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Prospect Gallery

Thursday, 3 May 2018 at 08:42

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The new Prospect Gallery opens with two new shows. One's a retrospective of work done on Hull College access courses, including work done by artists on the Professional Practice programme, which will feature a couple of Cliff's latest cityscapes.

The other show is by my colleague Sandra Holle, exploring a communist childhood in Easter Germany. I'll post the flyer of that, too.

Here's an invitation. All Welcome.

Hull Tidal Barrier: new painting

Friday, 27 April 2018 at 10:12

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I've just finish this second large painting of the Hull Tidal Surge Barrier, which is just along the River Hull from my studio in the Old Town. The painting is the same size at the first one, 102cm x 127cm (40" x 50"). Whereas the first paint looked west, inland towards the post-industrial strech of the river, this looks out east and focuses on the light. I've adopted a different strategy here, simplifying the architecture and the structure of the piers and abstracting the light and reflections into harder-edged patterns and allowing faily large and luminously empty stretches.

We'll be having a retrospective exhibition in the new Hull College gallery in The Precinct, Hull, in early May, followed by an end-of-year show in June. I'll post details in a day or two.


Voyage: The Arctic Corsair

Thursday, 22 March 2018 at 19:03

The Arctic Corsair - aquatint

Here's the latest etching in the series to illustrate the Voyage poems / musical collaboration with Deborah Pritchard and trumpeter Simon Desbruslais. The long-retired Arctic Corsair trawler is now a museum piece moored on the River Hull.

I was originally commissioned, along with Angela Leighton, Carol Rumens, and David Wheatley, to write a poem to celebrate the unveliling of Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir's Voyage statue in Hull in 2006. The event was attended by the Icelandic Prime Minister, who arrived in Hull aboard an Icelandic gun-boat which docked not far from the Atlantic Corsair. The last time the two ships had been that close was decades earlier during the Cod War, when I believe the Hull trawler had rammed the navy vessel. This was also the last voyage for the gun-boat which was going bak to Iceland to be decommissioned.

State of Independence#

Tuesday, 6 March 2018 at 20:02

State of Independence

I'm reading from Satyr (and maybe a little else besides) at lunchtime (12.30-1.15 pm) on Saturday at The States of Independence one-day festival at De Montfort University in Leicester with fellow Shoestring poet Miriam Nieger-Fleischmann.

Miriam Nieger-Fleischmann has been writing poems for thirty years, in Hebrew, a selection, Death of the King, has recently been published in English, translated by Tony Rudolph.

Details here:

River Hull Tidal Surge Barrier

Wednesday, 21 February 2018 at 13:48

Painting by Cliff Forshaw:Hull Tidal Surge Barrier

Hull Tidal Surge Barrier, 102 cm x 127 cm, 2018.

Here's the now completed painting of the Tidal Surge Barrier, which is a few hundred yards away from the studio. It's another large piece: most of the Hull Cityscapes are on this scale.

I'm now hoping to do some more paintings of the River Hull over the next few months. For an enlarged image, please check the lightbox facility on the Hull Cityscapes page.

The Truelove

Monday, 5 February 2018 at 21:07

Truelove, Hull

Here's an etching from the Voyage series in progress. It's an aquatint to illustrate a poem from Pilgrim Tongues commemorating a couple of travellers who fetched up in Hull. You can see the sculpture a few hundred yards from the studio where I work. Still need to do a little more work on the plate... lots to learn about etching and printing generally.

The Truelove

In 1847 a young married couple Memiadluk and Uckaluk arrived in Hull aboard a local whaler, the Truelove. The following year they set sail for their home on Baffin Island. Uckaluk died following an outbreak of measles on board. There are casts of their heads in Hull Maritime Museum and on the Humber near the spot where they landed.

Among the dreams of hulks,
Inuit voices still
ring in the ship’s bell:

Memiadluk and Uckaluk,
this couple off the Truelove,
strange honeymooners stuck in Hull.

After the outbreak on board,
alone, on a trawler’s whale-back, he rode
the cold whale-roads back home.

What’s left could be death masks:
the eyes in their heads are closed,
cast in plaster like dirtied Newfie snow.

Now, down by the Humber,
another pair of heads fetch up,
in battle-ship grey

beheaded on a bollard
that might as well say
Greenland or bust.

They’re a long, long way from home,
that Esquimaux lad and his lassie,
blind to glass case or estuary,

pondering, since 1847,
Jonah, whalebone corsetry,
what the preachers tell of Heaven,

this place called Hull,
what they warn of Hell.

Hull Tidal Barrier

Monday, 5 February 2018 at 20:26

Tidal Barrier painting

I've been working on a painting of the River Hull's Tidal Barrier. It's gone through a lot of permutations over the last couple of weeks: the winter light changes rapidly and the the mud is different every day. It's still not quite finished yet, but I hope to put the final touches to it this week.

I've been running out of high vantage points for my cityscapes and am now concentrating on the River Hull, which flows right past the studios. I'm also working on a series of etchings of the river as part of the illustrations for the Voyage for Solo Trumpet poem sequence, and will post a taste of that project shortly.

Meanwhile here: a child, a dog and a lone sandpiper (too small to see in this reproduction, but he's there on the river's edge) punctuate the industrial landscape. I suppose this is essentially about gaps and strata: gaps in the railings and reflections; the strata between the primeval mud, old piers, functional tidal barrier and walkway, and the post-modern stylistic mashup of the Premier Inn (which was the vantage point for a previous painting, looking out over the River Hull and the Humber).

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