Bedales Head of Art taking part in two exhibitions in September

London Group exhibition

The new Head of Art at Bedales, Daniel Preece, is exhibiting at two locations in Cornwall in September. Daniel, who is also a practising artist of 25 years, is taking part in a three-man show at the Tregony Gallery, near Truro. The three artists involved – Daniel, Mark Dunford and David Wiseman – are all members of the prestigious artist collective, the London Group. The three are also taking part in a London Group exhibition at the Penwith Gallery in St Ives. The exhibition features painting, drawing, photography, mixed-media, print, 3D and a video show reel.

The London Group came out of the Camden Town Group and was set up in 1913 by 32artists including Walter Sickert, Jacob Epstein, Wyndham Lewis and David Bomberg, with the aim of creating a powerful artist-run group to act as a counter-balance to institutions such as the Royal Academy. The founding group created a unique structure for an organisation, and has gone on to successfully nurture the careers of many of Britain’s best-known artists.

Many of the members of the London Group are also visiting lecturers at other leading Art Schools and institutions in the UK. Daniel hopes to forge links through the other members to help the applications of the leaving 6.2.

Daniel believes to teach art well he needs to keep up his own practice and research.  Many of his teaching ideas have come from the struggles to make and visualize the world, pertinent to his own practise studying at the Slade and Royal Drawing School. He also believes there is no difference in his own need to create and the struggle a Block 3 student might have to paint and draw. He hopes his continued practical experience will help and to open up a dialogue.

Arty OBs and new Art and Design Centre

Students follow a wide variety of careers after leaving Bedales, a significant one of which is art. We have recently spoken to Old Bedalians about their time at Bedales, including professional sculptor Simon Hitchens (OB 1985), artist/painter Anna Dickerson (OB 1991) and figurative painter Diana Armfield (OB 1937). To read their interviews click on the links above or visit the Bedales website. Reminder: An exhibition to reveal plans for a significant milestone in Bedales’ history – the new Art and Design Centre – will be held on Friday 17 May, 6pm to 8pm and Saturday 18 May, 11am to 1pm in the Reading Room, Orchard Building. All parents and their wider families, students, OBs, current and former staff are welcome. The exhibition will remain open on Monday 20 May, 11am to 4pm for students only.

Simon Hitchens OB

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Sculptor Martyn Grubb launches ‘Fall of Man’ exhibition at Bedales Gallery

Sculptor Martyn Grubb is to launch his latest collections of works ‘Fall of Man’ at Bedales School’s Gallery from 15 April to 4 May. The theme of the Exhibition is inspired by Martyn’s belief that modern man has lost his way, is rudderless and unsure as to how he fits into society. This exhibition showcases his thoughts through an illustration of man’s social and emotional plummet carved into materials including limestone, portland and scottish granite.

Open to all, the exhibition at Bedales, follows a long tradition of support for the visual arts in general with past links with artists and craftspeople of importance in this country (most notable is Julian Trevelyan, Ivon & Simon Hitchens, Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, Michael Kidner, Barry Flanagan and Sarah Raphael). Bedales School has been keen to support a sculptor carving in stone on campus.

Martyn’s studio at Bedales School on the Sussex/Hampshire border shows figures on paper and stone that appear as if they are fallen from grace or dropped out of the sky and have landed upended and distorted into a new figurative statement. Mostly his work is about the male form but it is evident from his portrayal of the female figures, (seen in far more genteel repose and sexily curvaceous) that the rage that drives his chisels is not directed at women.

Commenting on the exhibition, Martyn says: “My work is about the fall of man and is meant to be confrontational and provocative, deformed yet unashamedly beautiful. The main motif – falling figures incorporating an abstracted language – hint at this sense of being out of control, and whilst there are clear references to the Icarus myth there is a very palpable feeling of disorientation and impending calamity – concepts which seem particularly apt at this moment in our history. These figurative works mark a divergence from the mainstream diet of organic forms and abstraction towards a more human language once again. There is an overwhelming desire to touch these sculptures which have a tactile and seductive surface, the twisted torsos and broken lower limbs have a powerful presence, drawing you into the drama reminiscent of baroque co-existensive space and form.”

‘Compress/Compact/Crushed’ (Sebastopol limestone, 2012/13) with its scutched finish suggests a brutal and fatal impact whereas ‘Fall’(2012), a small scale work in polished Scottish granite, has a more graceful and elegant association with the Icarus syndrome. Large scale works in Portland challenge our perceptions of a fragmented world view and these are complemented by equally ambitious drawings whose themes hark back to figuration between the wars when Moore and Epstein were imperious and The Vorticists loomed large. One discerns a web of words embedded into the backgrounds hinting at biblical tracts or a verbal diatribe of unsettling obscenities that the self-styled leader of the Italian Futurists, Marinetti, would have found comforting.

There are however pieces which clearly suggest some recalibration of man’s current dilemma Redeemrestorereclaimregainrecoverretrievereviverenewredressresurrectionsalvation’(2013) hewn into the form of a figure breaking free from his bonds references the biblical miracle of Lazarus and Biblical references run through many of his works. Some pieces have a spiritual stillness and yet others seem to wriggle with a twisting awkwardness. As at a freak show, you feel compelled to look.

‘The Fall of Man’ Exhibition will be on display in Bedales Gallery from 15 April until 4 May. Admission is free and the Gallery is open Monday – Friday 2 – 5pm and Saturday 10am – 1pm. For more information please call (01730) 711511 or visit www.bedales.org.uk.

Martyn Grubb

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

Calling all (budding) artists

On 22 & 23 March, Dunannie is hosting an art exhibition, with a drinks party and auction taking place on the Friday evening. As well as raising funds for the school and charity, the event will provide an opportunity to showcase the schools’ creative talents and provide a unique platform for artists to exhibit and sell their work. We are appealing to artists across the three schools, from professionals to amateurs, to submit work, in any medium. The artwork can either be donated, or a reserve price set by the artist, and Dunannie will then sell it, with all proceeds going directly to the Friends of Dunannie’s (FOD’s) Funds and charities. If you are interested in exhibiting, please contact Alison Pike.

By Jo Webbern, Head of Dunannie