Feliks Topolski

There are some really interesting pieces coming through the gallery in the run up to Christmas.

This is the original of Feliks Topolski’s ‘The Procession – The Re-opening of Law Court.’

Topolski was born on 14 August 1907 in Warsaw, Poland. He studied in the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, and trained as an artillery officer.

Later he studied and worked in Italy and France, and eventually he moved to Britain in 1935 after being commissioned to record King George V’s silver jubilee. He opened a studio near Waterloo station, which later became an exhibition and then a café-bar featuring his art.

He married twice, first to Marian Everall and then Caryl J. Stanley.

In 1939 the George Bernard Shaw plays ‘In Good King Charles’s Golden Days’ and ‘Geneva’ were published with illustrations by Topolski, bringing his work to a wide audience in the UK.

During the Second World War, Topolski became an official war artist and painted scenes of the Battle of Britain and other battlefields. In 1941, Topolski travelled to Russia alongside the men of 151 Wing RAF on board the RMS Llanstephan Castle, which was sailing to the port Archangelsk as part of Operation Benedict, a mission to provide air support in defence of the port of Murmansk. Topolski was travelling as an accredited War Artist for both Polish and British governments. He was also under contract to Picture Post magazine, which published many of his drawings after his return.

After the war he made a celebrated painting about the first meeting of the United Nations. In 1947 he gained British citizenship. His work was also part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1948 Summer Olympics.

Topolski’s experiences were initially captured in pencil and ink drawings. These were the first stage of his prolific Chronicles, which appeared fortnightly from 1953 to 1979, interrupted only to accommodate his exploratory investigations across the globe. The Chronicles communicated his art and observations to a wider audience. They were independently published, without advertisements or subsidies. Since his death in 1989 Topolski’s Chronicles have retained respect as a pictorial and political record spanning nearly 30 years of world history. The Chronicles contain 3,000 drawings, and were exhibited in New York City, Moscow, Cologne, Hamburg, Hawaii, Tel Aviv and serialised in the United States, Poland, Italy, Denmark and Switzerland. Joyce Cary wrote, it is “the most brilliant record we have of the contemporary scene as seized by a contemporary mind.”

In 1959, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, commissioned Topolski to create a mural depicting the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The mural contains 14 friezes divided into two narratives; one narrative; entitled “In The Streets” shows various processions to Westminster Abbey, while the second, entitled “In The Abbey”, depicts the procession out of the Abbey after the coronation.

Topolski painted portraits of contemporaries, including the authors H. G. Wells, Graham Greene, John Mortimer and Evelyn Waugh, and politicians Harold Macmillan and Aneurin Bevan. He also painted murals, contributed to BBC programmes, such as the caricatures of guests used in Face to Face and designed theatrical sets. Between 1975 and his death he worked on a 600 ft mural in a studio in railway arches near London’s South Bank, depicting events and people of the 20th century. It opened to the public as a free permanent exhibition called Topolski Century. In 2014 it was re-opened as a café-bar called Topolski, featuring his art.

Feliks Topolski died in London on 24 August 1989 at the age of 82. He is buried in Highgate Cemetery, north London.

Welcoming Clothylde Vergnes To The Gallery

We are delighted to announce the arrival of works by Clothylde Vergnes to our gallery.

Clothylde’s work currently focuses on landscapes in North Yorkshire, whether the open and empty stretches of Moors or the crowded semi-symbiotic relationship of cottages and sea on the coast. Most of her work is in oils, for she loves their rich intensity and depth of colour.

Inspired in practice by her experience of stained glass, whereby colours are contained within boundaries, and conceptually by Paul Klee’s notion of “taking a line for a walk”, these landscapes are personal and stylised interpretations, evolved from quick sketches outdoors and elaborated in her studio.

We will be exhibiting a selection of Clothylde’s original works, prints and cards.

Lockdown #2

In light of the government’s latest announcement, we will be closed from Thursday onwards, but will remain open this Wednesday rather than having our usual day off.

