Bitter-sweet retrospective shows variety of artist’s work

Margarita Rubra work  Seed

Retrospective’s of an artist’s work are always interesting as it’s good to see what they may have created over a long working life, and how their work has changed over time.

I was impressed a couple of years ago to meet the charming Avril Moore and interview her in her retrospective exhibition at the late lamented Roots gallery in Coventry. When I asked why she was holding her retrospective then she said she was over 80 and wanted to plan it herself, which was a good point. Sadly she died a few months later.

I didn’t meet the artist Margarita Rubra (pictured below), whose retrospective exhibition is taking place this week at the Lewis Gallery at Rugby School in Rugby, but I wish I had. There was a good turnout at the exhibition opening of people who obviously knew, liked and respected her.

Margarita was born in 1933 and died last year. She lived in Long Buckby in Northamptonshire but not far from Rugby.

She had exhibited before at the Lewis Gallery with 97 Rush, and the Tantalus Project, and at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum’s Floor One gallery. She trained as a mature student and completed an Art Foundation course and HND in Craft Design Technology.

The work in this exhibition is very varied. There are lots of pieces, many for sale, and varying between £25 and £500 in price, but with more towards the lower end of the scale. She used wood, ceramics, metal and other materials including one remarkable large wood and rope structure.

There’s also an attractive mobile, and lots of smaller pieces with pleasing curves, plus one item which seemed very different, a set of boxes with quotes in them, and what looked like lights attached to them – though I didn’t dare press the switches to see.

Tomorrow is the last day to see the exhibition, 2-5pm, though I’m glad I got to the opening and raised a glass to an artist I was sorry not to have come across before.

Margarita Rubra  Gesture 2

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