Our fabulous spring weekend gallery trip to Leeds 2018

On Friday the ninth of March we set off on our annual Spring Gallery Trip, this time to be based in city centre Leeds.

Our first stop was at a brilliantly sunny Sheffield. Arriving in time for coffee, we were soon exploring the light and airy Millennium Gallery, housing a challenging exhibition of contemporary Art alongside displays of Sheffield’s craftsmanship down the ages, with the attractive Winter Garden nearby. In the adjacent Graves Gallery we admired the city’s own impressive collection of paintings before lunch and then headed off for our Leeds check-in at the comfortable Queens Hotel.

Collage (1 of 2) of SAS Gallery Weekend to Leeds, 2018
Sheffield Winter Garden and Leeds, Shropshire Art Society 2018 (photos by Mike White)

With Saturday at leisure in Leeds, many of us enjoyed the riches of the city’s Art collection, on display in the Leeds City Art Gallery, fresh from its recent refurbishment. A few travelled out to the Royal Armouries Museum, others went on to explore the fine city centre itself, with its visually exciting traditional closed market and the amazing Exchange building, while some of us indulged in retail therapy in the splendid shopping arcades, such a feature of the city.

Most of us took advantage of Sunday’s opportunity to spend the day in York, welcoming the fine dry weather, Many headed straight for the York City Art Gallery, which following its refurbishment of a year or so ago had acquired various accolades. Here the main attractions were the splendid visiting Paul Nash exhibition and the several rooms holding the Gallery’s own renowned collection of ceramics, which included a substantial room of artefacts for sale. Again some members of the party were tempted into making purchases. It was not difficult to see why this gallery had attracted such commendations. The other attractions of the city were also enjoyed and some energetic and music loving souls stayed on for evensong in the Minster, catching the train back to Leeds in time for our evening meal.

Waking on Monday to a very wet world (a trip organiser’s nightmare!) we headed for Wakefield and the always exciting, award-winning Barbara Hepworth Gallery where we enjoyed, as well as the exhibits in the main galleries, an exciting Laser Show before braving the Yorkshire Sculpture park on a very wet afternoon. Not the ideal way to experience such a fine place, but we savoured the challenging exhibitions in the huge covered galleries, as well as the excellent offerings in the cafe with its splendid views across the Park, before starting out on the journey home, with some great memories and rich experiences to feed our creative juices!

Collage (2 of 2) of SAS Gallery Weekend to Leeds, 2018
Barbara Hepworth Gallery, Shropshire Art Society 2018 (photos by Mike White)

Many thanks to the very helpful staff at the Queens Hotel, to Liz Carr for her generous help on the road, my daughter, Jane, for all her help in planning the project, not forgetting Longmynd Coaches and especially their excellent Driver, Martyn, who looked after us so well. Thanks too to all travellers for being punctual and helpful at all times.

Finally, a special thank you to Michael White for his photographic record.

(Editor’s note: And thank you most of all, Alan Townsend, for being our brilliant and most thoughtful trip organiser and leader… we couldn’t have done it without you!)

Liverpool 2018 gallery trip, the snow did not stop us!

In spite of a few doubts about the weather, and adverse road conditions meaning that some of our more rurally-based members could not attend, we set off for Liverpool as planned on Saturday 3rd March with a reduced but enthusiastic party. We drove through a rather snowy Shropshire landscape but in the good hands of our coach driver, arrived on time in Liverpool, and went on to have a thoroughly enjoyable day.

Collage (1 of 3) SAS Gallery Day Trip to Liverpool, 2018

After coffee at the Walker Art Gallery in the centre of the city, we enjoyed the richness and variety of their permanent exhibitions as well as some exciting temporary exhibitions. The highlight for some of us was the ‘Slaves of fashion’ exhibition, where we marvelled at the fascinating, intricate work of the Singh twins. Using traditional as well as very contemporary techniques, in this exhibition they explore the legacies of the relationship between the UK and India, including trade, exploitation and slavery via large, very colourful textile panels, displayed on light boxes and paintings. Some of us were very fortunate to be able to talk with the two sisters about their work. A special treat!

Collage (2 of 3) SAS Gallery Day Trip to Liverpool, 2018, with the Singh twins and their art
The Singh twins and some of their intricate work, it was an honour to meet the artists!

