An introduction by LAS Chair – Phil Bowman
Hello everyone and welcome to the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society’s first ever ‘Virtual Exhibition’.
I would firstly like to thank Anne Wood for all her hard work putting this exhibition online. She has spent an enormous amount of time and effort putting it together.
Thanks also to Clive Redshaw for his usual efficient collating duties and last but not least all those artists who have provided the work for this virtual first.
We are also indebted to Toby Ward for agreeing to open the exhibition and I look forward to the time, sometime in the distant future when we can meet up with him in person.
It has been said too many times these last few weeks that we are living in ‘extraordinary times’. But we as artists are blessed with gifts and skills that allow us to travel to distant lands and create unseen worlds without even leaving our own homes. I hope the powers that be will reflect on how important a part the arts have played in combating the seclusion forced on us by this pandemic. Not just within this happy band of creatives but communities throughout the UK and beyond .
Can I ask you now to charge your glasses or put the kettle on and enjoy ‘Virtual Connections 2020’ brought to you in the comfort of your own home.
Stay safe. Best wishes,
Phil Bowman – Chair
An introduction by LAS President – Ian Walter
It now falls on me, cup of tea in hand, to thank Phil Bowman, our hardworking chair and introduce Toby Ward, our distinguished opener.
Since taking the reins, Phil has maintained the great commitment to the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society that elevated him to this role. He commands the affection and respect of the members and the committee, so he is able to make things happen, with their support. No more so than with the Society’s first virtual exhibition in its illustrious history.
Thank you Phil, for all that you do for the Society and for making this exhibition happen. Thanks must also go to the selection committee, whose task is never an easy one. If you have been disappointed, please keep trying. If your work is in the exhibition; congratulations.
Turning to Toby Ward, it is my real pleasure to introduce an outstanding artist, who kindly accepted the Society’s invitation to open the exhibition before the pandemic changed our lives in such a dramatic way. So now he is to do so virtually.
In his speech, given in written form, Toby introduces himself, and his long association with Lincoln and Lincolnshire. And his work hangs in the Usher Gallery. How fitting. It is where this exhibition would have been hung in normal circumstances.
Over the long history of the Society, we have had renowned artists to open the annual exhibition. It is my pleasure to invite Toby Ward to join that list and open the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society Annual Exhibition 2020. In doing so, I thank him very much, on behalf of the Society.
Ian Walter – President
An introduction by Guest Artist – Toby Ward NEAC
Hello, I am Toby Ward and I shall have the great privilege to open the 2020 Exhibition of the Lincolnshire Artists’ Society, which I am doing via the Internet due to the Coronavirus lockdown.
The LAS is a vibrant, diverse and energetic group of artists; though based in the county it has members from further afield who bring ideas, techniques, stories and memories that add to the rich texture of the show.
You will find a wonderful variety of work in this ‘virtual’ Show, in a range of disciplines and media, from painting, drawing and photography through stone and wood carving to glass and textiles.
The work here deals with the timeless wonders of the natural world and also contemporary issues that 21st century life presents to the artist. You will see works that are observations of the life that surrounds us, both made in great naturalistic detail and also as pure abstraction and many phases in between. This show is ambitious both in its scope and in its quality.
For me it is a particular pleasure to open this exhibition, as part of me feels like a Lincolnshire artist. In the summer after leaving art school, armed with what I had learnt, I set out to be a portrait painter and it was Lincoln that gave me my first step. I was commissioned by Bishop Grosseteste College to paint their Principal, Len Marsh. I came up to Lincoln for a few weeks and enjoyed myself, the portrait went well and hangs in the University today, and I started to make lifelong friends, both with my sitter and with the city itself.
So I was delighted when, sixteen years later, I was asked to become artist in residence at Lincoln Cathedral. This was another important moment for me, as I was beginning to make ambitious drawings of groups of figures in complex settings, subject matter amply provided by life in and around the cathedral.