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Copyright 2012 View Art Gallery The rights of View Art Gallery as author of the work has been asserted to them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.


The Raconteurs Arena

View Art Gallery presents a group show

The Raconteurs Arena May 3 - June 28, 2012

View Art Gallery 159-161 Hotwells Road Bristol BS8 4RY United Kingdom for enquiries: +44 (0)5603 116753


FRAN WILLIAMS Fran has responded to the magical and legendary tale of two local giants, Goram and Vincent. The legend belongs to the genus of myths, which explain the origin of local geographical features by supernatural activity. This body of work depicts a tempestuous relationship between the giants resulting in death of one brother. The story has inspired Fran to journey into the stories emotions of love, violence, regret and time, resulting in beautiful and emotionally charged paintings.

Vincent’s Sorrow oil on wood 30 x 40 cm £770

left: Why oil on wood 30 x 40 cm £770 right: As Long as it Takes oil on canvas 50 x 75 cm £1,540

Free oil, mixed media on canvas 100 x 70 cm ÂŁ2,640

Life... Live oil, mixed media on canvas 100 x 70 cm ÂŁ2,640

KRISTIAN FLETCHER Kristian, a recent winner of the prestigious Jerwood Drawing prize, will be showing his work with View for the first time. He has immersed himself in the story of William Watts’ recurring surreal dream. During a walk in Hotwells William was caught in a heavy shower, but instead of drops of water falling from the clouds, molten lead fell in a perfect globular form. He put his dream to the test, which eventually resulted in the building of the Sheldon Bush Shot Tower. Kristian has built an interactive installation that accompanies a series of beautifully drawn constructions, suspended in heavenly sky-scapes.

Lead Bomber 5 graphite on fabriano 127 x 89 cm ÂŁ950

left: Lead Bomber 7 graphite on fabriano 127 x 89 cm ÂŁ750

above: Milkshake Bomber graphite on fabriano 68 x 88 cm ÂŁ995

above: Bomber 1 giclee print, edition of 60 55 x 45 cm ÂŁ125 (framed)

right: Bomber 2 giclee print, edition of 60 45 x 55 cm ÂŁ125 (framed)

THOMAS DOWDESWELL Thomas has been incessantly working on an epic body of work inspired by the Stokes Croft riots of 2011. A year in the making and a year on from the troubles, Thomas has produced twelve canvases brought together as one. The paintings are fluid; abstract shapes and colours are employed to capture the frantic confusion and depict flurries of activity. We witness bodies falling from the sky, captives being pummelled to the ground, fists and limbs flying indiscriminately about the canvas. ‘The Battle with the Boys in Blue’ has become a vehicle for political debate as well as an artistic documentary.

The Boys in Blue oil on board 6 diptychs, each 100 x 150 cm £17,970 whole set or £2,995 per diptych

MR MEAD Mr Mead is fast becoming recognised both internationally and nationally for his Gothic anthropomorphic characters. It is no wonder that he has fully embraced the story of the giant, Patrick Cotter who later changed his name to Patrick O’Brien. Just suppose you came round a corner in Hotwells 200 years ago and suddenly saw a huge, tall man lighting his pipe from a gas streetlight. This giant really did exist and he frightened children so much that he had to go for a walk after dark 
when they were all in bed! Mr Mead has illustrated Patrick’s story in a series of paintings for The Raconteurs Arena

right: A Giant’s Gloom fine liner on illustration board 70 x 90 cm £730 over page left: Mr O’Brian’s Only Solice fine liner on illustration board 60 x 69 cm £380 over page right: O’Brian’s Takeover fine liner on illustration board 70 x 90 cm £745

DAMIAN DALY Damian, a popular regular exhibitor at View, has referenced in his drawings characters from the most widespread version of the legend that relates to Goram and Vincent - who, according to one version, were brothers - loved the same woman, the beautiful Avona (whose name is that of the River Avon, and in Latin means dress). She offered herself to whichever of them could drain a lake, which supposedly once occupied the space between Bradford-on-Avon and Bristol. They chose different routes for their drainage channels; Goram opted for a route through Henbury, and Vincent chose one on the south side of Clifton.

right: Avona pen on paper 70 x 90 cm £750 over page left: Vincent pen on paper 70 x 90 cm £750 over page right: Goram pen on paper 70 x 90 cm £750

STUART MITCHELL After the success of his collaboration with Beth Carter at View’s ‘In Darkness Blooms’ exhibition. Stuart is exhibiting drawings inspired by two stories. One story involves Jenkin Protheroe, a Welsh highwayman who roamed The Downs over 200 years ago. He was said to be a dwarf with long, powerful arms, a twisted body and a hideous face. Some said that he would lie down groaning and when a kindly traveller went to help him he would catch him by the throat and rob him. People were so terrified of Jenkins that even after he was dead they swore that his ghost climbed down from the gallows at nightfall and haunted the Downs.

