Art for Art's Sake

From: s. stone
Category: Exhibitions
Date: 20 March 2005


The stereotyped career of an artist is usually in solitude working on future masterpieces for generations to come. The artist will only crawl out of the woodwork to quickly air his or her creations in galleries once every blue moon. The artist is misunderstood by the general public usually the stereotype is reclusive, weird, bohemian and unconventional. The artist is an outcast of our society even though, if it wasn’t for God’s hand in making man/woman creative beings our universe would be vastly different.

There are many creative souls in Chester who are not given a chance or right to display their artistic skills or even to get a career within a creative field. The Chester art scene at present is dismally lacking: we have seen many privately own galleries close in the past year. It is pitiful that a majority of Cestrians seem more interested in capitalism than culture.

Art for Art’s Sake was set up so they can establish a solid foundation for a future arts centre. On the 19th March 2005 our art group officially opened their first art show at Bishop Lloyd’s Palace, Watergate Street, Chester, entitled Give Chester Art a Chance!

A total of twenty-one artists from around Cheshire came to help make this show a visual treat. We collected a wide range of diverse art from abstract to traditional and with professionalism on a par with larger established galleries. A few of the artists that have come on board have national exposure like Mike Williams a well-known cartoonist who has trained as an illustrator and commercial artist. He has drawn for Punch Magazine, Private eye, The Times and also became Cartoon Editor of Punch. Mike has also taken up painting and the six works on display are works of The Groves, Watergate and St. Nelson’s Column.

John MacKenzie was born in Oban, Argyll on the (19th July 1933- 29th October 2002). John was a very prolific artist, painting practically every day, and he painted extensively in the Chester, North-Wales area. The three excellent paintings on display are Anemones, Breaking Waves II and The Grove, Chester.

Spencer John Derry’s drawings involve a unique blend of surrealism and humour including The Gnarled Servant and The Exorbitant Corporation.

A splendid set of Chester photographs are displayed by David Heke a fine art photographer, who has appeared in national newspapers, books and magazines. The Anchorite Cell is a powerful image in black and white, haunting and alluring. He has exhibited extensively and has collaborated on a number of mixed media projects. At present he is the Official Photographer of the Chester Roman Amphitheatre project and he is also a key figure in Art for Art’s Sake.

A more contemporary feel about the show comes from local artist Joanna Waller who recently had her solo art show at the Grosvenor Museum. Joanna creates quilted and sculptural forms with textiles and stitch. Her inspiration is drawn from contemporary architecture, bridges and natural forms. “The pieces create a unique visual experience that changes with every angle from which it is viewed”, she says.

An excellent piece of abstract art by Jo Jenkins who associates with landscapes and nature in layers, texture and colour. Jo says: “I seek to convey a visual experience in which the viewer might identify with feelings evoked by texture, as well as an energy and harmony, through considered combinations of colour and tone”,

Pearl Davies makes one-off ceramic wall pieces and freestanding sculptures inspired by the changing cycles of growth and erosion in nature. “They are hand constructed in stoneware clay, layered with oxides, slips and glazes of my invention and high fired in gas reduction to create colourful and textural surfaces and vitrify the clay for use inside or out”.

Other artists on show are Diane Stafford, Robert Eagle, Caron Haye, Helen Anderson, M.J. Hayes, Jean Waters, Beryl Macintosh, Denise Harrison, Eliana Toye, Richard Hore, Janet Davies, Jill Pears and Dianne Burrows.