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Testing my new Blog Page, thank you Tom

This morning I answered a post from a photo facility enquiring as to whether 1500 sq ft would be enough for a photo studio?

I suggested that the museum industry generally was spoilt rotten and I made do quite happily with 400 sq ft!!

Goodbye Bert

Albert Irvine OBE RA

Bert Irvin in his studio 2009 © Hugh Gilbert

Albert Irvin OBE RA was a gentleman and the person who introduced me as a teenager to Guinness. I first met Bert when he had studio at St Katherine’s Dock next to Tower Bridge. Lunch with Bert, Peter Sedgley and Basil Beattie involved doorstop wedges of white bread, cheese and pickled onions at the China Ship, a stevedores pub next to the dock. In the last sixties and early seventies, St Katherine’s was a disused collection of warehouses built in Napoleonic times and housed over a hundred artists. Bert’s later double studio in Stepney Green was a splendid high ceilinged pair of classrooms, with plenty of light and still in a community of artists. He surrounded himself with artists and was loved by all. His gallery Gimpel Fils, and print house, Advanced Graphics were his connection with the commercial world.

I shall miss Bert who could speak eloquently about abstract expressionism and on occasion his time in the bombers during WW2.

Albert Irvin died on 26 March 2015, and my thoughts are with his wife, Betty.

A Real Dame, Paula Rego

Dame Paula Rego, who brings folk tales to life with dark insights to life around us. She is surrounded in her studio with a wealth of puppetry and costumes to bring her tableaux to a reality to be painted.

John Hoyland, photographed by Hugh Gilbert

John Hoyland in his studio

In the spirit of remembering those past, it must be something to do with November and armistice day, I remember John Hoyland with affection. He was a direct man and did not suffer fools, yet was generous with his friends and supportive of other artists. As for colour, well he never gave colour a chance, he was strict to the point of savagery and his canvasses declare their adherence to his ideas and exuberance. These photos were taken early in the morning and as you can see he was suited and booted ready for work.

Julian Barrow

Julian Barrow in his studio 2001

Julian sadly passed away on September 3rd. I shall miss him. He was a regular visitor to my studio, always full of tales of derring artistic ‘do’, and never afraid to paint in front of an audience when in public. He was regularly spotted painting views along the Thames. Every so often he would visit my studio with a whole exhibition packed in laundry bags. I’d photograph them for him for his catalogues, which was like a wild journey in itself, prior to the exhibition, whether in London or New York or wherever. He was involved in his local artistic community and contributed works regularly to the Small Painters Group.

His Studio shown here was previously occupied by Sergeant, and Julian scarcely changed it, apart from covering it with his own paintings.

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Hugh Gilbert
About the blog

A view of the contribution that artists make to the cultural history of our lives. I am privileged to visit many studios in my work, and am always astonished at the variety and beguiling nature of them. This project began in 2001, and will continue as long as I have the help of my (mostly) willing subjects.


All Images © Hugh Gilbert.

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