Hansel & Gretel Q&A

 

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I did a question & answer for the main newspaper of north Wales, The Daily Post. Peter went to get a haircut at the barber shop in Aberystwyth, and our friends there had very kindly set aside a copy for us. I answered the questions so long ago that I’d almost forgotten what I’d said. Here’s the transcript:

Your name:

Clive Hicks-Jenkins

How old are you?

Sixty-six.

Where are you from?

Newport, Gwent.

Tell us about your family

My father was a wayleaves officer with the South Wales Electricity Board. He was responsible for brokering contracts between SWEB and the landowners/farmers whose acreage needed to be crossed by power lines. But because he was a countryman and loved the landscape, he was an artist when it came to placing them where they’d least be visible, hiding them in valleys and along the edges of woodlands. My mother was a hairdresser. She loved films and from an early age she took me every Saturday afternoon to the cinema. Never to see kids’ films though. She loved more dramatic fare, and so my tastes were quite unusual. I don’t know how she bucked the certificate system. She probably knew the local cinema manager and bargained haircuts against him turning a blind eye to a seven year old watching Bette Davies melodramas!

What are you best known for?

Probably my Mari Lwyd-themed series of 2000-2001, The Mare’s Tale. I had an exhibition of that name, and it made quite a splash. There was a book of poetry by the late Catriona Urquhart that accompanied it, and in 2013 the composer Mark Bowden and the poet Damian Walford Davies made a chamber work of the same name, based on the underlying narrative of a psychological haunting.

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Tell us about your exhibition (what’s it called, what’s it on/where is it being held?)

The exhibition is at Oriel Tegfryn, Menai Bridge, and it’s the result of four years of exploration on the theme of Hansel & Gretel.

When is it running from/to?

Sept 1st – Sept 24th.

What can people expect?

Last year the publisher Random Spectacular commissioned a picture book from me that was based on the fairy tale. As my version is very dark it’s been marketed as being more suitable for adults. (It’s been described as ‘George Romero meets the Brothers Grimm!)

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Simultaneously I was commissioned by Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop in Covent Garden to design a toy theatre assembly kit of Hansel & Gretel. This has been quite a thrill. I played with a Benjamin Pollock toy theatre when I was a child, and so it’s a great privilege to be asked to make a new one to bear his name. Published this summer, in contrast to the picture book it’s a sunnier affair, quite suitable for children. Even so I put my own visual spin on it. You won’t have seen a Hansel & Gretel quite like it.

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The Tegfryn Gallery exhibition consists of all the artworks made for the picture book and the toy theatre, plus illustrations for Hansel & Gretel alphabet primers that I made several years ago. Prepare for a Hansel & Gretel Fest!

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Tell us five things which make your exhibition great?

1) Scary and beautiful is an alluring mix!

2) I can guarantee it’s not going to be like anything you’ve ever experienced at Oriel Tegfryn.

3) What’s not to love about art in which family dysfunction, unhealthy appetites and manslaughter are the principal themes? This is a fairytale for the soap generation.

4) There are Liquorice Allsorts deployed as weapons and gingerbread men that bite back!

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5) If you want to know what horrors lie beneath a witch’s prosthetic nose, then this is the exhibition you’ve been waiting for!

Tell us what’s good about the venue

It’s a warm and welcoming gallery with wonderful staff. Visiting Oriel Tegfryn is like calling on friends who are always pleased to see you.

Who is your favourite artist and why?

The ‘who’ is George Stubbs, and the ‘why’ is because he painted animals with unparalleled compassion. His Hambletonian, Rubbing Down may be numbered among the world’s greatest equestrian artworks.

What piece of work are you most proud of and why?

Green George. It’s in a private collection here in Wales. If you type the title and my name into a search engine, you can see it. I paint only for myself and I never think about who might purchase. I made Green George as a painting I’d like to live with, though in fact I never did. It was finished only days before being shipped to the gallery, and it sold immediately. I knew even as I painted it that I was riding the wind. I couldn’t have bettered it.

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Tell us a little known fact about yourself:

I once played Batman’s nemesis, the Riddler, in an American musical.

What are your best and worst habits?

I’m a fiercely loyal and loving friend. But I’m also implacably unforgiving when betrayed. It’s an unattractive trait.

What’s next for you? What are you currently working on, or what do you plan to work on?

I’m on the last lap of a fourteen print series on the theme of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in collaboration with Daniel Bugg at the Penfold Press. The press has been publishing the series sequentially. The art historian James Russell has been writing accompanying texts. It’s been a wonderful experience.  The Martin Tinney Gallery is having an exhibition of the work in January.

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Then I go into rehearsals for a new music theatre work of Hansel & Gretel that I’m designing and directing. The production opens in London before embarking on a year long tour.

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Invitation to ‘Gawain and the Green Knight’

Please join us if you are able at the opening of:

Gawain and the Green Knight: Clive Hicks-Jenkins and the Penfold Press

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Prints, paintings and drawings on the theme of the medieval poem

Thursday 8th September, 6 pm – 7.30 pm at

The Martin Tinney Gallery

18 St. Andrew’s Crescent, Cardiff. CF10 3DD. +44 (0)29 2064 1411

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Exhibition runs from Thursday 8th Sept to Saturday 1st Oct, 2016

Art commentator James Russell writes of the Penfold Press collaboration between artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins and printmaker Daniel Bugg:

“The story is the kind you might find in The Mabinogion. Sir Gawain is more human than your average legendary hero. Having taken up the challenge offered at the Camelot Christmas feast by the terrifying Green Knight, he embarks on a quest to find this ogre, only to be tested – and found wanting – in unexpected ways. Sir Gawain is both a glittering knight and a fallible young man, and it is this flawed human character that intrigues Clive. Each print is inspired by the text and rooted stylistically in its world, but beyond that Clive and Dan have allowed their imagination free rein.”

