Abstract, Issue 12
Welcome to our winter edition of Abstract, the Trust’s quarterly newsletter. Bringing you updates on exhibitions, events and other Trust activities over the next three months.
Introduction from the Trust’s Chair
Well what a year 2020 has been. Who could have predicted the impact that Covid-19 has had on the art world and on each of us personally.
Sadly it has meant that many of our “live” events have had to be cancelled or postponed, but the WBG Trust has found other ways to keep Wilhelmina Barns-Graham very much to the forefront of everyone’s minds.
I hope by now you will have had a chance to read the fantastic recently launched book by Virginia Button, simply titled Wilhelmina Barns-Graham it would make a great Christmas gift, or you could treat yourself! Also available is the lovely catalogue which accompanies our travelling exhibition Inspirational Journeys which, as Lynne Green tells us in the foreword, demonstrates that travel provided Barns-Graham ‘with refreshment of inspiration and renewed vigour of invention.’ We could all do with a bit of that at the moment! Some of you may have had the opportunity to visit the exhibition whilst it was open during the summer at the RWA in Bristol, but if not, there will be further opportunities next year to see it, we hope, in Southport in January and thereafter in Orkney.
There has been an amazing uptake in people viewing Wilhelmina’s works virtually through Art UK, giving us all the chance to explore her works in a different way. Whilst you are on their website, you might get also some inspiration for Christmas gifts from the new WBG range.
We have, as ever, continued to support bursaries and residencies for artists, but this has not been as straightforward as in previous years for obvious reasons.
Thank you for all your support during this tough time. I am sure Wilhelmina’s work has brought us all great pleasure when the world outside has felt a bit gloomy.
Chair of the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust
Looking Ahead to 2021
With 2020 and the many challenges it has presented nearly over it seems to a good time to look forward to 2021 on a positive, optimistic note. Our touring exhibition Inspirational Journeys will visit two new venues in 2021, after a lockdown inhibited, though successful, show at the RWA in Bristol this summer. First up is The Atkinson in Southport where the show opens on January 16, followed by the Pier Arts Centre on Orkney in the summer. In the first half of the year galleries Waterhouse & Dodd and Belgrave Gallery, will have new online presentations of Barns-Graham, with works viewable by appointment. In May two print-focused exhibitions will show Barns-Graham work alongside other artists – on Jersey at CCA Galleries International with St Ives based contemporaries Sandra Blow and Terry Frost, and at Gallery East in Woodbridge, Suffolk along with contemporary artist Patricia Cain.
A series of short films, Barns-Graham: Decade by Decade
We recently invited a group of artists, art historians, academics, gallerists and curators to make a series of short films that will examine one work from each decade of Barns-Graham’s professional life. The films are all around five minutes or less and intended to be bite-size, very personal responses to particular works, rather than trying to give a broad overview of her career.
Having each speaker talk about a specific piece, actually sitting on Barns-Graham’s easel next to them was a conscious effort to emphasise each work’s physical presence as an object, rather than the flat, cropped decontextualized jpegs we are all so used to consuming online. The films will be released on our website either side of Christmas/New Year – please check social media for updates.