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e s u them newsletter for the arts venues

New series issue no. 3 Spring 2010

s w e n y r artgalle New acquisitions

In these dark winter days, take in a breath of ‘the warm south’ with one of the Art Collection’s latest acquisitions, a painting called L’Hiver by the Catalan artist Carlos Nadal (1917-1998), perhaps one of the last artists with direct connections to the original Fauve group. Nadal’s friends included Marquet, Dufy and Utrillo, and together with Picasso he would often visit Matisse when he lived on the Cote d’Azur.

Nadal’s love of Fauvist painting continued throughout his life and is evident in his work, characterised by its vibrant colour, wilfully distorted perspective and bold lines. Nadal’s work was little known in the UK until John Duncalfe became his UK representative in 1978. The painting, together with three lithographs by the same artist, has been presented to the Art Collection by John Duncalfe in memory of his dear friends, Stanley and Audrey Burton.

The Art Collection has also acquired a vivid painting in oil on paper by Alan Davie. Made in 1958 and included in the Gregory Memorial Exhibition held at Leeds City Art Gallery in 1960, it is the first painting by Davie to come into the University Collection. Opus 20D Tell Me of

that Colourful Night will make its Gallery debut in the Alan Davie exhibition opening in March.

Also on display in the Permanent Collection Room of the Gallery are two paintings by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham (1912-2004). Lent to coincide with the exhibition of Barns-Graham’s drawings, Snow at Wharfedale and Yellow Painting both date from 1957, when the artist was living in Leeds. They add a new and dynamic element to the group of modernist paintings held by the University from that period, and the Barns-Graham Trust has very generously offered to extend the loan for a period of two more years. Catch them while you can! Painting by Carlos Nadal (1917-1998), L’Hiver, 1973, Oil on canvas, Gift of John Duncalfe, 2009, In Memory of my dear friends Audrey and Stanley Burton


Selected from the many letters saved by Philippa Holmes (the second daughter of Sidney and Constance Pearson), Letters from Malham - Wartime Life at High Barn Cottage offers a brief glimpse into the daily life of the Pearsons after they moved from Thornton to the Dales village during the Second World War. Accompanied by family photographs and reproductions of many of Constance Pearson’s paintings, the letters vividly convey the artist’s continual juggling of her career with household duties and cares, and help to give us some sense of what life was like living in the Dales in the final years of the war.

Letters from Malham

The long-promised book has finally arrived! (see Muse 2, 2009)

The letters and photographs, together with other Pearson family papers, were inherited by Philippa’s daughter Katharine, who has now very generously presented the whole collection to the University of Leeds. This gift is celebrated in the new

exhibition curated by Laura Robinson, Paul Whittle and Hilary Diaper. The exhibition opens in the Gallery’s Education Room in February to coincide with the launch of the book, which has been generously supported by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society. If you missed the highly-successful exhibition of a Malham Family of Painters last summer, you can catch it again when it tours to the Folly at Settle in Spring this year, and afterwards at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes. Letters from Malham, along with other gallery publications, is available from the Gallery desk – or through the University’s online shop. Image: photograph of Constance and Sidney, with Margaret and the dog.

s w e n s n o i t i exhib Just before the winter holidays, the Gallery welcomed guest curator Mel Gooding’s exhibition ‘A Discipline of the Mind: The Drawings of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham,’ originally curated for the Pier Arts Centre in collaboration with the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust. The exhibition was opened by Geoffrey Bertram of the Trust, alongside Professor Roger Palmer from the University’s School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies. In their speeches, both celebrated the connections of

Barns-Graham to Leeds. Not only did this eminent Scottish artist spend a year working in Leeds in the 1950s, but her Trust has continued to support the work of young artists here – including funding a current bursary for an art student at the University.

Looking back to the 50s and up to the present day again, the Gallery once more pays tribute to another one of the University’s former Gregory Fellows – this time, the great abstract painter Alan Davie (Gregory Fellow in

Painting 1957-59). Renowned internationally for his energetic and brilliantly coloured canvases, Davie envisions art as an automatic, vital process, one which cannot be explained in words. The exhibition will provide a ‘snapshot’ look at his career spanning six decades, with a special focus on some recent works. Delightful doodles and sketches will also give us insights into the thought processes of this master British artist.

