodin’s illegitimate son Auguste-Eugène Beuret who would later become an engraver and draughtsman. Rodin was inspired by his son and produced many studies depicting infants and children.

The Age of Bronze

‘The Age of Bronze’ – Photo by takomabibelot, licensed under CC BY 2.0

A brief foray into the Garde Nationale saw Rodin become a corporal only to be discharged because he was near sighted.

From 1874 Rodin worked on many ornamental projects for buildings such as the Palais des Académies, Brussels. He also continued painting and produced many landscapes from the forest of Soignes where he often walked with Rose. Rodin began to exhibit works in the Paris Salon and also travelled to Italy to study Michelangelo and other Renaissance artists. He was inspired and produced “The Age of Bronze” which alludes to the ages of man depicted by Greek poet Hesiod.

Later Years

Auguste Rodin - Grubleren 2005-02

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin.

Auguste Rodin continued to ply his bread and butter trade of sculpting ornamental designs and features for various projects while continuing his personal artistic endeavours. He frequented the literary and artistic Parisian circles and eventually took a studio to work from where he remained until the end of his life. During this period, the iconic “The Thinker” and “The Kiss” were sculpted and the French government purchased his earlier work “The Age of Bronze” and a further work “Saint John the Baptist Preaching”.

Tiring of Paris and his official and social obligations, Rodin purchased a villa in Meudon from where he commuted to his studio. He built up his own collection of art work and antiques purchased from auctions, dealers and private collections. He received commissions on a regular basis and exhibited his work outside of France. By 1900 Rodin was appointed Knight of the Order of Leopold of Belgium.

Further accolades were bestowed including Commander of the Legion of Honour, honorary doctorates from the University of Jena, University of Glasgow and Oxford University.

Plaster study for St John the Baptist Preaching cerca 1880

Plaster study for ‘St John the Baptist Preaching’ cerca 1880 – Photo by Renaud Camus, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Towards the end of his life Rodin fled the war in 1914 and moved to England before moving on to Rome where he enjoyed a leisurely lifestyle and rediscovered the beauty of Rome and spent much time sketching. He also visited Pope Benedict XV as he was commissioned to sculpt a portrait bust of the pope.

Following a stroke Rodin fell gravely ill and he offered his works to the nation of France and the Hotel Biron that had been important to him during his life and was converted into a Rodin museum. He also married his lifelong companion Rose Beuret despite his many affairs throughout the relationship. She died two weeks after the marriage on St. Valentine’s Day. Rodin died in the same year in November and was laid to rest beside Rose at Meudon. A large cast of “The Thinker” adorns their grave.

Posted in Artist in ProfileComments (0)

Cheltenham Art Gallery

Fred Deakin at The Wilson

Cheltenham Art Gallery

‘Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum’ by Elliot Brown, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Great news for our friends over at The Wilson (formerly Cheltenham Art Gallery) who have won the Connect10 vote for Museums at Night to bring Fred Deakin (ex-Lemon Jelly) over for a night of entertainment between May the 15th and 17th.

Meanwhile, former deepspaceworks ‘Artist in Profile’, Grayson Perry will be heading over to York as a result of the same competition.

Congratulations to The Wilson … We’re looking forward to seeing Fred Deakin in Cheltenham 🙂

Posted in generalComments (0)

PJ Crook with her artwork

Artist in Profile (Jun ’13): PJ Crook

At the beginning of each month we post articles profiling great artists. This month’s choice ties in with the upcoming COS 2013 in June…

PJ Crook

PJ CrookCheltenham has a rich seam of artists who have made their mark on the world art stage, none more so than the painter and sculptor PJ Crook. Pamela June Crook was born in Cheltenham in 1945 and remains a resident to this day. P J is represented by Alpha Gallery London and Galerie Alain Blondel Paris. She is patron of the Cheltenham Open Studios and with the COS13 Visual Arts Festival starting on 8th June and running until 16th June, we felt sure art lovers of all types would welcome a chance to learn more about this fascinating local artist of worldwide renown.


PJ Crook lives with her partner, artist Richard Parker and a good deal of her childhood was spent nearby her present home. Community is important to her and she supports a number of local causes. Her local church St Michael and All Angels at Bishops Cleeve was the recipient of a moving depiction of the crucifixion of Christ.