If anybody has framing requirements, please drop these in to us Mon, Tues, Weds, and we will work on them during lockdown, pending delivery of the required mouldings by our suppliers.

We can then either store the completed work until lockdown ends, or else arrange for delivery or collection in line with the government guidance.

Thanks and stay safe

Lisa and Gavin

Framing Timescales

Due to CoVid-19, we are continuing to suffer delays in delivery of some of the mouldings that we use for picture framing.

While we strive to adhere to our 28 day turnaround on framing work, please understand that we are bound by the delivery times of our suppliers.

In order to reduce disruption to a minimum, we are working with a number of suppliers to try to offer alternative supply lines and should we suspect that your work may delayed, we will contact you to agree either an alternate moulding or a waiting time for the agreed moulding to be supplied.

Many thanks for our understanding.

New Collection From Lindsey Tyson

Renowned Scarborough artist Lindsey Tyson has released a new collection of work inspired by the harsh climate of the North Sea.

While previously well known for her artwork based on felt as a primary medium, the “Shipping Forecast” collection features abstract images in mixed media.

Working from her studio in Scarborough, Lindsey is inspired and driven by a love of nature and the inherent essence of her surroundings. In addition to this, she loves the challenge of combining many and varied art processes and techniques.

Originally a weave designer in the automotive industry, after starting a family, Lindsey sidestepped into the world of creative 

 “Although my recent work is abstract in nature, I try to capture a little of the essence of my surroundings – after a lifetime living by the sea in this beautiful part of the country.”

We are delighted that Lindsey has chosen Seagull Gallery in Filey to display her new work.

Fine Art Trade Guild

We are proud to announce that we have been accepted as a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild.

The Fine Art Trade Guild is the trade association for the art and framing industry, including artists, art printers, publishers, framing equipment and materials manufacturers and suppliers, framers and galleries.

The Guild is responsible for trade standards and qualifications, including the Guild Certified Framer programme.

Upgrade your glass, protect your artwork

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to supply both UV blocking and anti-reflective Clarity Glass from stock.

While older style diffused glass reduces reflections, it does not reduce damage to artwork due to UV light and can make the artwork behind it appear less defined.

Clarity UV70 blocks 70% of ultraviolet light in order to reduce the fading of your treasured items from either direct or indirect light

Clarity AR also reduces reflections to less than 1%, as well as giving the same 70% UV light blocking, protecting your artwork while still retaining absolute definition.

Should you require even greater UV blocking qualities, we are able to order 99% UV blocking on request.

Fundraising For Filey Lifeboat

Our auction of the painting ‘Rusty Coble’ donated by artist Tony Dexter has raised more than £500 for the RNLI Lifeboat in Filey. 

The painting of a Filey fishing boat was won by James and Kim Hodgson of the White Lodge Hotel in Filey.

“Filey is a long standing holiday destination for our family and I’ve always been inspired by the local fishing boats on the Coble Landing. In 2018 Neil’s Gallery (now Seagull Gallery) sold one of my paintings with £160.00 being donated to the RNLI. This year we wanted to see if we could raise even more money and the Gallery suggested a sealed bid auction.” said Tony.

The painting was displayed in the Gallery and people were asked to place their bids throughout September. 

As a local Gallery we are delighted to support the RNLI which is a very worthwhile charity and to provide free space for Tony’s painting and run the auction. The response and the bidding was excellent and 100% of the proceeds will go to the Filey Lifeboat.

Commenting on his winning bid James said “Kim and I are delighted to have placed the highest bid and that this money will go to support Filey Lifeboat.  My Father, Philip Hodgson, was Hon Sec of Filey Lifeboat from 1963-1976 and my mother, Eileen Hodgson was actively involved in the Ladies Lifeboat Guild for over 30 years. My brother Richard and I are former crew members. We dedicate the picture to all Filey Lifeboat Sea and Shore Crews and all Volunteer workers past and present and we will display the painting in the Hotel for the benefit of our guests and I am sure they will enjoy it.”

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