Henley Life article
Pat Jordan Evans: World Class Art Curator
A recent article from Henley Life, April 2014
In celebration of the Arts in Henley Cindy Burrowes spoke to Patricia (Pat) Jordan Evans, the curator and owner of the Bohun Gallery.
The Bohun has been representing important British artists for the past 40 years. It would be perfectly placed in the rarefied streets of art dealers in St James' but in 1973 Pat chose Henley. Bohun has become one of only a few significant art galleries in the UK that operates outside London.
The Bohun's first home was on the corner of Station Road and Queen Street but much of its life has been in its present position on Reading Road. The idea of starting up a gallery wasn't that appalling to me so I did research, set up the gallery and then thought - what have I done! said Pat, laughing - after all, she had left behind her home city of London, and her work for a large charity.
In 1975 the 20th Century Master, John Piper joined the Bohun Gallery. John Piper lived and worked for most of his life, in Fawley Bottom -he even produced stage sets for the Kenton Theatre. He was famous for his romantic landscapes, views of ruined churches, stately homes and castles. However, Pat chose to exhibit a collection of his lesser -known work, and thus formed a relationship that lasted until his death in 1992.
I started off by doing one of the Eye and Camera Series and he was so taken that I used this series, which wasn't the side he was known for - it was all the female form using his photography, drawing, cut out collage - like Matisse did - very relevant now as we have a big Matisse cut out show at the Tate. From that initial contact Pat then held a Piper exhibition every other year and his work will be shown again for this May's exhibition at the Bohun Gallery.
Pat's quiet understanding, and her consummate professionalism led John Piper to spread the word about her Gallery. Within two years another greatly significant British artist of the 20th Century had joined Pat- Dame Elizabeth Frink.
She knew John piper and he felt I was being very professional in everything I did, and as a well known artist, that is what you want from a gallery, outside of London, said Pat She often showed sculpture with us that had never been seen before, it had just been created. So we were very privileged. her growing reputation for 'doing a good job for the artist' Pat attracted a steady stream of important figures in the current art scene. Mary Fedden's work is currently the most collected in the UK, and she joined the Bohun Gallery in 1983, with her husband Julian Trevelyan.
When Henley's River and Rowing Museum opened in 1998 Pat initiated its use of gallery space by offering an exhibition of Julian Trevelyan's work. I showed the Queen round that at the opening. It was their first proper exhibition, said Pat with obvious joy. She has since been instrumental in the Museum's exhibitions and hopes to continue working with them. She said, There is a lot of good will between us both and there is that lovely contemporary building - it's a fabulous space.reputation has grown significantly over the past 40 years and her opinion is often sought by the likes of the philanthropist Dame Stephanie Shirley. With the help of Gallery Manager Katie Newman, the Bohun Gallery now has a significant catalogue including Scottish artists such as Marj Bond and Victoria Crowe. The gallery has begun to look to the digital future with the newest artist on its books, Ben Johnson. At the heart of Pat's work is her passion for the pieces she sells, and therefore the relationship she has with each, carefully selected artist.
The preservation of significant pieces of British art is an increasingly important issue in Pat's view. In backing her convictions she is a long term trustee of the Reading Foundation for Art. This registered charity is building a collection of art for Reading and its surrounding area with art of national, and sometimes local, significance. I felt this is valid - that we were building a collection that couldn't be broken up, said Pat, And another reason I was so thrilled to be a trustee is that I am following in John Piper's footsteps as he was a trustee.
JOHN PIPER: Paintings, ceramics, textiles and prints
John Piper and Pat Jordan Evans at a Bohun Gallery show in 1980
Famous for his romantic landscapes, views of ruined churches, stately homes and castles, John Piper is considered to be one of the most significant British artists of the 20th Century. His commission to record the nation's ancient pre-war buildings, countryside, rural industries and prehistoric monuments prompted John Betjeman to declare: 'You have saved much of England by your pictures of architecture and landscape.' This contribution to the portrayal of Britain's architectural heritage is unmatched by any other artist and his dramatic and romantic imagery has become part of Britain's artistic psyche.
The breadth and diversity of John Piper is celebrated at Bohun Gallery this Summer. Bohun's long association with the artist (he was one of their earliest exhibiting artists when the gallery opened in 1973) has allowed Gallery Director Patricia Jordan Evans the opportunity to source some of the very finest examples from his incredibly varied output. Piper produced not only abstract paintings and reliefs, but also studies in photography, theatre designs, ceramics, textiles and stained glass. This exhibition succinctly brings together the many aspects of John Piper's legacy whilst portraying some very fine examples of British architecture.
