Exciting Contemporary Art Arrives in the Cotswolds

20 November 2013 § 2 Comments

‘Exciting’ and ‘contemporary art‘ are not words that you would usually associate with the word ‘Cotswolds‘ – Land Rovers, Labradors and Leaders of the Conservative party perhaps come to mind more readily. Other than a mere handful of galleries in Oxford and Bristol the whole region has a desperate dearth of places where one can reasonably claim to be able to enjoy the type of contemporary art which one could genuinely define as being ‘innovative’ or ‘fresh’.

Jonny Briggs

Jonny Briggs

Fortunately this has now changed. The new owners of an historic grade II listed Victorian gothic mansion (apologies for the mouthful, but that’s exactly what it is) have opened a new contemporary art space, High House Gallery. For the last 18 months they have been bringing all that is innovative and interesting from the London art scene out in to the (contemporary) artistic wilderness that is ‘Poshtershire’.

Adeline de Monseignat

Adeline de Monseignat

Located in Clanfield, close to the border between Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire the indoor space has a rotating exhibition programme whilst the formal gardens have hosted garden displays of contemporary works – do not think stone and bronze, instead how about concrete, glass, steel and whalebone (!).

Rinko-Kawauchi

Rinko-Kawauchi

Exhibitions so far have mostly tented towards the pick of recent graduates from top London art colleges such as Chelsea, St Martins, Goldsmiths and RCA. Lindsey Bull, Gabriella Boyd, Tom Howse and  are excellent examples of HHG artists that should go far.

Gabriella Boyd

Gabriella Boyd

In addition there are a sprinkling of talented overseas artists like the Portuguese photographer Virgilio Ferreira and US artist Andrew Leventis.

Andrew Leventis

Andrew Leventis

Furthermore the gallery not only consults on all aspects of contemporary art but holds a stock of top international artists. Quality pieces are currently available to buy from the likes of George Shaw, John Stezaker, Ryan McGinley and Mariah Robertson.

Mariah Robertson

Mariah Robertson

The big news for the start of next year is that the opening exhibition of the 2014 season features a touring version of the highly regarded Griffin Art Prize. Fitting well with the gallery ethos it is limited to recent (5 year limit) graduates. The shortlist for the prize is currently on show at the Griffin Gallery in West London. For those who have not been able to see the show there its excursion out to the Cotswolds is well worth catching.

Griffin Art Prize

Griffin Art Prize

Visit the High House website to register for news of new exhibitions and events by email, Facebook or Twitter.

Griffin Art Prize 2013 touring show is at High House Gallery 16 January – 16 February 2014.

innovative contemporary art for the cotswolds?

11 June 2012 § 3 Comments

‘Innovative’ and ‘contemporary art’ are not words that you would usually associate with the word ‘Cotswolds’ – Land Rovers, Labradors and Conservative party gatherings perhaps come to mind more readily. Other than a mere handful of galleries in Oxford and Bristol the whole region has a desperate dearth of places where one can reasonably claim to be able to enjoy the type of contemporary art which one could genuinely define as being ‘new’ or ‘fresh’.

But could this all be about to change? The new owners of an historic grade II listed Victorian gothic mansion (apologies for the mouthful, but that’s exactly what it is) are opening a new contemporary art gallery. They promise to bring all that is innovative and interesting from the London art scene out in to the (contemporary) artistic wilderness that is ‘Poshtershire’.

Julie Cockburn – Bird

Located in Clanfield, close to the border between Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire there will be an indoor space with a rotating exhibition programme whilst the formal gardens will host garden displays of contemporary works – but do not think stone and bronze.

Alex Chinneck Concrete Cross Dresser

I do have to pause at this point and declare a personal interest. Yes, it is our very own gallery – so of course it is wonderful. But I can also promise you that the above statements are also true. There will be no impressionistic landscapes, no meaningless Rothko-style abstracts and above all no horses, cats or dogs – except for Lola, the gallery Labrador who will guard fearlessly and tirelessly against the above abominations.

The two Inaugural exhibitions – one in the garden and one in the gallery – will open with a champagne Private View on the 14 & 15 July 2012. Blog followers will be sent more information and have the opportunity to attend – watch this space.

A few works from the artists that will feature the first shows illustrated by means of  a taster. More soon! Meanwhile be sure to visit the High House website (in construction, part open) to register for news by email.

High House Gallery, Clanfield  OX18 2SH

Inaugural Exhibitions 14 July to 16 September 2012

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