Friday, 4 June 2010

A brighter blog

We have just hung an uplifting exhibition which opens tomorrow - and heaven knows we need something uplifting.

June and Michael Bennett are husband and wife.I’ve been exhibiting their work seperately for well over twenty years. They have only had one joint exhibition during that time and I, and they, survived - so here we go.
They are both Cumbrian born; Michael in Windermere and June in Grange over Sands . They met at art college in Lancaster and then went on to Leicester. College of Art. Michael exhibited widely building up an impressive reputation and became a senior lecturer in art at Bretton Hall, Wakefield. June brought up their two boys and made exquisite silver jewellery. They returned to Cumbria many years ago, living first at Seascale and then on the Solway coast.
June took up painting again in 1987 just as I was opening Castlegate House as a gallery and she exhibited some oil paintings in the opening exhibition and went on to have many successful solo shows at Castlegate House..
It is inevitable that two artists living in close proximity should influence each other though each has a seperate studio! However their work is very different. June paints lively exuberant oils with a refreshing immediacy drawing on the landscape around her, the sea, cornfields, her garden.
Michael’s works are introspective and thought provoking. A painting can take years to evolve. His layered and textures surfaces give a mysterious and subtle depth. He is constantly reaching out, like the figures in his paintings, for the muse often exemplified in a bird or birds. It is usually just beyond his grasp. The moon is another unreachable symbol hovering above mystically. His palette is subtle, muted in soft greens, ochres, blue/greys and browns. These paintings transmit an elusive magic.
The team will be there tomorrow as well as June and Michael to launch the show. It will be a good day. People are coming from all over the UK for it.