SHOWS, AUCTIONS & EXHIBITIONS
Bomber Command Memorial – A Major Philip Jackson Exhibition at Catto Gallery 17 October – 12 November 2013
Jackson’s poignant work was opened by the Queen in June 2012 and has been embraced by veterans, critics and the public. Indeed, last November the memorial was voted London’s most popular tourist attraction in a survey conducted by Trip Advisor.
The maquettes, made from Bronze, stand at 55cm high including the base, and mirror the intensity of emotion and poignancy of the original.
The Bomber Command Association, which commissioned the memorial, will also benefit from the exhibition: for each maquette sold, there will be a sizeable donation from the Jackson estate and the Catto Gallery to the Association. John Boyes of the Bomber Command Association, said: “We are very supportive of Philip Jackson’s Detail from The Bomber Command Memorial Sculpture, Green Park, London. exhibition at the Catto Gallery and delighted that some of the proceeds will go towards aiding the good work of the association”.
Many of the other works in this new exhibition have never been seen before: Serenissima, a mysterious group of masked Venetian figures combine elegance with a sense of theatre. Bowling with Boccherini, inspired by Jackson’s love of music and opera, will be available both as a large sculpture and maquette.
The new show opens on 17th October and runs for 4 weeks. It marks a return to the Catto for Jackson following the sculptor’s triumphant debut in 2007 – the most successful exhibition in the 27 year history of the Hampstead-based gallery.
Philip Jackson is one of the foremost sculptors in the world and has contributed a number of well-loved public works in the UK. These include: the Falklands War Memorial, unveiled at Portsmouth by Baroness Thatcher, a figure of the young Mozart in London, a sculpture of the great Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby at the football club’s ground Old Trafford, an equestrian statue of the Queen, unveiled by Her Majesty in Windsor Great Park to celebrate her Golden Jubilee, a figure of England’s World Cup winning soccer captain Bobby Moore at Wembley Stadium, and the 2009 statue of the Queen Mother on the Mall.
Philip Jackson was born in Scotland and now lives and works in West Sussex. His work is bought by institutions and private collectors. Jackson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors and his many awards have included the Society’s Silver Medal and the Otto Beit Medal for Sculpture three years running. He has also won the National Peace Sculpture Competition, the Mozart Bicentenary Sculpture Competition and the Liberation Sculpture Competition in Jersey.
Catto Gallery was established in Hampstead in 1986 and has grown to become one of the most prestigious fine art galleries in London specialising in the best of contemporary art across all mediums. It also runs a small additional gallery in the basement known as ‘Catto Below’ for lesser-known, sometimes more experimental, artists. New exhibitions are held approximately every 3 weeks throughout the year, showing unique works by leading painters and sculptors from around the world.
The body language used in The Bomber Command Memorial is tremendously powerful: seven young men are standing waiting to be picked up and driven back from a dispersal point on a Royal Air Force Bomber Command station. Having climbed down the ladder from their aircraft, the mood of this band of brothers is reflective but in no way triumphant. Five of them are looking skywards for their comrades who will never return providing a link between the living and the dead. The other two understand full well that they will not be coming back and are looking downwards providing a strong sense of pathos. All of them know that they will have to do it all over again very soon.
Jackson’s masked sculptures were originally inspired by a visit to Venice 25 years ago when he became fascinated by the masks, traditionally worn under a black hood with a black tricorn hat, which have played a central role in Venetian culture for centuries. They initially provided privacy in a small and crowded city where everyone knew everyone else’s business and also served to promote equality – a servant could be mistaken for a noble or vice versa. However, as Venetian society became more decadent they also served as a way of concealing sexual promiscuity and gambling. Wearing masks in ordinary daily life was eventually banned and restricted to festivals. “The masks and hoods concealed them so effectively that you could only tell what they were doing by their body language,” said Jackson. “This gave me the idea for a series of sculptures which would emphasise the importance of body language in how we view other people and interpret their actions. The mask series then developed into the ecclesiastical sculptures. ”
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