The splendour of Britain's churches and Piper's unique response to them are a particular focus of the show. Highlights include a recently discovered 'double-sided' canvas which offers a rare opportunity for collector's to acquire two images by the artist. One side depicts a Romanesque study of 'Risen Christ at Emmaus' and the reverse side holds the surprise element, which is a completed painting of the Twin Chapels at Capel Seion,
Wales. Original paintings of church interiors include early images of locations in both Dorset and Cambridgeshire while others set the church in its landscape context in sweeping views over the Norfolk and Hampshire countryside.
Amongst this extensive show which includes textile design, ceramics and photography are a selection of silkscreen prints which include some of Piper's most quintessentially British views. Of particular interest to collectors will be the rare opportunity to see the complete set of six artist proof images of Scotney Castle, Kent. The artist's celebrated stain glass designs are included with a beautiful collage design for 'The Tree and the River of Life' in the Church of All Saints, Clifton, Bristol. Aspects of Piper's output which visitor's may not immediately recognise are his series of Foliate Heads and his 'Eye and Camera' series of nudes.
The show emphasises the extraordinary diversity of this 20th Century Master and his technical ability within so many different fields. John Piper's passion for the countryside of England and Wales runs throughout his work and justifiably earns him the position of outstanding painter of architecture of the modern period.
40 Years of Fine Art Part II
Bohun Gallery continues its magnificent showcase of artists who have joined them during their forty years as a champion of 20th Century British art and sculpture. 'Forty Years of Fine Art, Part II - from 1994' reflects on the artists who have joined the gallery during the recent twenty years and the roll call includes some of the most progressional and influential painters and sculptors of the late 20th Century.
This diverse exhibition will offer something to interest all collectors and art enthusiasts. The St Ives School is well represented with glorious and joyful contributions by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Sandra Blow and Terry Frost. As always, the Royal Academicians are well represented at Bohun Gallery and two of the stars of this show are Albert Irvin RA and John Hoyland RA. Both artists present a restless energy, a sense of freshness and are widely recognised as two of the greatest abstract artists of their time. The nature of abstraction is bought in to sharp contrast by the highly articulated 'Ice Clough' by the infamous duo Boyd and Evans. Tai-Shan Schierenberg, one of the UKs most respected portrait painters of current years, features with both a portrait and still life.
Contemporary Scottish art gained international recognition in the 1980s and Bohun Gallery continues to collaborate with many of its leading lights. Part II features Barbara Rae, Marj Bond, Annette Edgar and Victoria Crowe. All of the paintings selected for the show characterise what is cherished about Scottish art: bold figurative painting; emphatic technique and a poetic atmosphere.
Sculpture enthusiasts will be thrilled with the selection of first-rate names available. One of the most interesting is Peter Randall-Page's 'Seed' - a 12inch maquette for the the 70-tonne granite sculpture of a seed which was commissioned for the Eden Project in Cornwall. The 13ft (4m) high work was lowered into a circular room at the heart of The Core in front of visitors at the attraction in 2007. Other sculptors include Royal Academician Ann Christopher, the eponymous Maggi Hambling, Charlotte Mayer, and Peter Hayes, among others.
The exhibition is a celebration of the very best of late 20th Century and contemporary art. This is the philosophy which has governed the curatorial choices made by Bohun's founder and Director, Patricia Jordan Evans. She has always exhibited the very best and has encouraged her clients to collect the finest work available. The catalogue introduction is written by Dame Stephanie Shirley, the well-known businesswoman and philanthropist. She explains her involvement with the Bohun Gallery through both her private and public collection of art and sculpture saying 'as an entrepreneur, I prize innovation so am often attracted to the new, just because it is different. But quality and professionalism always win out with me'.
Louis Turpin and Alan Caiger Smith at 'A Passion for Gardens' private view
Louis Turpin enjoyed a near sell-out private view of his new paintings at Bohun Gallery on Saturday 14th September. 'A Passion for Gardens' received prestigious media attention culminating in an exclusive interview and photographic shoot with the 'Daily Telegraph' for Turpin. It was hardly surprising therefore, that the private view was so well attended and that over twenty paintings had sold by the time Bohun closed their doors at 2pm. It was not only art collectors who attended the private view but also a great number of leading lights of the gardening world, including the head gardener from Great Dixter and a visiting garden curator from Japan.