 

 

 

Arenig

Good news today from the Martin Tinney Gallery in Cardiff. My little still-life with Arenig Fawr beyond it was the first work to sell in the just opened Arenig exhibition. That’s a nice boost to the confidence in the run-up to my one-man exhibition, Telling Tales, opening next month at Martin’s Tegfryn Gallery in Menai Bridge. Feeling chipper!

Still-life Under Arenig

Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Acrylic on gessoed panel. 33 x 31 cm. 2014

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Arenig Fawr

 

Still-life Under Arenig

Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Acrylic on gessoed panel. 33 x 31 cm. 2014

Enquiries to the Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff

As a big J. D. Innes exhibition is about to open at the National Museum of Wales, Martin Tinney is holding an exhibition of gallery artists working to the theme of the Arenig mountain range in North Wales, a landscape Innes loved to paint.

I’ve made a still-life with Arenig Fawr beyond it. The foliate-head jug is one of many I made with Pip Koppel when Peter and I first moved to Aberystwyth. (she threw and I added handles and decorated) The small oval box once contained pralines given to us by our friend Rex Harley. The box was originally decorated with a printed design that I over-painted with waves and a masted ship, and has appeared in numerous still-life paintings I’ve made. In the bottom of the box is a drawing of a fish.

 


James Dickson Innes

Arenig, Sunny Evening c.1911-12

During his short life (1887 – 1914) James Dickson Innes stayed for several seasons in North Wales, close to the Arenig mountains. Innes was a pioneer in Britain of directly painted landscapes in a rather primitive style, which he first used in Collioure in the South of France in 1908. (Prior to Collioure, he’d painted in a conventionally academic manner.) He exhibited with the Camden Town Group in 1911, but like his friend Augustus John was only a fringe member.

 

 

Two Tales at the Tegfryn Gallery: C H-J and the Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra

Detail from Flight (see the full painting HERE)

2013 – mixed media – 56 x 76 cms

I’m pleased to announce that my next exhibition with Martin Tinney will be at Oriel Tegfryn, Menai Bridge, during May/June 2014. The title of the exhibition is Two Tales, and it will comprise thirty-five new paintings on the themes of the two productions I’m collaborating on this year with the Artistic Director of Mid Wales Chamber Orchestra, James Slater: the Stravinsky/Ramuz The Soldier’s Tale, and the Bowden/Walford Davies The Mare’s Tale. The recently completed Flight, which Artloggers have been watching in progress here over the past few weeks, is the first new work off the easel for this project, inspired by a scene in the animation I produced for The Soldier’s Tale at this years Hay Festival, in which Joseph and the Princess float over the palace garden.

All enquiries to the Martin Tinney Galleries.

countdown to the london art fair…

… opening this evening.

Detail from: The Greening of Gawain

Clive Hicks-Jenkins RCA
Collage of acrylic paint, coloured pencil and ink on paper – 2012 – 62 x 57 cm 

MARTIN TINNEY GALLERY

STAND 21 at LONDON ART FAIR 2013

BUSINESS DESIGN CENTRE, ISLINGTON N1

16 – 20 JANUARY 2013

FAIR OPENING HOURS:

Tuesday 15th January 6.30 pm – 9 pm  (invited guests only)

Wednesday 16th 11 am – 9 pm

Thursday 17th 11 am – 9 pm

Friday 18th 11 am – 7 pm

Saturday 19th 10 am – 7 pm

Sunday 2oth 10 am – 5 pm

Clive Hicks-Jenkins at MTG

In addition to the paintings that will be on the Martin Tinney stand at the forthcoming London Art Fair, these are some works of mine presently available at the Martin Tinney Gallery, Cardiff.

Turn of the Tide
Clive Hicks-Jenkins RCA
Acrylic on panel 2010  41 x 63 cm

Wolf Boy
Clive Hicks-Jenkins RCA
Acrylic on panel 2010  56 x 61 cm

My Dream Farm
Clive Hicks-Jenkins RCA
Acrylic on panel 2011  60 x 128 cm

Detail from My Dream Farm

The Rapture
Clive Hicks-Jenkins RCA
Acrylic on panel 2011  153 x 122 cm

Detail from The Rapture (modelled by my dog, Jacket)

Sleep Fall
Clive Hicks-Jenkins RCA
Conté pencil and acrylic on arches 2011  57 x 53 cm

The Angels in their Anguish
Clive Hicks-Jenkins RCA
Acrylic on panel 2010  112 x 82 cm

How to find the gallery

Martin Tinney Gallery is situated in Cardiff city centre, less than 5 minutes walk from the National Museum of Wales. There are several car parks immediately nearby, and Pay and Display on-street parking directly outside.

18 St. Andrew’s Crescent
Cardiff
CF10 3DD

Tel +44 (0) 29 2064 1411

e-mail: mtg@artwales.com

OPENING HOURS

Monday-Friday, 10:00-18:00

Saturday, 10:00-17:00

Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays