Launch of Art@the Lodge
Visual Arts Week concluded on the evening of Friday 8th February with a spellbinding gallery display in the Master’s Lodge. Our Master’s residence has gorgeous Regency-style space and on her walls are paintings, prints, sketches and etchings. The Master asked Mr Twohig to challenge her with Art and this he did…
His collection ranges from works by the Spanish maestro Salvador Dali to Pop Artists Jeff Edwards and Chris Plowman via Oliver Hall, Victor Pasmore, Sophie Layton, Harvey Daniels, Anita Kline, Ray Ward, David Nash, Katherine Jones, Austin Cole, Patrick Caulfield and Richard Shirley Smith to name a few. Also included in albums are Wiltshire-inspired monoprint etchings created by Mr Twohig during his time at this College. It is reported he creates an etching a morning before breakfast. The connections between each artist’s works is astonishing, for example, there are twenty monochromatic, atmospheric etchings by Jason Hicklin who was a pupil of Norman Ackroyd who himself was influenced by Sir Frank Short’s prints. Each of these artists has works on display in the Master’s Lodge that stand out and yet form part of a whole.
This evening was suitably “christened” by Mr Vincent Eames who is a director of Eames Fine Art in London and visited Marlborough for the occasion. He mentioned that prints are accessible, can be bought, can become friends and they can say much about the owner as they do about the artist.
The most impressive thing about walking into the Lodge is the breadth of the work shown. At the start of the evening words were said by Mr Twohig: ‘There is always room for art on your walls, it is the most interesting nourishing thing.’
He certainly proved this as you cannot go into the Lodge without at least five pieces catching your eye at any one space. I found that after circling the rooms a third time, there are still hidden gems to be discovered. There is a lyrical abstract painting by Rhonda Whitehead which hangs in the dining room facing a punchy colourful Victor Pasmore etching and a painting entitled The Winter of Enchantment which sits above the mantel piece in the drawing room. The artist John Worsley created an animation film through his work and in it he contrasts the effects of winter and summer. There are even more enjoyable works to absorb, such as Patrick Procktor’s mesmerising etching, Venice, which Mr Twohig mentioned he purchased from a past Marlborough pupil. And, a curious, compelling etching by Martin Langford called London, which has been etched with such intricate detail that even after staring at it for over a minute I do not think it is possible to discover everything in this witty and brilliant piece.
As I wandered through the gallery, I was introduced to the artist Ross Loveday by Mr Twohig, only later did I learn that his work, a stunning set of prints, was actually on the walls on the left hand side of the drawing room. He told me he had been an optician before embarking on his career as an artist. Mr Loveday encouraged me to try every aspect of art and said with a mischievous smile that he could give Mr Twohig’s enthusiasm for art a run for its money. I contradicted this however, knowing that every piece of work chosen was picked with intellectual and creative thought behind it by Mr Twohig himself.
Art@the Lodge is something which, from what I have heard, has never occurred before at Marlborough. The Lodge itself seems almost as if it was meant to be filled with these unique creations and walking around the rooms there was a sense of awe as people discovered more about each piece.
If you have not been, I would urge you, the reader, to attend the Master’s Lodge and see this extraordinary exhibition and work in the flesh.
Review by Alexandra Dunlop (MO L6)