To the delight of Bohun Gallery's Director Patricia Jordan Evans, the celebrated sculptor Alan Caiger-Smith attended the private view. Caiger-Smith, to whose work there is a room devoted at Reading Museum, founded Aldermaston Potter and is considered to be one of leading ceramicists of the 20th Century. He has a long association with the Bohun Gallery having exhibited with them since the 1970s and more recently Bohun Gallery was involved in commissioning a portrait of Caiger-Smith by Jennifer MacRae for the Reading Museum.
Alan Caiger-Smith is being honoured with a retrospective show at Great Dixter later this year - one of the very gardens Louis Turpin featured in the current exhibition.
Martin Cook wins Gold at RHS Chelsea
Bohun Gallery is proud to have sponsored Martin Cook's sculptural garden, which has been awarded a prestigious GOLD MEDAL at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013.
The 'Mindfulness' Garden is both an art installation and a garden, contrasting chaos and calm. The garden is inspired by the tumultuous times we live in, and highlights the need to focus. The chaos is presented by a random sensory bombardment of planting colour, likened by Martin to the random colour of a Jackson Pollock splash painting. The visitor is encouraged to find a sense of peace and an opportunity to meditate from a carved oak seat in one corner of the garden. From here, they look through a long polished stainless steel tube under the garden mound to a hand carved slate spiral with an inspirational carving promoting quiet mindfulness. 'Learn to be silent. Let you quiet mind listen and absorb. In silence you will see benefit in all things'.
Director of Bohun Gallery, Patricia Jordan Evans, commented 'Martin's vision and skill as a craftsman have come together to present an exceptional entry at this year's Chelsea's Flower show. The unique concept of his 'Mindfulness' garden and the quality and beauty of his stone carving unsurprisingly caught the judge's attention. We are delighted to celebrate this Gold Medal with Martin as part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations in Chelsea's Centenary Year'.
For further details about commissioning Martin Cook and available work by the sculptor, please contact Bohun Gallery.
Bohun publication nominated for British Art History prize
BOHUN GALLERY RECEIVES ACCOLADE FOR EXCELLENCE IN BRITISH ART HISTORY RESEARCH
Bohun Gallery is delighted to announce that their recently published 'John Piper and the Church' catalogue has been shortlisted for the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History.
The catalogue, 'John Piper and the Church' celebrates the contribution John Piper made to the development of modern art in British churches throughout the 20th century. It charts his life-long fascination with, and care for, church buildings - a relationship which began as a young boy when he produced his own sketches and guidebook to the churches in his home county of Surrey. The catalogue accompanied the show 'John Piper and the Church' which was curated by Patricia Jordan Evans, Director of Bohun Gallery, on behalf of the Friends of Dorchester Abbey as a celebration of HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The catalogue includes contributions from Francis Spalding, David Stancliffe, Nicholas Usherwood, David Fraser Jenkins, Simon Martin, Stephen Laird, Nicholas Cranfield and Hugh Fowler-Wright.
In 2001 the Berger Collection Educational Trust and The British Art Journal established a prize for excellence in the field of British art history, in honor of the memory of the late William M. B. Berger. The prize was created to recognize that some of the very finest work in art history is being carried out in the field of British art. Since its inception, the Berger Prize has come to be recognized as the most prestigious in the field. It celebrates outstanding achievement in the history of British art and is administered by The British Art Journal, the leading research journal, and awarded jointly with the Berger Collection Educational Trust of Denver, Colorado.
Bohun Gallery Catalyst Behind Royal Academy Book Launch
The Bohun Gallery was, this week, delighted to announce the official launch of the new monograph on artist Julian Trevelyan 'Picture Language' at a prestigious event at the Royal Academy, London to celebrate the occasion. The author, Philip Trevelyan, was present at the event and congratulated Pat Jordan Evans, Director of Bohun Gallery, for being the catalyst behind this major publication. In Autumn 2008 Bohun Gallery asked Philip Trevelyan to present a slideshow of Julian's work at the River and Rowing Museum, Henley. This was a celebration of the artist's lifelong connection to the river and took place on the 20th Anniversary of his death. It was during the talk that it became apparent how much interest there was in his work and how it had never been considered in its entirety.
More than four years later, the Great and the Good of the Art World gathered at the Royal Academy to hear Philip speak about his father and to hear the art critic Mel Gooding remember his friend Julian and to get their first glimpse of the book 'Picture Language'. The book was so well received that the Royal Academy ran out of copies and was reduced to taking orders.
