Study visit to see the Damien Hirst show in Walsall
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The New Art Gallery, Walsall, is one of the great success stories of Lottery funding in Britain. Its collection of paintings, drawings and sculpture originally belonged to the sculptor, Jacob Epstein, and was added to by his widow, Kathleen Garman and her friend, Sally Ryan. Although it included many of Epstein’s works and prints, sketches, drawings and paintings by artists such as Van Gogh, Monet, Turner, Corot, Renoir and Constable, it had languished in store at the local authority until the Lottery finally enabled it to be housed in a new purpose-built gallery. Since opening in 2000 the gallery has provided an unusual opportunity to experience a personal collection transposed from a domestic house to a purpose built gallery. The eclectic nature of the collection and its intimate scale encouraged the curators to arrange it according to themes such as ‘Children’, ‘Animals’ or ‘Rural Scenes’ rather than chronologically. At the same time the inclusion of works by little known artists that were friends of the collectors alongside those by famous practitioners enables reputations to be reassessed and interesting comparisons to be made.
This study visit will enable students to visit the permanent collection and a temporary exhibition of installations by Damien Hirst from the early 1990s. The latter includes ‘He Tried to Internalise Everything’, a grimly claustrophobic work that has overtones of surveillance, and ‘Away From the Flock’, a deceptively innocent work, which refers both to ecological concerns and to a Pre-Raphaelite painting of that name. We shall also attend a talk led by byZoë Lippett, Exhibitions and Artists’ Projects Curator at The New Art Gallery who will consider some of the themes in Hirst’s work such as life, death, faith and belief. The visit starts at 11am, on Saturday 5th October, at the New Art Gallery in Walsall and will be led by our excellent tutor guide Gerald Deslandes. Get booked up quickly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org