Two weeks ago I visited a new gallery space in the ‘Fargo’ urban development in Far Gosford St. in Coventry.
This truly inclusive ‘Studio 91a’ exhibition was curated by artists Simon Britton and Marta Firkowska, whose studio is the focus of a circle of friends, family, artists and students who share a common love of art.
The diversity of their work is quite remarkable: satire, social commentary, work from memory and observation, semi-abstraction and total abstraction.
Simon and Marta chose some of their own works as object lessons for the group to consider, including Simon’s early multi-media piece, “To Move In a Direction”, which contrasts with one of his highly finished portrait drawings, also on display.
Marta shows a somber ‘Devonshire Landscape’ , a very dark ‘Self Portrait’, and highly coloured abstractions
Ron Clarke paints gestural abstractions in low-key colours.
Colin Dick shows paintings of Roma families he has known, drawn and painted for decades.
This painting has documentary value as a record of a changing way of life.
A striking innovation of this show is the use of wall-fixed 15cm high boxes to display small sculptures in their own niches. Alan Satchwell showed a family group in one, and Simon shows small portraits-in-progress in two others.
Alan Satchwell is an adventurous experimenter in Watercolour, ceramics and collage. One particularly ambitious piece sets outcrops of Greek islands against a royal blue sea/sky.
Social satire, mentioned above, features in the work of 0f Elspeth Whiston.
It seems the main thread that binds these artists together is friendship: both Ron Clarke and Alan Satchwell have modeled for a series of sculptural studies by Simon Britton.
Will Britton’s visually dynamic ‘State of Mind’ series play with figure and ground puzzles and colour fatigue pyrotechnics.
The exhibition continues to the end of September.