Off the Wall at Bankside Gallery
Bankside Gallery has recently opened its exhibition Off the Wall, a collection of work by artists from the Royal Watercolour Society and Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.
Over 200 pieces are on display and ready to be sold, quite literally, off the wall. Prices range from £60 to £1,500, with the option to take your new masterpiece home already framed for an extra cost. With the sheer quantity of artwork being exhibited and the vast range of technique and influence, there really is something for everyone. It’s worth mentioning that there’s not much coordination to this exhibition: it’s much more about selling than appreciation. The haphazard cluster of watercolours and prints means it’s difficult to form any kind of emotional connection with the art, and with so many pieces in one place there’s a real fight for attention. Unfortunately this means that unless you’re willing to spend a considerable amount of time in the gallery, less-noticeable works are going to get overlooked. While this isn’t great news for the artists, at the very least it succeeds in keeping the room fresh.
One of the etchings that certainly didn’t fall into this bracket is Cherry Pie by Jonathan Huxley, which is somewhat expected considering the hefty £1,500 price tag. With a clever combination of gouache and acrylic, Huxley creates an explosive feast of reds and pinks in his female subject. While the bright, bold colours certainly capture a lot of the attention, there are a few smaller pieces that stand out among the crowd: Jason Hicklin has several fascinating etchings on display, two of which depict dark, stormy oceans containing minimal light and a heavy touch of noir.
Off the Wall is successful in it’s selection; with artworks that span all cultures and styles there really is a taste of everything. Unfortunately, it’s limited to just a taste. There’s no real chance to make a connection with the art because the rest of the gallery offers too much distraction. With a wide range of watercolours, acrylics, etchings, and various mixed media pieces, Off the Wall is ideal for those who are looking for a quick buy, but maybe not so much for the art buffs who are seeking out new inspirations.
Off the Wall is at Bankside Gallery until 7th September 2014. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.