December 20, 2017
From 3 February 2018 to 7 May 2018.
Lombard Street Gallery presents ‘On Margate Sands’ – an exhibition featuring new artworks by five of our resident artists responding to T. S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Waste Land’ and his association with Margate. It opens on Saturday 3 February at 11am. Come along and meet the artists Anthony Giles, Claire Gill, Nick Kelly, Ruth McDonald and Chris Snow who will be in the gallery between 2-4pm and find out about their journeys culminating in the work they have made for this exhibition.
Anthony Giles, an internationally exhibiting landscape artist, paints large, powerful seascapes and landscapes in oil of Kent and beyond. He has created two works for the exhibition ‘On Margate Beach’ which depicts the solitude of Eliot’s struggle by using Antony Gormley’s ‘Another Time’ as the focal point of the painting. ‘Red sails’ depicts the Thames barges sailing past the Isle of dogs quoted in the poem as his inspiration.
Claire Gill is an artist best known for her creative use of digital photomontage and her collection of seascape prints inspired by the coast. Her approach for ‘On Margate Sands’ was to consider the visual metaphors in the poem and to build pieces of work that revolve around these. Her technique of digital photomontage works well as an interpretation of the poem – a montage of different viewpoints, historical references and conversations. Five pieces have been created using the titles of the five verses of The Waste Land: ‘The Burial of the Dead,’ ‘A Game of Chess,’ ‘The Fire Sermon,’ ‘Death by Water’ and ‘What the Thunder Said,’ all in the setting of Margate Beach.
Nick Kelly is known for his paintings of the Kent coast where he constantly challenges the changing patterns of light and form. When faced with creating a response to T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land Nick like many of us hadn’t realised that Eliot had visited Margate or included it in his most famous work. His painting ‘Nothing with Nothing’ is uncomplicated in an attempt to understand in some way this part of T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land.’ Shadows, mists, ghosts, swirling winds and a barren landscape; a figure standing alone, a genius full of ideas and emotions whose line ‘nothing with nothing’ speaks of nihilism and an empty void but in fact is a double negative – the positive creative spirit.
Ruth McDonald, painter- printmaker, has had her work exhibited extensively in the UK and abroad and reflects her interest in moonlit woodland landscape and the sea. Her prints for the exhibition ‘On Margate Sands’ are the result of spending a sunny and cold day in November roaming the beach at Margate drawing, musing and recording images from noon until sunset. Her two screen-prints are the result of sitting in the shelter where Eliot wrote ‘The Waste Land’ and imagining it was a ship floating over the sands. She used the decorative elements of the structure to provide a frame for images of Margate today. The collagraph prints are all based on the sands and the sea and the evanescent quality of light on a beach. They feature the quality of light reflected on the sands, sea and sky from mid-day until a spectacular sunset at 6:00 pm. Some familiar Margate landscapes included are Arlington House, Turner Contemporary and the Harbour.
Chris Snow grew up in Margate right by the sea. He is inspired by the sea, life in the city and his love of maps and nostalgia for geography textbook diagram. It is important to him that images include both the buildings and the people that bring them to life. He likes to look for the patterns and paths that each and every generation seem to follow and he says with regard to the poem ‘The Waste Land’ he says “Every time we walked past the seafront shelter my dad told me that T.S. Eliot wrote part of The Waste Land sitting there. It meant nothing to me, and then one day it did.”
‘On Margate Sands’ is an independent exhibition organised by Lombard Street Gallery is in response to Turner Contemporary’s invitation to create an event or activity inspired by The Waste Land T.S. Eliot’s legacy, and Turner Contemporary’s exhibition Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’.