‘Beyond the Door – portraits and other recent work’ the latest exhibition by the Lots Road Group of portrait artists is scheduled for the end of July.
Bermondsey Project Space, 185 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3UW
Tuesday 27-Saturday 31 July 2021, 11am-6pm
The Lots Road Group’s latest exhibition, ‘Beyond the Door’ will take place in Bermondsey Project Space – a gallery in the heart of Bermondsey’s vibrant artistic area from Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 July.
‘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 will be introduced by one of our portrait subjects, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, world famous explorer, President of Survival International, re-wilder of the Cornish countryside – and COVID-19 survivor. Hanbury-Tenison’s was the embodiment of an outdoor life until he had to spend 7 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 be contributing at this exhibition.
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
Hero Johnson, who first portrayed Barbara Hosking CBE for the Lots Road Group’s Portrayed! exhibition, has paid tribute to her sitter and mentor.
“She inspired and mentored so many women over her long and illustrious life and I will always be gratetful to have been among them,” she said.
The International Women’s Forum UK commemorated its 25th Anniversary in 2015 with a portrait exhibition of 16 of its most inspiring women – its four founders and its first 12 chairs.
IWF UK is part of the International Women’s Forum, an organisation which advances leadership across careers, cultures and continents by connecting the world’s most pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement.
The portraits – contained in this online catalogue – were created by artists in the Lots Road Group. Barbara was married up with Hero, appropriately, by the drawing of lots, and they discovered they both had a connection in Cornwall.
LRG member Stella Tooth has begun a new blog about portraiture and musician art at a time when the UK’s culture industry has been seriously affected by the pandemic, yet is demonstration its ability to heal.
Stella’s blog will be published on the fourth Monday of each month, in case you would like to bookmark it.
Click here to read her first blog on The portrait as legacy and this month’s on The portrait as society glue.
We’re delighted to congratulate Natasha Farrant, one of the authors whose portrait featured in Lots Road Group’s exhibition ‘The Art of Reading’, who has won the most prestigious prize for children’s literature, the Costa Children’s Book Award, for her novel ‘The Voyage of the Sparrowhawk’.
Natasha was painted in her garden looking amused by one of her earlier novels, ‘Lydia’, by LRG member Hilary Puxley.
The prize winning novel, set in the aftermath of World War I, is a classic adventure story which follows the epic journey of two friends and their dogs on a narrowboat as they set off through England and across the channel to France to find lost loved ones and a place to call home.
Natasha says she was interested in how lives can be rebuilt after a huge trauma, and her story shows her young heroes bravely shaping their own destinies – a theme that must resonate with today’s young readers.
LRG artist Stella Tooth has been interviewed by Curator Space about her portraits of musicians in lockdown – a subject related to her forthcoming ‘Beyond the door’ exhibition with the The Lots Road Group, which will take place when Covid 19 restrictions allow.
Lots Road Group artists Sarah Jane Moon and @herojohnson to feature in two major UK annual exhibitions.
Sarah Jane Moon’s portrait of Nicole and Kai will be shown Royal Society of Portrait Painters show which opens at the Mall Galleries next week 16-26 September. Please book here if you intend to go, so the gallery is able to manage numbers.
Hero Johnson’s artwork will be in the Society of Women Artists annual exhibition. Usually held in the Mall Galleries, this year it will be online only from 22 September.
LRG’s Hilary Puxley’s portraiture features in the latest newsletter from Zuri, which works directly with small producer groups and workshops in Kenya and Uganda.
The newsletter says: “Many of you in our Zuri community are artists, and we wanted to spotlight a few of you today who have included us IN your work! We’ve said it before and we won’t stop saying it, we are continually inspired by this community and grateful to be in such talented company!
The newsletter goes on to say they are “in love” with Hilary’s self-portrait in Backgammon Jammin’ and mentions she has recently been part of a project honouring health workers and just completed a portrait of a nurse from the NHS.
We’re thrilled to see Lots Road Group artist Sarah Jane Moon will be exhibiting with Projectroom2020, an Art North Projects Initiative.
‘PAINTING LIVES’ is now online and runs until 24th August. The exhibition includes 35 of Sarah’s large portraits, displayed via installation shots and a virtual walkthrough. The show is accompanied by a full catalogue featuring text by Diana Souhami and Julia Bell.
“All wait to be depicted, inviting interpretation. They are posed, usually seated, mostly alone, some with a partner. All are light years away from the reclining nudes, befrocked daughters and family members of nineteenth-century male portraiture.” – Diana Souhami
Completed portraits so far are by Maureen Nathan, Hilary Puxley, Colleen Quill and Stella Tooth.
Maureen Nathan‘s portrait is of Dr Anna Stilwell, paediatric registrar currently part of the NHS Bring Back Staff campaign.
Hilary Puxley‘s double portrait of Ashleigh, oil on two canvases, is of Ashleigh Timmins who is a community phlebotomist visiting housebound patients as part of the Torpoint community nursing team. She has three children – and is also in her third year of nursing training! Superwoman!
Ashleigh sent Hilary a couple of photos – one of her looking glam and the other taken at a patient’s house on her first day in PPE. She decided to paint both, with the images slightly overlapping to make a simple point about Ashleigh’s life and those of all NHS heroes.
Colleen Quill has portrayed Ben Singer, after a gruelling shift in the Intensive Care Unit. A Consultant in Intensive Care and ECMO in London’s St. Bartholomew’s, he also works as a Consultant with the London Air Ambulance.
Stella Tooth was paired with Helen Chiverton, a paramedic who responds in an ambulance to 999 calls in London. Helen sent Stella a selfie to work from and told her about her job, “I love it because my patients can be newborn (or in some cases being born!) all the way to the very elderly and everyone in the middle and in every walk and stage of life, and you always have to be on your toes because things can change so quickly and are sometimes not quite what they seem. We carry drugs and equipment to treat and help people having medical, mental and social health problems and dealing with situations in people’s houses or in public places can be challenging. At the moment we, like all other areas of medicine and of course plenty of other fields, are finding that everything has changed and is constantly changing as more is learned about this virus. The PPE we are wearing with patients can complicate things, for example by making it much harder to communicate with people, but I am so grateful for it. We are working with firefighters as well at the moment who are supporting us on the ambulances which is brilliant and the AA are also working with us as well as so many other companies and community groups and individuals, we notice them all and are so thankful for them, it makes such a difference!”
We cannot thank all our wonderful NHS frontline workers, enough for what they are doing for all of us. They are literally our lifelines.