Rachel Gracey R.E. | Rod Craig | Tamsin Relly
Jemma Powell | Marice Cumber
Zuleika Gallery is delighted to present its Summer Show from 28th July – 23rd August 2021. The exhibition will showcase the work of nationally recognised, regional emerging and mid- career contemporary artists that has been made through the pandemic. As such there is an emphasis on the natural world and domestic life. The exhibition will feature the Oxfordshire’s rolling rural landscape through the work of Rod Craig. Rachel Gracey brings us the peace to be found in urban green spaces, in her new work of Oxford’s Port meadow. Like life itself during the pandemic, these works are small. Tamsin Relly finds a joyful expressions in her vibrant botanical watercolours, also based in Oxfordshire, from a visit to Worton Organic Garden. Jemma Powell and Marice Cumber bring us into domestic realm – the world where table tops are crowded with objects as the pressures of family life pile up physically and emotionally. Marice Cumber’s ceramics bring emotional release and self-realisation through work such as ‘The Cup of Time’. During a period when our own movement as individuals has been so restricted, these works serve as a reminder of the role that art can play in personal wellbeing – when life goes small, horizons are narrowed – and we have to look at our immediate surroundings. It is a reminder and celebration of the beauty that is readily available in our lives, of our capacity to be creative, and the joy and peace that that in itself can bring.
Rachel Gracey R.E. (b. 1968) is an Oxford based artist inspired by nature. A contemporary printmaker, this exhibition will show-case her latest series of lithographs of Port Meadow in Oxford. Gracey’s work is continually evolving from those inspired by Oxford’s University Parks (2016) to her most recent solo exhibition The Pacific Coast at Zuleika Gallery (2020). She continues to embrace negative space in her compositions and creates joyful, chic and beautiful works with a bold energetic painterly technique. Gracey studied fine art at Bristol and specialised in printmaking. She gained an MA in Printmaking at Wimbledon School of Art, where her lithographs were awarded the Michael Putnam Prize. Her work is in Collections at the British Museum, The Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge, the Ashmolean Oxford, Guanlan Printmaking Museum and the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen. In March 2019 she was elected an RE by the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers.
Rod Craig (b. 1952) lives in Woodstock and switched to being a full-time artist in 2010 after a long career in design. Motivated by the contrast between city life and the Oxfordshire countryside, Rod has made many studies of the Blenheim Parklands. Rod has work in collections in the UK, Germany and New York and exhibits regularly. Inspiration for his work comes from Rod’s passion for architecture, landscape and the elements: “What interests me most is trying to create a mood of time and place rather than representational studies”.
Tamsin Relly (b. 1981) is a multidisciplinary artist who draws on both media imagery and first-hand observations to present impressions of natural and urban spaces in states of uncertainty or impermanence. Relly’s recent work considers the origins and global migration of wild and cultivated plants whilst reflecting on the interdependent and reciprocal relationship we have with our vegetal world. Working with the fluid and unpredictable qualities of painting and printmaking, her botanical forms break down and lose focus whilst retaining an intensity of colour, evoking notions of memory and longing. South African born, Relly moved to London in 2009 and received her MA in Fine Art at City & Guilds of London Art School in 2011. Her work has been presented in solo exhibitions hosted by Alteria Art, The Place Downstairs and Brocket Gallery and group shows at the Royal Academy of Arts, T J Boulting and Oliver Projects in London. She has work held in collections including Spier and Ellerman House in South Africa and Hogan Lovells, Simmons & Simmons and the National Maritime Museum in London.
Jemma Powell (b. 1980) is an artist working in Oxfordshire who embraces observational preliminary drawing before working in oils, often through memory, to produce highly sensual works. Powell’s technique embraces making mistakes working intuitively through the process of applying the paint, wiping it off, reapplying with brush or palette knife, scrubbing it and using her fingers to make expressive marks, “I like the mistakes, they are the most exciting part, things start to appear and the painting takes on a life of its own.” Powell treats her still lifes and interiors as she would a landscape, simply another way of expressing colour, shape and form. The results are beautifully composed and balanced paintings that bring the viewer into a tranquil and contented place full of scent, taste and warm sunlight. Powell is also an actress and attended Bristol University and has a BA in Drama as well as a Diploma in acting from The Oxford School of Drama. She lives in Oxfordshire with her musician husband Jack Savoretti and their two children.
Marice Cumber (b.1961) Marice returned to making ceramics after a gap of over 20 years, during which time other responsibilities and priorities filled her life. The ceramics that emerged after this gap became physical, built responses to the emotions, complexities and uncertainties that she has experienced and which are part of her life and being. These huge oversized cups, vessels and vases are confessional, bold and brave, are highly decorated and inscribed with personal messages to herself and her audience. The messages summarise moments of reflection, contemplation, encouragement and acceptance, she is observing herself and commenting on who she is and what is within her. Marice’s ceramic work is made of stoneware clay, is handbuilt and uses underglazes, paints and slips for decoration and then glazed with a transparent glaze. Alongside her practice as an artist, Marice is founder and director of Accumulate, The Art School for The Homeless charity as well as one of the founders of the Crouch End Art Festival. She was awarded the Point of Light award for Accumulate by the UK Prime Minister in 2015 for her work in the community. In 2018 Creative Review magazine made her one of their ‘Creative Leaders 50’.
On Sunday this exhibition is open by appointment only.