Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Newcastle, East and West

Newcastle, West of the Tyne Bridge
(Oil on 3 MDF panels, 24 x 144 ins)

Newcastle, East of the Tyne Bridge
(Oil on 2 MDF panels, 24 x 96 ins)

Each time I go to the RVI, I experience a sense of irony as I pass the Ophthalmolgy Department's casualty waiting room, because each time I catch a glimpse of two of my paintings. They're quite big - 2 x 12 feet and 2 x 8 feet - and hang in the corner of the room.

The paintings were commissioned as part of an Arts Lottery Project in 1997/98 and as Germaine Stanger, the Arts Consultant on the Project put it in her booklet:
The paintings in casualty are very popular as you would expect, for the subject matter and style of painting makes them instantly recognised by a partisan Geordie public. But some comments are not about the subject matter but how it is painted and show a well deserved appreciation.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take decent photographs of the works when they were originally first hung, because Health & Safety insisted on acrylic glazing being put over them which made photography impossible. Fears of painting sabotage proving unsubstantiated, the acrylic was taken off the following year and I should have photographed them when I supervised that, but I didn't. Time passed and the urge to get a proper record faded., but my enforced renewed association with the place makes me think i should go in when the waiting room is quiet (whenever that might be!) and take some decent photographs.

Meanwhile, I remembered Germaine's booklet and scanned these images from those printed (very small!) in it. There's also a photo of me (much bigger, in too many ways) in the studio:

"Harry Bell in his studio in Gateshead"

The full text of Germaine's article can now be found in the Reviews section of my website.


vivien said...

these are great - they must have quite an impact in situ :>)

harry bell said...

Thanks, Vivien. I believe they do - that was what I wanted to achieve when I was offered the space, bearing in mind most of the people who see them are there with eye injuries ;o)

Kevin said...

I'll resist the 'site for sore eyes' comment.

harry bell said...

No you won't.

Jean Spitzer said...

I like Kevin's comment. Definitely, better photos for your records and also for those of us not likely to get to see them in person, please.

harry bell said...

Thanks, Jean. I'll see what I can do.

Casey Klahn said...

The irony.

These large scale works are very impressive. I like how your style shows consistently - and of course I am a fan.

harry bell said...

I'm pleased to hear you say that about style, Casey. It's something I've worried about over the years as colour has become more and more pronounced.