Dr John Bellany CBE HRSA RA, The Fisher Family. Oil on canvas, 152 × 152 cm Photography: John Bodkin, DawkinsColour
‘Variety is in the spirit of the exhibition,’ says Stephen Chambers, who hung Gallery VII, ‘and photographs contribute a great deal to the impression made by the whole room. There’s a beautiful one by Peter Abraham, for example, a traditional still-life of contemporary objects on a table top – an electric flex and a vessel of some kind – which is lit and focused in a way which reminds me of traditional still-lifes, and of no one so much as Zurbarán.’
High praise indeed for one of the exhibits in a room otherwise dominated by John Bellany’s assertive colours and equally unmistakable forms. Among Bellany’s paintings here is a portrait of David Bowie, an art-lover. There are two large, remarkable coloured-pencil drawings of interlocking geometric shapes by Michael Kidner, too.
More conservative in treatment if not in subject is a series of life-sized nudes in pencil and watercolour of a tattooed burlesque dancer by David Remfry. The sculpture here includes a threateningly sharp-edged work by Bryan Kneale, and two highly polished, brightly coloured creatures by Andrew Hasler, their forms and markings inspired by a bee and the eye of a grouper.