‘John Crome: a personal vision in printmaking glimpsed in a single print’ by David Billingsley

“As soon as I begin looking at a field, an escarpment or an orchard as though in it there were some code to be deciphered, it becomes unfamiliar… the longer you spend with them, the more mysterious all visual images become.” John Berger (‘Painting a landscape’ published in ‘Selected Essays’)

“ To Crome, the only source of aesthetic emotion was the direct experience of the natural world, especially its intangible aspects (light and shade, air and space). The observation of nature in and around Norwich came to be the central activity of his life. Crome directed all his energies toward achieving an exact and objective record of what he saw; at the same time, he evolved methods profoundly expressive of his subjective responses.” Norman Goldberg (note 1).

“ By the early 19th century printmaking in Britain had reached an all time low. “ Liverpool Museums Exhibitions Website 2018

A Composition, John Crome, ca. 1790-1821, etching in black on cream wove paper, PR536

Participating in Phil Garratt’s lifelong learning course in the history of printmaking at Aberystwyth School of Art has opened a door for this writer onto the work of a number of printmaker artists I previously knew little about and whose scope, skill and imaginative gifts I had, to be candid, overlooked. I was aware of the English Romantic artist John Crome’s capacity for the atmospheric manipulation of aerial perspective in oil paint from seeing such impressively distinctive works by him as Marlingford Grove in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight, Willow Tree with a Horseman and a Woman on a Road in the Castle Museum, Nottingham and The Poringland Oak, now in Tate Britain which is arguably his finest painting. Continue reading

History of Printmaking – Lifelong Learning course for 2018/19 starts 24th October

Coursers, Harry Morley, 1931, engraving

Did you know Aberystwyth University holds an outstanding collection of prints? If you would like to learn about the different ways prints are made, and get hands-on experience of our print collection, then History of Printmaking is for you. The course surveys the development of printmaking from the 15th century to the present with reference to the work of many famous artists including Dürer, Rembrandt, Goya, Piranesi, Gillray, Whistler and Picasso. By the end of the course you will know your mezzotint from your aquatint, have a good historical understanding of the role of the print in society and be able to start collecting prints with confidence.

Tutor: Phil Garratt

Fee £110, course code CA109

Dydd Mercher / Wednesday, 1.30-4.00pm, Oct 24, Nov 7, 21, Dec 5 19, Jan 9, 23, Feb 6

 Contact Phil Garratt on pjg@aber.ac.uk if you are interested in enrolling or would like further details about the content of the course.

 ( 01970 621580   : learning@aber.ac.uk     www.aber.ac.uk/sell

Addysg Uwch yn y Gymuned / Higher Education in the Community

Lifelong Learning Course “Looking at Art” starting 18th October 2017

Weird Sisters, James Gillray, 1847-51

Phil Garratt, Senior Technician and Assistant Curator at the School of Art, teaches this class, which is a great chance to explore some of the School of Art’s excellent collection of fine and decorative art. For more information click here or have a look at the attached flyer.


Making Pictures – new lifelong learning course for 2016/17


Jan Vermeer, Allegory of the Art of Painting (detail), oil on canvas, c.1665

Making Pictures: the Tricks of the Trade is a new Lifelong Learning Art History module which provides an opportunity to explore some of the ways pictures have been made from the fifteenth century to the present.

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New Course for 2014 – Images with a Strong Message

Philip Hagreen
“It’s not you I’m fighting for”, Philip Hagreen, c.1916-18, Collection of the School of Art Gallery and Museum.

Following on from last year’s successful art history course Now, I Like That! , the School of Art Gallery and Museum will host another new course for lifelong learners this autumn.

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Now, I Like That! The Influence of the Art Critic

Now I Like That2The School of Art Gallery and Museum is to host a brand new Lifelong Learning course this Autumn.  Now, I Like That! The Influence of the Art Critic will provide an introduction to debates about aesthetics in relation to the visual arts and will provide a chance for the local community to gain hands-on experience of the University’s important collections of fine and decorative art.

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