Discover weekly events and photography in the links above
This month, Reading based artist Richard Young is exhibiting his work at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
“I always wanted to be an artist,” he says. “I did A Level art at school, two years ahead of time. I wanted to pursue a career in art but back then, it was harder to get your name ‘out there’, so instead I went into engineering and saw the world.”
Richard recently relocated to Reading from Saudi Arabia, where he met his partner, Sarah. “We were both out there working for an engineering company. An artisan at heart, I’d never given up on my dream of becoming an artist and I’d paint at night, experimenting with styles and techniques,” he says.
Richard sold his first painting in 2003. It was called ‘Introspection’. “It was an experiment with colour and light. I was heavily influenced by the desert at that time. Having someone buy my work motivated me to keep going,” he says.
“I never use a brush; I paint with a knife, often in a limited colour palette and mixing only on canvas. The style of my artwork is modern, yet classical/traditional and occasionally contemporary. My compositions entail dramatic lighting and shading, in a high contrast. I love light; I’m fascinated with its influence on any subject. Predominantly figurative, I aim to capture a composed aloof anonymity, mood, atmosphere, drama, passion and emotion of a performance in a frozen realism.”
Richard has painted principal ballerinas, such as Tamara Rojo and Daria Klimentova. His painting, Subtle Confidence was a collaboration with Russian photographer Elena Bembi. “The pose on one leg, the facial expression and the hands depict confidence,” he says. “It’s surprising how much a hand tells about an intention or a mood or an atmosphere. The lighting and colours are subtle, and the colour palette is intentionally limited.”
His most famous painting is The Passion of Dance of Drew Jacoby. “I could have sold this several times over!” he says. “There are prints in homes, bars, restaurants and hotels. I’ve also been sent photographs of it tattooed on several people!”
Richard is also working on a series of paintings of jazz musicians. He says: “There’s such soul in their performance, I’m trying to capture that. I’m on number four of six, and then I’ll be planning another exhibition.” So watch this space.
See Richard’s work at the Royal Berkshire Hospital from 6 January−24 February, ryoung-art.com
Greenham Control Tower is hosting Common People, an exhibition of photographs taken by award-winning photographer Wendy Carrig. Carrig was a photography student in the mid-1980s during a time of social disquiet in Britain. Coal miners were striking against pit closures, and peace protesters gathered at Greenham Common to demonstrate against the installation of US nuclear missiles on British soil. Common People records Carrig’s time spent with women protesters.
Reading was linked to London by railway in 1840, bringing economic growth to the town. This talk by Paul Joyce, Chairman of Reading Transport Group, focuses on the early years of the railway.
The Centre for Heritage and Family History, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading; berksfhs.org.uk
Sugar, Spice & All Things Nice - 16 January
Following the history and geography of the Spice Trail, researcher and educational consultant Lynda Warren will lead you on a journey to discover the use of spices in cooking, medicines, cosmetics and household purposes.
ConnectTalks and Ignite Data bring you this talk by Bruce Daisley, EMEA VP of Twitter. Work used to be much more fun, so how can science help fix this? What is the science that connects choirs and rowing teams? What can we learn from being in sync with those around us?
1 January, New Year’s Day Concert; 11–12 January, Hal Cruttenden −Chubster; 11 January, Jim Mullen; 12 January, Paddington’s First Concert; 12 January, The Vinyl Frontier: Album Championships 2019; 13 January, Young Winners Concert; 15 January, NT Live: The Tragedy of King Richard the Second; 17 January, NT Live, Allelujah!; 17 January, Sam Braysher and Michael Kanan; 18 January, Burns Night; 18 January, Mike Vernon and The Mighty Combo; 19 January, Bye Bye Baby; 20 January, The Local Honeys; 22 January, ROH Live: The Queen of Spades; 24 January, Andrew Doyle: Friendly Fire; 25 January, The Sound of Springsteen; 26 January, Bollywood Dance; 26 January, ELO Again; 27 January, Mozart Birthday Concert; 27 January, Narthen; 30 January, ROH Live: La Traviata; 31 January, Ed Gamble: Blizzard
10 January, Members Night & Spring Season Launch; 11 January, Poets’ Café – Robin Houghton; 12 January, Tukes; 17 January, Viva Neil Diamond; 18 January, Andrew Doyle: Friendly Fire; 24 January, Call it a Day; 30 January, Rendezvous in Bratislava; 31 January–2 February, Stephen K Amos: Bouquets and Brickbats
Until 6 January, Aladdin; 17 January, Sandi Toksvig Live! National Trevor; 18 January, Golden Girls; 19 January, Big Girls Don’t Cry; 21−23 January, Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet; 25 January, That’ll Be The Day; 31 January, Islands In The Stream
Until 6 January, Jack and The Bean Stalk; 11 January, Comedy Club, 19 January, Solid Gold 70s show; 22 January, ROH Live: The Queen of Spades; 30 January, Dirty Dusting; 30 January, ROH Live, La Traviata; 31 January, The Big Chris Barber Band