Coventry and Warwickshire offer the best in big-name art shows

Paula Rego, The Bride’s Secret Diary, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Rugby Borough Council © Paula Rego
THIS spring the London art world features a host of big-name exhibitions – but you can avoid the crowds and still see some excellent works in the Coventry and Warwickshire area.
In London, you can be sure to be in a big crowd seeing exhibitions of works by David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, and shortly the Bauhaus design exhibition.
But at Compton Verney there’s lesser-known Gainsborough landscapes on show, plus in Into the Light great works by Renoir, Cezanne, Sisley, Monet, Whistler, Pisarro and lots more great artists. And although you pay to get in, there’s also the great permanent collection, with the naïve art on the top floor offering lots of treats.
Rugby Art Gallery and Museum has all the fantastic Rugby Collection on show for the first time, 175 items, including a good selection of women artists – Paula Rego, Bridget Riley, Prunella Clough, Maggi Hambling – and other well-known names such as Leon Kossoff, Bryan Wynter, Graham Sutherland and Lucian Freud. It would be mad to miss it. (see a full review in the Coventry Telegraph on May 4)



First nights for Mead, LGP and Brink – you can join the party even if I can’t!

So January comes around and I’m looking forward to looking at paintings with a glass of wine in my hand, writing the odd note. Then what happens – on a weekend with three art show openings two of them coincide with long-arranged plans which mean I can’t get to either of them. Sigh.
But, YOU can still go along to all three and see for yourselves what’s on.


Kenilworth Wine shop showing for Andrew’s art

ALCOHOL and art often go together, and Brink, a ‘not-for-profit’ arts organisation based in Kenilworth, is presenting its third Vino Veritas artist showcase at Kenilworth Wines.
In this one you can browse for a bottle while admiring the works of Andrew Christopher, a graduate of the London Guildhall University who currently lives and works in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The works are a mix of acrylic on canvas and pen and ink drawings on paper, and are described as having a dreamlike quality, “combining imagery of children and animals in what can only be described as a fantastical dance of the macabre”.
There is a narrative running through the series, relating to childhood, storytelling and games. All the works on show are available to buy as originals or prints.

Kenilworth on Brink of new art opportunities

ARTISTS are being invited to take part in an outdoor exhibition of work.
BRINK, a new ‘not for profit’ arts organisation based in Kenilworth, is calling for submissions for Art on the Edge which will take place at the Lions Grand Show in Kenilworth on June 11.
Artists will either exhibit works, or create them on the day, from installations to live painting, sculpture and contemporary-style Indian folk art. Most of the artists already involved will be present on the day to meet the public, who can watch them at work, and there will also be an artists’ picnic.
Any local artists interested in getting involved should send a biography, CV and five- 10 images to before April 30.
BRINK was founded by artist/curator Tim Robottom and writer/curator Sarah Silver, who both grew up in Kenilworth, in October last year. It aims to raise awareness of contemporary art and make more accessible to the public, while promoting talented emerging artists through events and shows that take place in less traditional exhibition spaces.
From Saturday, May 7- Sunday, May 15 BRINK in collaboration with English Heritage is presenting Temporanea at Kenilworth Castle, an exhibition of contemporary art featuring a mix of sculpture, installation and paintings by regional, national and international artists.
In the Elizabethan Garden, Stephen Charlton, bronze winner of the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show sculpture award, will be showing a series of mischievous resin mice, frozen in a moment in time, and inspired by childhood and nature.
Martin Johnson, a Coventry artist, lecturer and senior concept visualiser for Blitz games, will be showing a series of paintings interwining graphic novel-style and traditional techniques. He will also create a work on site during the exhibition.
Concetta Modica from Milan will present a piece relating to her personal history and homeland. Luke Perry, co-present of the Channel 4 series Titanic:The Mission will show video work Poveri Fiori, with footage of shipyard workers including his own father.
BRINK co-founder Tim Robottom is presenting several installation pieces, and Surminder Virk, who lives in Leamington, will show Downward Spiral, a delicate installation piece of a mattress wrapped in thread.
The exhibition is open during normal castle opening hours and the usual castle entrance fee applies.