Sarah Anne’s Descent polymer, photogravure print edition of 10 40 x 50 cm £450

Jenkin’s Last Dance polymer, photogravure print edition of 10 40 x 50 cm £450

ANDREW BURNS COLWILL Andrew is a Bristol artist who often illustrates murals that can be seen on walls around the city. They are often commenting on the social issues throughout Bristol’s rich history. For one of his works featured in the exhibition Andrew has illustrated the Story of Princess Caraboo. In 1817 Mary Baker captivated Bristol society in the guise of the exotic Princess Caraboo of Javasu. Sex, beauty and a handful of lies was all it took to transform a cobblers daughter into an alluring Princess. She managed to convey that she had been kidnapped from her island home in the Indian Ocean and jumped ship in the Bristol Channel. She was eventually exposed as an impostor and ended up in Bedminster as a leech breeder.

The Eyes that Captured Mr and Mrs Worrell oil on linen 66 x 46 cm ÂŁ695

above: New Roots in Bristol oil on linen 97 x 62 cm ÂŁ895

right: Self Portrait oil on linen 90 x 65 cm ÂŁ895

CEDRIC LAQUIEZE Cedric has taken a playful approach in his response to the characters Vincent, Goram, and Avona - the giant brothers and the target of their competing affections. Cedric’s intricate sculptures are more flamboyant and intriguing than ever. The insect parts and exotic bird feathers exude the extravagant displays of competitive courtship between the love triangle of the two brothers and their lust for Avona.

Fairy Giant 1 Insect parts, exotic bird feathers, glass dome H 22 cm ÂŁ990

Fairy Giant 2 Insect parts, glass dome H 22 cm ÂŁ990

Fairy Giant 3 Insect parts, glass dome H 22 cm ÂŁ990

Fairy Giant 4 Insect parts, exotic bird feathers H 22 cm ÂŁ990

Fairy Giant 5 Insect parts, glass dome H 22 cm ÂŁ990

Fairy Giant 6 Insect parts, exotic bird feathers H 22 cm £990

Fairy Giant 2 Insect parts, glass dome H 22 cm £990

LUKE CARTER Luke has researched Major-General Charles George Gordon, most famous for his mission in Khartoum and the struggle against the Mahdi. The aim of the mission was the abolition of the Arab slave trade. However, in the name of freeing slaves in Africa, Britain came close to enslaving the entire continent. As a Bristol based artist Luke Carter wanted to create a piece of work that looked into a part of the city’s history that is often over looked. The book itself follows a voyage of discovery and the destructive power of the British Empire. The imagery burned into the book links to the branding of slaves traded.

The Book of Slavery laser etching on vintage book 14 x 21 cm ÂŁ330

DIGGY Diggy has used her distinct magical painting style to represent the story of Bristol’s giants, Goram and Vincent. One of the giants is frantically tearing away at the earth and rocks to form the Bristol Rivers. One of Diggy’s trademarks is the incorporation of old comic book scenes in her paintings, which the aid unfolding of this majestic tale.

The Digger oil, spray, mixed media on canvas 70 x 90 cm £790

CHLOE EDWARDS As part of the Bristol Festival of Photography, photographer Chloe will be showcasing her ‘Correspondence Series’ at View. Chloe is inspired by personal histories and archives, exploring the way in which we communicate using books and letters to convey messages. In her photographs he is altering the original intentions of these objects to fabricate new fiction.

right: Correspondence 1 photographic print edition of 5 91 x 124 cm £1,575 (framed) over page left: Correspondence 2 photographic print edition of 5 91 x 124 cm £1,575 (framed) over page right: Correspondence 3 photographic print edition of 5 91 x 124 cm £1,575 (framed)

The artists have responded magnificently to our challenge to create imagery of some of Bristol’s most magical stories. An astonishing amount of creativity and technical skill has contributed to a show of diverse media and personal interpretation that demands attention. Nick Waugh, View Art Gallery


The Raconteurs Arena  

exhibition catalogue for The Raconteurs Arena at View Art Gallery

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