POCKLINGTON School art master Dan Cimmermann will be painting live from 11am until darkness at tomorrow’s Art Of Protest Gallery launch of his Oy! Oy! solo show in York.
“Join us for a glass of festive fizz and check out this collection of originals based on the streets of York,” says gallery founder and owner Craig Humble, extending an invitation to a timely exhibition that merges York’s past and present.
Put bluntly, “St William’s Window versus Stags, Hens and Racecourse Revellers”. “This exhibition uses art’s first role – to make us look – as a means to encourage our thoughts about what’s important for the living vibrant reality of York today,” he contends.
“We can respect the layers of history that make our city so attractive, while embracing those who use our city for celebrating birthdays, hen dos and globally important sporting events.”
Craig, who has re-located his ever-provocative gallery to No. 11, Walmgate, this autumn, continues: “Dan’s show is another example of the Art Of Protest showing the contemporary side of this ancient city. Dan is a Yorkshire artist whose work is predominantly shown in London and Tokyo, so, as an art master at the 16th century Pocklington School, it’s nice to be able to show his work a little nearer home.”
Dan’s Oy! Oy! collection has emerged from his countless visits to York. Living nearby, he enjoys the city’s shops and restaurants, making cultural visits and a day at the races. As a keen photographer as well as a painter, he often takes snaps of scenes and events that catch his eye.
Over the years, he has come to ask himself, “What is it about a city with such a heritage that attracts such gatherings of hedonism and partying?”.
“When I was looking through my photos and sketches, I was struck with the contrast between the stoic architecture, layers of history and the revellers that drive the city’s economy today,” Dan says.
“Whether they be the stags and hens meeting centrally from across the country, or the landed gentry celebrating a coup at the races, York is filled every weekend with drunken forms and faces finding their way around the streets and alleys.
“I kept imagining the Minster’s gargoyles looking down and wondering about how their world view had changed over the millennia”.
Reflecting on the exhibition’s timing in the shadow of the pestilent pandemic, Craig says: “To put on this show after York has seen the quietest year in its history, regarding visitor numbers at least, is the sort of juxtaposition that tweaks the interest of an artist and a gallery, now in a new location.
“Many a local has lamented the city being overrun every weekend, but this staccato year has reminded us all that the city has the restaurants, museums, pubs and cultural investment because of the people attracted to come for whatever reason.”
To mark tomorrow’s exhibition launch, Dan will paint a mural in the backyard of Art Of Protest’s new Walmgate home. Oy! Oy! will then run until January 16 2021.
LUCY CHURCHILL, TRANSFORMING THE SACRED WOUND, A CELEBRATION OF FEMALE SEXUALITY IN THE AGE OF #MeToo, ART OF PROTEST GALLERY, WALMGATE, YORK, SEPTEMBER 25 TO OCTOBER 16 2021
YORK sculptor Lucy Churchill celebrates female sexuality in the #MeToo age in her debut Art Of Protest exhibition in York.
“Lucy’s taboo-breaking, innovative latest work is a far leap from her background in creating bespoke memorials and historical reconstructions,” says gallery curator, owner and founder Craig Humble as he launches her Transforming The Sacred Wound sculptures.
“She started her career in museums at the Metropolitan Museum, New York, and the Crafts Council, London, before taking a more hands-on approach via a diploma from the City & Guilds of London Art School, leading to traditional apprenticeships at fine-craft workshops at Dick Reid’s Workshop in York and Richard Kindersley’s in London.”
As a freelancer, Churchill has created numerous memorials and architectural features that are publicly but anonymously displayed across Britain. Her reconstruction work features on television and in books and her academic research into Tudor history has been published.
Now comes her first exhibition at the Art of Protest Gallery. “Lucy’s new body of work is a complete break with tradition, in style and subject; it addresses women’s sexuality with a frank female gaze,” says Craig.
“Created after a life-changing #MeToo experience, the sculptures are startlingly raw. Using a direct carving approach with technical mastery, she eschews a fully described, polished finish, leaving parts of the block uncarved, tool marks still clearly visible.
“Her goal is to imbue rejected shards with a holy reverence and a power that belies their size.”
Lucy has found an appreciative audience for her sculpture and wearable art through
Instagram; images of her work have been showcased by The Vagina Museum, and she has become a spokesperson on recovery from sexual trauma through art on social media and at the University of York.
“My work changed when I found my voice on a personal and creative level,” says Lucy. “For the first time, I have told my own story, both verbally and in highly personal sculpture. Though prompted by confronting historical sexual abuse, my work is not angry. Instead, the work stresses the importance of finding one’s sexual joy and the healing empowerment of intimate self-knowledge”
Craig concludes: “At the Art of Protest Gallery, we’re very excited to host Lucy’s first gallery exhibition. We enjoy sharing artwork that can’t be ignored, that inspires conversation and reflection while displaying skill and beauty to have in your home”