YORK ceramicist Ben Arnup will open Pyramid Gallery’s concluding 40th anniversary exhibition, The Christmas Collection, in Stonegate, York, on Saturday at 12 noon.
Ben will be exhibiting 12 new pieces, having supplied gallery curator and owner Terry Brett with his distinctive trompe l’oeil’ ceramic sculptures for 28 years.
At the heart of The Christmas Collection will be new work by another Pyramid regular, London artist and printmaker Anita Klein. “I’ve invited Anita to fill the walls of this show with 15 large linocut original prints and two paintings,” says Terry.
“The gallery has enjoyed a long, unbroken relationship with Anita as a supplier of her extensive catalogue of prints that form a diary of her family life.
“Over the 28 years in which she has shown more than 800 different pictures at Pyramid Gallery, we’ve watched her career progress to the point where she has become one of the most collectable printmakers in the UK. It seems very fitting that she is the main focus of this year’s final anniversary exhibition.”
As well as showing new linocut prints, Anita will be selling copies of her book Out Of The Ordinary – 40 years Of Print Making, published by Eames Fine Art in October.
For more than 40 years, this artist of the everyday and the personal has produced thousands of paintings, prints and drawings depicting her immediate family – husband, daughters, grandchildren and herself – going about the very ordinary activities of daily life.
From watching television, cooking, reading, driving to school, soaking in the bath and getting dressed, to cleaning the house, choosing a pet, going on holiday, or just cuddling up and sharing tender moments with loved ones, Anita captures these seemingly unremarkable domestic scenes with humour, sensitivity and beauty, creating an intimate visual journal with which everyone can identify.
The book contains 550 of Anita’s best-loved prints, presented as a charming chronological record of the family’s day-to-day life through the decades, seen from the artist-mother’s perspective, as they grow and change in their respective roles within the household.
Out Of The Ordinary also charts her development as a printmaker, from the simple monochrome drypoints of the 1980s, a consequence of the practical and financial demands of being a young stay-at-home mum, through to the more colourful and elaborate prints of recent years.
A personal appreciation of Anita Klein’s work by poet Hollie McNish opens the volume, while texts by publishers Rebecca and Vincent Eames, who have collaborated with the artist for more than two decades, and critic Mel Gooding give an introduction to her practice.
Anita herself provides recollections and further detail with short commentaries on the images and the occasions that they depict, complemented by poetry contributions from Dame Carol Ann Duffy, Hollie McNish and Wendy Cope.
Taking part in the exhibition too will be sculptors Jennie McCall and Christine Pike; printmaker Mychael Barratt; slipware potter Dylan Bowen; ceramicists Katie Braida, Ilona Sulikova and Drew Caines (from Leeds); glass installation artist and sculptor Monette Larsen and glassmakers Rachel Elliott, Alison Vincent, Keith Cummings, Bruce Marks and David Reekie.
To complement with festive sparkle, the Christmas Collection jewellery displays will feature studio work by more than 50 British makers, including Jane Macintosh.
Saturday’s launch will run from 12 noon to 3pm; the exhibition will continue until January 12, open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday; 11am to 4pm on Sundays.