Come As You Are - An exhibition of painting by Georgina Clapham and Deanne Tremlett

This two-person exhibition brings together the work of Deanne Tremlett and Georgina Clapham, in an exploration of contemporary figurative painting. Through their life-sized works, they both deal with intimacy, belonging and otherness, sexuality, and storytelling that is part of everyday life, through a distinctly feminine lens. In a celebration of human form, Tremlett’s often nude figures draw us to focus on human psychology and physicality, whilst Clapham’s detailed depictions of fashion and costume within her portraits help conjure the personal narratives and inner world of her sitters. Tremlett’s energetic, deliberate handling of skin tones and textures creates a bodily quality to the paint. By contrast, Clapham’s portraits have a memetic likeness, inspired by photography, with fine glazes influenced by her research into portraits from the Early Modern European Period.
Alongside the exhibition there will be the opportunity to meet the artists through artist talks and a series of masterclasses. For more information on these message the gallery here.

Dudley Ladd - PAPER, TAPE & TIME

11 th February – 15 th April 2023 The Milking Parlour Gallery

Lockdown 2020 had changed the lives of people across the world, pushing an extroverted society into an unwelcome isolation. During these solitary months a man from Dorset, named Dudley Ladd, channelled his loneliness and frustrations into sculpting animals. These papier-mache sculptures are now on display in the Milking Parlour Gallery, Guggleton Farm Arts in Stalbridge.

Dudley was interviewed by Deanne Tremlett, Creative Director at Guggleton, during the first week of his exhibition. They spoke extensively about the importance of creativity for mental health and healthy, artistic ways to cope during difficult times.

Dudley had decided quite early on in the pandemic that he wanted to do something to keep his mind focused: “You were stuck and that was it and I almost felt, as a person, if your back is pushed up against a corner, like I felt mine was, like this flat is a prison.”

Isolated, and living alone in a flat without outside space as the lockdown rules were implemented, he knew he had to keep himself busy, somehow. So he embarked upon a plan to comment upon the circumstances of the time through art.

His papier-mache sculptures were created predominately from the post Dudley received, an innovative way to recycle a growing stack of un-used paper, empty envelopes and direct marketing advertisements. “We were locked in, and it was what was cheap and what was available. And what you can create from something simple without it costing a fortune because you couldn’t go anywhere, you couldn’t do anything. But the one thing I was guaranteed was envelopes through the door.”

Dudley’s artwork resonates resilience and originality, as you walk around the gallery, absorbing the visual stimulus with each step, you begin to witness a story. Each piece of work was created in response to a different aspect of the lockdown. For his first sculpture The March Hare “I imagined the March Hare, wondering where everyone had gone. Walking around in his red scarf taking his chance, ‘no one’s gonna shoot me now – there’s no humans’.”

Typically he would start with his own reactions to news stories [Are we Extinct Yet, Dinosaur and Octopus] or his emotions, frustrations and sadness at missing friends and family [Miss you Mum, The Sisters who were Missed and When Shall we Three Meet Again]. Many of the sketches that he did in preparation, and to work out the problems of construction, attitude and stability, actually ended up inside the sculptures themselves.

One of his most popular creations was ‘No Pants’, a giraffe in a black shirt. This references Dudley’s inability, during lockdown, to wear suitable clothing. Without the incentive to he was quite content lounging around in the bareminimum whilst creating for months at a time. “You’re sat there and you’re thinking this is actually keeping me going, otherwise I would have collapsed, hidden, crawled under the quilt.”

“I can’t believe they’re in an exhibition, I can’t believe any of that, because I sat there doing them, and they were all in my home, you have all my ornaments, you do you have all my ornaments. I never expected them to leave the flat.”

Dudley manifested his concerns for himself into a productive and stimulating creativity that has helped him to become more resilient in turn. “Even though it was a really awful time for a lot of people, they [the sculptures] managed to keep me uplifted.”

Whilst the lockdowns have come to an end and life has returned to some semblance of normality, Dudley has continued to thrive through the making of more sculptures. A new passion, discovered during difficult times, that will continue to help him. “I started something because of a pandemic, this is here telling a story for me, I hope it tells that to other people. But then I think I don’t want to give it up now. I think I can get better.”

Dudley is almost apologetic about his work being on display and wonders whether it can ever do for others what it has done for him. In answer to his doubts Deanne stated, simply that :“Art is about changing your world and if your work has changed anyone’s emotional state, their optimism, their thoughts for their future, then that’s real art,” We hope that Dudley continues to produce more wonderful sculptures in the future and we look forward to seeing the next project.

Written by Maddison Birch, February 2023. My name is Madison, I am an aspiring writer and teacher who wants to delve deeper into the journalistic world. I graduated at Bath Spa in 2021, completing my Journalism and Publishing course. I want to continue my studies, focusing on a post-graduate in education so I can help the younger generations to find their creativity and passions.

Photography by Viv Horne

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