It was good to be in the heart of Bath yesterday to see how life has returned to our city streets and on such a sunny day too.
The University of Bath’s much-delayed graduation ceremonies are well underway and Abbey Church Yard was full of expectant graduates and proud families.
The barriers are down at the Stall Street end of York Street to reveal a freshly paved and pedestrianised walkway leading down to the new World Heritage Centre – which opens tomorrow – and, for me, on to the gallery spaces at Beaux-Arts.
This commercial enterprise – set up in 1979 and showing contemporary paintings, sculpture and studio ceramics – is the longest established private gallery in Bath.
Over the years they’ve presented an ever-changing roster of major exhibitions of leading contemporary artists and l was on my way to meet one very energetic woman with a long association with the company.
Anyone walking through Crest NIcholson’s Riverside residential development – on the banks of the Avon near Victoria Bridge – may have seen one of her very striking sculptures which is now on public display.
The ‘Maid of the Bridge’ was made out of reclaimed Victorian iron taken from the nearby suspension bridge when it underwent major repairs. It was unveiled in 2018. Her work is in private collections throughout America, the Middle East and Europe.
Ann Gillespie lives locally and has been represented by Beaux Arts for many years. Her current exhibition in York Street – which l was visiting – runs through until June 4th.
She is a very organic artist and – over the last ten years – has attempted through her work to recapture a feeling of our immersion in the physical world around us and how we interact with the planet as a species. Realising, she says, that we humans are just another mass product of nature.
Go take a look.