"Back from the Ashes: The Voyage of the Eternal Muse"
Saturday, 14 October 2023(PV 3pm) - 13 January 2023
Cuckoo Gallery in Margate presents, "Back from the Ashes: The Voyage of the Eternal Muse". At its core is an original painting by the little-known Albert W. Holden, featuring the enigmatic figure of the ‘tambourine girl’—a young woman who lived in 19th-century Britain most probably in Kent.
Drawing inspiration from the Voyager message, which embarked on a remarkable interstellar journey in 1977, encapsulating life on Earth in a time capsule, artists have similarly preserved moments in their paintings. Just as the message within the Voyager spacecraft continues its timeless voyage, Cuckoo’s exhibition breathes new life into the eternal muse, enabling her to transcend the confines of time.
A diverse array of artists (please see the list below) present their unique perspectives, reinterpreting the tambourine girl's narrative through the medium of painting. contemplating the mysteries surrounding her existence. Who was this muse? What would her life have entailed? How did she inspire the artist? The answers remain elusive, and her context remains shrouded in uncertainty.
The interplay of contexts within the exhibition tickles the viewer's perception with depth and complexity, bridging the gap between past and present. It invites contemplation of the untold stories, inviting visitors to ponder the connections and evoke their own narratives.
Delving into the tambourine girl's visual representation during her era, Albert W. Holden's original painting serves as an evocative starting point—a glimpse into the artistic depiction of the muse during her time. Each artist has the opportunity to offer their own distinct artistic expressions and narratives reawakening her presence through time and space.
Art captures the essence of everyday life, giving ordinary scenes an extraordinary meaning. Artworks can immortalize everyday individuals, allowing their voices to travel across time and space. Through art, everything—from cans of soup to ordinary people—can leave a lasting legacy, ensuring their presence endures in the narrative of paint.
Marc Bodie, a Welsh-born artist in Wiltshire, UK. His artistic journey commences with introspective self-portraits, skillfully constructing a powerful dialogue within his work and inviting viewers to deeply connect.
What sets Marc apart is his potent imagery and distinctive style, leaving a lasting impression on those who engage with his art. Recognized as a multi-award-winning international artist, Marc's exhibitions have showcased his exceptional artwork at prestigious locations in Berlin, Vienna, Santa Fe, New York, Stockholm, and beyond. His art resonates with enthusiasts worldwide, and he is a consistent presence in open exhibitions, including those at the Mall Galleries. Marc's work finds homes in private and corporate collections globally, with recent accolades including the Drawing Prize at the Bath Society of Artists in 2022 and the prestigious Anthony J. Lester Art Critic Award at the 2023 Royal Society of British Artists exhibition. Throughout his artistic journey, Marc's primary muse has remained the male figure, brilliantly expressed through drawings, paintings, and sculptures, adding a unique dimension to his captivating body of work.
Derek Curtis, born in Slough, UK in 1967, is a conceptual artist known for his distinctive 2D artworks. He studied Fine Art in England and Germany, earning his BA (Hons) Fine Art from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in 2000. Curtis employs a unique technique, using glossy industrial paint on aluminium panels, creating visually captivating and reflective surfaces. His work features quirky motifs and vibrant colours, inviting viewers into imaginative narratives. Curtis blends conceptual ideas with various genres, referencing images from other sources and using humour and puns to explore human relationships, the environment, and culture. Additionally, Curtis is recognized for his sculpture work.
Luke Edgar is an Essex based artist with a studio in Manningtree. He grew up drawing a lot with his architect dad, who also had a passion and talent for art. He continued with his art throughout school and went on to train as a tattoo artist. The skills he learned have greatly influenced the innovative method he has developed for creating his art. Through a period of experimenting with etching on metal in combination with spray paint and oils, he now produces large scale steel artworks, employing traditional painting techniques and tattooing through layers of oil to build up the image.
Recent exhibitions and awards include Dubel Prize Finalist Show at the Royal Exchange,
Finalist in the Boynes Artist Award, Shortlisted for Sir John Hurt Art Prize, and season 10 participant in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year.
Heidi Gentle Burrell, celebrated for her distinctive and captivating portraits, brings her remarkable talent to our group exhibition. With a vibrant Pop Art style, she brings to life contemporary icons and pop culture figures. Heidi's artistry is a dynamic and colourful addition to our showcase, reflecting her body of work and artistic achievements. Her most recent exhibition, titled "ADHD is my superpower," attracted significant national media attention.
