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New Exhibition: Stanley Spencer Gallery
Amanda Bradley, trustee of the Stanley Spencer Gallery in Cookham and chair of their exhibitions committee, reveals all about their new exhibition that opens on 28 March.
What is so special about the gallery?
The Stanley Spencer Gallery is the most exceptional place I’ve ever worked because it is so embedded in the Cookham community. Spencer relied on Cookham to fuel his artistic vision. Such is the gallery’s allure, it is almost entirely run by volunteers who live either in Cookham or nearby. We are so lucky to have such a professional, dedicated, engaged and motivated group without whom the gallery could not function as it does.
The gallery is housed in a methodist chapel where Spencer used to worship as a child. The modest exterior belies the jewels within! The gallery is lucky enough to own and have on long-term loan a stellar collection of Spencer’s work, which rivals any national museum.
We have twice-yearly exhibitions, which augment our own collection with loans from other museums and private collections. To be able to combine a walk along the river and a visit to the church with a visit to the gallery is the perfect day out, blending nature, history, art and architecture.
It is the 60th anniversary of Spencer’s death this year. What are you doing to mark it?
We will have a commemorative display in the gallery, but our main focus will be our summer exhibition launching on 28 March, which will be a fitting tribute to Spencer’s contribution to the story of Modern British Art. Our summer exhibition is called Counterpoint: Stanley Spencer and his Contemporaries, which will put Spencer’s work in a more general art historical context. We have spectacular loans coming from the Ingram Collection, with works by Barnett Freedman, CRW Nevinson, Edward Burra, Mark Gertler and William Roberts, to name a few.
These exceptional artists will be joined by a few lesser-known artists, such as Glynn Philpot and Dod Proctor, who I believe deserve more air time, but also help us understand how Spencer’s work fits into the canon of Modern British Art at the beginning of the 20th century.
Everyone likes a happy ending and until Sunday 31 March, visitors to The Lexicon in Bracknell will be able to join in the town centre’s very own virtual fairy tale. Starting with “once upon a time” and ending with “they all live happily ever after”, The Lexicon fairy tale stars Princess Elle, who is searching for her very own prince. The story is narrated by a fairy godmother and visitors to The Lexicon can search for the fairy tales’ main characters, represented by six-foot high sculptures, spread throughout the main squares.
Sue Boor, marketing manager at The Lexicon, says: “The fairy tale is the first in a series of fables and fairy trail themed activities that we will be running over the coming months. The activities will bring a touch of fantasy and fun for all the family to The Lexicon.”
To bring The Lexicon’s fairy tale to life, visitors need to install free app Artivive and hold their phone in front of the Fairy Trails banners or flyers found at The Lexicon. The Artivive app is compatible with both Android and IOS.
6 March, And This Is My Friend Mr Laurel; 9 March, Blues and Burlesque; 12 March, 9 to 5 The Muscial; 20 March, A Multicoloured Musical; 21 March, Atomic Rapture; 23 March, Songbird; 27 March, The Storm; 29 March, Someone Like You
1 March Andrew Maxwell: Showtime; 1 March, Ahir Shah: Duffer; 2 March, Dire Streets; 8 March, The Amy Winehouse Experience; 9 March, The Vinyl Frontier; 15 March, Tina May; 15 March, Angela Barnes: Rose Tinted; 16 March, Alan Johnson: In My Life; 21 March, Ivo Graham: Motion Sickness; 22 March, The Simply Red Tribute Show; 27 March, Odyssey; 28 March, Instructions for Servicemen in Britain; 30 March, Stephen Bailey: Our Kid
6 March, A Super Happy Story About Feeling Super Sad; 8 March, Pete Firman: Marvels; 10 March, Bolshoi Encore: The Sleeping Beauty; 14 March, Bouncers; 21 March, Shut Down; 22 March, Singalong The Greatest Showman; 23 March, The Sooty Show; 27-28, A Brave Face; 29 March, No Kids?; 30 March, The Counterfeit Stones
1 March, Dance Those Magic Musicals with Anton and Erin; 7 March, Faith: The George Michael Legacy; 10 March, Cirque Mnozil Brass; 11 March, Shakin Stevens; 14 March, Thank You For The Music; 20 March, Julian Clary: Born to Mince; 23 March, Wannabe: The Spice Girls Show; 28 March, Adam Kay: This is Going to Hurt; 29 March, The Bootleg Beatles