Special Collections Exhibitions In January and February, the Special Collections Reading Room exhibition programme begins the New Year with a display of Robert Burns material to coincide with Burns night this month. Featuring a copy of the first ‘Kilmarnock edition’ of his poems, the selection of works aims to show his literary influences as well as the poets who he, in turn, influenced. A local connection is provided by two silhouette portraits of Burns and his mother by John Miers of Leeds, the leading silhouettist at the time, and the centrepiece of the display is a gold courting ring given by Robert Burns to Jean Armour, who later became his wife. Future exhibitions: In March, a display of artefacts from the Liddle collection, and a

selection of post-revolutionary posters from the Leeds Russian Archive are scheduled for April. 2010 sees the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific institution. From February an exhibition at the entrance to the Brotherton Library will mark this occasion, displaying books from the 17th to 20th century from Special Collections, including works by Robert Hooke and Sir Isaac Newton. There is also currently an exhibition in the Special Collections which illustrates the development of passports and other travel documents. Future exhibitions in this space will include displays on the monumental Survey of English Dialects undertaken by the University some 50 years ago and the extraordinary Edwardian author Baron Corvo.

For further information and for the opening hours of Special Collections, please contact us on 0113 343 5518 or specialcollections@library. leeds.ac.uk.

Gold courting ring given by Robert Burns to Jean Armour

The Gallery has had to cancel its advertised summer exhibition, ‘European Identity,’ due to funding difficulties encountered by the touring organisers. In its place, however, the Gallery proudly presents ‘All Over the Place,’ featuring new works by members of the Land2 practice-led research art group. This national group, composed of lecturer-artists and researchers interested in landscape/place-oriented artwork, and including staff from the University’s School of Design, shows drawings on its theme in different media.

Bigger, Better&

The Gallery has entered its fortieth year. It first came into existence in January 1970, with Stanley Burton playing a crucial role in its birth. Various other agencies helped it in adolescence and early adulthood, but it was Audrey Burton’s benefaction in 2008 which enabled the Gallery to develop a middle-age spread. Birthday celebrations will be held in January 2011.


My favourite artwork…

One of my favourite paintings in the Gallery is Runswick Bay by Staithes Group artist Mark Senior. I like how the artist has applied the oil paint to represent the dramatic landscape of the North Yorkshire coast. It reminds me of summer holidays on the east coast with my parents and grandparents and playing on the beach with my sister and friends. Laura Robinson, Gallery & Collections Assistant, Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

Painting by Mark Senior (1864-1927), Runswick Bay, 1920, Oil on canvas, Purchased with the assistance of the Dorothy Turner Bequest and the MGC / V&A Purchase Grant Fund

Do you have a favourite artwork at the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery? Let us know which one and why, and your favourite artwork could feature in the next Muse! Please email your suggestions to gallery@leeds.ac.uk.

The Gallery welcomes a new Saturday team

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery is pleased to welcome two new members of staff to its team: Hollie Kritikos-Blades and Misty Ericson. Visitors may already have met our Gallery Attendants Hollie and Misty, who have been working Saturdays in the Gallery for some months now, but we can now officially count them part of our team for the rest of the year. Congratulations and welcome to both!

c i f s o u s M d & riUenin F y t t i r s ver A

Over the past twelve months FUAM has been celebrating its 20th anniversary and, through its Anniversary Appeal, marking the important contribution made to the work of the Friends by its Founding President, Mrs Audrey Burton. FUAM is pleased to announce that, in succession to Mrs Burton, the Rt Hon Lord Bragg of Wigton, the University Chancellor, has assumed the position of President.

The Anniversary Appeal has been highly successful and funds raised have already helped to sponsor the Audrey Burton Memorial Concert, a solo piano recital in October by the winner of the 2006 Leeds International Piano Competition, Sunwook Kim. Recorded for later broadcast, the recital included the world première of a new piece by the Japanese composer Dai Fujikura, specially commissioned by BBC Radio 3. It was a fitting tribute to Mrs Burton and her eclectic love of the arts. The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery will also benefit from the Appeal with a purchase for the Art Collection in her memory.