Jay Goodwin, an American-born UK artist residing in Essex, specializes in portrait painting. Using oil on canvas, he seamlessly blends traditional and modern techniques, often opting for a monochromatic palette to create intense and timeless narratives. Jay's artistic journey faced a hurdle when he temporarily lost his sight but, with medical support and a custom contact lens, he has regained partial vision and continues to pursue his passion. His unique tactile understanding, developed during his time with sight loss, adds a sculptural quality to his portraits, aiming to evoke deep emotions and convey the subject's strength and vulnerability. Jay's style is marked by nuanced expressions, impeccable lighting, shadows, and textures, creating intimate and personal artworks.
Louise Hynes, a lifelong enthusiast of creation and painting, has pursued her artistic passions since childhood.. Though she initially studied Art at Boston University School of Fine Arts, her journey has largely been one of self-discovery, guided by inspiring artist friends and other professional connections over the years.
Residing in Margate, Kent, by the picturesque coast, Louise finds perpetual wonder and inspiration in the ever-changing play of light and the fluidity of the skies and water. Her art, particularly in depicting the sea and sky, has evolved into abstract impressions that capture the essence and emotions of these dynamic scenes.
Beyond landscapes, Louise's passion extends to portraiture, where she concentrates into the intricacies of faces to unveil the essence of each subject. During the Covid-19 crisis, she contributed positively by creating fourteen free portraits for NHS Heroes.
Louise's work has graced exhibitions at venues like The Pie Factory, Westgate Galleria, Lovely's of Cliftonville, and has been looked at in local press and BBC news, Southeast Today. She's also been featured in Artist Talk magazine and recognized by the Visual Artists Association. Her artistry was showcased at the Turner Contemporary Open 2021.
Lior Locher is a multifaceted artist captivated by human expression. Through mixed media, including acrylic paint, markers, collage, and printmaking, they explore the diverse facets of the human experience. Lior's art captures the essence of recombination, both in life and art, as layers and sedimentations form into something uniquely personal. Their background in personal development, coaching, and psychotherapy informs their work, offering a deep exploration of the human journey.
Lior is nonbinary, and has a diverse artistic background and international experiences, has received art education from various sources, including MET Brighton and CityLit. Their work has been exhibited at various venues over the years.
Anthony Mundy was born in 1997 and lives and works in Pickering, North Yorkshire. He attended the Royal College of Art until 2020 and re-emerged as a multi media practitioner in solvent printmaking, sculpture and collage. Previously frustrated with screen-printing techniques and a lack of physicality between surface and body. Solvent printmaking allows Mundy to apply pressure, scrape and carve into surfaces with a variety of tools. The artists performance of such actions result in a consequence of ‘homeopathic’ truth through composition and mark making. The process is symbolic of its hypothesising of a solution. Fractured or mirrored imagery, besides being a mishap in Xerox printing, stand for more significant questions relating to ones relationship to nature and identity.
Steve Parnell, a graduate of the University of Brighton in Critical Fine Art Practice, resides in Margate, Kent, while also pursuing a career in film and television. His art blends figurative and abstract elements, drawing inspiration from observations, personal memories, photos, and mass media. Parnell employs bold mark-making techniques that explore the interplay between abstraction and narrative. Influenced by artists such as Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, and Willem de Kooning, he seeks to leave his mark on the world through his work, capturing emotions and memories as they emerge during the creative process. Parnell's art serves as a testament to his existence, recording the world around him through unique, real, and abstract compositions.
Gretel Warner explores the female nude as a symbol of womanhood in today's fast-paced world. Her emotionally charged paintings aim to celebrate the female form and experiences honestly, countering the effects of social media obsession. Through her art, she escapes the chaos of modern life and delves into the fluidity of identity, using color and expressive mark-making. Her work seeks to encapsulate the complexities of being a young woman today while offering viewers a space for self-reflection in simplified settings. Gretel Warner is a contemporary artist dedicated to representing the human experience, drawing from personal memories and emotions to create her saturated, dysmorphic figurative paintings. Her piece, 'Left on Read,' explores the modern obsession with instant communication through the lens of a young woman waiting for a reply, highlighting the power and distraction of technology in today's world.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Private view, Saturday, 14th October at 3pm - 7pm
Address / 191 Northdown Road, Margate, Kent, CT9 2PA
Dates / 14 October 2023 – 13 January 2023
Opening Times/ Monday–Friday, 10–4pm or by appointment / Saturday-Sunday by appointment only / Free entry/