AT THE GALLERY: Neil Cuthbert’s series finds a new home

WELCOME HOME: The Neil Cuthbert: Homecoming exhibition features a selection of works from the collection of Keith Clouton and Jim Deas. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

WELCOME HOME: The Neil Cuthbert: Homecoming exhibition features a selection of works from the collection of Keith Clouton and Jim Deas. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

The exhibition Neil Cuthbert: Homecoming is currently showing at Orange Regional Gallery.

The exhibition is so titled in the hope that 20 paintings by Neil Cuthbert will return to Orange to stay permanently.

Orange Regional Gallery has been offered the opportunity to purchase a series of eight paintings, known as An Architect’s Progress owned by art collector Jim Deas. In addition, Jim Deas will donate another 12 works by Neil Cuthbert painted between 2004 and 2014.

Neil Cuthbert’s work has been influenced by the narrative and figurative traditions of British Art, however it has developed in response to his own life as a mariner and a migrant.

His paintings are engaging because the compositions are thoughtfully constructed, with a recognisable visual language and narratives that are expressed with assured idiosyncratic wit. They also convey deep layers of meaning and have strong emotional content.

Much of Neil’s work is set in what he calls ‘a parallel world’. Its imaginary figures and landscapes are not bound by any fixed rules of narrative and perspective, which gives him unlimited possibilities to explore universal issues.

Cuthbert’s artistic output represents a sustained, powerful and imaginative exploration of “all the little anomalies of life” (as Neil explains it) or the human condition itself.

Jim Deas has offered An Architect’s Progress to Orange Regional Gallery at a greatly reduced price, as well as a donation of an additional 12 paintings and support material, to ensure that Orange Regional Gallery becomes a ‘centre of learning’ for Neil Cuthbert’s artistic achievements.

Jim Deas deems Orange to be the rightful home for his collection, and a fitting tribute to artist Neil Cuthbert.

The acquisition of these paintings will enrich our collection, as well as being a valuable educational resource for the gallery for many years to come.

The purchase of An Architect’s Progress is supported by the Friends of Orange Regional Gallery and the Orange Regional Arts Foundation.

The Friends of Orange Regional Gallery have made it their main priority fundraising appeal for 2017.

I encourage you to see the Neil Cuthbert: Homecoming, which is on show until June 4.

It will give you an opportunity to assess the value of the works being offered and hopefully may also inspire you to contribute to the purchase.

Priority One 2017 donation forms are available from the gallery. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

The gallery is open on Anzac Day and every day from 10am to 4pm. Visit the gallery’s website: www.org.nsw.gov.au for more information.