Tucked under the church off Weighhouse Street in Mayfair I found Iain Michael Brunt; whom after a move from impressionism into modern art has the rights to show art ‘Public Art’ on the Grosvenor Estate in Mayfair, yet he is in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral basement in Mayfair showing an exhibition during Frieze week. The Priest, Father Mykolla is supporting Iain’s art practice by giving him the space, on a peppercorn rent. The beautiful church is the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in Exile, Iain Brunt works mainly online but shows art on the platform of Brown Hart Gardens just off Oxford Street and around Mayfair as well as Trafalgar Square but this week can be found in the basement under the church. The Grosvenor community is suggesting they would like to support local sculptors and artists in the area yet most sculptors cannot afford to live in Mayfair. Without artist residencies, artists are being pushed either underground or out of the centre of West End community life. Yet this space, under the church provides a sanctity or refuge from the economic pressures of modern life.
Iain who has spent over 30 years in the art world in London, New York and Paris started his career under the guidance of Daniel Wildenstein in his galleries around the world. Iain wanted to show new artists that otherwise wouldn’t have been seen to the general public. The show expresses a variety of styles, seen on www.gonemodern.com; more cohesion to the curation and history of the work is explored through spending time in the four rooms. On entering the basement gallery, which has high ceilings a need for a lick of paint but otherwise a wonderful space for art, we are met with a critique on city life by Beth Cullen Derridge, whom works with bronze in steel in making statements to address the sacrifices of a career in the City through the weight of working life in shirts and ties and free standing sculptures.
Beth Cullen Kerridge ‘Push me pull you’
Deep in the basement, at the back of the gallery, we find a room full of works by Charles Burnand in which the light dances off saturated and textured colours; chips of stained glass, create beautiful textures and contemporary masterpieces in the experience of cathedral stained glass and light. We find relief in the back rooms by artist Burnand, through the seductive quality of deep colour and saturation in these textures and experiences, highlighted again, in a small circular room at the end of the gallery in which a brass ‘oragami’ cabinet acts as an alter in presenting two green glass vases, standing tall, as if with the understanding of the true holy grail; vessels fit to hold nature and creation. Charles Burand expresses a contemporary and philosophical understanding of design, art and spirituality.
Times are changing, some of us are exploring a need to find relief from economic pressures through the curators or Priests of the church. The primal role of artistic expression and the value of art is is in a place of challenge, giving a more purposeful and meaningful role in art, do we have to respect the sacred nature of the vocation we are called to?
We are in exhausting times when economics are back breaking in respect to art, vocation and our rights to ‘fair trade’. People are panicking, the forecast is unpredictable; we savour our days and respect our rights to enjoy multiculturalism and the freedom we have developed with each other. We are beginning to realise that every day that we live as free people we are in a place of gratitude.
When we are undermined for our choices and values in life, how do we find safety? Are we being driven underground to safety through embracing the sacred nature of our self expression? Iain Michael Brunt curates with an understanding of the primal role of art and authentic expression,
Words/Photo Amanda McGregor © Artlyst 2017 Top Photo: Charles Burnand CaCO cathedral no.38
See more online at www.gonemodern.com