Coming up

Coming Up:


Thursday, 20 June 2019

Pricklebums calendar opportunity

Pricklebums hedgehog rescue in Ludlow are looking for local artists who may be interested in collaborating with them on a charity calendar project. They require 12 hedgehog paintings or prints - one for each month of the year - with a short bio about each artist underneath. If you would like to be involved, please could you get in touch with them via their Facebook page or email

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Ludlow Fringe Festival: Art Trail

Once again Ludlow Art Society pulls off a corker! The 7th Ludlow Art Trail is now up and running for the two-week duration of the Fringe Festival (15th - 30th June). Free brochures available anywhere ... just about. There's some really good art on display this year and new venues at the Castle Gift Shop, The Queens pub/restaurant, Black Bough, Poyners, Sws Antiques and the new Bouvier Gallery. Pick up your free brochure and check it out!

Friday, 7 June 2019

Spotlight: Untitled

Let’s play a game. When you see an artwork called ‘Untitled’, give it a name.
These 3 paintings are all ‘Untitled’. Can you think of titles for them?

The first one is ‘Untitled’ by Karl Maughan. What would you call it? The second is by Ewa Jankiewicz. The third by Raquel Fornasaro.
Do any titles spring to mind?
I would call them… 
“Passage” (or maybe “Passageway”), “Hair”, and “Horizontal beach Moon Landing” because it reminds me of that moon flag that may or may not have fluttered in the wind, and the painting’s dark background reminds me of a cinematic blue screen, ready to have anything projected onto the background, rather like the black space around the blue earth as seen from the moon.
Those are what I would call them.
Those titles are an instant reaction, in this moment. Would I call them that tomorrow, or in another frame of mind? Probably not. Tomorrow I may think of them differently. Now that these three paintings are in my mind – and in yours – we will think of them differently.

Thoughts of these paintings, or mere silent traces of their thoughts, may slightly colour our world tomorrow.  If we then see the paintings again, it will be with a renewed view, partly influenced by the paintings themselves. If we connect with the images, and if we change as we live our hours, then the paintings’ place in our thoughts may also change. They cannot be static. So there is validity in an artist not giving a painting a title: meanings can change, and our thoughts can change, even if just by a hair's breadth - or the breadth of a brush stroke.
'Untitled' by Marie-Dolma Chophel
What would you call this one?  Would you like it more if it had a name?

We may think that ‘Untitled’ is simply a matter of laziness, or lack of imagination, but that very transience of meaning might be part of the reason for calling a piece ‘Untitled’. Indeed, in the piece above, movement seems to be the message, particularly with reference to the grid on which the paint swirls and the waters splash.  
When you have finished a painting, using brushstroke’s discipline, and you gaze at the canvas while you wipe clean your brush, taking in its exultant resignation to your will, already starting to dry on the easel, why give the painting a name if it will make the painting sticky?
32,000 year old painting, Chauvet, France
Did the ancients give verbal names to their images?  Descriptions, only spoken in those days before writing had grown from heiroglyphs?  Did the cave dwellers give names to their paintings? Did Lascaux cave artists say “I call this piece ‘When we feel the power of the Bison’s thunder’” ? Tricky to say.
You cannot have the notion of 'Untitled' until you have first had the notion of giving something a title.  When we consider how paintings grew to have a verbal description, the notion of ‘Untitled’ feels like wishful extravagance - like trying to uninvent glasses or taxes, simply to be noticed.
At some point there was a painting that was so good, that it got talked about so much that it got a name.

by Jan-Pleitner. 'Untitled'.  (Jan did not call it 'Fish navigating rock contours')

'Untitled' by Georges Braque

‘Untitled’ is often used to tell us that the artist is not asserting a meaning or emotion to the works, and on to us: it is a way of saying “I am not telling you how to receive this”.  The piece below is 'Untitled' by Jeremy Cunningham.  Several of his paintings have been used for music album covers.  This one was used for the cover of the album 'Strangers in a Crowd' by The Levellers.  "Most of Jeremy Cunningham's paintings are 'untitled' to enable the viewer to look at them without preconception; the artist notes are provided as reasons for painting rather than being illustrative."
'Untitled' is often thought to be a simple lack of title, or a deliberate statement of encouraging the viewer's own thoughts. As if that is the whole picture!
We have words and phrases for things we do. Or so we like to tell ourselves (and those around us). However, a lot of what we do goes untitled.

The moments we make, that we have no words for.

When we are not sure what we are doing.

When we feel the game is ridiculous.

When we have done a thing before, so we do not give it a name, as we already named that experience and sensation...but it is not quite like it was before, not exactly the same, and so a new thing goes untitled...   It is as if we paint some poppies, and we have already painted poppies before, and we called it “Poppies”. We already lived those curves, and this painting is different, but it is still “Poppies”, but that descriptive word has gone to another frame.  So this painting gets no name.

When we let others shout words instead of us, because they feel better when they are loud

When it is not finished.

When we are waiting for it to tell us.

When we dare not say the truth.

When we are calling out, quietly.

When it truly isn’t about anything.

When it is about everything.

When it is too big to speak.

  If you find an Untitled painting, and want to give it a name, you could also consider why it has no title.  Is it too small, too big, has a secret, or trying to make a point about freedom?  Or is it 'Untitled' just so that you can tell your friend "This 'Untitled' painting reminds me of a blog in the Ludlow Art Society".
  "A blog?  What was it about?"
  "I don't know, really."
  "Well, what was the article called?"
  "It didn't have a title."
  "Are you sure?  An article without a title?"
  "Well, not quite.  It was called 'Untitled'".

'Untitled' by Christos Giannpoulos
'Untitled' by Dianna Molzan