Edward Bawden and his Studio

edward bawden and his studio exhibition image

The second exhibition I visited yesterday while at The Higgins Bedford was Edward Bawden and his Studio. I greatly admire the work of Edward Bawden and this exhibition revealed new insights into his personal life that I was unaware of. I love being able to get up close to his prints, to see the marks he carved into lino and the impressive scale of some of the pieces.

The exhibition documents Bawden’s time at three studios in his life – Redcliffe Road, London, which he shared with Eric Ravilious; Brick House, Great Bardfield and Park Lane, Saffron Walden, where he spent the end of his life.

Highlights inlclude ‘The Pagoda, Kew Gardens’ – a very large linocut of the iconic pagoda, an earlier version of which featured on a Transport for London poster; ‘Peacock and Magpie’ – a vibrant colour linocut of an image from Aesop’s Fables and ‘Church and Thunderstorm’ – another large scale linocut of an atmospheric Saffron Walden church struck by a thunderstorm.

Edward Bawden and his Studio runs until 28th January 2018. A brilliant exhibition for admirers of Bawden and for people interested in finding out about him.

Image credit: The Higgins Bedford
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Fry Art Gallery 

Whilst in Saffron Walden I visited the Fry Art Gallery. It is a brilliant little gallery, which houses original works by Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Michael Rothenstein and Richard Bawden, to name a few.

The main room has a display from the permanent collection called A Modern Sensibility, which features some impressive prints from Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious. These were the highlights for me, especially Bawden’s Liverpool Street Station and Snowstorm at Brighton. It was also useful being able to compare the print of Brighton Pier at the Fry Art Gallery to the ones I saw earlier in the year at the Bedford Higgins. Another highlight was the set of lithographs by Eric Ravilious detailing life on a submarine. This display is available to view until October.

The second half of the gallery was a special exhibition called Richard Bawden At 80. It featured prints and paintings by Edward Bawden’s son, Richard. I particularly liked the Christmas card designs and the cat chair!

There were also a couple of small rooms, one of which contained other smaller Ravilious and Bawden pieces, including some lovely woodblocks by Ravilious, and a display of book covers by Saffron Walden based collage artist Michelle Thompson.

I was really impressed with the gallery. It has such an important collection of artwork and anyone interested in printmaking should try and visit. The staff were very nice and there are some lovely books available to buy as well!

Church Street Gallery

Last month I visited Saffron Walden and went to the Church Street Gallery. I had heard about the gallery before going and made wanted to have a look. It is a lovely gallery with a strong focus on printmaking. I loved seeing all the different prints and talking to the very nice owner. Highlights include work by James Dodds, Mark Hearld, Neil Bousfield, Alison Read and Celia Hart. All work is for sale and there are a few other things for sale including books, I got a great book called The Printmakers Cat!

Saffron Walden

A couple of weeks ago I visited Saffron Walden in Essex. I had been briefly before but this was the first time I had had a proper look round. My main objective was to visit The Fry Art Gallery, something I have wanted to do for a while, but I ended up seeing so much more!

Firstly I came across a house that Edward Bawden used to live and work in. It’s an unassuming building down a small lane, but being an admirer of Bawden it was good to see all the same.

After a visit to the church I visited Church Street Gallery and then on to The Fry, which I talk about in the next couple of posts.

Saffron Walden is a lovely town with lots of history and interesting architecture. It has mazes, one being in the formal Bridge End Gardens, and a castle. However, what initially drew me here was the town’s association with some excellent printmakers and artists and I would recommend to anyone with a similar interest to visit Saffron Walden.

Exhibition Wishlist – October

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Here are some interesting looking exhibitions, hope to get to visit a few!

Angela Harding Prints and Paintings at Cambridge Contemporary Arts until 25th October 2015

From Eric Ravilious To Grayson Perry at The Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden until 25th October 2015

The Art of Acquisition The Great Bardfield Artists’ Houses at The Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden until 25th October 2015

Ed Kluz: Monument at John Martin Gallery, London until 31st October 2015

A History of Photography: Series and Sequences at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London until 1st November 2015

Yves Saint Laurent: Style is Eternal at The Bowes Museum, County Durham until 8th November 2015

City Noir: John Duffin’s London in Paint and Print at For Arts Sake, Ealing, 23rd October – 22nd November 2015

Four Women Artists – Elizabeth Blackadder, Victoria Crowe, Alison McGill, Emily Sutton at The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 4th November – 25th November 2015

The Power of Paper: 50 years of printmaking from Australia, Canada and South Africa at Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge until 6th December 2015

The Lumber Room: Unimagined Treasures – Curated by Mark Hearld at York Art Gallery until 2016

Bawden’s Book Illustration at The Higgins Bedford until January 2016

The Amazing World of M.C. Escher at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London until 17th January 2016

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist As Collector at Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich until 24th January 2016

Cradled in Caricature: Visual humour in satirical prints and drawings at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until 31st January 2016

Ronald Searle: ‘Obsessed with drawing’ at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until 31st January 2016

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at The Victoria and Albert Museum, London until 31st January 2016