Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Geraldine Swayne at Charlie Smith Gallery

Q&A with Geraldine Swayne...

The Rebel Magazine: I loved the opening night of your show Annunciation at the Charlie Smith galleryWas this exhibition easy to hang? Did you tend to agree with (the gallery's director) Zavier Ellis where each painting should go?
Geraldine Swayne: "I left the hanging to Zavier as I think artists are often in the way during hanging. And I am rubbish at it anyway."
Why did you pick Annunciation as the title of the exhibition?
"I picked the name Annunciation because before we knew more about human consciousness, we listened to our un-conscious mind as if it was a kind of divine intervention, or (as Francis Bacon put it), a kind of other worldly signal we, the receivers, could detect. I am really interested in consciousness, and particularly unconscious thought, so I like the Romanticism of primitive manifestations of inspiration,  such as angels and zephyrs, announcing things to us."
What's the most recent work in the show? What can you tell me about that painting?
"The most recent work was the weird baby’s head. A sort of bad moon, or alien intelligence, which kind of reads as the times were in. And is hopefully a bit funny too. It’s from a statue I saw in Belgium. I often paint from statues; the emotion is so distilled in them and statues of babies are particularly eerie and unnatural, like corpses. It started as a picture of a girl watching a rocket launch. Happier times."
Were you stressed about Covid stuff? Did you think the show would be cancelled?
"I was not over stressed by Covid, as I got it out of the way quite early on luckily. But the show was cancelled within  2 days of its opening. Zavier and I were discussing it almost hour to hour, following the radio announcements. Rather dramatic feeling of dread."
Helen Gorill wrote a book called Women Can't Paint that reminds us how the majority of prizes and awards in the art world go to men. She says the work of male artists is often valued up to 80% to that of work by female artists. Do you feel if people believed your paintings were made by a man they would sell for larger amounts of money?
"I don’t know if the work would go for more at this stage of things, but for sure with superstar artists, the household names, it’s hard to think of more than a handful of women who’s prices get commented on in newspapers, the way Hockney does for example. I don’t think about it as I suspect it would make me even angrier than I am about gender bias."
Did you enjoy being featured in the group exhibition Women Can't Paint?
"I loved the Marcus Harvey show ‘women cant paint’ and the accompanying symposium with Rebecca Fortnum and others. It felt like someone, a man, and a serious substantial artist was finally calling out the infamous Bazelitz remark, and made a really good, fuck-off show."
Do you tend to make more paintings when you're broke and sad, or are you more creative when you've recently sold work and had a few back slaps?
"That is a brilliant question. If you are fortunate enough to survive being properly broke and sad,  by painting your way out of it, you evolve. So that when you’re lucky enough to get a few nice back slaps,  you are able to recognise and be serious about catching any little wave of confidence you might be enjoying..hopefully. But as we all know there are pitfalls to even wondering what ‘people’ might like….its always an uphill furrow.."
Do you miss being based in London?  
"I miss museums and parks."
We're apparently going to have the worst recession since the 1930s and the U.K. is probably coming out the E.U. with no deal - what keeps you perky and hopeful?
"I am kept perky by watching my beetroot thrive, by the sea, and by hoping we can mend our ways about greed."
What music have been listening to? What are your desert island discs?  
I listen to a programme called 'night tracks' on Radio 6 a lot. Desert island disks?? No idea. But it would definitely have some Bambi Davidson on it at the moment."

Below: Photos from the opening night of Annunciation

The show is on till Oct 17th

(Above) Camila in front of 
Fire has it’s own weather', 2020 Enamel & acrylic on board 90x120cm

Mediums', 2020 Enamel on canvas 42x30cm

CHARLIE SMITH LONDON, 336 Old St, 2nd Floor, Shoreditch, London EC1V 9DR. To receive preview images or further information please register your interest here: direct@charliesmithlondon.com

Above: Zavier Ellis, the director of Charlie Smith Gallery


Above: Brian 

Above: Suzanne in front of the painting, Bad Servant

Above: Harry and Paul


Friday 18 September – Saturday 17 October 2020

Only one individual, couple, household or group of six will be permitted to attend the exhibition at any one time / Booking is not required

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Vote Him Out is a brand new track by Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye

There is a compilation album that's exclusive to bandcamp. 100 % of the proceeds from sales of this 58 track album go to Spread The Vote, an organization that encourage people to turnout and vote.

More info: here

The previous compilation raised over $20,000 Black Visions Collective.

(Above image): Francis Macdonald and Harry Pye photographed by Gordon Beswick.
You can listen to Vote Him Out here

Monday, 17 August 2020

313 Tate Staff To Lose Their Jobs

Three days ago PCS (Public & Commercial Services Union) announced that Tate Enterprises are going ahead with plans to make 313 of their staff redundant, so their response is to strike. 

