Monday, 26 November 2012

Seeking Artists & Makers for New Online Store

The Bastian Contrarian online store will be a unique showcase for original works of art, prints, sculpture, design objects, home accessories, fashion, fine art jewellery, books, cards, craft kits/supplies  and all things handmade, unusual and creative.

If you are an artist or you create original and unusual art, craft or design objects, Bastian Contrarian would love to hear from you!

We are also interested in anyone wishing to create exclusive, one-off pieces or limited edition collections specifically for the Bastian Contrarian store.

Interested? Please send information and images of your work/products with prices and product description to or call 07971-022369. Visit the Artist Opportunities section of the website for further information.

The website is due to launch in January 2013.

Please share!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Barry R. Willis: On the edge of realism

From 20th November until 10th December, Stratford-based artist, Barry R. Willis will be holding a solo show at Gallery150, in Leamington.

Born in Southampton, Hampshire, in 1949, Barry’s interest in art began at a very early age. After taking his Fine Art degree at Portsmouth College of Art and Design, he then went on to an Art Teacher Certificate course at theUniversity of Sussex in Brighton.

On finishing his education he started working as a secondary school art teacher, firstly in Berkshire and then in Wiltshire, later moving to the West Midlands, where he worked as head of department at a comprehensive school in Solihull for twenty years. Today, he works as a part-time leisure tutor for adults, with an emphasis on teaching mixed media.

While studying at Portsmouth, his earlier studies consisted of a series of iconic paintings of rock artists, such as Mick Jagger. He then went on to a different subject matter, based on figures in landscape, which was very much influenced by Thomas Gainsborough’s painting of 'Mr and Mrs Reynolds'. This project involved costume hire and locating figures in landscapes with an emphasis on social celebration. Photographs of the scenes were then taken to form a series of starting points for paintings.

This led on to a series of works inspired by his extensive travels, including an overland trip from London to Delhi, in the late 1970s, and other locations, such as Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iceland, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, New York, Norway and Sri Lanka.

Over the last twenty years, Barry’s practice is chiefly centred around environmental paintings. The artist said: “I find the impact of certain places extremely interesting, particularly their atmosphere, beauty and dreamlike quality, which sets them apart from other places. They often have a surreal feel to them, which is an area that I have always found interesting. The intrigue and tension between what could be and what could never be is a fascinating area and one that I often use within my work.”

Although photographs are usually the starting point, he often deviates from the original image, exaggerating some areas and bypassing others, evoking an air of mystery and fascination.

In his solo show at Gallery150, the artist will be presenting a series of meticulously detailed landscapes and cityscapes in acrylics, using techniques that vary from light washes to heavy impasto, resulting in an intriguing play on light, colour, distance and depth that leave the eyes of the viewer hovering on the edge of realism.

The private view will be held on Tuesday, 20th November from 7pm.

Gallery150 is situated at  9 Livery Street, Regents Court, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4NP.

Monday, 12 November 2012

10-week Oil Painting Course with Nick Logan

Thursday 10th January - Thursday 14th March 
Solihull, B91 3EA

Each 10 week course is geared towards the development of sound oil painting skills. 
Personal attention will be given to each student according to his/her current skill level with an emphasis upon form, composition, tonal values and colour harmony. 
Students will also learn canvas preparation, how to assemble stretchers and supports, grounds, use of a limited palette, paint transparency and opacity. 

This class will not be about making a finished painting as such. All materials will be provided.

The course runs from Thursday 10th January until Thursday 14th March and there are four different time slots:

• 10:00-12:00
• 13:00-15:00
• 16:00-18:00
• 19:00-21:00

The fee for the 10 week course is £100. Refreshments provided.

Payment: in advance or split into two instalments of £50.

For further information or to book your place contact

Friday, 19 October 2012

Iranian artist and activist presents works on her journey to freedom

Dream by Souren Mousavi.
From 30th October-18th November, Gallery150 in Leamington Spa will be hosting Souren Mousavi’s solo exhibition. 

Born in Persia, in 1969, to an Iranian mother and Baraini father, Souren’s ancestral line is linked to the Iranian monarchy. She acquired her Masters in Fine Art at the University of Tehran, where she actively began to use her art in the fight for women’s rights. This led to her arrest by the regime, who considered her portrayals of the female form pornographic and offensive. After a terrible and traumatic period in prison, Souren managed to escape and finally acquired refugee status in the UK, in 2006.

