“Lyrical, unpretentious and free…” is just one of the many ardent remarks about the work of Harry Becker made by the group of artists who contribute to “INSPIRED BY BECKER”, an exhibition of contemporary work by East Anglian artists who love his work.
Becker, an artist trained in the best schools in Europe, moved from London to live in Suffolk early last century, and spent around 10 years in Wenhaston, a village 5 miles inland from Southwold. His work concentrated on the people and animals associated with agricultural life and, as Andrew Pitt, one of the IBB group describes, it is a “powerful testimony to the value of painting from direct observation. The forceful honesty of his marks and the gestures of his brush combine to make his work compelling and lively”. Andrew himself always paints en plein air.
Mari French, another IBB artist is inspired by Becker’s “evocation of light and the lively brushwork in his landscapes“. “Arable field, late Spring” worked in acrylic on paper demonstrates her own mastery of these qualities.
And in “The Tempest”, Liz James conveys the threatening weight of an approaching storm.
Some of the IBB group contribute figurative work to the show, work that relates directly and obviously to that of Becker, as in Mary Gundry’s oil: “The end of a good day”.
Others respond in a less direct way, reflecting qualities such as fluidity, moments in time captured, atmosphere, an economy of means. Mike Holtom’s “Meteorology 2”, Kerry Holmes’ “Another windy day” and Joy Wilson’s “Fields” offer examples of the artist’s response to these more emotional levels.
If only there was room to offer a glimpse of everyone of the 28 exhibitor’s work! Suffice to say that visiting the show is a joyful experience. Work made out of love and respect for another artist’s contribution, and indeed to celebrate and honour that oeuvre, cannot fail to give pleasure.
Held over only one weekend, and situated purposely in the village, in St Peter’s, the church that Becker would have known, the show is professionally hung and beautifully presented in a space that already houses a significant and special mediaeval art work: The Wenhaston Doom.
Not only is the love for a master’s work tangible within this show, but also we raise funds to help the parish church of Halesworth, St Mary’s make their lottery bid for a massive regeneration so that the space is available to a wide range of community groups, as well as for worship.
So please, make a note in your diary, and let others know: August 9th and 10th; 10am until 5pm and 10am until 4pm respectively; INSPIRED BY BECKER: an exhibition of Contemporary work by East Anglian artists.
INSPIRED BY BECKER: an exhibition of Contemporary work by East Anglian artists
August 9th and 10th 2014
St Peter’s Church
Open Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 10am-4pm.
All work is for sale. Card payments available, refreshments and free parking. For more information please contact Ruth McCabe at: firstname.lastname@example.org