PCS asked for three things...

  • 10% of the expected £7mililion government support to be invested in Tate Commerce
  • No redundancies, while senior staff are earning in excess of £100,000 salaries.
  • That, (if the bailout money is not enough, the Tate must stand with PCS in demanding the government does more.
The strike begins tomorrow...

18 & 19 August

Picket lines: 9.30am Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Protest: 11am Tate Modern (Turbine entrance)


21 August

Picket lines: 9.30am Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Protest: 11am Tate Britain (Atterbury Street)


22 August

Picket lines: 9.30am Tate Britain and Tate Modern

Protest: 11am Tate Modern (Turbine entrance)

A Union rep told The Rebel magazine that artists and/or fans of the Tate staff in a position of power can help by doing anyone of the 4 things listed below. 
  • They could publicly post about our strike campaign 
  • Write a statement of support that we can publish through our channels
  • Donate to the strike fund
  • They could put us in touch with people in their network that they think might be able to support us on any of the above.

If you want to get in touch which the Union reps e-mail: harry_pye@hotmail.com and he will forward your messages on a.s.a.p

To donate money go: here  

                                 Thanks to Raksha Patel for providing the photos on this post

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Treat yourself to some affordable art

"Whose A Pretty Boy Then?" is a new painting made by Harry Pye in collaboration with Rowland Smith, it could be yours for a piffling £200. Don't miss out get in contact: harry_pye@hotmail.com

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Why not commission a Pye portrait?

Harry Pye graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1995. Over the years Harry's paintings have been selected for shows at; The Barbican, Calvert 22, The Discerning Eye Mall Gallery, The Bankside Gallery, The Creekside Art Gallery, and festivals such as; Elefest and Deptford X. 

 Pye's work featured in two group exhibitions at Tate Modern; Save Our Souls, and Inside Job
His paintings have also been exhibited in galleries in; Australia, Brazil, China, Denmark, and Estonia. Pye paintings have been sold to raise money for charities such as Art Against Knives, Break Through, Action For Children, Kids & Co, CARA, Depression Alliance, Friends of the Earth, and The National Brain Appeal. His paintings have appeared on record sleeves, posters on the underground and the cover of the Tate Staff Handbook. His work has appeared in numerous publications including; The Times, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, Frieze, and Turps Banana. His collaborative exhibition with Jasper Joffe (Joffe et Pye) was rave reviewed on BBC Radio 4. Speaking on Saturday Review, The director of the I.C.A, Ekow Eshun's response to the show was: "Intense feelings about love, loneliness and fear, anxiety, desire and hope, and ambition all come into play into these paintings. Very powerful I thought. What could have been fey, arch, or game playing was actually very warm. Harry was the winner of a Daily Mirror's Paint Tony Blair competition judged by Gilbert and George. The Week magazine said of Harry's work, "Pye's apparent naivety is accompanied by a strong sense of construction and design. Their directness and humour are appealing" And the critic Ana Finel Honigman described him as one of "London's premiere puckish artists and curators." 
 You can commission Harry to paint yourself, a loved one, a pet or someone you admire. No meeting is necessary as he'll work from photographs or j-pegs. The price of the portrait will depend on the size of the canvas. A small painting can be purchased for as little as £100 (not including postage and packing). Contact Harry at: harry_pye@hotmail.com

Friday, 10 July 2020

Issue 7 of Le Document available soon

The new issue of Le Document will be available to view in a few days time. You can subscribe to Le Document by filling in the form: here Issue 7 features an essay on e e cummins, a profile on Sigmund Freud,
PLUS an interview with David Quantick
And Art by Sarah Woodfine
Le Document magazine is made (with love) by; Jo Mama, Harry Pye, Rochelle Roberts, Peter Suchin, and Chris Tosic.
Le Document: "The magazine for fantastic people" Why not follow us on Instagram

Saturday, 20 June 2020

John Lennon Video

Paul Speare has composed a tribute to John Lennon. Team Beswick & Pye are making a FAB video to go with Paul's music with a little help from their friends Martin Pickles and Rowland Smith.
Above: Lennon by Harry Pye
Above: Beatles 1 by Harry Pye
Above: (Instant Karma) a.k.a Beatles 2 by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith
Above: Jealous Guy by Harry Pye (badge by Sadie Hennersey)
Above: "The Fab 4" by Harry Pye and Rowland Smith
Above: Lennon by Harry Pye
Above: John, Julian and Cynthia by Harry Pye
Above: Yoko by Rowland Smith
Above: John & Yoko by Harry Pye & Rowland Smith
Above: Number 9 Dream by Harry Pye & Rowland Smith
Above: "There's Nothing To See Here" by Harry Pye
Above: Help
Above: "We All Shine On"
Above: Strawberry Beatles Forever
Above: Black and White Beatles