‘Museum Of The Year 2013’ prize is awarded to the William Morris Gallery of Walthamstow, East London, UK

June 6, 2013 on 10:11 pm | In Art Awards, Famous Artists, Museums | No Comments


The William Morris Gallery (a museum) in Walthamstow has been awarded the Museum Of The Year 2013 by the Arts Fund, beating some very worthy competition and benefiting from a huge financial donation.

Art Fund Logo

This is good news in what has been a tense few years for Museums & local areas of historic interest with the Coalition government’s austerity measures resulting in cuts in local funding in these key areas. The relaunched gallery opened 10 months and is a shinning beacon in the borough for the arts and it is committed to promoting Morris’s legacy and life achievements.

William Morris (1834-1896) was a man of immense achievement and talent: a textile designer, writer, poet, artist, a socialist and hugely influential in a number of fields. He was a founding member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, The Kelmscott Publishing Press, The Socialist League, as well as being a key figure in both the Arts & Crafts Movement & the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Photograph of William Morris, 1887

Awarded yearly by the Arts Fund the prize rewards innovation in UK gallery & museums as well the creativity used in bringing artwork to life, in the previous year. As well as the main £100K prize the additional Clore prize is also jointly awarded, which allows £10K to promote learning schemes and will benefit the local community. Judges included: an MP – Labour MP Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central), a Journalist – Sarah Crompton (Telegraph’s arts editor) & artists – Roberta & Robert Smith.

Photograph of the William Morris Gallery

Director of the Arts Fund, Stephen Deuchar, had nothing but praise for Walthamstow Council and the members of the public who have been tirelessly campaigning for the building. After facing a potential closure, a public campaign led to a £3 million pound investment (funded equally by the council and the Heritage Lottery Fund) in the difficult restoration of this Georgian Building. The gallery is a tribute to his life and works & how fitting that it is within the building in Walthamstow that Morris grew up.

Thank you


Useful Links:
The Friends of the William Morris Gallery
Guardian Article
Art Fund Announcement
More on William Morris

Banksy News: An artistic experience like no other

February 15, 2012 on 2:12 pm | In Banksy, Famous Artists | 5 Comments


So, you would like to see the artistic works of Banksy? Well, I can tell you where not to go. I wouldn’t bother with the National Gallery, and don’t even waste your time looking for them in the Tate. What makes Banksy such an intriguing artist, is the fact that you don’t quite know where to find his art. They simply just crop up at different locations around the city, so those of you that haven’t given Banksy’s works a thought this morning, may just encounter one on your commute to work, or whilst dropping the kids off to school. They may just unexpectedly make your day.

Banksy’s stencil graffiti of a woman and her shopping trolley plummeting from a great height can be seen on the side of this abandoned building in upmarket Mayfair, London.

It is this unknowing that makes his art so exciting. Those of you that are lucky enough to encounter one in person are left pondering…”What is it? Advertising? Or…could it possibly be a Banksy? It looks like a Banksy, but why here? A billboard on the side of a building in East India Dock Road?

Banksy’s sharp attack on consumer culture took pride of place on the side of this abandoned building in East India Dock Road, Poplar -just outside of London’s financial district. It has since been removed.

What makes a glimpse of a Banksy an artistic experience like no other, is that it’s an experience that you more than likely have lucked into to and an experience that you may not encounter again. For instance, those of you that may have glanced at the ironic attack on consumer culture that reads “Sorry! The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock”, will never get to relive the experience, as it has been scrubbed off the East India billboard already.

Banksy’s addition to this ‘No Stopping’ sign in London is perhaps his commentary on the fast paced rat race that takes place in the Capital every day.

Banksy’s un-institutionalised view on art is what separates his contemporary works from the likes of the two previous Brit-art heavyweights, Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin. Although he could quite easily hold major sell-out exhibitions at the likes of the Tate Modern (as Hirst plans to), it would defy the point of his art entirely. To contain his art to the walls of a gallery would destroy the Banksy experience. What makes his art so spectacular is that you don’t set out to find it. Instead, by chance, you stumble upon it in the most unlikeliest of places so the artistic experience takes place when you least expect it.

