North House Gallery. exhibitions, paintings, drawings, sculpture, original prints and books by modern and contemporary artists of East Anglian, national and international fame.


A rare, over-enthusiastic @northhousegallery Insta-post last year about being 'blown away' by the Eduardo Chillida exhibition at Hauser and Wirth in Somerset led to reactions of fellow feeling from Bernard McGuigan and Chris Hamer and, in return, invitations to show at North House Gallery in these separate, concurrent exhibitions.

Three dozen pieces by Bernard McGuigan show the development of his abstract sculpture over the last two decades. In the tradition of the twentieth century sculptors Brancusi, Gill, Hepworth and Moore, he uses the method of direct carving into stone. The qualities of the different stone used, thirteen in this collection, must govern to an extent what will emerge, but Bernard's intent is simplicity of form, whatever the surface texture or decoration, and his titles give a hint as to the feeling they are designed to evoke.

'Created from material formed in the Earth over 250 million years ago, my directly carved sculptures are often simple, pared down abstract pieces that are imbued with a sense of warmth, balance and beauty. As well as being enjoyed visually, I believe that sculpture should be touched to be fully experienced. I hope that my work will be engaged with on a deeper emotional and spiritual level over time. As other artists before me have observed, creating something seemingly simple, is often the most difficult and challenging thing to do.' BMc 2022

Bernard McGuigan was born in Britain in 1956 and started making sculpture at 16. Formerly an Associate of the Royal Society of Sculptors he has exhibited widely and his work is in public and private collections in the UK and abroad.

For Chris Hamer the Eduardo Chillida exhibition reminded him of the excitement he had felt on discovering his work in the early 90's at Annely Juda and the pilgrimage to Hernani a few years later. He was encouraged to dig out his Chillida-inspired drawings.

'I'd had Chillida in mind when I started them, ink-drawn glyphs on bark paper, sculpture as calligraphy, but I was also thinking of Magdalene Odundo. I was besotted with a little book of photos of her pots. Their curves and their colours. I cut out vessel-shaped templates and drew around them. Love letters for Magdalene and Eduardo.

'The Figures came later. I'd noticed when cutting mouldings for picture frames that I might piece together some of the off-cut quadrants. I gessoed them and painted them and made a drawing to accompany each one. Subject and object. One thing and another. This and that.' CH 2022

Chris Hamer studied at Rochdale College of Art (Foundation 1970-72), Maidstone College of Art (BA 1972-75), The University of Reading (MFA 1975-77), Cheltenham School of Art (Painting Fellowship 1977-78),Technician at Riverside Studios, Camden Arts Centre, Hayward Gallery (1978-85). A picture framer at the Rowley Gallery, London since 1985, he has been Director at the Rowley Gallery since 2003.

Read Chris Hamer's Blog Post about the exhibition.

Exhibition dates

Open on Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm

These images are a selection of the works available at the Gallery
Please contact the gallery for further information.

Exhibition venue: North House Gallery The Walls, Manningtree, Essex CO11 1AS
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