Yesterday, I went to the Lightbox art gallery in Woking, in order to view their latest exhibition on British comic book art and it’s impact on our culture and the world.
The exhibition, titled “The Story of British comics so far: Cor! By Gum! Zarjaz”, featured archival art and covers from various British comics over the years, from The Beano and the Dandy, to 2000 AD. Since I am a huge comic book fan, and because my studio practice is tied into comic books, this was a great chance to gain some inspiration.
The actual exhibition was very good, and very educational. I learned about the first, popular British comic book character, Ally Sloper. Sloper was one of the earliest comic strip characters in Britain, often having slapstick adventures and unintentionally causing mischief. He was an influence on the comedic style of one of Britain’s greatest comic actors, Charles Chaplin.
As good as the exhibition was, the best one was upstairs. It was an exhibition on thew work of the Camden Town Group, a group of artists who came together in the 1910s and produced art that reflected life in lower middle class London. Most of their art was oil paintings, which depicted life in Edwardian London with honesty, understanding and respect for their subjects and their environments. They range from portraits to landscapes, each displaying the artist’s intent to accurately depict the scene they are watching, with firm brush strokes, a wide range of tones and sharp attention to detail.
They only held 3 major exhibitions before disbanding, but their work has left a huge mark n Fine art. The group has inspired many well-known artists in Britain, such as Frank Auerbach, one of my favorite artists.
The exhibition had a great selection of paintings from every member, including Spencer Gore, William Ratcliffe, Harold Gilman and Charles Ginner.
I would post the photographs, but I don’t want to get in trouble with the gallery, since I don’t have permission.
Overall, it was a great learning experience, and will have a huge impact on my work moving forward. I highly recommend these exhibitions, if you are a fan of comic books, fan arts or both.