In addition to thanking Pat Jordan Evans, Philip Trevelyan also thanked Catherine Gosby of Bohun Gallery for her hard work as picture researcher and designer, Ross Speirs, for undertaking the mammoth task of designing the monograph.
Bohun Gallery has had a long and happy relationship with Julian Trevelyan and his wife, Mary Fedden and has exhibited their work at the gallery since the early 80s, Bohun Gallery has represented Julian's Estate since his death in 1988. Bohun holds frequent solo shows of his paintings and etchings and were responsible for the publication of the Catalogue Raisonne of his prints.
The launch co-incides with a retrospective of the artist's work at Bohun Gallery (23rd April - 1st June). The show will feature examples of Trevelyan's early and rare surrealist work, images from his travels and a selection of his enduring etchings. The book 'Julian Trevelyan: Picture Language' is available from the gallery at a special price during the exhibition. Please contact the gallery on 01491 576 228 or see the website for more details . April 2013
Bohun Celebrates 40 Years in Fine Art
For a commercial gallery operating in a country town outside the London circuit, celebrating your 40th birthday represents a singular achievement. Patricia Jordan Evans opened the Bohun Gallery in 1973 and it continues to show the very best of British 20th Century and Contemporary art to this day from its premises in Henley on Thames.
2013 will be an exciting year for the Bohun Gallery who are staging key shows to celebrate 40 Years in Fine Art. The busy and varied exhibition calendar opened with a major show by the Godfather of British Art Pop, Sir Peter Blake, who marked his 80th Birthday with a show at the Henley Gallery. April will see a retrospective of Julian Trevelyan's work 'Picture Language' which accompanies the launch of the new book on the artist, written by his son, Philip Trevelyan. The summer show, which opens on 11th June will be a celebration of the very best of British and Scottish 20th Century and Contemporary art and a tribute to the artists who have contributed to the unswerving reputation of this steadfast gallery. Bohun has consistently shown work of the highest order so that it now stands as an outstanding leader in the field of modern contemporary art.
Bohun Gallery announces a Royal Commission
The Bohun Gallery is delighted to announce the completion of an important commission which is shortly to be unveiled at Savill Gardens, Windsor. The Bohun Gallery was contacted by a private client, who wishes to remain anonymous, and asked to commission a work by the internationally renowned stone letter carver, Martin Cook, for the Royal Gardens.
The Savill Garden is one of Britain's greatest ornamental gardens. The striking new Rose Garden, designed by Andrew Wilson, was recently opened by the Queen. Martin Cook's hand carved Welsh slate monolith standing stone has been commissioned to mark the completion of the planting of The Queens rose garden. It stands majestically among the glorious array of blooms and displays Robert Graves's poetic words 'How hot the scent is of the summer rose'.
Martin Cook was born in London in 1958 and comes from a family with a long history of stone carvers and artists dating back to 1730. In 1990, he assisted Michael Harvey with carvings at the Sainsbury Wing of the National Gallery and in 2000, Martin was approached by Sir Norman Foster and subsequently commissioned by the British Museum to design and carve lettering for the Great Court of the British Museum. Martin Cook now concentrates on his own sculptures, carvings and private commissions.
The Bohun Gallery has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Martin Cook and regularly exhibits Martin's work. For more information on the artist or to discuss a commission the gallery.
Bohun Gallery helps to commission portrait of Sir John Madejski
Reading Foundation for Art has added the work Portrait of Sir John Madejski by Tai-Shan Schierenberg - one of the most respected British portrait painters working today - to its collection. The portrait was commissioned with the help of Patricia Jordan Evans, Director of Bohun Gallery, Henley-on-Thames, who is also a Trustee of Reading Foundation for Art and was unveiled at Reading Museum on 22nd March.
Sir John Madejski, CBE, DL, is best known as an entrepreneur businessman, patron of the arts and lover of football. In 2009 he received a knighthood for his services to charity. He has funded a number of large-scale London-based projects including the refurbishment of rooms at the Royal Academy of Arts - the John Madejski Fine Rooms - and the spectacular Madejski garden at the heart of the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Tai-Shan Schierenberg is one of Britain's leading artists whose portrait sitters have included the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and recently Professor Stephen Hawking, another portrait commission with which Bohun Gallery was involved. His most recent prize was the Ondaatje prize for Portraiture, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, 2011.
Since 1974, Reading Foundation for Art has been creating a valuable inheritance for future generations of local people. Many of the works in its collection are of national and international significance and some have Reading connections. The collection is cared for and made public by Reading Museum in its programme of exhibitions and activities.
