‘Shingle’: Landscapes Lost and Found an exhibition of paintings and photography inspired by the Suffolk shingle coast.
Towards the end of May this year I was privileged to visit OCA students Howard Andrews and Linda Mayoux to celebrate their pre- and post- graduation exhibitions in the Courtyard Gallery, Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Howard graduates as an OCA Painting student and Linda graduates from the Visual Communications degree.
The Courtyard Gallery is a light filled contemporary space situated right next to Aldeburgh’s pebbly shores. It is approximately a half hour drive from Shingle Street, an atmospheric shoreline south of Aldeburgh which inspires both artists’ work.
It was fantastic to see both Howard and Linda’s work and to talk with them about the process and challenges of putting together such a professional show. Howard makes paintings based on shoreline finds. These works play with scale sometimes suggesting the universal through attention to the very small. Linda’s photographs, sketches and artist books draw on the wild and atmospheric weather blown shores of Shingle Street. Both artists’ work is strongly invested in the “narrative of place”.
It was lovely to be joined by joined by an OCA Level 3 Painting student and, over a cup of coffee, we discussed the process of showing work. There’s so much to consider and organise in the curation of a self-organised exhibition; finding a suitable gallery/space, the limits and possibilities of the space, its lighting and display system. Then there is the framing and pricing of work, the promotion of the show, the staging of a private view and artist talks and of course covering the cost of everything. Howard and Linda had paid meticulous attention to every detail. They were mindful of curating in a way that allowed works to speak to each other whilst retaining the individual voices of two very particular practices. The production of greetings cards featuring each artist’s work were available to purchase together with a free catalogue meant visitors could take away reproductions of the paintings and photographs.
Thanks Howard and Linda for your warm welcome, time and enthusiasm and congratulations on a very inspiring show. We wish you all the best with future creative projects.