At times colourful and Daliesque, with echoes of Futurism, her works unfold in a series of obsessive images that refer to motherhood, creation and the power and dignity of the female realm. At others, they are more introspective, darker: indignation smoulders behind hurt and challenging eyes; vulnerable, yet proud and voluptuous female forms seem to cower in the shadows, longing for a sanctuary, far from the cruelty that mankind can inflict on its fellow human beings. The figures appear almost perfect, unscathed, implying that their souls or beauty, be it inner or outer, cannot be defiled, no matter what befalls them. The use of colour, combined with recurring elements from nature, symbolise the artist’s need for humanity in a world of brutality, where freedom of expression, sexuality and intimacy is prohibited. The flowing figures represent the dissolution of the spirit in time and space, seeking escape and renewal; the fragmented, elongated limbs, noses, mouths and eyes seem to allude to depravation, denial, the desecration of humanity and the dissolution of the ‘self’.

In this show, the Stratford-based artist will be presenting a series of watercolours, oils, acrylics, pastels and drawings that explore her own emotions and experiences and her difficult and painful journey to freedom.

The private view will be held on Tuesday, 30th of October from 7pm.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Vessels of the soul

From 9th-28th of October, Wendy Bicknell will be holding her solo sculpture show of at Gallery150.

As a young artist, Wendy dealt with political issues, including feminism and capitalism, but often felt that her works did not engage people at a deep level.  Because of this she changed direction, creating works that draw on her own life experiences and what it means to be human. 

In this exhibition the artist will be presenting a series of sculptural works made from ready-made objects, such as birds, containers, books, hands and feet, among others. Glass is also a key component of the artist’s practice, who sees the material as a visual representation of ‘ideas made solid’. These images feature repeatedly, popping up time and time again in different scenarios, manifesting in what appear to be ‘vessels of the soul’, personal shrines or sacred icons.

Wendy states: “I am permanently searching for relevant objects; from boot fairs, second hand shops and occasionally new. When I find enough of them - birds for instance - they sit patiently lined up in my studio until something about them inspires me.  In making these pieces I have had to deal with the awkward feeling of exposing my inner self, as does any artist who strives to be honest, but instead of crushing me the making of the work has made me feel bolder than I have ever felt before. This is the paradox of looking inside yourself for ideas.”

The private view will be held on Tuesday, 9th of October from 7pm.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Languages as Images Workshop


Northgate Methodist Church Hall, 

Warwick, Warwickshire CV34 4TH, UK.
11.00am – 2.00pm

As part of the Warwick Words Festival of Literature and Spoken Word, Italian artist Elena Cecchinato will be holding a fascinating workshop that explores the relationship between writing and drawing.

A voyage into stories of dots and plots, linear dialogues, figurative speech, marking, mapping, weaving, sense and value, thread and trace. You will attempt to go right there: to the edge between the verbal and the visual.
Both words and drawings, with their signs and meanings, are necessary to space and charge reality. They are both vehicles and mediums to unite and conceive reality, working between the ‘I’ and the world, the interior and the exterior, the knowing and the doing. They allow an opportunity for us not to be subdued by the world, but rather interact with it, transforming it  into new narratives. You will create visual abstractions by colouring words and drawing with text.

Age: 18 plus
Materials required: Please bring along a copy of one page from your favourite piece of writing.
There are only 15 places available for this workshop. Please book in advance through the Festival Box Office on 01926 776438
About the artist:
Elena Cecchinato was born in Venice in 1974 and studied in Italy before graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).
She studied Korean and Chinese Painting at Koryo University, South Korea. Her art explores the immanent reordering that exists between inner experience and outer occurrence. Their nuanced discrepancy finds a provisional and evolving coherence in the interaction between the audience, writing and drawing. 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Final Showing of Before I Die...

On 26th August 2012, Gallery150 will be presenting the final documentation of the ‘Before I Die...’ public participatory art project.

Since its launch at the gallery on 7th August, 300 people have come to leave their mark on the internationally renowned wall, started by Candy Chang in New Orleans.

The photographs of the participants, which were kindly sponsored by the London Camera Exchange, and their “Before I Die I Want to...” statements will be exhibited and presented to the public in a private view, held from 4 – 6 pm on Sunday.

Situated at 9 Livery Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4NP, 

Gallery150 is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am to 6pm and Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm.


Friday, 17 August 2012

Bastian Contrarian launches new fund-raising project

Horse of Tamar - oil on canvas 182 x 90 cm
by Nick Logan.
As part of the appeal to save the Horse of Tamar statue, which was damaged by metal thieves in February this year, local artist, Nicholas Logan, has created a work of art in a bid to raise money for the cause.

On hearing the news about the statue, the artist, who grew up in Solihull and acquired his BA (Hons) in Fine Art at the Glasgow School of Art, decided he wanted to help Solihull Council raise money to restore one of the borough’s few existing public art works.

