- This event has passed.
Art in the Mansion ~ Andrew Douglas-Forbes and Poliana Bandeira
June 30 - July 6
Art and antiques by Andrew Douglas-Forbes
Ceramics by Poliana Bandeira
Exhibition statement by Andrew-Douglas-Forbes
The installation or room settings are the culmination of many trains of thought.
I love and live by the Welsh phrase ‘Bara beunyddiol’ (daily bread) and all that it invokes.
Firstly simplicity – not hair shirts of course but a ‘basic’ and simple way of being – the delight in the daily ‘ness’ of things… a love of natural materials, wood especially when aged – patina, being both lustrous and also very dry. The telling by its wear of the story and lives it has witnessed. Its quiet quality.
Painted furniture primarily from Wales, shows signs of ‘time passing’ its recording of human touch, visceral in its pattern making – its dryness, its beauty of surface – obviously akin to an Artists Zenith for truth, reality and honesty. Painted furniture speaks to me of an honesty now almost lost in time.
Feeling (in my room sets for events) is a combination of tones, textures, colours, volumes and placing that add up to a sense of belonging, understanding, enveloping comfort, remembrance of a shared past.
The house at Aberglasney speaks to the sensitive of its secret and ambiguous past. The grandeur unavoidable, but for me, its remoteness must have meant that generally life would have been much more country than grand.
Traces of wall plaster and colour, ghost outlines of previous incarnations, recent structural reinforcing, are all things that have all fuelled my dialogue of silence with this beautiful place.
So, I have arrived at these quite simple room sets, with my ceramicist colleague Poli, taking great delight in how life would have been lived here. The contemporary dinner service used for one room set has taken much thought, the rustic quality quite unlike the perceived ‘smartness’ but using the late 18th century as our guide – this is how we have interpreted this ‘isolation’ of the house. Furniture has been saved forever, delighting in vernacular repairs, unrestored surfaces. ‘This is how time shows its silent self’, polished and cleaned pieces just do not fuel my imagination.
The Paper used for the ‘works on paper’ is mostly 70 years old, with some modern watercolour paper. Paper has a memory, ‘Recordatus’ being about many things.
Probably for the first time, this exhibition says, “I see things like this.” We are in a continuum, with all our modernity, do we forget to heed the past.
My early memories are of the potting shed on Gower, delight in nature, growing, calm. So, the Garden at Aberglasney, in all its splendour, is a privilege to get to know intimately by sketching it.
Lots of works are of ‘workers’, acknowledging how much care and toil goes into this splendid place.
Working with Head Gardener Joseph, we have collaborated on a tiny project – variant textured greens. Of no great consequence other than to my love of grouping, tone and texture, a small but significant part of the show, connecting to my early memories of the already mentioned potting shed.
Poli’s attention to detail, eye for form and pattern adds hugely to this installation, I have used her glorious and considered ceramics in many sketches and paintings…. Such a keen eye.
The music for the preview evening recital has been chosen carefully to reflect nature and gardens. I am a living continuum if you like, my family have an unbroken line of way over 200 years of ‘high tenors’, I sing knowing I am the product of my lineage…. We are all products of our pasts.