Art Matters with Norman Holmes of @KayaGallery

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plymouth Pride

Whilst trying to think of a subject to write about for this month’s edition of ‘Art Matters’ a customer came into the gallery to let me know that he is featured in the painting in the window as one of the prominent figures at the front of artist Caroline Appleyard’s latest painting ‘Pride’ painted in fact in time for the Plymouth Pride weekend.

Now there is nothing startling in his revelation but on a wider scale it does prompt some interesting discussion about the nature and influence of gay culture, where often through the arts gay folk have found a good deal more tolerance than in the mainstream. In fact I think it was Marcel Duchamp who said he believed the homosexual public had shown more interest and acceptance for modern art than the heterosexual.

Certainly the influence of homosexual culture on the arts would make an interesting dissertation, from the history of cafes and bars in Europe and Latin America full of artistic groups, from Oscar Wilde to Alan Bennett in the theatre, from Brideshead Revisited to the Ellen De Generes show on TV, from Francis Bacon to Liberace to Sam Smith it follows that the cultural history of homosexuality has a glorious artistic path.

On a local level I was disappointed to hear that Plymouth Council have had to step in with a loan and oversee the spending at the recently opened Ocean Studios in Royal William Yard. It has the potential to support a number of local artists as they develop their careers but something is clearly not working out which is a real pity as I’ve seen some really good work there and somewhere like Ocean Studios need to be successful if we are to seriously considering Plymouth for a City of Culture status.

If you have the time this month do check out this years Devon Open Studios from 10th – 25th September when a whole host of creative talents open their studios giving you the chance to purchase affordable art directly from the artist.

There is also an interesting retrospective of artists Richard Slater and Arthur Homeshaw at the Artizan gallery, Torquay from 10th – 30th September, well worth a visit, as is the new exhibition ‘Fleshy’ of figurative works by the brilliant Jo Beer at the Theatre Royal until 19th November.

Also in the last weekend in September there is the Plymouth Art Weekender and I’m particularly looking forward to seeing Lynsey Johnstone’s bright floral work displayed all of the month at the Devonport Guildhall.

Finally and once again well done to the team at Effervescent for putting on a delightful exhibition dedicated to dogs in The Radiant Gallery at Rumpus Cosy. It runs until 30th September and features a wide spectrum of dog related art. Naturally I trust there will be a similar show for cats in the future! Enjoy your art.

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