Weekly Roundup 17

i. The 'Beast from the East' arrived and made travelling between and around London and Reading a bit of a nightmare. It was especially snowy as we were hanging the show on Wednesday morning and during the private view on Thursday night. Despite this, all went ahead as planned and has made the whole week pretty unforgettable. I intended to go out and paint in the snow today but just as quickly as it arrived, it has all but disappeared - maybe next year!

 David Hockney,  Winter Tunnel with Snow, March,  2006, oil on canvas

David Hockney, Winter Tunnel with Snow, March, 2006, oil on canvas


ii. Through the Looking Glass, a group exhibition of self-portraits that I've been planning with Mercer Chance Gallery since last September, finally opened this week. It was great meeting artists and seeing artwork in the flesh instead of over email or on a screen. It was a fun and fascinating experience curating and hanging the work with Rachel and Michael on the Wednesday morning. The final show looked great.

 Oliver Mulvihill,  Self-Portrait in Stripes,  2017, oil on board

Oliver Mulvihill, Self-Portrait in Stripes, 2017, oil on board

 Anna Choutova,  Self-Portrait in North London,   2017, oil on canvas

Anna Choutova, Self-Portrait in North London,  2017, oil on canvas

Despite the weather, the private view was packed. Lots of friends made huge efforts to be there on the opening night and I felt loved and supported. I received a lot of encouraging comments about my work (painter Leon Pozniakow even said that my work was his favourite!) and felt that my print held its own alongside the work of some artists that I really admire. We get asked a lot about the contemporary context of our practices at uni and this was it. Onwards and upwards!

 Photographs by Jennifer Sian Abell

Photographs by Jennifer Sian Abell


ii. I had a few hours to kill after hanging the show so went to see All Too Human on its opening day at the Tate Britain. It is a brilliant survey of British figurative art. The majority of the rooms are superbly curated and the work on display is incredible. It was exciting to see paintings (some familiar, some new to me) by Auerbach, Kossoff, Freud and many others. It's only March but it may well end up being my favourite exhibition of the year. I look forward to my next visits.

 Leon Kossoff,  Children's Swimming Pool, Autumn Afternoon,  1971, oil on board

Leon Kossoff, Children's Swimming Pool, Autumn Afternoon, 1971, oil on board

 Lucian Freud,  Sleeping by the Lion Carpet,  1996, oil on canvas

Lucian Freud, Sleeping by the Lion Carpet, 1996, oil on canvas

iii. I managed to get into the print studio at school in preparation for next week's midpoint review and made some monotypes from small sketchbook drawings. They will suffice but I wish I could show the print I'm exhibiting in Mercer Chance instead. I need to make better work soon...

iv. Faye Ballard (daughter of J. G. Ballard) came in to uni to give a talk about her drawings. It was an interesting presentation but I wondered if the work was too personal: why should we care about her relationship with her parents? Do other people wonder this about about my work?