A portrait in oils of Robin Hanbury-Tenison, world famous explorer, President of Survival International, re-wilder of the Cornish countryside – and COVID-19 survivor, features in a new London exhibition which opens next week.
The portrait, by Sarah Reynolds of the Lots Road Group will be on show at the Bermondsey Project Space – a gallery in the heart of Bermondsey’s vibrant artistic area – from Tuesday 27-Saturday 31 July from 11am-6pm.
‘Beyond the Door’ will reflect on the unprecedented times we have been living through. It will feature portraits by 15 artists in the group generated during the pandemic when our own front doors have defined the way we live. The doors to our homes have been both bulwarks against a dangerous world and a means of escape from confinement. The word ‘beyond’ in the title of the exhibition is deliberately ambiguous, allowing exploration of both interior and exterior worlds through the medium of portraiture. Artists have chosen subjects whose experiences are representative of the unfamiliar limbo through which we have all been passing. These include people who have had Covid, those we have been locked down with, those we have only seen on Zoom or Facetime, fellow out of work creatives – and ourselves – never has there been a more appropriate time for self portraits!
This year the group has invited a guest artist to join them, Melissa Scott-Miller RP, NEAC, RBA. Scott-Miller is an acclaimed artist specialising in portraits and urban landscapes – which often include elements of portraiture. Her work is therefore the embodiment of the dual interior and exterior theme of this exhibition. She has continued her usual practice of painting landscapes en plein air during the pandemic so far as humanly possible and has also worked at home including creating a portrait for this exhibition. In another innovation this year the group will be showing a selection of other recent work reflecting the diversity of members’ practices and their preoccupations during the past year.
The exhibition catalogue will continue the Lots Road Group’s usual practice of including a narrative with each portrait, giving both artist and sitter a voice – something that makes the group unique. The catalogue is introduced by Robin Hanbury-Tenison.
Hanbury-Tenison’s was the embodiment of an outdoor life until he had to spend seven weeks in hospital with minimal chance of survival. He credits a visit to the hospital garden as the turning point in his recovery and is now raising funds for more such healing gardens, a cause to which the Lots Road Group will encourage contributions at this exhibition. Click here for his fundraising page.
Exhibiting artists:Rebecca Asghar, Alla Broeksmit, Martin Burrough, Matt Collis, Hero Johnson, Christine Klein, Sharon Low, Fiona Mitchell, Maureen Nathan, Hilary Puxley, Colleen Quill, Lucinda Rendall, Sarah Reynolds, Mark Stevenson, Stella Tooth