Photo: Sir John Madejski with artist Tai-Shan Schierenberg
Martin Cook's 'Literary Garden' wins Silver Gilt at Chelsea
Bohun Gallery artist, the letter carver Martin Cook, has won a Silver Gilt in his first ever entry at this year's Chelsea Flower Show. His 'Literary Garden' can be seen in the new Artisan Gardens category and contains fragments of poetry inscribed into wood, stone and metal scattered throughout the garden, surrounded by beautiful blue and white planting by Bonnie Davies. Designed as a poet's retreat, Martin says, "The garden is very much inspired by Little Sparta [Ian Hamilton Finlay's garden near Edinburgh] and tries to show how words can add an extra dimension, slowing you down on a stepping stone or bridge, or setting you up for the day with some nugget of inspiration".
Geoffrey Eastop launches his new book 'The Piper Years - A Memoir'
On Sunday15th May, Geoffrey Eastop gave a talk to launch his new book, 'The Piper Years - A Memoir'. The book has been described by Frances Spalding as a rare gem. She says, 'There have been many fruitful collaborations within the history of the decorative arts, but written accounts of these working partnerships are few and far between. This tender, insightful memoir offers the reader a great deal. Its narrative is folded around Geoffrey Eastop's close association with John Piper, and many will turn to it for its beautifully pointed description of Fawley Bottom Farmhouse and the Pipers' way of life. But it also offers glimpses into the boldness and gaiety with which Eastop engaged with the painter's concerns. Throughout we sense the respect and creativity embedded in this mutually beneficial relationship, echoes of which will carry across the years in the ceramics that remain.'
Copies of the book are available to order from the gallery. The book is 90 pages and in full colour. Softback £20 Limited edition hardback £28
Frances Spalding to talk about John & Myfanwy Piper at Henley Literary Festival 2010
Bohun Gallery is delighted to be sponsoring a talk by Frances Spalding at this year's Henley Literary Festival. In 'Lives in Art: John and Myfanwy Piper', Frances Spalding will look at some of the things that inspired the Pipers and gave John Piper's work such pivotal importance in the history of 20th century British Art.
The talk will take place at 11am on Sunday 3rd October at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley. Tickets can be purchased via the Festival Box Office on 0118 972 4700 or online at www.henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk.
Frances Spalding's book, 'John Piper, Myfanwy Piper, Lives in Art' can be purchased at the gallery. RRP £25.
Bohun Gallery launches new 'Piper in Print' book
A special new limited edition book, Piper in Print, was launched at Bohun Gallery on Sunday 14th March 2010. The beautifully illustrated and hand-bound book, published by Artists' Choice Editions, explores the range and diversity of John Piper's work in books, dustwrappers, periodicals and ephemera. Introduced by Alan Powers, it contains a commentary by Hugh Fowler-Wright and additional chapters by David Heathcote, Annamarie Stapleton, Alan Powers and Rigby Graham on subjects including his Shell Guides, textiles and wood engravings.
book launch was accompanied by an exhibition of John Piper's works on paper, prints and textiles, which ran until 17th April. John Piper was a great friend of the Bohun Gallery and this latest show continued the series of biennial exhibitions which began there in 1975.
Piper in Print is a limited edition of 490 copies. Standard copies are £96 and Special Copies, which are quarter leather bound and come in a display case with facsimile copies of Piper's ephemera, are £296. Limited copies are still available from the gallery, please contact us on 01491 576 228 or email email@example.com to order.
Photograph (left to right): Carol Manheim (publisher), Hugh Fowler-Wright, Dennis Hall (publisher), Patricia Jordan Evans
Philanthropist commissions Hawking portrait
A NEW portrait of Professor Stephen Hawking has been commissioned for the Royal Society in London by a Henley philanthropist.
Dame Stephanie Shirley, the Prime Minister's ambassador for philanthropy, selected London artist Tai-Shan Schierenberg after consulting Patricia Jordan Evans, owner of the Bohun Gallery in Reading Road, Henley.
She said: "Steven is one of the great minds of the 20th century and a fellow of the Royal Society but it would take a special artist to be able to truly capture his essence. "The picture shows the intelligence and quizzical nature of his eyes, which is such a difficult thing to do. "It's nice to find an organisation such as this that you can give a gift of such beauty." Last year, Dame Stephanie received a lifetime achievement prize at the Sue Ryder Care Women Of Achievement Awards for her charity work.
[Photograph: Henley Standard]