Inspirational exhibition will celebrate acclaimed artist’s life

Wed, 10 Jan 2018
Artist Chris Gollon (right) works with a student.

The inspirational work of the late British artist, Chris Gollon, will be celebrated in an evening at The Blake Theatre in Monmouth next month.

Mr Gollon, who died last April after a short illness, aged 64, often took inspiration from music and collaborated with musicians, including Grammy-nominated classical musician Yi Yao, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and Eleanor McEvoy.

One of his first museum acquisitions was entitled Einstein & The Jealous Monk, taking its title from a Bob Dylan lyric, and now hangs in a major public collection with works by Bacon, Epstein and Lowry.

In 2015, Mr Gollon gave a painting masterclass for GCSE students at Monmouth School for Boys.

The theme of War & Conflict was the pupils’ initial starting point and they had explored techniques and imagery used to express pain and suffering.

A connection was made with Mr Gollon’s paintings depicting the biblical story where Bathsheba receives a letter from King David with devastating news.

During the First World War the loss of a loved one often arrived in the form of a letter and this theme was interpreted during the masterclass that he ran.

Head of Art and Design at Monmouth School for Boys, Mr Matt Peake, said: “The boys learnt a great deal, were intrigued by some of Chris’ painterly techniques and were truly inspired with their work which contributed to their GCSE coursework.”

At the end of the one-day class, Mr Gollon said: “I was very impressed with how the boys applied the new techniques and with the original imagery all the boys produced.”

Mr Gollon’s Bathsheba was part of his national touring exhibition (2014 – 2016) to English cathedrals entitled Incarnation, Mary and Women from the Bible, which finished in Hereford Cathedral.

The exhibition at the Blake Theatre includes recent paintings by Mr Gollon, including the one painted during the masterclass, as well as selected works by the students who participated.

This free two-hour event will take place on Friday 2nd February from 5.30pm.

A powerful 18-minute cinematic production, called Kaleidomorphism One, is being screened at 6.15pm.

This enjoyable film, produced by Mr Gollon and JABOD, premiered at the East End Film Festival in 2008 and is a prime example of the intimate relationship between music and painting.

The production captures 15 years of Mr Gollon’s paintings and imagery, immersing viewers in a colourful and Gollonesque world, synchronized with tracks by Paolo Conte, Calexico and Tom Waits, carefully chosen by the artist.

David Tregunna, Director of IAP Fine Art representing Mr Gollon in London and Monmouth, is holding a brief question-and-answer session and the exhibition will give people a chance to see paintings from across his career.

Curated by Wilfrid Wright, a final year student at Monmouth School for Boys, the evening is kindly sponsored by Thomas Carroll Plc and The Property Drop, supported by IAP Fine Art, Monmouth.

GCSE students showcase their work after Mr Gollon’s inspiring visit in April 2015.