Peter Harris, Nicola Lane, Simon Periton, Albert Potrony, Paul Simon Richards and Frances Scott, have all held exhibitions at Swiss Cottage Gallery in recent years - we’ve invited them to select works from Camden’s art collection, and pair them with work from their own studio.
Each artist has approached this selection in a different way. The show aims to show not only the actual works but the process and strategy each artist has adopted to couple the work. Some pairings are happily straightforward, others more oblique. By following the connections ourselves we can see how the artworks are placed in history and discover new connections and different ways of looking at the works.
The selection of work highlights the recurrence of themes and interests between artists that are all active in Camden, but generations apart.
The exhibition highlights both the quality of artists who have exhibited at the Swiss Cottage Gallery in recent years and the variety and quality of artwork in the Camden Collection, including work that is 20, 30 and in one case 100 years old.
The Collection comprises a variety of works mainly dating from the late 1950s to the late 1980s, with most pieces by artists who had a strong connection to the borough. Some works were inherited from the predecessor authorities which were gifted artwork when the Council was established in 1965. Other works were directly purchased by the Council from 1965 to 1985, with limited funding from a small ‘Picture Loan’ scheme that the Council operated. Additional pieces were acquired through the Council’s relationship with Camden Arts Centre; from Public Art Commissions, or as donations by the artists themselves.
The majority of the artists lived for periods in the borough, so the Collection is also an important chronicle of the cultural life of Camden over four decades. Highlights of the Collection include unique works by Derek Jarman, John Minton and Prunella Clough, as well as limited edition works by Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney and Patrick Caulfield.