“I have always found the Horse of Tamar inspiring and when I heard it had been damaged, I felt that it was my duty as an artist to do something to help save the statue and conserve a piece of Solihull’s heritage”, states Nicholas Logan.

The oil painting, which features a dramatic depiction of the borough’s iconic horse and trainer,Malvern Park, the Church of Saint Alphege and the River Blythe, will be unveiled at the Solihull Arts Complex on Thursday, 27 September at 6.00 pm. The original artwork, which will be on show at the complex for several months, is available for sale and the same painting will also be reproduced as a signed, limited edition series of 100 prints, with the proceeds donated to the Horse of Tamar restoration appeal. 

Councillor Ken Meeson, Leader of Solihull Council, said: “I’d like to express my thanks to Nick Logan for his kind offer of donating the proceeds of the sale of this painting to our fund. The public have been very generous already with donations, which along with the sale of the painting, will take us some way towards our overall target of £15,000.”

The original oil painting costs £2000, whilst the limited edition prints, which are available unmounted, mounted, mounted and framed, cost from £80 to £180. If you are interested in purchasing the original or a print contact Sarah Silver of Bastian Contrarian, on            07971-022369      ; un-mounted prints can also be purchased at the Tourist Information Centre in the Solihull Arts Complex. 

This initiative has been organised in collaboration with:

Monday, 13 August 2012

LSA Announce Summer Show Winner

Prize Winner Christina Vallaghan
outside Gallery150
On Friday, 10th of August, on the back-drop of the 'Before I Die...' exhibition, the People’s Choice winner of the LSA 2012 Summer Show was announced at Gallery150in Leamington

Christina Callaghan came first and was awarded a cheque of £500 and a feature in the LSA magazine ‘Artspace’; Sonia Bubliatis, took second place, and celebrity painter Paul Oz came in third. They were closely followed by Paul Cheshire – whose work was recently featured in the BBC series, ‘Show me the Monet and who has also been selected for the Coventry Open 2012 at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum – and Pam Smallshaw.
Visitor to the gallery, Angela Kandil, whose voting slip was drawn out of the hat, took home the limited edition print, ‘Not the Usual Suspects, by photographer James Callaghan.

This year, the popular LSA Summer Show, which featured over 100 works by 68 local and regional artists, attracted a good 2407 visitors. 

Pre-Raphaelite by Paul Cheshire

Not the Usual Suspects by James Callaghan


Monday, 6 August 2012

The Gallery Trio

The Gallery Trio
On Friday 10th  August 2012, ‘The Gallery Trio’ will be rehearsing at Gallery 150 in Leamington Spa.

Composed of Maura Barnett (violin), David Pattenden (accordion) and Martin Lammyman (double-bass), The Gallery Trio is an acoustic band that bring together the talent of three musicians from different backgrounds, creating a unique combination of sounds. Their stylish repertoire includes light classical pieces, elegant waltzes, fiery tangos and Jewish wedding music. 

The trio's open rehearsals at the gallery are a rare meeting between the visual arts and music, providing the public with an opportunity to see the creative process of preparing music for performance. It also provides a chance for anyone interested in hiring the band for social functions to come and hear the music and have a chat in an informal atmosphere. The rehearsal, which will be held from 11.30am to 1.30pm, will be the trio's third performance at Gallery 150.

The Gallery Trio rehearsing at Gallery150.
Photo by Cheryl Doshi.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Before I Die... Comes to Leamington Spa

Before I Die... Savannah by Trevor Coe
From 7th-26th August, visitors to Leamington Spa will be able to take part in ‘Before I Die...’, a moving and thought-provoking, public participatory art project that will be hosted at Gallery150 in Regent Court Shopping Centre.

When Candy Chang, from New Orleans, lost someone very dear to her, she struggled to maintain perspective and wanted to find out what was important to the people around her. With the help of friends, she turned the side of an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard and stencilled it with the sentence “Before I die I want to_______”. Anyone walking by could pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in a public space.
To Candy’s amazement, the very next day, the wall was covered with the hopes and dreams of hundreds of people and continued to grow. But, what initially started out as an experiment has fast gained worldwide momentum, appearing as far afield as Australia, Canada, Lebanon, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Scotland, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Over the next few weeks, the public will be able to add their own thoughts to a dedicated wall at Gallery150, and, if they wish, they can also have the moment captured by a professional photographer, using equipment kindly sponsored by the London Camera Exchange in Leamington. Each day, the best of these portraits and statements will be documented and exhibited in the gallery, becoming an integral part of the exhibition. The event will culminate in a human and fascinating reflection on life, death and love, which will be presented in a private view on Sunday, 26th August 2012.

