Release Date: 29 January 2013
Master printmaker and sculptor Simon Packard MA RCA has transformed the gallery at The Museum in the Park into a dazzling riot of colour, pattern and bold printed forms. The white walls have disappeared and have been replaced with deep grey, bronze, blue and rich red, shimmering hand-painted colours which form a theatrical backdrop for the Artist's new collection of vibrant woodcuts.
The latest exhibition at the Stroud gallery is called 'DUNBAR ST.' in honour of the Artist's parents, who live in the street of that name in Sunderland. Many of the woodblocks used to create the vibrant designs were carved at their kitchen table.
In the current economic climate the costs of framing - let alone staging an exhibition - prevent many established as well as up and coming artists from showcasing their work. Here this obstacle has been turned into an opportunity - the prints are shown unframed, held lightly by clips, allowing us a rare chance to see patterns and paper close enough to smell the ink. The original woodblocks are also on show in the neighbouring gallery and children even get to take a piece of the exhibition home: they can take wax crayon rubbings from two of the blocks.
Simon Packard is Artist in Residence at the Museum every Friday during February. One of his 'works in progress' is a design inspired by a fragment of the country's earliest wallpaper, dated around 1740. It was rescued from a house at Wallbridge (now the heart of the exciting re-opening of the Stroudwater Canal) just before it was demolished in 1970. It remained untouched until it was chosen for the 2008 'Beauty' exhibition and was carefully conserved.
'DUNBAR ST.' shows until 24 February. Admission is free and prints are for sale.
Exhibition supported by Specialist Crafts www.specialistworkshops.co.uk