Chris Gollon

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Chris Gollon (born 1953) is a British painter.

Gollon was born in London, England. He still lives near London, working in his studio in Surrey. He regularly exhibits in London at IAP Fine Art.[1]

St John on Bethnal Green in London, location of Chris Gollon's Stations of the Cross series of paintings.

In 2000, Gollon gained a major commission from the Church of England for fourteen Stations of the Cross paintings for a historic London church designed by Sir John Soane, St John on Bethnal Green.[2] Gollon was a controversial choice, since he is not a practising Christian. In order to carry out the commission, and for theological matters, he agreed to collaborate with Fr Alan Green, Rector of the church.[3]

In 2001, a special exhibition of his work was held at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames because until 2005 Gollon had a connection with the river; having a studio on a private island in the Thames near Hampton Court. The museum, aided by the Victoria and Albert Museum, acquired a major work by Gollon entitled Big Fish Eat Little Fish, a centrepiece of the exhibition.[4]

His painting of the fourth Station of the Cross (Jesus meets his Mother) was exhibited in St Paul's Cathedral in 2004. In the same year, he began painting images of Albert Einstein, before the 50th anniversary of Einstein's death in 2005 and before the centenary in 2005 of the General Theory of Relativity. Partially inspired by a lyric in Bob Dylan's ballad 'Desolation Row', Chris Gollon painted 'Einstein & The Jealous Monk'. This painting was subsequently purchased by the Huddersfield Art Gallery in West Yorkshire, where it hangs in the museum's permanent collection alongside Sir Jacob Epstein's bust of Einstein, and works by Francis Bacon and L.S. Lowry.

In 2007, Chris Gollon was commissioned to paint the Henley Regatta by Paul Mainds, Chief Executive of the River & Rowing Museum. The museum's collection holds Raoul Dufy's painting 'Regatta at Henley'. Since the Henley Royal Regatta has no silver or bronze medals, only win or lose, Gollon decided to focus with great empathy on the losing crew.[5] The final work entitled 'Gollon At Henley' was unveiled in 2008, and is now displayed along with works by Dufy, John Piper, and Julian Trevelyan in the museum's permanent collection.[6]

A chance meeting in 2005 between British artist Chris Gollon and film makers JABOD led to the creation of a neologism, and a new cinematic art work: Kaleidomorphism. Fifteen years of Gollon's paintings and imagery, together with music that he has selected (including Calexico and Paolo Conte), combine with JABOD's design, rhythm and effects to create a unique film installation of 20 minutes length.

In 2009, Chris Gollon was invited to become a Fellow and first Artist in Residence at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, where he took part in the Being Human research project and worked with some of the world's leading thinkers to describe 'being human' in the 21st century, with subject reas such as 'Mind/Consciousness', 'Abjection/Bare Life', 'War', 'Migration' and 'Home'. He produced 16 paintings in 10 weeks on the Being Human theme, all of which are reproduced in the 52-page exhibition catalogue 'BEING HUMAN new paintings by Chris Gollon', published by Durham University.[7] The catalogue includes texts on Gollon's work by Tamsin Pickeral, Prof Ash Amin CBE, Prof Frances Bartkowski, Prof Eduardo Mendieta, Ulisses Barres de Almeida, Adi Ophir, Prof Ingo Gildenhard and a poem 'Human' by Michael O'Neill.

