Paul Scofield’s Books at Toovey’s Auction

TOOVEY’S specialist antiquarian & collectors’ book sale on May 17th 2011 includes part of the library of the late Paul Scofield, CH, CBE (1922-2008).  His fascinating library includes numerous volumes with presentation inscriptions to Paul and his wife Joy from the authors and his contemporaries.  Paul received an Academy Award and a BAFTA for his performance in the 1966 film ‘A Man for All Seasons’ and was a highly regarded actor on stage and screen.  Going under the gavel from his collection is a first edition copy of Marlene Dietrich’s ABC (Lot 3291) with a wonderful presentation inscription to Paul ‘Oh – how I wish I could write about you this morning! p.150 Marlene May 3. 1963’.  Page 150 in the book is an entry by her on Paul “I saw him at a time when most actors and stars affected the head-scratching, incoherent mumbling, embarrassed attitude on screen and stage… he had authority and elegance, he had perfect dictation…”.

Please click on images to see full version

Also included from the Scofield collection is a beautifully leather-bound 1943 version of the works of Shakespeare (Lot 3270).  The book was originally purchased from Truslove and Hanson, fashionable bookshops of the date operating in the West-End of London, this volume would have also been bound for them as they offered a bookbinding service.  What makes this copy so unique is a fascinating presentation inscription on the front-free endpaper ‘Terry L[ove] Chips’ dated November 2nd 1944.  ‘Terry’ refers to Terence Rattigan (1911-1977), a noted dramatist and friend and colleague of Scofield.  Numerous celebrations are planned for 2011 to mark the centenary of Rattigan’s birth.  ‘Chips’ refers to Henry “Chips” Channon (1897-1958), an American-born English politician and diarist, who had an affair with Rattigan.  This copy also has the bookplate of Terence Rattigan mounted on the inside cover.  Viewing for the sale is on Saturday 14 May 9.30 – 12.00, Monday 16th May 10.00 – 17.00, and on the sale day Tuesday 17th May 10.00 – 13.00 at Toovey’s Spring Gardens auction rooms, West Sussex.

Contemporary Art Auction featured in Sussex Life

Toovey’s Contemporary Art Auction was a cover feature of the May issue of Sussex Life (west).

The three-page article features the drawings of Hannah Stewart, the acrylics on canvas by Dan Bennett, Natalie Martin and Sheila Marlborough, sculpture by William Harling and ceramics by Josse Davis.

Also inside the magazine is a half-page advert that showed a number of different works within the sale.  The issue is in the shops now for £3.65, or can be viewed online here.

Open 11, Worthing Art Exhibition & Competition

Worthing Open 11Nicholas Toovey has been selected as one of the three judges for this year’s Open 11 Art Exhibition & Competition at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery. The competition is open to all artists, amateur and professional, who reside in Sussex. Nicholas is delighted to once again be supporting and promoting contemporary art in Sussex.  Entries are invited for the competition until 27th May. Selected work will then be displayed after the launch and prize-giving evening on the 17th June until Saturday 24th September.  The themes for this year’s competition are: ‘Food for Thought’, ‘Celebrations’ and ‘Sport and Fitness’. If you would be interested in participating in the event and would like more information please visit:

http://www.worthingmuseum.co.uk/exhibitions/open11exhibitionandcompetition/

An Earthy Sussex Palette: Alison Milner-Gulland

‘Bonding’, three-plate etching
‘Bonding’ by Alison Milner-Gulland
‘Galloping Horses’, stoneware pot with Arundel red clay slip
‘Galloping Horses' by Alison Milner-Gulland

Washington-based artist Alison Milner Gulland works in a variety of media to voice her artistic imagination. Whilst her creations in oil, watercolour, collage, printing and ceramics offer different subjects and mastery, she establishes an inherent theme with lyrical and textural qualities and her rich earthy palette. Nicholas Toovey tells us more.

‘Deep in the Downs #1’, mixed media on canvas
‘Deep in the Downs #1’ by Alison Milner-Gulland
‘Moonlight’, mixed media on canvas
‘Moonlight’ by Alison Milner-Gulland

Alison has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but did not intend to become an artist, despite her mother being an accomplished painter and her aunt being a talented botanical artist. It was a move of house and school that steered her away from her father’s scientific interests to an artistic path. It was under the tutorage of her Art Master, Edward Holmes, that she became inspired. Today, Alison feels fortunate to have studied under an encouraging teacher, still subconsciously adopting elements of his teachings, particularly in the use and mixing of colours. She continued her education in art, studying painting and theatre design at Birmingham College of Art and Craft and later printmaking at Brighton and Northbrook. More recently she has added another facet to her output in the form of ceramics, working intuitively this is, she admits, learning by trial and error.

She has taught art in several counties, but Alison feels ‘Sussex chose her’; bringing up her family with her husband in the county and living in a handful of picturesque Downland villages. Does Sussex inspire her? Without question, both in her palette and often with subject matter. She has owned horses since being a teenager and until three years ago, regularly rode up the Downs, quickly discovering that she could not persuade her horse to stand still for long enough to make sketches. Instead Alison committed the movement of the downs and that of the horse to memory. From the elevated position she could see the sweeping chalk curves, with its ancient trackways, rolling hills and far-reaching views, later transferring these thoughts and images to paper and canvas.

