We’re delighted to congratulate Natasha Farrant, one of the authors whose portrait featured in Lots Road Group’s exhibition ‘The Art of Reading’, who has won the most prestigious prize for children’s literature, the Costa Children’s Book Award, for her novel ‘The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk’.
Natasha was painted in her garden looking amused by one of her earlier novels, ‘Lydia’, by LRG member Hilary Puxley.
The prize winning novel, set in the aftermath of World War I, is a classic adventure story which follows the epic journey of two friends and their dogs on a narrowboat as they set off through England and across the channel to France to find lost loved ones and a place to call home.
Natasha says she was interested in how lives can be rebuilt after a huge trauma, and her story shows her young heroes bravely shaping their own destinies – a theme that must resonate with today’s young readers.
LRG artist Stella Tooth has been interviewed by Curator Space about her portraits of musicians in lockdown – a subject related to her forthcoming ‘Beyond the door’ exhibition with the The Lots Road Group, which will take place when Covid 19 restrictions allow.
Lots Road Group artists Sarah Jane Moon and @herojohnson to feature in two major UK annual exhibitions.
Sarah Jane Moon’s portrait of Nicole and Kai will be shown Royal Society of Portrait Painters show which opens at the Mall Galleries next week 16-26 September. Please book here if you intend to go, so the gallery is able to manage numbers.
Hero Johnson’s artwork will be in the Society of Women Artists annual exhibition. Usually held in the Mall Galleries, this year it will be online only from 22 September.
LRG’s Hilary Puxley’s portraiture features in the latest newsletter from Zuri, which works directly with small producer groups and workshops in Kenya and Uganda.
The newsletter says: “Many of you in our Zuri community are artists, and we wanted to spotlight a few of you today who have included us IN your work! We’ve said it before and we won’t stop saying it, we are continually inspired by this community and grateful to be in such talented company!
The newsletter goes on to say they are “in love” with Hilary’s self-portrait in Backgammon Jammin’ and mentions she has recently been part of a project honouring health workers and just completed a portrait of a nurse from the NHS.
We’re thrilled to see Lots Road Group artist Sarah Jane Moon will be exhibiting with Projectroom2020, an Art North Projects Initiative.
‘PAINTING LIVES’ is now online and runs until 24th August. The exhibition includes 35 of Sarah’s large portraits, displayed via installation shots and a virtual walkthrough. The show is accompanied by a full catalogue featuring text by Diana Souhami and Julia Bell.
“All wait to be depicted, inviting interpretation. They are posed, usually seated, mostly alone, some with a partner. All are light years away from the reclining nudes, befrocked daughters and family members of nineteenth-century male portraiture.” – Diana Souhami
Completed portraits so far are by Maureen Nathan, Hilary Puxley, Colleen Quill and Stella Tooth.
Maureen Nathan‘s portrait is of Dr Anna Stilwell, paediatric registrar currently part of the NHS Bring Back Staff campaign.
Hilary Puxley‘s double portrait of Ashleigh, oil on two canvases, is of Ashleigh Timmins who is a community phlebotomist visiting housebound patients as part of the Torpoint community nursing team. She has three children – and is also in her third year of nursing training! Superwoman!
Ashleigh sent Hilary a couple of photos – one of her looking glam and the other taken at a patient’s house on her first day in PPE. She decided to paint both, with the images slightly overlapping to make a simple point about Ashleigh’s life and those of all NHS heroes.
Colleen Quill has portrayed Ben Singer, after a gruelling shift in the Intensive Care Unit. A Consultant in Intensive Care and ECMO in London’s St. Bartholomew’s, he also works as a Consultant with the London Air Ambulance.
Stella Tooth was paired with Helen Chiverton, a paramedic who responds in an ambulance to 999 calls in London. Helen sent Stella a selfie to work from and told her about her job, “I love it because my patients can be newborn (or in some cases being born!) all the way to the very elderly and everyone in the middle and in every walk and stage of life, and you always have to be on your toes because things can change so quickly and are sometimes not quite what they seem. We carry drugs and equipment to treat and help people having medical, mental and social health problems and dealing with situations in people’s houses or in public places can be challenging. At the moment we, like all other areas of medicine and of course plenty of other fields, are finding that everything has changed and is constantly changing as more is learned about this virus. The PPE we are wearing with patients can complicate things, for example by making it much harder to communicate with people, but I am so grateful for it. We are working with firefighters as well at the moment who are supporting us on the ambulances which is brilliant and the AA are also working with us as well as so many other companies and community groups and individuals, we notice them all and are so thankful for them, it makes such a difference!”
We cannot thank all our wonderful NHS frontline workers, enough for what they are doing for all of us. They are literally our lifelines.
The Lots Road Group has been working behind the scenes during lockdown on an exhibition that will reflect the extraordinary times we are going through. If restrictions are lifted, we expect to stage the exhibition at Waterstones Gower Street’s art gallery from Monday 9 November 2020 to January 2021.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Beyond the door’ will show portraiture generated during confinement when our own front doors have had a heightened significance in their dual role as protection from harm and barrier to freedom. The theme allows exploration of both interior and exterior worlds and our subjects’ experiences during the pandemic. It will also nod towards the door as a symbolic portal through which we will enter a new, unfamiliar post viral world.
A retrospective of the work of abstract expressionist Frank Bowling OBE RA, whose 1960s painting ‘Cover Girl’ features in an LRG double portrait of his sons by Stella Tooth, opens at the Tate Britain tomorrow until 26 August.
Ben, on the left of the painting, says: “Cover Girl’ is one of dad’s 60s pop-art painting that points to his future abstract work. Above the female figure is a stencilled image of Bowling’s Variety Store, Frank’s childhood home in New Amsterdam, British Guiana. The painting connects we two brothers, born in the 1969s, with our father, his art and autobiographical references that are part of our heritage.”
On graduating with a silver medal in painting from the Royal College in 1962, Frank Bowling left London for New York, fleeing attempts to pigeon-hole and exclude him from the mainstream of British art. After years of transatlantic commuting he settled in London where, in his eighties, he still paints every day. His Tate Britain retrospective will establish Frank as one of today’s most brilliant painters and illustrates, in vivid colour, how Britain has change in the last half century.
Stella’s connection with her sitters: “I met Ben when studying with his German wife Susi and was introduced to Frank at one of Ben and Susi’s Christmas parties. Nowadays, I meet Susi and Ben at the Tate whenever I’m teaching drawing there for Sketchout Recently, Ben, who’s a Professor of Criminology at Kings College, London and writes songs and performs with his band ‘Doc Bowling and his Blues Professors’ as does his wife Susi, a senior lecturer at Goldsmiths, jointly commissioned me to draw Johannes, their saxophonist son, as I now specialise in portraying performers. Early last year I noticed one of Frank’s Tate paintings was missing – Mirror, on loan to the Royal Academy – and Ben explained that he and Sacha are starting to help their father to manage his formidable body of work held in private and public collections worldwide and the idea for the painting was born!”
To read a preview of Frank Bowling’s Retrospective at the Tate Britain click here