Thank you


Handy Links:

Banksy Unmasked

Banksy – Image Archive

Banksy Spoof – Hanksy

Rolf Harris: ‘The Collection 2012’ – first info on the new collection

January 17, 2012 on 6:10 pm | In Breaking News, Collections, Famous Artists, Rolf Harris | 1 Comment


We have just heard that a brand new Rolf Harris portfolio of works, simply called ‘The Collection 2012’ will be released in the next few weeks and the trade (picture galleries who sell to the public) will be viewing these new pieces for the first time on Tuesday 7th February 2012.

an untitled image from the new collection
Limited Edition by Rolf Harris

I have heard there will be 13 limited edition print images & these which will appear as on paper & on canvas editions & some of these will also appear as ‘deluxe’ canvas, which are larger that the regular canvas.

We have heard there will be: a tiger image, an image of Uluru, aka ‘Ayers Rock,’ a beach scene & a London scene, likely Big Ben or Parliament, amongst others.

Rolf’s collection is eagerly anticipated every year and the excitement is building once again.

Gallery owners will get a chance to meet and speak with Rolf Harris on the 7th February and to hear about his latest inspirations. The buying public will be able to purchase/pre-order early to mid February.

Thank you


Useful Links:

Rolf Harris re-records Two Little Boys on the anniversary of the end of WWI – Jan 2012
Rolf Harris Interview Dec 2011

David Hockney shares his views on superstar artist Damien Hirst in the lead up to his own ‘A Bigger Picture’ Exhibition

January 12, 2012 on 5:21 pm | In Art Exhibitions, Contemporary Art, Damien Hirst, David Hockney, Famous Artists, Landscape Art, Sculptures | No Comments

‘David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture’ is an exciting new exhibition set to be showcased at The Royal Academy between the 21st January and the 9th April 2012. The large scale walls are to project to us, the audience, Hockney’s fascination with landscape that has spanned over 50 years.

(David Hockney, ‘Woldgate Woods, 21, 23 & 29 November 2006’, 2006.
Oil on 6 canvases – One of the Hockney’s many landscape pieces
to feature in his Royal Academy exhibition: A Bigger Picture)

Remarkably, many of the huge works to be seen in A Bigger Picture “wouldn’t have existed unless the Royal Academy had asked me”, Hockney tells us. He explains that it simply wouldn’t have been feasible for him to work on such large projects by himself without being equipped with gigantic walls to do the pieces justice.

Throughout his press releases, the emphasis on creating works by his own fair hands and only his hands was raised due to certain note placed in front of some of his creations. The note reads: “All the works here were made by the artist himself, personally.” Upon being quizzed about the note, David Hockney was asked if it was in reference to artist of the hour, Damien Hirst, to which he responded with a simple nod. Hockney made it very clear that he strongly disapproves of artists who employ others to work on their own creations, as “It’s a little insulting to craftsmen, skilful craftsmen.”

(Left: David Hockney RA. Right: Damien Hirst. The two English superstar artists have both recently aired their opposing views on the use of assistants to create works of art)

Damien Hirst’s ‘For The Love Of God’; a human skull entirely encrusted with diamonds proved the case in point for Hockney, as the superstar artist had London jeweller Bentley & Skinner work on his creation. Hirst has on numerous occasions poorly defended his use of assistants by remarking that they could do a better job on something that he finds tedious to do himself. Or to use Hirst’s more eloquent choice of words, “I couldn’t be fucking arsed doing it”.

(Damien Hirst, ‘For The Love Of God’, 2007)

The platinum casted human skull sculpture is encrusted with 8,601 diamonds. It was part of the Beyond Belief exhibition held at the White Cube Gallery, and eventually sold for an astonishing £50million. This is the largest sum ever paid for a single work by a living artist, and is therefore the very reason Hirst’s use of assistants has caused such controversy.

The words spoken by Hirst contrast starkly to the beliefs of David Hockney, who in a recent interview used the Chinese proverb to convey his passionate views on both art and the artist: “you need the eye, the hand and the heart. Two won’t do.”

(David Hockney, ‘Bigger Trees Near Water’, 2007. Hockney’s biggest ever
creation is made up of 50 canvases, and measures up to a whopping
total of 15ft by 40ft; of which every inch was created by his
own fair hands)

There is no doubt that the combination of 74 year old Hockney’s eye for detail, creative hand, and artistically passionate heart will make for a wonderfully personal exhibition that portrays the artist’s love and admiration for his native Yorkshire landscape. A true leader of creators!



Useful Links:

The Royal Academy – ‘David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture’

David Hockney – Biography

Tate Collection – Damien Hirst

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