The best (partialist) in Bournemouth

Tessa Farmer: detail of Swarming fever, 2021

Bournemouth established itself as the favorite seaside tourist destination of the Victorian era and remains known more for its holidays and conferences than for its art. But two great complementary gallery experiences now await the visitor, making it an excellent artistic day, 1h45 from London by train.

The new kid in town is GIANT, occupying the entire second floor of the old Debenhams. The entire building is being renovated for new uses, and local artist Stuart Semple and his team are putting together an adventurous program. The second installment of shows just opened, that’s where my bias alert comes in.

Saelia Aparicia: Mother of thousands, 2021

My own exhibition, NatureMax, sees twelve artists consider the changing state of human relations with nature. The huge space available allowed for spectacular installations and film screenings. Tessa Farmer describes her taxidermy work thus: “Fairies, riding in armed cranial vessels, piloted by enslaved bees, beetles and butterflies, pursue and chase a fleeing bird. by Saelia Aparicia Mother of thousands is a furniture-human-plant hybrid. The other artists are Rebecca Byrne, Theo Ellison, Matt Hale, Andy Harper, Sandra Kantanen, Julie Maurin, Alan Rankle, Kelly Richardson, Toby Tatum and Esther Teichmann.

Sarah Maple: Signs (I wish I had a penis), 2007

There’s also a hard-hitting Sarah Maple poll. “Signs,” made in college, shot it in your face as a fiery Muslim feminist. You can follow her through many cutting-edge works and conclude by sitting down with the entertaining hour-long art sitcom Sarah Maple Show, 2020.

Alfred Munning: Dod Shaw on Patrick, 1912

Ten minutes’ walk from GIANT, the Russell-Cotes Museum offers a fascinating and atmospheric visit: an imposing house, built in 1897-1901, houses an important collection of art, sealing in time the particular interests of collectors Annie and Merton Russell- Ribs. The vast permanent collection includes this imposing equestrian portrait, by the 20e the greatest horse painter of the century, and depicting a notable artist: Dod Proctor, then 22-year-old Dod Shaw, who is “Morning,” 1926, is a public favorite in the Tate’s collection. He’s old enough that his unseated side saddle indicates a rebellious spirit.

Lucy kemp welch: Gypsy horses, 1933-1935

The current temporary exhibition at Russell-Cotes tells the story of the Bournemouth Art Club, 1920-2020. Some famous names are included, most because they were exhibited by the club rather than joining it, but the essence of the hundred or so works is to spotlight artists that are little known but worth the effort. Getting attached to horses, Lucy Kemp-Welch was a specialist in their representation, an expert rider who drew ponies as a child on expeditions in the New Forest from her home in Bournemouth, and went on to study anatomy and physiology at the Christchurch Hospital for Sick Horses. . She was vice-president of the Bournemouth Arts Club from 1929 to 1958.

Art writer and curator Paul Carey-Kent sees a lot of exhibits: we asked him to jot down everything on his mind


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Paul Carey Kent

Art critic and curator, based near Southampton. I write most regularly for Art Monthly, Frieze, World of Interiors, Seisma, Border Crossings, Artlyst, … and, of course, FAD.

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