Join us today for a look at Kitchen Sink artist Edward Middleditch and his charcoal drawings, Rigby Graham following in the poet John Clare’s footsteps and a sneak peak at the Nic Collins pots that have just arrived at the gallery in anticipation of his major exhibition next month.
Edward Middleditch established himself in the mid 1950s as one of the most powerful young painters and draughtsmen in Britain.
Initially associated with the kitchen sink painters – John Bratby, Derrick Greaves and Jack Smith – he devoted himself chiefly to natural themes. His work over the following decades concentrated principally on the elements, from the weight of a massive hillside to the lightness of sun dancing on water or darting through foliage. It became increasingly abstract and stylised, inspired by kilims and Persian carpets, and even used stencilling to create a patterned, decorative response to nature.
Principally a topographic artist, Rigby Graham was born in Stretford in 1931. He moved to Leicester in his early childhood where he attended Leicester College of Art, specialising in mural painting. After teaching at local schools Graham returned to lecture at the College of Art, firstly in Graphic Design and Printing, then in Education and latterly in Bookbinding. He retired from teaching in 1983.
His work is influenced by Neo-Romantics but in his colour he owes much to German Expressionism and he is considered one of the most important landscape painters of the late 20th century. The archive of his work, now at Manchester Metropolitan University, is a central resource for the study of landscape painting, lithographic and wood-cut printing, book illustration and production and private presses. Rigby died in May 2015 after a long illness.
Nic Collins was born in 1958 in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. A self-taught potter and woodfirer, he started building kilns and wheels during his late teens and early 20s, experimenting with raku, salt glazing and sawdust firings, and using clay sourced from local river banks. He studied studio ceramics at Derby College of Art 1985-86 and then went on to work in potteries in Italy and Germany before returning to the UK.
Nic Collins is viewed as one of the leading wood-firers of his generation, continually evolving his craft, developing his firing and kiln techniques, pushing himself to the very limit to achieve the beauty that he seeks. He now lives and works in Devon, on the edge of Dartmoor.