3 July 2011

The Tam O'Shanter Coach

The Tam O'Shanter Coach
On 1 May 2007 Sheena Stoddard, the then Curator of Fine Art, suggested that the Tam O’Shanter Coach, which did the Bristol to Exeter run, would be an excellent purchase for the new Museum of Bristol (subsequently M Shed).  However, she added that the painting, attributed to W Rogers and painted in 1837, was in poor condition requiring 100 hours conservation work to be restored. The Friends of Bristol Art Gallery agreed to fund the purchase and part-fund the conservation cost.

Quarry on Durdham Down



Quarry on Durdham Down
Attributed to William Arnee Frank (1808-1897), Quarry on Durdham Down was painted in watercolour and bodycolour circa 1865.

This is an unusual subject for an artist and shows the extent of quarrying on the Downs in the 18th and 19th centuries. The quarry was filled-in by 1869 and there is no trace of it today. We are looking towards Clifton from the near Stoke Road. The tower of Dundry Church is on the left skyline, with the Clifton Observatory and a pier of the Suspension Bridge just below it, to the right. The artist was from a Bristol Quaker family; his early work was in pencil and he seems to have become more proficient in watercolour in middle age.

2 July 2011

Fruits Of My Life

Kate Malone attended Henbury School and Bristol Polytechnic before moving to London and completing her studies in ceramics. Since then she has bccome internationally recognised, particularly for her experiments with various types of glazing. Commissioned by The Friends, her work now on display in the Bristol People Gallery of M Shed is a striking Lady Gourd, which Kate has named ‘Fruits of my Life’. Although difficult to see, under the lid of the Gourd carved into the inside surface, are the names of her home and places in Bristol Kate associates with her formative years in the City. The outer surface of the Gourd features natural forms such as leaping fish, a pineapple, blossom and acorns. It is a superb piece of ceramic art.