NORMAN ACKROYD at Eames Gallery, Bermondsey, London SE1, Sept 2017
– Norman Ackroyd, his islands and his packs of darting diving gannets, his atmospheres, his brilliant shafts of light, such wonderful wonderful light, Norman Ackroyd’s latest opening didn’t disappoint last night, of course it didn’t, how on earth could it?
Wonderful. been waiting for this one, I make no secret of my admiration of his work, my love of the art and atmosphere of Norman Ackroyd and his light. His birds can be heard in your head, you can really smell that sea, feel those islands and the swell of the sea and the sense of being on that sea looking at those rocks, those cliffs, just wonderful. I’m going to gush, I’m not go to apolgise for gushing, there really is a glorious capturing of the essence of things, it really is impossible not to gush and it really isn’t that easy to explain why his work is so so special via the limited medium of fractured camera phone and a collection of words and images presented on a computer monitor – these images here on this page offer you very little more than the smallest touch of flavour, a slight taste, a mere hint of the delight to be found in just standing there quietly lost in front of one of his wonderful pieces. Glorious
Gorgeous paper, delicious edges, a real sense of the production, the craft, the making, it really is about the beauty of light though, and those diving gannets captured so so perfectly. And that St. Cwyfan’s Church piece, or Saint Kevin as he was to the Irish, that beautifully magical piece that just smells and tastes so much of Anglesey and Llangwyfan and the light across the Menai Straits to the hills of Welsh mainland. There’s something so magical about Norman Ackroyd’s work, and when the subject is something you’re familiar with then even more so.
Hey look, I could gush and gush (and gush) about the prints and the paint and the light and and the drama of Norman Ackroyd for ages, about the emotion and the mist and the taste of the sea-spray, about the movement, the atmosphere and oh look, this show is as wonderful as it was expected to be. Sometimes in the middle of all the noise and the dirt and the spray paint and the traffic and the clutter and the sound of far too many people and the buses that take a frustrating age to get you the short distance from East London to Bermondsey in time to catch an art show, sometimes you just need the sanity and the solitude of a Norman Ackroyd piece. the sanctuary of those shafts of light or those cliffs and those gannets, you just need a “proper” formal (almost old school) fine art show. I’m not sure if the Neil Young and Bob Dylan quotes next to the words Milton and others up there on the gallery wall were needed, but then others argue they added to the sense of who the artist is. Hey look, I loved it, I knew I would, I expected to gush to the random person unfortunate enough to be standing next to me, if I was only allowed two pieces of art on my wall, and I could afford them, then one would be a Peter Prendergast painting and the other a Norman Ackroyd print) we’ve been telling anyone and everyone that they need to go see Norman Ackroyd’s work, he didn’t let us down, of course he didn’t, absolutely wonderful, don’t miss it. (sw)
Click on an image to enlarge or to run the slide show and get a small hint of things…