PJ Crook with her artworkPJ works from a studio opposite her home where she creates and manages monumental paintings, which often measure 2m x 4.5m. At the other end of the spectrum, her paintings can be tiny some only 10cm square. Her media include acrylic, tinted gesso, and oil on canvas.

She is known for her crowd scenes, which draw you in, inviting you to become part of the scene. Subject matter includes traditionally male domains such as racetracks, casinos, snooker halls, and card games.


'Wednesday, 2010' by PJ CrookHer work is in considerable demand from global art collectors. Her paintings mix distinctive style with superb technical skill. She is gifted in depicting depth of field and perspective whether showing a crowd at the races, a busy street, or swimming pool.

PJ Crook has used her work to respond to diverse current events from the devastating Asian tsunami to the first Gulf War. The works offer a menacing distortion on the seemingly calm surfaces of the pictures. PJ is fascinated by groups of people and uses her observations from crowded railway carriages, the circus, pavements, bars, and stations to inspire her art.

From time to time, the pictures take a more intimate nature offering a more private and protected view such as children playing in a room or a glimpse of figures down a dimly lit passageway. An intuitive painter, Crook does not use drawings or photographs rather to painting directly, from imagination and remembered observations.


PJs horseAt deepspacegallery, we are proud to have been associated with the artist in conjunction with Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum during the Centenary of the Gold Cup Racing Festival in which we faithfully recreated artwork from 100 primary school children and students of deepspaceclasses. Our sculpture, one of ten 7-foot high fibreglass horses designed by PJ,  was entitled “100”  and took pride of place in Pittville Park during the centenary celebrations. The horse featured here in our article is one of the three painted by PJ for the celebrations.

PJ sees no conflict between family and artistic expression and her children have been a great inspiration to her. Inviting the imagination to flow and discover the mystery at the heart of each painting, each picture is a voyage of discovery for the viewers who can lose themselves in the essence and ponder what the anticipated event is or if it has already happened! The colour and detail is a joy to look at with the different expressions of the artist’s subjects steeped in reality and authenticity.

Art galleries and private collections worldwide exhibit the paintings of PJ Crook and some of the world’s most prestigious collectors and galleries are proud to hang her work. There is a series of work that has been used for the album covers for the band King Crimson and many from the music world namely Robert Fripp, Toyah Wilcox, Peter Gabriel, Billy Joel, and Holly Johnson collect her work. Institutional collectors include King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum (3), Cheltenham Racecourse (2), City Museum and Art Gallery, Gloucester, El Mundo, Madrid, Imperial War Museum, London (2), Morohashi Museum of Modern Art, Japan (26), Ville de Paris, Direction de l’Amengement Urbain, Presidential Palace, Tallinn, Estonia to name but a few.

During the exhibition, why not get to know your local artist. We can advise you where to view examples of her work locally and stock plenty of art books and prints in the gallery if you wish to find out further information. There is no doubt that PJ Crook is a contemporary artist who is well deserving of her honour of an MBE for services to Art. We look forward to welcoming you to Cheltenham and deepspaceworks.

Posted in Artist in ProfileComments (0)

Chapman Bros Books & Tie

Artist in Profile (May ’13): Jake and Dinos Chapman

At the beginning of each month we post articles profiling great artists. This month’s choice share a local link with us…

It is very exciting when there is a local connection to art work on display and we are delighted to be in possession of a limited edition etching (number 41 of 100 to be precise!) by the enfants terrible of Brit Art, the one and only Jake and Dinos Chapman, also known as The Chapman Brothers. These visual artists have been controversial with subject matter that may be deemed offensive, appalling, and inappropriate in some circles, but it did not prevent them from becoming Turner Prize nominees or prevent their art from being collected in some of the most prestigious institutions in the art world – deepspacegallery included of course!

Jake and Dinos Chapman

Jake and Dinos ChapmanIakovos and Konstantinos (Jake and Dinos) Chapman were born of an orthodox Greek Cypriot mother and British father in the sixties. While Dinos was born in London in 1962, his brother Jake was Cheltenham born and bred in 1966. The brothers went to school at Glenfall Primary School here in Charlton Kings, which is also the location of deepspacegallery. Art was in the blood as their father was an Art Technician at Cheltenham Art College. Later, they moved to Hastings in Sussex where they attended the William Parker Comprehensive School.