Later after lunch at Tate Liverpool, most of us spent the whole afternoon exploring the current John Piper exhibition. While his later more familiar landscape work was acknowledged, the emphasis of this exhibition was on Piper’s interest in the 1930s art movements of continental Europe including Cubism and abstraction in general and its effect on his own work.

Collage (3 of 3) SAS Gallery Day Trip to Liverpool, 2018

Excellent exhibitions were enjoyed in both galleries and it was generally agreed that it had been another stimulating and engaging day.

Thanks to our Longmynd coach driver for excellent service in the wintry conditions and to Anne Linton for her photographs.

Autumn Exhibition 2017 – our winner!

What a lovely day we were blessed with for our Autumn Exhibition Social at The Bear Steps Gallery, and we had a great turn out! Members and guests viewed the exhibition over a glass of wine and nibbles. It was a very happy occasion.

Collage of SAS Autumn Exhibition 2017 Social, with Frank Hilton receiving his award
SAS Autumn Exhibition 2017, Social and Award presentation

Our Adjudicator for the R Harrison and H Walker Prize was Di Purser – thank you so much Di! For the picture that best reflects the Shropshire countryside, she chose Frank Hilton’s acrylic painting “Stiperstones from Rowley”. The silver salver was presented by our President, Jean Hammond, to Frank; photos of the presentation are thanks to Anne Linton. Congratulations Frank!

Image of winning painting Walker Harrison Prize 2017 (Frank Hilton, Stiperstones from Rowley)
The winning painting, “Stiperstones from Rowley” by Frank Hilton

The Exhibition runs until 3pm on Saturday 14th October, open daily this week from 10am to 4pm. Thank you to our Exhibition Secretary John Willetts for all his hard work, and to everyone else who has helped. Also to all our artists for taking part and exhibiting their work. Without you there would be no exhibition!

It’s a floral start to the Saturday Workshop season!

The Society’s season of Workshops and Classes was launched on Saturday September 2nd when the Saturday Workshop members met for the first time this season.

Collage of SAS floral Saturday Workshop 2017

A colourful display of flowers brought mainly from members’ gardens provided the subject matter for our painting and a consideration of two different traditions of Flower Painting. The session began with an examination of two well known women flower painters, Marianne North, famous for her extremely accurate botanical work, and Georgia O’Keefe for her very different, strongly expressive and large scale flower paintings. Two very contrasting styles and intentions. The former’s work involved extremely accurate draughtsmanship and was recognised as of considerable scientific value by Charles Darwin and botanical scientists of her day. O’Keefe’s work by contrast involved almost monumental representations of sometimes only portions of blooms, which nevertheless still appear to spill out beyond the edges of the image.

Our thanks are due to Lynne and Mick, the former for her leadership and careful organisation and Mick for his thoroughly researched introduction.

It was good to see new members joining the group, and if you’ve registered but couldn’t make it this time, we hope to see you at the next session!

Liverpool, Tate, Dix and Sander make a wonderful day for the SAS!

Liverpool was the chosen venue for this year’s Annual Summer Gallery visit. 40 members and friends arrived at the Tate Liverpool in time for coffee on a glorious sunny morning.

Collage of SAS Gallery Day Trip to Liverpool 2017
Liverpool Gallery Trip 2017, photos thanks to Mike White

The main focus of the visit was an exhibition of the work of the German artist, Otto Dix and his contemporary, the photographer, August Sander. The very challenging paintings of Dix caught the mood and style of life during this troubled period of the Weimar Republic, whilst the brilliant photographs of Sander recorded the reality of life at all social levels in a time of great change and upheaval. Sander’s photographic record was excellently supported by a timeline of historical events running above and below the displayed photographic images. Dix’s painting work was supplemented by some 50 etchings based on his experiences as a machine gunner in the First World War.

Liverpool allows visitors a range of engaging opportunities; some of us enjoyed the collections at The Walker and other city galleries whilst some visited shopping and other cultural venues. Blessed with excellent weather, all agreed that it had been another successful SAS day out.

Thanks as usual to Longmynd Coaches for making our travel arrangements, to Alan Townsend for organising everything so impeccably, and to Liz Carr and Wilf Langford for support and practical help on the day. Look out for our next outing and details of the Annual Pre-Christmas Lunch.