I strive to capture those traits and subtle perceptions that arise when an artist works with a subject. I am keen to depict the timelessness that paint holds where the sitter is fixed and not about to turn. My work is realistic and I want to reveal the subjects humanity and their individuality in a striking representation of them.
I am fortunate to be living and painting in the artistic community of Corsham, Wiltshire as a fine artist working in oils and acrylics.
The Corsham Art Community
Corsham has a unique artistic history, full of experimentation, challenge and creative endeavour. From 1946 to '72 it was the home of the Bath Academy of Art founded by Clifford and Rosemary Ellis. Housed in Corsham Court this remarkable ‘revolution in seeing’ gathered artists from far and wide to teach and learn ideas, skills and collaboration.
Major artists such as Howard Hodgkin, Kenneth Armitage, Gillian Ayres, William Crozier, Robyn Denny, Terry Frost, Peter Lanyon, Peter Potworowski, Michael Pennie, William Scott, Felicity Aylieff, Natalie Dower, Jenny Davis – to name a few! Some taught for a short 6-week term, others for years but the appeal of ‘Corsham’ is long lived. It attracted many artists who sought to be instrumental in a relaxed and optimistic environment. It embodied both a social experiment and the eccentricities and spirit of mid century artists discovering and sharing passions and ideas.
As a community, Corsham should now proudly retell the story of their artistic collaboration and revisit those art works that owe something of their origins to Corsham, Wiltshire. In the same way that the nation embraced the Great British artists of the twenty-first century (who at the time were mistakenly overlooked as romantic and provincial) we should now restore interest in Corsham’s artistic past. Recall and be inspired by the fascinations shared by Great British artists and ‘Corsham’ artists with human society and landscape.
It is incredible to be an artist in and around Corsham today. It still has strong links to Bath Spa University (previously the Bath Academy of Art) who offer post-graduate art courses at Corsham Court. A place where the unique symbiosis between the Methuen family and the University has given rise to an opportunity for the arts to reside in a beautiful, historical setting. The ebb and flow of staff and pupils has placed the town of Corsham in an interesting position, it has welcomed, housed and influenced so many artists. Residents and artists alike can walk through the Corsham Court grounds – designed by Capability Brown they can be inspired by the lake**, the avenues of trees and broad expanse of land and sky. It is appropriate that the artistic community’s endeavours and achievements are now rediscovered.
Today local artists are fully supported by the Pounds Arts Centre in Corsham. Uniting the region’s love of art, music and culture it provides opportunities for artists from Wiltshire, Bath and the surrounding areas to promote their work, engage with the community and follow in the tradition established by the Bath Academy of Arts. The ‘Corsham’ ethos – to be inspired, be individual, challenge, motivate and transmit ideas is still as strong today as it always has been.
I live and work in Corsham because within this countryside setting I have access to a fantastic network of artists and to the bright and engaging, city of Bath. My ideas are bigger and richer because of the conversations I have with other artists and my horizons broader because of the great successes that other ‘Corsham’ artists have achieved.
*’Corsham’ a collective term for the campus and people of Bath Academy of Arts based at Corsham Court.
** Humphry Repton completed the 13 acre lake.
'Corsham, A Celebration, The Bath Academy of Art 1946-1972' Michael Parkin Gallery London in association with the Victoria Gallery, Bath and Brighton Polytechnic Gallery Ranelagh Press 01-435 4400
'A Celebration of Bath Academy of Art at Corsham' Edited by Derek Pope Printed by Addkey Print Limited 1997 ISBN 0 9531777 0X