By their own admission, the brothers admit they were not the best of friends and allies in early years and hardly spent any time together, spending time with different sets of friends and attending different schools at various times due to the four year age gap. Passing off their childhood as mostly irrelevant, Jake enrolled at the North East Polytechnic and Dinos at Ravensbourne College of Art. The two brothers did not really know each other until they enrolled at the Royal College of Art together when the dialogue and exchange of ideas has been in place ever since. A realisation that their combined thought processes excited them more than their individual efforts, they began to make art. Together, they acted as Artists Assistants to the famed art duo Gilbert and George.

Chapman brothers' McDonalds sculptureIn a career spanning over twenty years, Jake and Dinos Chapman have shown their visions of hell in their studio in Hackney Wick, London. The former iron factory seems appropriate as a form of purgatory to nurture artistic expression of this type. Jake and Dinos have many versions of hell that include incarnations form Nazi Germany, McDonald’s fast food chain, featuring limbs, many , many limbs and contorted twisted bodies. Toy figurine forms are sculpted, emerging as multi-headed children with penile noses and mouths. The imagery produced by the brothers is at once, a brutal, hilarious, never-ending vampirical nightmare. They tackle issues of genocide, gender, death, and warfare, which have become iconic Western art pieces. Jake and Dinos however are unmoved by the artistic interpretation of their produce.

The Rape of Creativity

The Rape of Creativity

This is the etching that we own from their ‘Insult to Injury’ series, first exhibited in the ‘The Rape of Creativity’ exhibition at Modern Art Oxford.

One of the most famous exhibitions was at Modern Art Oxford called The Rape of Creativity in which the brothers bought a costly set of Goya’s celebrated prints and systematically defaced them. Francisco Goya referred to his set of 80 etchings as “Disasters of War” which Jake and Dinos promptly rechristened “Insult to Injury”. The BBC at the time described the exhibition as “Drawings of mutant Ronald McDonalds, a bronze sculpture of a painting showing a sad-faced Hitler in clown make-up and a major installation featuring a knackered old caravan and fake dog turds.” The Daily Telegraph commented that the brothers had “managed to raise the hackles of art historians by violating something much more sacred to the art world than the human body – another work of art.” The limited edition, signed etching (number 41 of 100) that we have at deepspacegallery is from this exhibition. It is titled ‘The Rape of Creativity at the Museum of Post-Modern Art Oxford by Those Nice’. We also house several of their books (signed by them) in the artistbookarts collection at deepspaceworks.

The Turner Prize

Chapman Brothers' Turner Prize work

This is the installation of the Chapman brothers’ Turner Prize 2003 work. ‘Insult to Injury’ etchings hang at the back; ‘Sex’ in the middle; and ‘Death’ at the front.

Jake and Dinos Chapman were nominated for the Turner Prize. Their exhibit for this award comprised of “Insult to Injury” and some new works that had direct context and reference to their previous work “Great Deeds against the Dead” which showed three corpses hanging form a tree with dismemberments. The new works “Sex” and “Death” show similar scenes but with a much more decayed state and a cast of bronze painted to look like plastic.

The brothers have taken subject matter abhorrent to most people called it art. The critics and collectors have revered the brother’s work and made it iconic and valuable. There is no doubt that these Cheltenham boys hold the world of art in their thrall. They are currently working on separate projects so it will be interesting to see their solo efforts.

Call in to see us at deepspaceworks for more information on Jake and Dinos Chapman, to view our etching, and look at some of the signed art books we have in stock about the Chapmans. We look forward to welcoming you.

Chapman Bros Books & Tie

77 Artists from around the world were commissioned to design for Cultural Ties, the brainchild of art dealer, Kapil Jariwala, to raise a million dollars for UNICEF. Produced by Italian firm Ratti (fine textiles), this is Dinos’ Cultural Tie. It is number 12 of 300 and is part of the collection at deepspaceworks.