‘Cellist’, stoneware pot with oxide and incised decoration
‘Cellist’ by Alison Milner-Gulland
‘Reflection’, mixed media on paper (including reclaimed water-damaged work)
'Reflection' by Alison Milner-Gulland
‘Star Madonna’ by Alison Milner-Gulland
‘Star Madonna’ by Alison Milner-Gulland

Her studio nestles at the foot of the South Downs in the small village of Washington. Inside is a well-organized chaos, framed works are hung wherever wall-space permits or stacked on the floor. After being greeted by the family’s 15 year old pet dog, Harriet, and navigating through a maze of pictures, mounting materials and packaging you come to the main work area of the cottage studio. Here architect’s chests conceal numerous unframed prints, stacked on top of these are further prints, oils on canvas and works in progress, beneath works drying on a washing line. Occasionally the sound of nearby chickens, geese, guinea fowl or sheep are heard from outside. To fresh eyes it would be difficult to believe that disaster had recently struck this room, but drawers are now half-full or containing materials instead of finished works. It has only been a few years since a torrent of water, reaching over a foot high, swept through the studio. This half-hour of devastation resulted in nine bonfires of ruined art. Numerous works on paper and canvas sentenced to the pyre, pictures that on occasion dated back to her student years. Some pictures were partially salvageable and Alison has now reworked many fragments of previous pieces into new reinterpretations in collage and on canvas.

‘Brighton Life Drawing’, mixed media on panel
‘Brighton Life Drawing’ by Alison Milner-Gulland

Negotiating the livestock and braving the elements gains access to a separate studio dedicated to her work in ceramics. A colder but brighter and neater space, inherently slightly dusty from the powders, glazes and clays used to create the work. Along two walls are shelves displaying recent vessels, mostly figurative or musically inspired, but with a few trial abstractive landscape designs scattered amongst them.

She has exhibited her work extensively in Great Britain, including a highly successful exhibition featuring a collection of Russian inspired art in the ScotlandRussiaForum during the Edinburgh Festival last year. Alison also makes regular appearances in the annual arts festivals of Arundel, Brighton, Oxford, and Washington. Work by Alison has been purchased by New College, Oxford and Worthing Museum and Art Gallery for their permanent collections, with other works in private collections around the world.

The artist in her studio

Alison is also an active member of the Sussex Watercolour Society and this year will be exhibiting with other members in Henfield and at the Hop Gallery in Lewes. She has also recently been invited to exhibit with the Society of Graphic Fine Artists in London and often shows with the Southern Ceramics Group.

Alison’s paintings, prints and ceramics all reflect the beautiful rural countryside surrounding her studio, infused with classical, mythical or natural inspirations. The variety in media and style means her art fits into almost all interiors, from country cottages to feature walls in contemporary spaces. At first glance her work is accessible and uncomplicated, but over time, the layers, subtle details and evolving depths of the art come to the fore, highlighting the talent of this artist.

Nicholas’ article was originally published in Sussex Life magazine in April 2011.

Hung, Drawn & Displayed at Horsham Museum

If you want your visual senses to be numbed by the quality, revived by the beauty and then ripped apart by the drama of some of the images, then you don’t want to miss Hung, Drawn and Displayed at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery. If that wasn’t enough you can have the adrenalin rush of the auction process as you can enjoy the chase of buying your favourite piece on May 28th at Toovey’s Spring Gardens salerooms. In an exhibition featuring the work of sixty artists, including some of the regions most talented contemporary names, the visitor can, in the relaxed atmosphere of Horsham museum, enjoy seeing the contrast of 21st Century art in the relaxed atmosphere of the Causeway’s medieval timber-framed building.

Horsham Museum’s new Art Gallery was launched last year with Artventure, a preview exhibition of Toovey’s Contemporary Art Auction. It proved to be a great success, not only in showcasing work, but also in revealing that there was a desire in Horsham District for such an opportunity.  The success of the show was such that Horsham Museum and Art Gallery were delighted to be able to repeat the opportunity. An opportunity where the public can enjoy spending hours looking at the works hung, drawn and displayed.

The exhibition and sale has been organised by Nicholas Toovey, sourcing emerging and established artists and craftsmen from across the region with an emphasis on the local scene. Nicholas has managed to pull together some amazing works by renowned artists including Chris Kettle whose painting Natura Sola Magistra, will be a talking point for visitors. Along with paintings are various craftsmen, some exhibiting for the first time, each merging the boundary between art and craft. No doubt tying people in to knots over the meaning of art, will be Horsham-based ceramicist Deborah Timperly, whose work Knotted and Hung will cause some debate.

Chris Kettle's oil on canvas 'Natura Sola Magistra'
'Natura Sola Magistra' by Chris Kettle
Deborah Timperley bone china 'Knotted and Hung'
'Knotted and Hung' by Deborah Timperley

The free exhibition Hung, Drawn and Displayed opens on Friday 8 April and runs till 11 May at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery. Two weeks later on 28 May all works displayed will be auctioned at Toovey’s, Washington. A fully-illustrated catalogue with more information on every artist is available from the museum, helping raise funds to enable it to buy contemporary art, preserving the present for the future.