'Artists are gnostics, and practise what the priests think is long forgotten.' - Hugo Ball

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

High on Galley Hill

On Galley Hill © Sue Wookey

With all the rather manic preparations to exhibit at Open Studios and in the Crypt of St Martin-in-the-Fields, I've only just realised that I haven't posted my two latest paintings, both showing the hill near my home, which featured in both the exhibitions. On Galley Hill shows the wind blown hill top with its leaning hawthorn trees, yellow rape (now you know how long ago I painted it!) and running hare. Beneath the chalky path the nodules of flint push their way up, reminding us of our past when they provided tools and fire sparks for our ancestors. The words around the painting were written by me and read:

Up high on the hill, the soft grass bending 
over nubbles of flint, dark fists pushing upwards 
under hawthorn tangles and a grey-snagged sky.
- SW 

 Galley Hill from the East © Sue Wookey

Galley Hill from the East shows the far side of the hill and one of my favourite walks. Following around the base of the hill you eventually reach the ancient Icknield Way, one of Britain's oldest trackways. Perhaps the hare is thinking of going there! The words around the border (also by me) read:

The old way and the winding way,
the overgrown way that the hare loves,
between the white chalk and the white elder
and the quiet hill rising.
- SW 

On Galley Hill and Galley Hill from the East are now available as limited edition giclee prints from my Galley Hill Art website.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Six In the Crypt

Our poster outside St Martin-in-the-Fields

Well - we've finally arrived! Our group, Art 6, hung our exhibition in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-fields yesterday and although it was a lot of hard work it was really worth it to see it all up in such a wonderful setting. The Crypt Gallery has some lovely warm old brickwork and is beautifully lit. It has its own unique atmosphere and suitably impressive memorials to accompany the more modern work:

Christine's work with the ornate memorials

It was a 4.30am start for me and I must admit that at first I thought that I couldn't get anything to hang straight was because my brain was still curled up under a duvet while my body was up a ladder. But it was a combination of trying to hang two paintings off one wire (the swivel effect) and the meanderings of the ancient, crumbly brick walls. All my work is now wibbly wobbly with some paintings veering slightly to the left while others turn their backs on them and stare resolutely to the right. By 12pm, after a coffee, I'd almost managed to convince myself that it was charming in an eccentric sort of way. Almost.

my wibbly, wobbly paintings

The wave effect didn't seem to phase two lovely American ladies who arrived just after I finished hanging them and liked them all enough to buy several cards. It was great to chat to them and cheered me up no end. It felt like a great way to open the Exhibition after such a tiring start. I still spent most of the rest of my time there trying in vain to straighten everything but they had developed a life of their own. All I had to do was look at them to make them ping from the wall and lurch sideways. For someone obsessed with everything being straight it was a sort of torture-by-hanging-wire.

 Christine' work (foreground) with Ben and his photography
and Celia with her paintings in the background.

Never mind - by later in the day several of us had sold cards and some prints so we are very hopeful that this will be a success for all of us. If you are in the area it would be lovely to see you - we are all covering the exhibition as stewards and I will be there on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoon. I'll probably be still prodding my paintings.

 Pat takes the first stewarding duty

You can find our more about Art 6 and all our work here.