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Future Exhibitions at Upfront Gallery

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17th Sep 2019 - 3rd Nov 2019
Painted images and photographs of a journey around Japan visiting beautiful and mysterious Shinto shrines – the greatest, the oldest, and the newest, enshrining a sun goddess, a mountain, a fox, the mythical founders of the nation and heroes of national modernisation. This journey along with conversations with Shinto priests, historians, ultra-rightist activists, atom bomb survivors, old friends and strangers on the train amongst others, presented her with an opportunity to observe the country as it commemorates 150 years from its opening to the west and as the new Emperor ascends the throne beginning yet another new era.

Irene Sanderson first arrived in Japan in 1972 and set up a studio in Tokyo. One evening that hot summer she was invited to a class for the study of Japanese ink painting. In the windowless basement the master and her assistant, both in immaculate kimono, loaded brushes with sumi ink and set about creating images of the Four Friends. This artform, based on the action of ink meeting paper, has the intimacy of drawing, revealing origins and intentions, and its immediacy and candour captivated Sanderson. From then on, she began a lifetime’s involvement with these methods and aesthetics, incorporating them into her own distinctive style. It is this attitude and approach, knowledgeable and respectful of Japanese tradition but also alert to contemporary perceptions, that she brings to this portrayal of Japan at the start of the Reiwa era.

Cherry Blossom
Fushimi Asakusa
Leaves on a Sacred Stream
17th Sep 2019 - 3rd Nov 2019
An exhibition of new paintings and limited edition prints by Mary Ann Rogers.

Award winning artist, Mary Ann Rogers, renowned for her paintings of cockerels, foxhounds and wildlife, has included a series of landscape paintings and prints in this exhibition. From her stunning studio, which has floor to ceiling windows to the south, north, east and west, artist, Mary Ann Rogers catches moments of time, when the setting sun casts deep shadows across the hillside, picking out every undulation in the landscape, and revealing the rig and furrow, created in mediaeval times by people who probably have the same name as the current farmers, but a very different way of farming.

This is border reiver country, where crime, cattle rustling and battles took place on a regular basis in the middle ages, and the hills are dotted with fortified farmhouses or Bastles, with walls several feet thick to protect against rampaging reivers. Now sheep peacefully graze these hills and become subjects for paintings.

Born and bred in Northumberland, Mary Ann moved to Leam Cottage, her home and workplace, in 1986. A failed marriage left her to bring up her two daughters alone, with no job or qualifications, just an ability to draw and paint, and a determination to make ends meet. Making a living as an artist has been quite an adventure with some very hairy times along the way, but not a decision she has ever regretted, and has led to her work being sought by collectors from all round the globe and national acclaim.

Mary Ann’s work is entirely in watercolour. She is a master of her medium, referred to in many publications and documentaries, using pure pigment and water, beginning with large strokes using a 3” wide brush, and staying with large brushes throughout, only resorting to small ones for fine detail, such as eyes.

Exhibiting at Upfront Gallery in Cumbria is a real treat for Mary Ann, who has been a fan of the venue for many years, and enjoyed exhibiting there, where her work strikes a chord with both the local folk, who are known for their love of sheep, foxhounds and trail hounds, also visitors who are struck by the beauty of the area and its inhabitants.

Mary Ann has judged the Upfront Artists Open competitions several times. She has also appeared on Channel 4 ‘The Hanging Jury’ alongside Wayne Hemingway. She has featured in many art books specialising in watercolour, and written introductions to books by Annabel Ruston, including ‘The Artists Guide to Selling Work’, and articles for the Fine Art Trade Guild publications.

Spring flowers
Landscape IV
THEME & VARIATIONS - A Printmaker's Impressions
3rd Sep 2019 - 3rd Nov 2019
Born in 1944, Glenn Tomkinson has been making prints since his school-days. He now mainly works with aquatint sometimes combined with etching in which his youthful flirtation with abstraction informs his reaction to landscape. He produces small editions of up to 20. For his aquatints, he generally works in a traditional manner using resin in an aquatint box on copper plates. It is the limitations and difficulties of printmaking which allow him to find the essential elements in the image. His work is mainly inspired by landscape and acknowledges the influence of the abstract in art while retaining a response to the visual stimulus of the world around us. In the past, an artist would produce a plate with the help of a craftsman printmaker and the printmaker would then print off an edition of identical images. Since Glenn makes all his plates by hand using traditional techniques on copper or occasionally zinc and then inking and printing them himself, he would get very bored trying to make all his images the same so he constantly experiments with colour, inking and wiping so that no two images are quite the same. This exhibition illustrates the results of those experiments.
Sasalungo Cloud 1 - showing different
Sasalungo Cloud 2 - showing different
An Teallach 1 - showing the effects of wiping & use of different colour
An Teallach 2 - showing the effects of wiping & use of different colour.