Otter Gallery exhibitions programme January – July 2011
Pictures by renowned fantasy and fairytale illustrator Mervyn Peake, drawings by distinguished ceramicist Eric Mellon – on display for the very first time – and works by leading 20th Century artists are among the highlights of the Otter Gallery’s new exhibition programme for January – July 2011. There will also be two shows featuring the work of MA and undergraduate students from the University of Chichester’s Fine Art department, including drawings, textiles and sculpture.
Laura Kidner, Gallery Outreach and Exhibitions Officer, said: “The Otter Gallery is becoming well-known for the richness and diversity of its exhibitions programme. This year heralds a fine selection of shows and events to stimulate and attract a wide audience. I am new to the post of Gallery Outreach and Exhibitions Officer and we would like to take this opportunity to welcome visitors to this rather special and developing public art gallery set within one of the country’s most popular universities – this is a great time to discover the Otter Gallery.”
To mark the centenary of the birth of Mervyn Peake – an artist with strong Sussex connections and best known for his illustrations of fairytale and fantasy works – the Otter Gallery will host an exhibition of Peake’s nonsense and poetry works in Mervyn Peake: A Centenary Celebration, from 26 May – 17 July.
Illustrations will include The Hunting of the Snark and Rhymes Without Reason and the exhibition will also share some of the famous Gormenghast and Captain Slaughterboard series with Pallant House Gallery’s concurrent show. The centenary celebration will coincide with an international conference on ‘Mervyn Peake and the Fantasy Tradition’ hosted by the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairytales and Fantasy at the University of Chichester on 15 and 16 July.
For the first time in his long and prolific career, the ceramic artist and printmaker Eric James Mellon will be displaying his sketches in Eric Mellon: Pages From My Sketchbook from 10 March – 17 April. Sussex-based Mellon is one of the country’s leading potters, and his paintings and prints are also highly collectable. He started drawing at an early age and has extensively researched the decoration of stoneware pots with figurative drawings and ash glazes. As well as his sketches, a selection of his ceramics and prints will also be on show.
The Otter Gallery is home to a distinguished collection of art started in 1947 and including works by leading 20th Century artists such as Patrick Heron, Graham Sutherland, Hans Feibusch, David Hockney, Sir Stanley Spencer and Peter Lanyon. Collection Conserved, starting on 21 July, is a special exhibition celebrating the results of a two-year programme of restoration of some of the Otter Gallery’s major works, funded by the Bishop Otter Trust. The exhibition explains the restoration processes and also sees the unveiling of the gallery’s latest acquisitions – five stunning prints by Norman Ackroyd.
Dr Brian Rigby, Honorary Curator at the Otter Gallery, commented: “Visitors will be able to see some of the finest pictures in the permanent art collection of the University and see details of the fascinating process by which that collection has been restored and protected over the last two years.”
Continuum, from 1 February – 6 March, is an exhibition of work by students on the MA Fine Art programme at the University of Chichester. The show offers an opportunity to see how individually defined forms of art practice are explored within the larger context of contemporary art and will feature a variety of approaches to drawing, textile and sculpture.
Undergraduate Fine Art students display new artwork at the Otter Gallery in Across, from 21 April – 22 May. The students explore individual ideas and interests across a range of disciplines and are encouraged to develop increasingly independent skills and ambition through a process of visual research.
As well as a diverse exhibitions programme, the Otter Gallery’s poet-in-residence, Stephanie Norgate – who runs the MA in Creative Writing at the University of Chichester - will be hosting creative writing workshops at the gallery to accompany each exhibition. In addition, there will be artist-led events, workshops and talks throughout the year, open to the public and local schools. For further information see the Otter Gallery website www.chi.ac.uk/ottergallery.
The January to July exhibition schedule is:
- Until January 26 Pairings
- 1 February – 6 March Continuum (work by MA Fine Art students)
- 10 March – 17 April Eric James Mellon: Pages from My Sketchbook
- 21 April – 22 May Across (work by undergraduate Fine Art students)
- 26 May – 17 July Mervyn Peake: A Centenary Celebration
- From July 21 Collection Conserved
- Free Admission
- Opening times: term-time Monday – Thursday 9am-9pm, Friday – Sunday, 10am-5pm; out of term Monday – Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-1pm.
- The Gallery is situated in the Learning Resource Centre building at the University of Chichester Bishop Otter campus.
- Pay and display car park is available at the University (free parking after 5pm)
University of Chichester
West Sussex PO19 6PE