Contemporary art gallery White Moose, based in Barnstaple, has just been awarded a grant of just under £15,000 by the Arts Council England National Lottery fund. The money will enable White Moose – co-owned by Julie Gavin and Stella Levy – to commission ground-breaking artist Marcus Lanyon to create his first solo show, a thought provoking and at times disturbing, exhibition ‘Age of Panic.’
As part of this exhibition, Marcus will also hold a series of talks and workshops that engage with a younger audience, focusing on a collaborative creative process through drawing and the practical and personal issues surrounding developing a career as a full-time artist post study.
Marcus’s work focuses on the constant, yet seductive, ‘disquiet’ that defines our lives now, in contrast to the apparent social certainties of the past.
It is an exploration of the climate of social, political and personal anxiety that this creates.
Using a range of materials for both their cultural resonance and their ability to echo different stages of human technological development – such as pigment, ink, earth, cloth, clay, bronze, iron and aluminium – the work highlights our diverse, complex and evolving relationships with these key human concerns.
The collaboration with White Moose has allowed Marcus to expand upon his aesthetic, and as he has worked alongside Julie and Stella to create new pieces.
“This grant from Arts Council England is the culmination of everything we have been working towards”, said Stella. “We love working with young artists, helping them springboard their careers and giving them a strong platform to show and sell their work.
“We believe great art belongs everywhere, and is not just the preserve of big urban hubs, and our track record of commercially successful exhibitions with exciting artists shows we are not the only people who think this.
“Marcus’s work is exciting, timely and expansive and just as relevant and poignant on the walls of a Barnstaple based gallery as it is on the walls of one in London or New York. “
‘Age of Panic’ explores notions and concepts of the apocalypse and the cultural panic that supports and feeds such fixations. The show will feature all new works based on these unnerving, post-apocalyptic themes, and will debut in the White Moose gallery. Painted pieces as well as bronze sculptures will be shown.
The exhibition will vividly bring to life another project of Marcus’s, ‘The Post-Apocalyptic Colouring Book: Volume One’ which is an ironic and playful, take on the nihilistic questions raised by ‘Age of Panic.’
“This exhibition is the culmination of a number of years’ research, observation and experiment, and during this timeframe the national and global social and political context has dramatically shifted to a place that makes my work all the more relevant,” adds Marcus about the upcoming show.
“‘Age of Panic’ has given me a chance to refine my original enquiries, to be ambitious and to concisely present my viewpoint across a range of formats: from the interactivity of a colouring book; to large scale, intricate paintings and drawings; to working with new sculptural processes and materials.
“The opportunity to present this body of work at White Moose, both at this point in time culturally and in my career, and with the support of Arts Council England, is an extremely important step for me.’
‘Age of Panic” will run from 21 April -10 June 2017 at theWhite Moose Gallery, Moose Hall. Trinity Street. Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 8HX.
During the exhibition, the gallery will be open to the public, Tuesday–Friday 11am-5pm and Saturday 11am-2pm. Monday’s are by appointment only. Entry is free of charge.
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(top image:Marcus Lanyon – ‘Petrichor (The smell of the earth after the rain)’ – 2015 – Acrylic, ink and pigment on canvas, 170 x 140 x 5 cm)