Chapman Bros Books

A collection of books by Jake and Dinos Chapman in the artistbookarts collection at deepspaceworks.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWVR5YxeKxk]

Posted in Artist in ProfileComments (1)

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Artist in Profile (Apr ’13): Picasso and Matisse

Drawn Chorus ExhibitionAt the beginning of each month we post articles profiling great artists. This month we pay homage to Picasso and Matisse to coincide with a collaborative exhibition between two members of deepspaceworks.

Janie Ranger and Su Billington are exhibiting collaborative works over the next two months at The Gallery of Coffee and Co, 7 Montpellier Terrace, Cheltenham. The ‘Drawn Chorus’ exhibition is on from now until 31st May. We hope you will come along and enjoy the exhibits.

Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse were already challenging each other artistically when introduced by Gertrude in 1906. This challenge of opposing views and styles played out until the death of Matisse and beyond. The relationship between Picasso and Matisse is one of the art world’s most intriguing. The rivalry which in ways was also a secretly a partnership gave illumination to each artists work.

The Artists – Picasso and Matisse

Le Bonheur de vivre, or The Joy of Life

Matisse’s ‘Le Bonheur de vivre’ – nothing like it had been painted before. Picasso recognised this and, not wanting to be outshone, set about work on his most ambitious painting, below.

Matisse emphatically stated he was a man of northern France while Picasso was very much a man of Southern Spain. There was an almost magnetic pull between the two of them and they constantly shape shifted between different roles of follower and leader, anti-hero and hero and giver and taker.

Matisse was older than Picasso born in 1869, the year the Suez Canal was about to change everything and Tolstoy completed War and Peace.

Matisse died in 1954 and lived through a turbulent century of human existence and he painted and sketched his way through his life with subject matter of beauty. Unlike other modernists and Picasso in particular, his subjects were almost an antidote to the traumatic events of the century and possibly his way of retaining a view to a past golden age.

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’

Picasso was born in 1881 12 years later than Matisse in Malaga southern Spain. Taught by his painter father, he was a prodigy and moved to Paris aged 19. He was always outside the system in his thinking believing beauty as taught by art masters was a deceptive sham. His own phosphorescence was to shock and divide the art world.

The Relationship

Picasso and Matisse had a respectful but fractious relationship but both united in the thought that they were the world’s greatest artists. Matisse was a master of colour and try as Picasso might he could not excel over him but his efforts improved his colour dramatically. Equally, Matisse inspired by Picasso’s outstanding skills as a draughtsman worked incredibly hard on his own drawing skills. They fed off each other in this collaboration of harmonious, yet turbulent spirit.

Many art critics have a belief that Picasso and Matisse painted for one another and became quite dependent on each other. Coded messages are said to be incorporated within their work. The other’s genius captivated the two men and they fed off the views, ideas, and techniques of the other – an artistic mutual admiration society where they would exchange works of art with each other.

Picasso and MatisseOne such exchange of work resulted in Picasso giving Matisse the portrait of Dora Maar, and in return received Seated Young Woman in a Persian Dress. Dora Maar has all the anguish and horror that was beyond the scope of Matisse’s thinking while Seated Young Woman in a Persian Dress is the purity, innocence, and beauty that eluded Picasso. Matisse said to Picasso ‘We must talk to each other as much as we can. When one of us dies, there will be things the other will never be able to talk about with anyone else.’ It is a poignant quote as it reveals the dynamic of the two artist’s relationship.

Matisse considered drawing an intimate expression. The execution whether whatever the medium, varied by subject and circumstances. His favourite subjects were evocative and erotic usually the female either nude or a facial drawing. He spent some time abroad and captured the real and imagined worlds of coral reefs, lagoons, and women of the Caribbean and Oceania. Matisse often made quick drawings that captured the emotion and form of his chosen subject. He took inspiration from his children’s drawings that influenced his style.

Picasso who is considered the greatest draughtsman of the last century produced drawings with a clear development over a 30-year period. He used the radical new styles of cubism and used drawing as a means of discovery in his multi faceted art which connects him distinctly with the grand tradition of drawing by European Old Masters.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2Ln8BsFPbw]

Posted in Artist in ProfileComments (0)

Receive Updates

100% Wind Powered Website