cambridge contemporary art

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2017 - a year in photos

Meet the artist, Demonstrations, exhibitionscambridge contemporary artComment
paul smith and flora mclachlan 7.10.1722.jpg

Throughout the year the gallery has changed its skin over a dozen times. Our exhibits have shown the brightest and best from the world of contemporary ceramics, glass, painting and printmaking.  

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We always strive to mould the gallery's interior to display the artwork in the most complimentary way. Our aim has always been to create an inviting environment, which allows visitors to experience the work in a relaxed and personal space. 

We were very pleased to host a number of engaging workshops and talks by many of our esteemed artists. For both us and gallery visitors, these meetings are a wonderful opportunity to get to know the artists we represent and learn about their practices. 

This year we began to live stream the events on our Instagram profile to an ever increasing audience. 

We have lots more events lined up for 2018.

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We wish you all the best in the New Year! 

 

Photography by Zuza Grubecka

Future exhibitions at cambridge contemporary art

2nd - 14th January 2018

Mixed exhibition featuring Vicky Oldfield

20th January - 25th February 2018

Mixed exhibition

3rd - 25th March 2018

Emma Green

30th March to 22nd April 2018

Shazia Mahmood and Anthony Theakston

28th April to 20th May 2018

Paine Proffitt and Helen Martino

26th May to 17th June 2018

Ruth Beloe, Anne-Marie Butlin

8th to 30th September 2018

Gail Brodholt and John Duffin

Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale 2018

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CallFor2018-A4poster.jpg

 

The planning of the hugely popular printmaking exhibition has begun. In 2014, the inaugural exhibition, the founders of Cambridge Original Printmakers, Jo Tunmer, Sue Jones and Anthony Hopkinson mission statement was 'to promote and further a knowledge and understanding of printmaking and its technical variables and complexities to a wider audience’.  They more than achieved their goal.

Once again in 2018 there will be talks by keynote speakers, alongside several workshops and demonstrations. The core team are working to improve and develop the educational aspect and hoping to introduce support for Cambridge art students.

In 2016 the Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale core team enriched the event further by introducing workshops and producing an exhibition catalogue. The team also initiated the awarding of four prizes for exhibitors. 

We are proud to announce that cambridge contemporary art will be awarding one of the prizes during the Biennale exhibition. 

The Cambridge Original Printmakers Biennale 2018 promises to deliver once again an outstanding event, as expected by the visitors and exhibitors. The exhibition is a unique printmaking event with workshops, demos, speakers, and awards.

Eligibility

Participants must live or have a working studio within a radius of 35 miles from the marketplace in a central Cambridge venue. Only hand-pulled original works printed by the artists themselves will be accepted. Digital prints, gicleé prints and photographs will not be considered.

All printmakers who submit for the Cambridge Original Biennale 2018 will be have their work viewed and selected by an independent selection panel.

The exhibition will take place at the wonderful and historic Pitt Building, Trumpington St, Cambridge CB2 1RP, situated on the corner of Silver Street, opposite the famous Fitzbillies café.

 

Meet the Artist - Richard Spare

exhibitions, Meet the artist, Printmakingcambridge contemporary artComment

Richard Spare's wonderful prints are now on show at Cambridge Contemporary Art in an exhibition with printmaker Robert Greenhalf that runs until 5th March. His pared down images, depicting scenes of wildlife, coastal scenes and still life, are inspired by his studio garden, and time spent travelling in America and Japan.

To learn more about the way Richard works we asked him a few questions.

When did you first know you wanted to be an artist? 
I don’t remember as a child making a sudden decision to be an artist, but from an early age I was drawn to making and designing.  It was a natural progression to go to art college and work with other artists. 

What inspires you? 
Nature must be an inspiration to everyone!  The garden at my studio is a constant source of inspiration, as is travel - on arrival in a new part of the world, I am usually weighed down with copper plates! 

What are the qualities you enjoy about the medium you work in? 
I always draw directly onto the plate from my chosen subject.  I love working straight onto the copper, the act of drawing on the resistant copper dictates the way I draw, and the way the image turns out.  I am not transposing from another medium, so each print is an original interpretation, individually printed by hand, and hand painted.  Each print is thus slightly different. I enjoy the rich velvet blacks of the drypoint line against the pure pigment of the watercolour and find the vibrancy of the pigment against the strength of the black a beautiful combination. 
 
How long does the process take and what is involved? 
Each single print takes considerable time to produce.  Aside from the time taken drawing the image (which takes many hours and some strength!) - the plate must be re-inked and hand-wiped for each print made.  The plates are printed on my antique etching presses - the technique having changed very little since Rembrandt’s day. 
The press is turned by hand and the damp paper is peeled off the plate to reveal an image which is thus unique - no mass production here!  The print is then dried for eight hours under weights and is hand-coloured, the application of watercolour painting on the printed drypoint line and gives another dimension of uniqueness. Use of precise colour is extremely important; my wife Kay and I spend a lot of time proofing the colours, until the right balance is achieved. 
 
Do your floral titles come from a knowledge of plants/botany/horticulture
Unfortunately I don’t have green fingers myself, or know many Latin names, but I adore flowers and get a real buzz when something wonderful blooms in the studio garden! 
 
How do you arrive at your pared-down images? 
By a process of elimination, over the years I’ve tried to express the essence of what I see. I attempt to evoke the fragility of life and my respect for its existence. Each animal, bird or flower has its own character, often engagingly quirky or even humorous, I enjoy bringing these charictoristics out in my work. 

How did your time in America and Japan influence you? 
Whilst in New York I spent a great amount of time in the museums.  It was during one such visit to MOMA that I was struck by Matisse’s sublime simplicity of line and shape.  On return to London I went on to produce Blue Bird, which was, I suppose, the start of my current work. 
Since then I have traveled extensively in Japan which I was fortunate enough to visit annually for eleven years for a series of solo shows. After a five year break, I am excited to be going back this November for 25 shows right across Japan. I adore the rich culture and artistic traditions, the beauty of the landscape, and the people, all of which has an influence on my work.  
 
Which other artists do you admire? 
Rembrandt, Goya, Van Gogh, Picasso, David Hockney, Hokusai, Utamaro, Hiroshige and many, many more. 
 
What are your favourite museums and galleries? 
 MOMA, NY,  Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam,  Royal Academy, London, Ukiyo-E Ota Memorial Museum of Art, Tokyo. 
 
Can you describe a typical working day
I am not a morning person! I usually work at home in the morning, going through the diary, signing prints or discussing ideas or licensing requests with Kay. I arrive at my studio, which is a few miles away, in the late morning and open up the shutters at the back so I can see the garden while I work. I may be printing, or steelfacing my plates (an electroplating process which strengthens the drawn plate, so the image is maintained throughout the punishing pressures on the copper as the edition is printed on the antique etching presses). If I am travelling then of course I am out drawing! 
 
How do you see your work evolving in the future? 
My work will always be informed by travel and nature and I seek inspiration in these. My interpretations have evolved gradually over the years and I’m sure will continue to do so. The printmaking process is constantly surprising and inspiring in itself, and I like to use found textures and marks in some of my works. 
 
What are your general interests? 
My work and leisure cannot really be separated, - but my family, travel, film, meeting up with old friends come top of the list. 

Meet Richard Spare in the gallery on 19th February at 2pm. Richard will be at cambridge contemporary art (6 Trinity Street, Cambridge) to chat to visitors about his work.