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Mercer Art Gallery Peoples Choice Exhibition

Christopher Wood selected by Julia Odell for the Mercer Art Gallery People’s Choice Exhibition 2013.

I am secretly pleased to have been asked to select a ‘peoples choice’ for the 2013 Mercer Art Gallery summer exhibition. As the current biannual winner I was asked if I could make a selection. Knowing that the gallery secretly holds two Christopher Woods in their collection of course I requested them! They have agreed and the following two paintings will be available to view at the Mercer 13th July – 15th Sept 2013.

 The Harbour by Christopher Wood

The Harbour by Christopher Wood. The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate. Date painted: 1926. Oil on canvas, 38.7 x 48.9 cm.

My entry for the exhibition;

‘Christopher Wood is one of our least known and yet best respected British artists. Led astray at an impressionable age and died young, the stuff of ballads and legends. Intelligent, determined and prolific he was caught between British artistic stoicism and the French avant-garde. He was at the heart of artistic developments but found his own way. His atmospheric scenes give us a sense of time and place through necessity and simplicity.

Some years ago I discovered a postcard of this very painting right here at the gallery. I purchased the postcard and left determined to find out more. From that day his work has been a constant, and ongoing, inspiration to me.

If Picasso respected and admired Kit Wood then perhaps we should too. I commend him to you.

Julia Odell
First prize award at the Harrogate Mercer Open Art Competition 2012′

They say that you don’t own a painting a painting owns you. I believe they meant that a painting should affect you spiritually. In the same way that we can appreciate certain music genres but never love them. It is not enough to simply appreciate good painting skills. In Christopher Wood paintings we remember light fading over harbours. We can almost reach in and feel the rain that produced the rainbow. If we close our eyes we smell rain in the air. Not his rain but our rain. Our memories. We have been owned and have perhaps learned a little more about ourselves as well as Christopher Wood.


The Rainbow by Christopher Wood

The Rainbow by Christopher Wood. The Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate. Date painted: 1927. Oil on canvas, 32.7 x 45.7 cm.


Find out more about the collection at the Mercer Art Gallery. Find out more about Christopher Wood

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