Situated in 9 Livery Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4NP, Gallery150 is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am to 6pm and Sunday 11.00am to 4.00pm.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Andy Farr Brings the Spirit of the Olympics to Leamington

Faster by Andy Farr. Image copyright of the artist.
“The power of the sprinter; the poise of the gymnast; the joy of victory; the exhilaration of the dive; the agony of defeat; the audacity of the high jumper… Every sport has its own unique rhythm, its own secret pattern, its own code.”

After the success of his solo show ‘The Space Between in 2011, Andy Farr will be bringing the spirit of the Olympics to Gallery150, in Leamington Spa.

After a period of experimentation with abstract landscapes and cityscapes, the artist, who returned to painting in 2008, after what he refers to as “a brief pause of twenty years”, has shifted his focus to capturing the essence of movement. This fascination has led to a series of works inspired by carousels, dance, horse racing and sport. The artist begins each work by watching a slow-motion film of the subject to isolate the underlying rhythms, which he sketches then builds into a pictorial composition.

Velocity by Andy Farr. Image copyright of the artist.
In the ‘Rhythms in Motion’ exhibition, which runs from 17th July-5th August 2012, this highly experimental artist will be presenting a series of works inspired by sport, movement and the emotions and achievements of athletes.  In an impressive play of brushstrokes, depth, colour and light, this series of considered works show echoes of Kandinsky, Boccioni and Rothko, culminating in a complex blend of styles and textures, that hover on a line between Abstract Expressionism, Cubism and Futurism.

The private view of the Rhythms in Motion exhibition will be held on 17th July from 7pm.

Venue: Gallery150, Regent Court Shopping Centre, 9 Livery Street, Leamington Spa CV32 4NP.
Opening times: Tuesday- Saturday from 11am- 6pm and Sunday 11am- 4pm.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Not Your Usual Suspects for LSA's Summer Show

Leamington Studio Artists (LSA) present a rich and exciting showcase of over 100 works by 68 local and regional artists.

Not the Usual Suspects by James Callaghan. Image copyright of the artist.

This year, Gallery150 will be hosting the 2012 LSA Summer Show’, ‘Not the Usual Suspects’ in the Livery Street gallery, in Leamington, Warwickshire.

This coveted annual exhibition will feature the work of LSA members and non-members from Leamington and across the Midlands.
With a steady rise in members in recent years, the show has become increasingly more popular and covers a broad range of mediums, including painting, drawing, photography and sculpture by talented emerging and established artists alike. And, this year, there will be over 100 works by a good 68 artists, some of whom will be exhibiting with the fifteen-year old organisation for the first time. Visitors to the show will also be able to get a preview of works by a number of artists participating in the up-coming Warwickshire Open Studios (30th June to the 15th July).

The audience will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite artist and the winner will be awarded a cash prize of 500 pounds and a special feature in Artspace, the LSA  arts journal, which has been in print since 1998. All of the voters’ names will also be entered into a prize draw and the winner will recieve a Giclée print of ‘Not the Usual Subjects’ by JamesCallaghan.

Not the Usual Suspects will run from 26th June until 15th July 2012; the private view, will be held at Gallery150, on Tuesday, June 26th from 7 pm.

Gallery150, 9 Livery Street, Regents Court, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 4NP
Opening times: Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm / Sunday 11am - 4pm.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Ginger the Art of Print in Warwickshire Open Studios

Ginger The Art of Print are very proud to be exhibiting three talented local artists this year as part of Warwickshire Open Studios running from
30th June to 15th July 2012...
Opening Times
Monday – Sunday 10.00 – 4.00pm

Open till 9.00pm
Friday 6th July and Friday 13th July

Ginger The Art of Print
The Iron Yard, 64 Market Place
Warwick, CV34 4SD, Warwickshire

nina & mikey
*Diane Maybey
Diane’s raw passion for love, life and journeys, are her inspiration. Colour, emotion and movement are themes throughout her work.
Her art can be found worldwide and whilst in Warwickshire you can discover her creations within the intimacy of the local cafés, tearooms and restaurants, some of Diane’s favourite places. ‘Find me a space and I’ll paint it.’
*Jennine Parker 
Jennine's work expresses a passion to create movement, shape and texture in a figurative and abstract form, Jennine will be
working on a life size plaster sculpture during the open studio two weeks, also on show are original paintings, sketches and silkscreens printed onto fabric, metal and bespoke furniture. 
*Elena Cecchinato
Elena Cecchinato was born in Venice in 1974 and studied in Italy before graduating from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London).
She learned Korean and Chinese Painting at Koryo University, South Korea. Her art explores the immanent reordering that exists between inner experience and outer occurrence. Their nuanced discrepancy finds a provisional and evolving coherence in the interaction between the audience, writing and drawing.