Monday, 1 May 2017

VICTORIA CROWE, LONDON

Crowe works with exquisite fragments and fractions – adding, subtracting, compounding and reducing – in an effort to clarify her overflow of feelings and search for the truth. I wrote this long ago - and it remains entirely true. 
VICKY CROWE, OBE DHC FRSE MA(RCA) RSA RSW is having 3 bonanza years. Next summers Ed Festival Scottish National Portrait Gallery show will feature a retrospective exhibition of her portraits, coinciding with her Scottish Gallery Festival Exhibition. In 2019 a celebration of her paintings will be the Edinburgh Festival show at the CITY Art Centre. 
This February saw her collaboration on a production of Winterreise, performed at the Wigmore Hall, London, 
& The Britten Studio, Snape Maltings. 
Now 2 major events. Tomorrow her latest major London tapestry commission will be unveiled, followed next day by a show at London's esteemed Browse & Derby Gallery in Cork Street. 
Interesting that key artists accept the challenge of working in allied fields - of music, sets for opera or ballet or say, tapestry, - but of course must be well known enough to be invited to tackle them! They must also have an exquisite range of touch, AND of feeling, to accomplish all this. Crowe has it in spades. 

 This band new project, The Leathersellers’ Tapestry", is a 52 metre frieze woven by Edinburgh's Dovecot Studio, over 3 years 2014-17. 

It was commissioned for the meeting hall of the Leathersellers Worshipful livery company's headquarters in the City of London, redeveloped by architect Eric Parry. 
At the Dovecot - Crowe in yellow- inspects along with the weavers. 
The livery company was founded by royal charter in 1444 with authority to control the sale of leather within the City
Dovecot Edinbro
Crowe's involvement with tapestry goes back to 2008, so she already had the useful experience of working with the Dovecot before, - who have made a wonderful job of this very complex frieze. 

Crowe's design tells the story of leather production, celebrating the traditional skills craftsmanship of leather and textile makers. 
Woven in nine sections to adorn the three walls, it contains a huge amount of archival research which Crowe recounts in a beautiful BOOK to accompany this event. 

She includes the Leathersellers' roebuck symbol set against a blue blue sky, with a glimpse of the nearby Gherkin building, 


plants used in dying & curing processes, including gorgeous yellow Mimosa, 
the formula for ‘Perkin’s Mauve’ shown much as it was in his notebook, decorative strapwork script she found in the Company’s account books, scholars young & old, 
famous members of the livery company, 
the Virgin Mary who was their patron, 
madonna being woven 
references to WW 1, blueprints of the architects design, 

and even digital references from today 
which she saw at Bridge of Weir's Scottish Leather Group, where huge treated hides are laser cut for accuracy while being prepared for the aeronautical and motor industry. 
In all it is a superb visual representation of the Leatherseller's "rich history, a place of jewel-like colours, warm and candlelit," she explains. 


Meanwhile .....

Crowe's Browse & Derby exhibition features her familiar images of trees, Venice 
plants and fruits 
and white lilies seen in detail. Glowing in triumphant hues, these paintings reflect an artist at the height of her powers. (Exh till June 2nd.) 

                                
BROWSE & DERBY show runs till June 2nd, Cork St London 

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