An intriguing new exhibition in Devon will have you looking much closer at the artworks. Why? Because each piece has something hidden in it. This new collaboration between the Thelma Hulbert Gallery (THG) and The London Group is called, aptly enough, In Plain Sight.
This exhibition of major new works from The London Group, features art in range of mediums including painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and film. Each artist in the exhibition has hidden something of their choice in their new work. The aim is to entice you to look much harder and closer than usual at each work to detect what is hiding ‘in plain sight’.
In an age where our attention spans have decreased and at a time when too many of us simply rush through our days, this exhibition is a great antidote. How many times have you seen people march around a gallery, taking a few pictures on their smartphone, and never really stopping to admire and appreciate what’s there? This is an opportunity to slow things down, to really take notice of things and switch off from everything else for a while.
Who are The London Group?
The London Group was set up in 1913 by thirty two artists, including Robert Bevan, Lucien Pissarro and Walter Sickert. Their aim was to create a powerful artist-run group, to act as a counter-balance to institutions such as the Royal Academy. The founding group created a unique structure for an organisation, that has gone on to successfully nurture the careers of many of Britain’s best-known artists. These artists include Terry Frost, Barbara Hepworth, LS Lowry and David Hockney.
Today, it’s a thriving democratic artists’ collective, practicing in all disciplines. They produce an annual events programme in London and beyond. Directed by its artist members, these events aim to offer a serious and alternative perspective to contemporary visual arts in Britain.
More art on show
Alongside the In Plain Sight exhibition, is coordinating show Thelma Hulbert and her London Group friends. This show will feature key works from the THG collection and pieces by London Group members Claude Rogers, William Coldstream and Victor Pasmore. This exhibition explores Hulbert’s creative friendships, artistic legacy and place within British Art.
Thelma Hulbert exhibited with The London Group in 1938. As her first professional exhibition, this was an important milestone in her career. She also fulfilled an important role within the group as a model and muse. Hulbert’s friendship with Victor Pasmore is still one of the most prominently remembered facts about her. Yet this ground-breaking new research reveals that her relationship with Claude Rogers was actually more influential.
Hulbert showed extensively during her lifetime, including a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. Her work is held in public collections all over the world, including at the TATE. She is also one of the artists featured in the Tate Women Artists book. So, if you’ve never heard of her before, now is a good time to check out her work.
This exhibition marks an important research contribution to the life and work of Thelma Hulbert. It will further secure her artistic legacy and place in the history of British Art in the 20th Century.
More events at the gallery
If these two exhibitions sound interesting, you may like to pop along to one of the events in the exhibition programme too. On 28th August there’ll be a History of The London Group talk with Tim Craven. This is followed by a private view of the exhibition.
Plus, art historian John Francis will be presenting an Art After 1950 lecture series. It’ll begin with Art in Advertising on 8th September. Then, on 15th September will be Landscape Tradition, followed by Expressionism on 22nd September. The series continues in October with The Art of Protest on 6th and a conversation with Tim Craven and independent researcher Deborah Smith on 13th.
As well as the talks, THG’s Creative Cabin will be out and about. They’ll be delivering a variety of art activities, events and talks. This includes a series of Health & Creativity workshops with London Group artist Judith Jones and Devon Recovery Learning Community (DRLC).
Looking for more quirky exhibitions to peruse? Try one of these!
When: 27th August – 30th October 2021
Where: Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton, Devon EX14 1LX
£: Free admission to the exhibition. Tickets for the talks cost £10 each or £8 for concessions
More info: www.thelmahulbert.com