“Smallest sculpture park in world” comes to Eden village

Date: Friday 13th June 2014

WHAT could be smallest sculpture park in the world arrives in Long Marton for the village’s first arts festival, from Monday, 16th to Sunday, 22nd June.

It is the work of Manchester artist Bob Nancollis, friend of one of the festival organisers, John Keith, and fits into his back garden at 6 Railway Cottages!

The sculpture park will be open each day from 11am to 4pm.

Also at No. 6 is an exhibition of paintings by Trevor Grimshaw (1947-2001), an artist whose work was bought by L. S. Lowry. Anyone who wishes to view it should telephone 017683 61185.

The festival, organised by Mr. Keith and Keith Spence, from the village institute, brings together the institute, the school, local gardens, the village green and the pub, the Masons Arms, for a week-long celebration of art.

At Long Marton School, art teacher Rebecca Hodgson has invited Mr. Nancollis, local artist Debbie Lucas and Mr. Spence to take workshops with the children in sculpture, felt-making and pottery, leading up to an exhibition in the institute on 21st and 22nd June, from 11am to 4pm. Proceeds from the exhibition will go to school funds.

There will also be an exhibition of Impressionist paintings in the institute by Salford artist David Coulte from 19th to 22nd.

Visitors can go on an art trail from the institute, calling at gardens in the village and looking for sculptures by artists Roma Short (potter), Wilf Maw (metal sculpture), David Cemmick (wildlife sculptor) and Cumbrian Carvings (wood sculptures).

On the village green on the Saturday and Sunday there will be a marquee with a chance for people to make their own work of art, and, finally, the Masons Arms will be open on the Sunday with a display of paintings and pottery for sale.

l For anyone who is a fan of TV prgram Flog It the name Grimshaw will be familiar, as his work is in demand and his popularity is growing.

Grimshaw was a family friend and workmate of collection owner John Keith, who supported Grimshaw (among others) in his lifetime, including organising and helping stage his last exhibition, in the Czech Republic in 1997.

L. S. Lowry bought three major works at Grimshaw’s graduation show in 1968 after which they became lifelong friends.

Grimshaw developed a unique style, working in oils, charcoal and graphite to produce atmospheric, stylised images of the northern industrial landscape, mainly in monochrome, and is most celebrated for his black and grey graphite portrayal of post-industrial Britain (for example, canals, cityscapes, viaducts and steam trains). His portfolio included other diverse subjects such as megaliths, Stonehenge, quarries in North Wales, motorway construction and the solstices (often in combination).

Colour treatment was largely reserved for later Cheshire landscapes and very rare pictures of Clarice Cliff ceramics (one is in the exhibition, as are examples of all of the themes he painted).

He exhibited widely in the UK and in the US and Germany. His work was included in the private collections of Lowry, the Warburton (bread) family, Gerald Kaufman MP, and the late Edward Heath, and he is represented in a number of public collections, including The Tate Gallery and Salford, Stockport and Bury art galleries.

This exhibition includes four of the title slides he did for the first BBC series of Great Railway Journeys of the World. He also illustrated Mike Harding’s book The Singing Street, as well as several other publications.

By the time of his death, in a house fire in 2001, Grimshaw had become an alcoholic and a reclusive figure.

Mr. Keith said: “The Long Marton art and craft festival seemed an ideal opportunity to showcase a collection which has remained unseen since the retrospective exhibition held in 2004 in Stockport after Trevor’s death.

“Top London art dealers and collectors nationally and internationally are now recognising, after years of neglect, his rightful place alongside northern greats such as friends Lowry, Rutherford and Geoffrey Key, and Riley, Delaney, Lawrence Isherwood, Theodore Major and others.”