Tom Hammick, Fallout, oil on canvas (detail), 2014.
©Tom Hammick, courtesy Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
De La Warr’s Director Stewart Drew will open up a new Hastings Museum & Art Gallery exhibition alongside Cllr. Dawn Poole. The exhibition, The Eyes are Listening, features paintings by Nick Archer, Matthew Burrows, Gus Cummins RA, Käthe Deutsch, Tom Hammick and Andrzej Jackowski, on Friday 28 November.
The Eyes are Listening
Hastings Museum & Art Gallery, 29 November – 22 February 2015
An exciting new exhibition focusing on the work of six contemporary painters based in East Sussex. Brought together initially by recognition of their established careers and individual talent, the works on display are distinct yet strangely interconnected. The title The Eyes are Listening thematically links them together: when paintings come alive they will not be silent, some may yell or whisper, but they are all saying something: from the incandescent and transient works by Tom Hammick, which explore the sense of place; sombre and reflective painterly drawings by Andrzej Jackowski; industrial environments as captured by Käthe Deutsch; the enchanting yet unsettling dystopian vision of the world as seen by Nick Archer; the ordinary being transformed into a magical, unexplored cosmos through the paintings and 3D installation by Gus Cummins RA, and the uncompromising and sensually unnerving paintings by Matthew Burrows.
In partnership with Farrow & Ball, Purdy Hicks, Flowers, Long & Ryle, Vigo
The featured artists
Nick Archer currently lives and works in Rye, East Sussex. He studied as an undergraduate at Leeds Polytechnic College from 1982-1985 and graduated from the Royal Academy with a Postgraduate Diploma in painting in 1999.
With a depth of vision and a scale of multi-layered meanings that cinema’s greatest cinematographers would be proud of, Nicholas Archer’s latest pieces possess a nocturnal, Lynchian quality that suggest a shocking, dystopian vision of the world in crisis. Archer’s new paintings have grown out of his interest in painting the figure and the inanimate subjects of these exciting new works, whether a van, caravan or cottage, possess a startlingly human quality. There is, however, a sense of disorientation and displacement. The caravan, in particular, appears abandoned, in a state of decay that alludes to memory, and to a journey ended.
Matthew Burrows was born in 1971 in the Wirral, UK, and currently lives and works in Sussex. He studied as an undergraduate at Birmingham School of Art in 1990-93 and graduated with a Master’s Degree in painting from the Royal College of Art London in 1995. Burrows’ is known for his uncompromising and sensually unnerving paintings and drawings. He explores through the layering of paint and form images, which act as both transitional acts of prayer and sexual devotion. It is the strength of Burrows’ draughtsman ship that gives the fluidity of his work its haunting sense of presence.
Gus Cummins RA
Gus Cummins is a member of ‘The London Group’ and was elected ‘Royal Academician (RA) in 1992. He has won numerous prizes and has work in collections in the UK, Europe and the USA. He has taught at several art colleges, principally at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal Academy Schools. He was born in London in 1943 and lives in Hastings.
Gus Cummins approach towards his work is to always evolve, “I am constantly trying to ‘shift my ground’, alarming myself by stepping off safe and familiar territory”. In recent years, the work has suggested/demanded moving out of the rectangle and off the flat surface.
Käthe Deutsch was born in London. The daughter of artists, her late father Eric Doitch was the well-known émigré painter who arrived in London as a refugee in 1939, having fled the Nazis from his native Vienna, her mother Mary Fitzpayne, is the renowned painter of circus themes.
Her art education began at fourteen when she attended art school on Saturday’s and whenever possible during school holidays, to study life-drawing and the rudiments of anatomy. She feels that she is ‘lucky enough to catch the tail-end of the careers of the academic tutors and benefit from their extraordinary knowledge of how to draw.’ She took a degree in Fine Art at Leeds University, and after living and working in London for some years, she moved with her family to Hastings. Returning to her original passion and training, she attended Hastings College of Art to study printmaking. Her new paintings on display are concerned with the ordinary, the overlooked and the everyday; a metal salvage yard, a carwash, a tyre workshop, a machine, an electricity substation – or a piece of wasteland on the way to somewhere else.
Tom Hammick currently lives and works in Sussex. He studied as an undergraduate at the University of Manchester (1982-85), then at Camberwell College of Art (1987-90), and obtained a first class Honours Degree in Fine Art. He then obtained an MA in printmaking from Camberwell College in 1992, and is currently the Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, Painting and Print-making at the University of Brighton.
His imagery stems in part from a vision conjured up in the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness. The paintings on display have the feel of half dreams; while based on personal experiences, they are metaphors for the human condition, reflecting states of mind, or expressions on transience, fragility and awe.
The work of Andrzej Jackowski (born 1947, North Wales) is largely autobiographical, based on his early childhood memories, recollections of a family history in Poland and the feeling of alienation and enclosure that these experiences roused. He was made Professor of Painting at the University of Brighton in 2003 and has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. ‘When I was eleven years old I moved with my parents to London from a refugee camp in the north of England – where we had lived in huts made out of wood and felt covered in tar. We lived with my half-brother who was a photographer – when I was fourteen my parents separated; about the same time I painted a self-portrait and made a decision to become a painter.’
The works featured in the exhibition are taken from ‘The Voyage Series’ which use images drawn from the memory and from the unconscious to evoke a world that is battered but precious, earthy but magical.