May's Art News

What's happening in Kent's art world this month

Antique of the MonthNowadays, it’s only the very best cars that have a mascot, Rolls-Royce’s famous Spirit of Ecstasy and the Mercedes Benz three-pointed star being among the very few survivors in our health and safety era. Now vintage car mascots are collected eagerly, the most sought after and expensive being those made in glass between 1915 to 1930.

Doyen of all glass mascot makers was the master French glassmaker Ren� Lalique (1860-1945) whose most famous was commissioned by Citro�‘n, entitled Cinq Cheveaux (five horses) for the 1924 5CV car.

Others include St Christopher, Coq Nain (cockerel), Perche (fish), Grand Libellule (dragonfly) T�te d'Aigle (eagle’s head), Sanglier (boar's head), Chrysis (kneeling nude), Longchamps (horse's head), T�te de Paon (peacock's head) and Victoire (female head) and the Archer, pictured, which sold for �1,100 in our last fine art auction.

They were hugely popular. The eagle's head, which symbolised military might, was chosen by Hitler for his commanders’ Mercedes-Benz staff cars, and rich British motorists bought them eagerly too, through Lalique's London agents, the Breves Galleries in Knightsbridge. Many were sold also as paperweights, but mascots are distinguishable by the heavy brass bases which allowed them to be mounted to car radiators or bonnets.

Pilgrim's WayMore than 400 works will go on display this month as the annual exhibition by the Pilgrims Way Artists is opened by the Ashford-based children’s illustrator Mike Spoor.

A dedicated group of like-minded artists, the exhibitors are of all ages, talents and range from amateur to professional, working in oil, watercolour and pastels, with sculpting and pottery well represented, too.

Most Read

Joined by six specially invited guest artists, this year’s featured artist is Marina Elphick, who produces stunning batik paintings of richly coloured life-like portraits set in landscapes or mythically inspired decorative backgrounds.

And if all that’s not enough, on Wed 26 May from 6.30pm many of the artists will be at their easels demonstrating their skills and discussing their work. Refreshments are provided, and tickets are �5 including a catalogue.The exhibition will be at the Tithe Barn, Lenham from Sat 22 to Mon 31 May, from 10am to 6pm daily. Entry is free, catalogues �1.

In celebrationA London exhibition featuring work by a pioneer of landscape painting is to include a Kentish scene, as the Royal Academy of Arts celebrates the life of Paul Sandby RA.

Celebrated in his day, the ‘father of English watercolour’ had a profoud influence on artists of successive generations, including Thomas Girtin and Turner, but from the mid 19th Century, his work had begun to slip into obscurity.

Aiming to redress his position in the history of British art, this exhibition showcases a variety of Sandby’s techniques and subject matter, from Surrey to Scotland by way of Wales, to his capturing of everyday life in 18th Century London.

A View of the Vintners at Boxley, Kent, with Mr Whatman’s Turkey Paper Mills, 1794 will form part of the exhibition, which will run at the Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly, until 13 June. For more information, tel: 0844 2091919

A fresh menuDiners at Lenham’s Limetree Restaurant are in for a treat this year, as spectacular abstract paintings by local artist Marc Lawrence grace the walls in what has become his first solo exhibit.

Inspired by anything from Kentish landscapes to drunks in doorways, life, energy and lights are a constant presence in Marc’s paintings and edgy prints, and staff at the Limetree are encouraging people to browse the art with a coffee, or absorb each piece while dining. Fore more information on Marc’s art, tel: 07908488513, and to contact the Limetree, tel: 01622 859509.

Comments powered by Disqus