Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Guy Thomas, Richard Crooks and Iain Cotton

30 October–4 November 2012
Open daily 10.30am–5pm
Private View on Tuesday, 30 October 5.30–8.30pm

3+1 steel stone clay paint presents three sculptors and one painter
who over a 25-year period have shared a critical dialogue relating to
the formal considerations and influences in their work – abstract and
figurative alike.
The three sculptors – Iain Cotton, Richard Crooks and Guy Thomas –
work respectively in stone, clay and steel to explore the expressive
elements of their material. They studied together at Bath Academy of
Art (1984–7), where they were influenced by the teaching of Charles
Hewlings. He supported the direct, exploratory and three-dimensional
approach to making sculpture that these students were engaged in.
At Wimbledon School of Art, Barbara Cheney studied painting
(1988–91) and in the same period, Charles taught in the sculpture
department where Guy worked as technician and lecturer, and
Richard undertook an MA in Site Specific Sculpture. After graduating,
Barbara and Guy immediately formed a close, ongoing critique of
each other’s work.
All four artists believe that their work should speak for itself and
reveal strong formal qualities; underpinning this is the discipline of
drawing. All are members of Bath Society of Artists and Guy is the
current Chairman. The Society has had strong connections with Bath
Academy of Art, including artists that taught there such as Patrick
Heron, William Scott and Howard Hodgkin.

‘Iain, Richard and Guy constituted, for me, the core of their year
group at Bath Academy of Art. My visits there were unfailingly
enlivened and made stimulating by them. How to account for the
unusual chemistry between them? On the one hand, a shared
belief (untaught for the most part) that inanimate material can,
with passion, be made to speak; and, on the other, very different
aptitudes, temperaments and (sculptural) rhythms. And hunger,
and intellectual curiosity and much more. Always in the light of
a recent discovery in the world of sculpture, each piece of work
was a criticism of the one before, and of course a response to
each other’s latest. So, I believe, the creative rivalry between
them continues…’
– Charles Hewlings

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