LEEDS FINE ARTISTS
LFA Artists’ News
In 2020 the requirement for social isolation and distancing led to art galleries closing their doors. However, new visual art may still make a positive contribution to the quality of people’s lives and this page offers the public the opportunity to view the work that LFA members are producing in this challenging time for all of us. We hope that visitors to the website will gain some pleasure and benefit from these posts.
As a positive response to these circumstances the Members News page also includes two on-line exhibitions of members’ work : the Summer Online Exhibition that was shown between 11th July and 29th August 2020; and the Winter Online Exhibition running from 18th November 2020 to 31st January 2021.
In 2020 LFA was not able to hold its annual exhibition at Dean Clough in June and July as planned. The planned exhibition in the Station Gallery, Richmond was postponed until summer 2022 and our exhibition at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery at Leeds University scheduled for later in 2020 was also postponed.
As coronavirus restrictions are gradually being eased, LFA is delighted to be able to hold its first physical exhibition in over a year. This exhibition is at the Blossom Street Gallery in York and Charles Hutchinson, the editor of York’s number one online cultural magazine, has published an excellent article on the show. Click here to read the illustrated article.
The second exhibition is Look Again: Leeds Fine Artists at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, University of Leeds, 8th June to 23rd October 2021. The curators at the gallery have written the following introduction to the exhibition:
“Leeds Fine Artists was founded in 1874. It is one of the oldest regional arts organisations in the North of England. Its members were invited to respond to artworks in the University Art Collection. Each artist has translated their chosen piece into their own media and format. The resulting artworks show the diversity of creative responses to this challenge. We hope their works inspire you to look again at the University Art Collection, too.” Furthermore, an early visitor to the exhibition commented: “I came away very impressed with all aspects of the presentation and content. The concept of employing the gallery’s collection as a source of inspiration works admirably. Whether by chance or otherwise, the range of these artefacts is richly diverse in both period and subject. Of even greater delight is the sheer range of media, thematic interpretations and creativity displayed by LFA artists. The exhibition even contains works referencing elements of wit and humour, qualities all too rarely seen in contemporary shows today!“
I found the winter lockdown particularly hard, as we could not get out to look at other places to be inspired and stimulated. As a result it was difficult to feel motivated to paint.
For the Blossom Street exhibition I wanted to include a view of York from a relatively unusual location, the Precentor’s Court, with an intriguing restricted view of the Minster.
It all starts with Shakespeare’s Henry VI part 3 and I have been working on the theme of fortune for about 10 years when I borrowed a paper crown from a theatre production at the Globe and painted a number of self-portraits wearing the crown (Self-Portrait in a Stolen Crown).
As travel has not been possible in the last year or so (due to the pandemic) I have turned to travelling back in time to when this was possible, revisiting my many sketchbooks and photographs I have taken on my many travels world wide and in particular to Nepal with it’s amazing landscapes and high mountain peaks of which the two images I have selected reflect.
The images here of Lee’s work are part of a postponed exhibition marking the centenary of the end of the 1910/20 Mexican Civil War.
I’m mainly a plein-air artist and usually find the winter months to be unproductive. However, in the coronavirus lockdowns I’ve tried to get out to do some art whenever time and the regulations have allowed.
Empty Stage is a poignant, hope-filled response to COVID’s impact on live performance and demonstrates the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s deep-rooted desire to keep ballet alive during difficult times. Directed by Roseanna Anderson and Joshua Ben-Tovim and named after the whimsical, heartstring-tugging song by Benjamin Scheuer, the film features a host of Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers as well as some of the Company members who all work behind the scenes to make performances possible, in a tribute to the industry.
I have recently been painting allotments with all the paraphernalia that goes with an urban allotment. These two paintings are oils and are 30 x 25 cms.
Over the winter months, I have been busy preparing and moving into my new studio. It is a much larger, brighter space and it’s an absolute joy to be settled into working there at last.
I’ve spent the beginning of this year working on a new series of abstracted landscapes, which all come from walks in Lockdown. They’re all very local to me and places that I know so well, that I can pretty much recognise every blade of grass!!
Emma has two seascapes in the ‘Body of Water’ exhibition at Sunny Bank Mills, near Leeds. Work is available to purchase online but it has also been extended to 11th April in the hope visitors will be able to come in person after lockdown.
I have had no inspiration at all during lockdown but was commissioned to do a painting for a new home extension and a portrait for someone’s 70th birthday.