The Anniversary year culminated in a Gala Dinner in November in the presence of the Vice-Chancellor, who proposed a toast to FUAM,

with Mrs Judith Thomas MBE, Chairman of the Friends of the Mercer Gallery Harrogate, as guest speaker. FUAM’s programme for the early part of 2010 is already taking shape: it will part-sponsor the concert in the Great Hall by Harry Christopher’s The Sixteen on Saturday 13 February in memory of a founding member of FUAM, Maurice Kirk. The FUAM Annual Lecture, on Opera as Theatre, will be given by Professor Anthony Ogus on Monday 8 March. Why not join us and play your part in supporting art and music at the University? Details are on the website: www.leeds.ac.uk/fuam

news

ULITA

University Features in A History of The World The recently publicised BBC and British Museum national project ‘A History of the World’ has come to the University in the form of two objects, and two academics, entrenched in the history of the Department of Textile Industries (the precursor of the School of Design). These objects can be representative of both natural and artificial fibre research at the University. ULITA (University of Leeds International Textiles Archive) is currently highlighting a silk Dragon Robe from the Qing Collection of Chinese textiles. The robe was made according to the imperial clothing regulations of the time, where civilian and military officials were required to wear cloth rank squares to denote their social class. The dragon is China’s oldest mythological creature, and was selected as a symbol of the emperor. Depending on the ranking of the wearer, the dragon would have five,

four or three claws. Five-clawed motifs were reserved for highranking officials only, as on this garment. The Qing Collection was given to the Textile Museum by Professor Aldred Barker, the third Chair of the department (1914-1933). Barker travelled widely as part of his research into world wool production, visiting Peru, the States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, China and Japan. ULITA will be holding a small exhibition about Barker in March. The other object involved in the project is a camera used in the laboratory of the textile physicist William Astbury to take the first X-ray photographs of DNA. Appointed by Barker in 1928, Astbury researched the structure and properties of wool fibre with a view to creating a synthetic wool akin to the development of artificial silk (rayon). In the course of investigating biological fibres more generally, he and his assistants in the late 1930s undertook pioneering X-ray studies of DNA. During and after the Second World War, the Astbury lab remained a centre for creative theoretical and empirical work on DNA’s structure; work which fed directly into the growth of “molecular biology” (a phrase that Astbury invented). The new Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine will be showing an exhibition about Astbury in the Brotherton Library beginning later this month. The exhibition aims to reveal Astbury’s

role in this story of DNA, with pride of place given to Astbury’s camera and his connections to the Leeds textile industry. BBC & British Museum History of the World Project www.bbc.co.uk/ahistoryoftheworld/ (follow the link for Leeds) ULITA: www.leeds.ac.uk/ulita Museum of the History of Science, Technology and Medicine: www.personal.leeds.ac uk/~ph07maf/


s w e n music Other treats in store include: A song recital by the talented young soprano Clara Mouritz with Joseph Middleton at the piano. Her programme features repertoire with strong Spanish connections and will be preceded by a talk on the music of Falla by Hilary Thomas

Forty-Part Motet visits the Howard Assembly Room In 2001, I visited a most inspiring exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada – ‘Elusive Paradise: The Millennium Prize’. Ten exceptional contemporary artists – including British artist Tacita Dean – were chosen from around the world to create new work. It’s rare that every work in an exhibition can captivate me, but this was one of those exhibitions.

The work that everyone was talking about, though – the one that was making visitors cry – was Forty-Part Motet by Janet Cardiff. Simple in its concept, yet deeply powerful, this sound installation presents Thomas Tallis’s masterpiece, Spem in Alium (1573) in a unique form: 40 voices are recorded separately and played on 40 speakers spaced around the room. The visitor can experience the piece at the centre of the choir, or choose a ‘sound journey’ around the room. Presented in the Rideau Chapel at the National Gallery (a reconstructed chapel within the museum), the piece had me awestruck. As a former choir singer, I also enjoyed how

A Bach programme including the great setting of the Magnificat, given by Leeds Baroque.