Also in 2009, after nine years in the making, Gollon's series of paintings of the Fourteen Stations of the Cross were installed in the Church of St John on Bethnal Green in East London. They were blessed and by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres in March 2009. In the same month, British novelist Sara Maitland's book Stations of the Cross, inspired by and featuring Gollon's paintings, was published.[8] The book also contains a text by Fr Alan Green about the story of the commission and his personal collaboration with the artist. To bring the story closer, Gollon used his own son as the model for Jesus and his daughter as Mary, and Fr Alan Green as Nicodemus. Gollon's Fourteen Stations of the Cross are site-specific and permanently installed. They are both an active aid to worship and also make the Church of St John on Bethnal Green a visitor attraction in East London.[9]

In 2010, art historian Tamsin Pickeral's book 'Chris Gollon: Humanity in Art' on Chris Gollon's life and work was published by Hyde & Hughes. It features 180 illustrations of his paintings, and tells the story of his life and work to 2010, including chapters on his Stations of the Cross and the Being Human series of paintings. The book is endorsed on the cover by Bill Bryson OBE, international author and Chancellor, Durham University.[10]

In December 2010, Chris Gollon's paintings 'Jesus As the Man of Sorrows' and 'Mater Dolorosa'[10] were shown in the exhibition 'Commission' at Wallspace gallery, London, a survey exhibition of the last 40 years of major religious commissions for public spaces, which included work by Henry Moore, Anthony Gormley, Chris Gollon, and Tracey Emin. A book entitled 'Contemporary Art in British Churches', published by Art & Christianity Enquiry was published to accompany the exhibition.[11]

In January 2011, the British Museum acquired 'Magdalene' an etching by Chris Gollon for its permanent collection. The work was also featured in Tamsin Pickeral's book 'Humanity in Art'.[12] Chris Gollon was Artist in Residence at St Mary's College, Durham University, from April to June 2011, where he began a series of paintings on the ancient theme of Love. The same year, Gollon's painting 'Birth' was used in the Hollywood film Breaking Dawn, from the Twilight series.

In 2012, The Art of Chris Gollon app for iPads was launched, in association with IAP Fine Art and Liquitex. Gollon's major solo show in Guildford Cathedral Incarnation, Mary & Women from The Bible (28 Jan - 3 Mar 2014), was accompanied by a 40-page colour catalogue entitled Incarnation, Mary & Women from The Bible[13] reproducing all 16 paintings, edited by David Tregunna and with texts by Sara Maitland, Tamsin Pickeral, Canon Dr Andrew Bishop and Canon Dr Julie Gittoes. In 2013, Gollon began a 41 ft long painting entitled 'And It Came To Pass' that is also a 50-50 collaboration with Grammy-nominated Chinese classical virtuoso musician and occasional composer Yi Yao. This unique collaborative work was premiered—as part of the programme—at the Henley Festival 2014, where Yi Yao and her ensemble performed her composition twice each evening beside Chris Gollon's painting. Music journalist Philip Clark for Gramophone magazine has interviewed Will Self, Iain Sinclair and Chris Gollon about the influence on their work.

Chris Gollon's solo exhibition 'Incarnation, Mary and Women from the Bible' exhibited in Guildford Cathedral in 2014 has now become a national touring exhibition to British cathedrals in 2015, including the cathedrals of Norwich, Chichester and Durham.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pickeral, Tasmin (2010). Chris Gollon: Humanity in Art. Hyde & Hughes. ISBN 978-0-9563851-0-9. 
  2. ^ "Stations of the Cross". St John on Bethnal Green. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Pickeral, p. 170.
  4. ^ Pickeral, p. 103.
  5. ^ Barnes, Simon. "Article". The Times. 
  6. ^ Pickeral, p. 105.
  7. ^ Template:Cite exhibition catalogue
  8. ^ Maitland, Sara. Stations of the Cross. London & New York: Continuum. ISBN 978-0-82640568-5. 
  9. ^ "BBC1 Television News". BBC. 8 April 2009. 
  10. ^ a b Pickeral, back cover.
  11. ^ Moffatt, Laura; Daly, Eileen, ed. (2010). Contemporary Art in British Churches. Art & Christianity Enquiry. ISBN 978-0-9551485-1-4. 
  12. ^ Pickeral, p. 243.
  13. ^ Incarnation, Mary and Women from The Bible. IAP Fine Art. 2014. ISBN 978-0-9530584-4-0. 

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