The paintings are of streets and rooms in Larache, an ancient fishing port 50 miles south of Tangier where James F. Lynch has partly lived for the last four decades. Architecture is registered with draughtsmanly precision; colours are beautifully toned. There is a strange feeling of tentativeness and surprise in the settings, as though the collection of beautifully observed planes and lines has just happened to fall together to make a street. And then massy human figures appear, bringing warmth and suggesting narrative possibilities. At once precise and moving, the pictures are an unforgettable evocation of a place.
James F. Lynch Studied at Camberwell School of Art and Goldsmith’s College London; since then he has had a long career as an artist and teacher. His work has been exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal West of England Academy, the New English Art Club and the Alexandra Irigoyan Gallery in Madrid; and he has had many solo exhibitions, for instance at the Rooksmoor Gallery in Bath, the Angel Gallery in Lavenham, and the Annexe Provinciale de la Culture, Larache, Morocco. We are very excited to be able to show his work at St Anne’s.
A selection of Hazel Rossotti’s photographs from 2009 – mainly from Southern Australia, Greece (Tilos and Crete) and Oxford – can be seen in the Mary Ogilvie Art Gallery from Thursday 6 May until at least Wednesday 19 May, the foyer being devoted to black-and-white, and the gallery to colour.
Her subjects, chosen merely for her own enjoyment, range from quasi-abstract celebrations of the play of light on surfaces to attempts to photograph kangaroos, which would had given her more satisfaction if the camouflage had been less effective. And she hopes that this hotchpotch helps her to share some of her visual enjoyment with most of the viewers.
The exhibition is the culmination of a project run by Anne Louise Avery and Steve Pratley at the Ormerod Base, a Special Educational Needs centre, situated at the Marlborough Church of England School in Woodstock, but attracting its intake of students from across Oxfordshire.
Anne and Steve write:
In 2008, we decided to introduce a new approach at the Ormerod, which began with slowly building up a distinctive imaginative landscape with each child through weekly sessions of music, song-writing, story-telling and poetry: both creation and performance. After several months, the students were then encouraged to translate that now familiar and well-travelled landscape into concrete two-dimensional paintings. The art works were executed entirely by the children themselves, according to their own aesthetic decisions; not, crucially, those of the teaching assistant or teacher.
The exhibition represents the final stage of the project. We felt that the students' works were so extraordinary, of such symbolic and formal richness, that collectively they would form an important exhibition of great interest not simply to their families, peers, and educators, but to a much wider and diverse public.
We share Anne and Steve’s enthusiasm. The work on show is vivid, energetic, colourful, and deeply surprising. It amply fulfils their hope ‘to move away from the archetype of the perspectivally-obsessed but semantically-limited savant to a more general understanding that an artist with autism is individualistic as a "neuro-typical" artist.’