I go the the Mall Galleries periodically and when I went a couple of weeks ago there were three very different exhibitions. The only problem with Mall Galleries is their exhibitions only last a few days so you have to be on your toes. Two of the three shows were on their last days, I think the third will have finished by now. I advise you, if you live in London, and particularly if you work in the area to keep an eye of their website they often have interesting stuff.
The first was a collection by three Korean ink artists, Raymond Fung (above) Nina Pryde and Lee Chi Ching (more of whom later).
Fung is one of those ridiculously multifaceted people. Not content with being an artist he is also an architect. His coloured inks (top of the blog) benefit very much from the cheerleader effect producing a lovely sort of muted rainbow. It would be best if they remained together in a group of at least 3 of 4. As a single entity they are quite nice but they lack a detail once you get close. They have a nice initial impact but reward less close examination.
He had up a pair of black and white paintings (above) and these for me were much more interesting. They definitively work as a pair as you can see the marks join up between them. I like the sparseness and emptiness of them. They indulge a meditative quality.
Pryde has a more diverse display, basically four different types of work. They are all ink drawings. Above you can see the colourful square pieces and a series of 6 blue/black ink drawings that work together as a set to produce this landscape. I like particularly the blue black long rectangular pieces. This composition style is something that really works for me. The gaps in the scene make it seem like a shuttered window, or a carousel zooming round. Pryde uses a technique where she combines her ink landscapes with photography. It is an interesting idea but for me it doesn't work. It somehow shatters the suspension of disbelief.
Finally we move onto Lee Chi Ching. Who seems to have two competing styles. You have these quite spike sparse landscapes (above left) and then the more abstract, even vague rock formations (above right). It is of course the later that attracts me. If anything I find them a bit two crowded and could do with more space in which to wander.
The next show was very different. It was put on by the charity Help for Heroes who have a project called Creative Force who use art therapy and art clubs to aid the recovery of soldiers, particularly from mental illness such as PTSD. It was a very moving and powerful show and had some really quite impressive pieces in it. There was as you would expect a strong military theme but the show was at its best when people went beyond this.
I love this intricate imagining in the above left photo. This strange machines and odd cities. Rendered very well and very imaginative. The red and yellow are used as an effective highlights. Next to it are these very attractive pens made from a variety of materials.. These are lovely objects and I particularly like the tortoiseshell number sitting on its own.
Sometimes you just have to admire a well rendered composition. It may be a classic scene but this pretty brook ambling through those gorgeously amber trees. The orange of the foliage making a good contrast to the green mossy ground. The water effect is done well (above left).
The sketch like drawing above right is, in this context very moving. Particularly somehow the man at the back with their hand resting on the flag shrouded coffin. I was left with the distinct impression that the artist new the person in the coffin and perhaps was one of the people depicted.
Not only painting and sculpture was on display but also poems (above left) as well as video art and some music. A veritable panoply of art. You get some odd contrasts too with these fierce wood carved dragon sitting under the nice, scratchy watercolour of the poppies, which is a fine piece (above central). There was also another producer of pens (above right) with these appealing wood business cards. A sort of finer, sleeker feels to the other artist and I am seriously considering contacting the maker to purchase one.
The last show I went round was the annual show of the Heskath Hubbard society. They are a society who focus on life drawing both nudes but also clothed models. There was a vast array of different drawings, sketches and paintings. A number of them were very good. In the above left, the crouching man, in that odd brown box in the bottom left of the painting has something about it. In the above left the portrait of the lady with the guitar it is excellent portrait. It has a real sense of character and personality about it.
William John Mackenzie
I am an artist with a specialism in landscapes and still life. My contact details are here.