Concerts News This season is proving to be a very exciting one for the University Concerts programme. The BBC Radio 3 lunchtime recital series is very popular and we are delighted that this link with Radio 3 will continue next year. The visit of John Williams and John Etheridge was a great draw for audiences and we were treated

to an electrifying demonstration of guitar virtuosity. For guitar fans, there is more to come, with a concert by Kit Holmes on 12 March 2010. At the time of writing we look forward to the visit of Harry Christophers and his choir “The Sixteen”. This will be the first visit of the Choir to Leeds in their thirty year history – so it is a great treat that they should launch a major series of concerts here in the Great Hall.

On a larger scale, the University Philharmonia and Choir will offer a wide-ranging programme of English Choral and Orchestral Music. The Spring Contemporary Music Festival features the School of Music Contemporary Music Ensemble, LS TWO, with new works for solo clarinet, new songs (in collaboration with Leeds Lieder+) sung by Margaret Feavior with Simon Lane at the piano, and concludes with works for Violin and Electronics – including three world premiers – performed by Darragh Morgan. Details of all these (and online ticket purchase) can be found at www.leeds.ac.uk/music/concerts. Howard Assembly Room at Opera North Entrance via Grand Theatre 46 New Briggate Leeds, LS1 6NU www.howardassemblyroom.co.uk Phone: 0113 22 33 500

the artist had captured the giggles and chitchat of the choir members before the performance. Thus I was terribly pleased to hear that one of my favourite works was coming to Leeds. It’s open to the public at the Howard Assembly Room at Opera North from 4 February to 3 March (open Monday to Saturday, 2-8pm). Admission is free. Layla Bloom, Exhibitions Officer, Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery


Acknowledgement With thanks to Alex Santos

diary

events Feb-April 2010

Free Friday lunchtime recitals are held throughout term time, from 1.10pm, in the Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, School of Music. Please visit the Concerts website for further details: www.leeds.ac.uk/music/concerts. 13 February – 11-4.30pm Symposium: ‘Spectral Traces,’ Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery 13 February – 5pm ‘Tallis, Sheppard and Byrd’: The Sixteen, directed by Harry Christophers, The Great Hall 17 February – 1-3pm Family Fun Activity: Drawing and Stitching, Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery 17 February – 1-1.30pm Lunchtime Tour: ‘Introduction to the University Art Collection’ (Layla Bloom Exhibitions Officer), Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery 21 February – 3pm Clara Mouriz (mezzo soprano) & Joseph Middleton (piano), Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, School of Music 24 February – 6pm Talk: ‘Neutrons, nuclear reactors, particle accelerators...and museums’ (Bob Cywinski, University of Huddersfield), Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

26 February – 1.30-4pm Workshop: Drawing the Dance, Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

16 March – 6-8pm Exhibition Reception: ‘Alan Davie,’ Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

28 February – 3pm Leeds Baroque Choir & Orchestra: ‘J.S. BACH Magnificat, Cantatas Nos. 11 and 34,’ Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, School of Music

18 March, 10.30-4pm Seminar: ‘Don’t Ask for the Mona Lisa: Exhibitions Collaborations between Academics and Art Galleries,’ Devonshire Hall

3 March – 6pm Talk: ‘3D scanning of cultural heritage; experiences at National Museums’ (Martin Cooper, Conservation Technology Lab, Liverpool Museums), Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery

21-28 April Contemporary Music Festival (Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, School of Music):

7 March – 3pm ‘Afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel c 1920’: Shelley van Loen and the Palm Court Strings, Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, School of Music 8 March – 6pm FUAM Annual Lecture: ‘Opera as Theatre,’ Professor Anthony Ogus School of Music 12 March – 6pm Cuban Big Band directed by Sue Miller, Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall, School of Music 12-13 March – Friday: 11-6pm; Saturday: 10-5pm 13th International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair, Parkinson Court 14 March – 3pm The School’s Project Choir & Philharmonia, The Great Hall

21 April – 7.30pm Composer Showcase 23 April – 6pm LS TWO directed by Mic Spencer 24 April – 7.30pm Adam Starkie (clarinet) and Marine Jacquinot (piano) 25 April – 3pm New Songs: Margaret Feaviour (soprano) and Simon Lane (piano) 28 April – 1.10pm Darragh Morgan (violin)

For more details, please visit: Art Gallery www.leeds.ac.uk/gallery Concerts www.leeds.ac.uk/music/concerts ULITA www.leeds.ac.uk/ulita FUAM www.leeds.ac.uk/fuam


The Muse - Spring 2010