Harley showing for Julian Bray

Mansfield-based artist Julian Bray's latest work will be on display as part of a triple-bill of garden-themed exhibitions at The Harley Gallery on the historic Welbeck estate (August 27-October 23).

Visitors can take a rare peek into the Edwardian gardens at Welbeck with an exhibition of extraordinary early colour images – in 3-D. Dating from 1911-1928, these stereoscopic autochromes capture the gardens on the ducal Welbeck estate in their Edwardian heyday.

Inspired by the autochromes, Julian Bray’s contribution to the triple exhibition captures the romance and beauty of the century old photographs and continues his series of paintings capturing the timeless landscape of the country estate. For more details, see www.harleygallery.co.uk/exhibition/autochromes

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Julian has produced 16 sterescopic autochrome-inspired works over the past eight months for his exhibition, available for sale at The Harley Gallery with prices from £250 upwards. This is the fourth personal exhibition at the gallery for Julian, who has been a commercial artist for over 20 years, and combines this work with his role as head of the art foundation course at Mansfield-based West Notts College

“This is my first personal exhibition there for nine years and I’m looking forward to it. I enjoy shapes and so the combination of flowers and buildings in the autochromes is reflected in this work.

“Harley Gallery is a very professional gallery, a real jewel in the local crown. The footfall is amazing, as is the layout, the professionalism and the high level of intellect involved in the presentation of an exhibition there.”

Julian is also a fan of the Welbeck estate. “I have a long relationship with Welbeck, I find it a fascinating place. It’s a fully functioning feudal estate complete with the tunnels, the history etc, but I still think it’s a less known than it should be, say in comparison to somewhere like Chatsworth.”

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Julian continued: “I was very excited to be approached and shown the autochrome. I immediately found it fascinating and thought ‘I can do something with this’.

“The work in my exhibition is devoid of people, because as people we tend to focus in on them and I wanted people to look instead at the variety of shapes, whether natural or built.

“The paintings don’t necessarily look like the autochromes but they have captured the feel of it and I have certainly responded to what I saw.

“Stereoscopic autochromes offer a real sense of 3D depth with a very distinct foreground, middleground and background. It reminds me of theatre flies on a stage set.

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“It flattens the image and yet gives it a 3D quality at the same time and that was very interesting to me when I saw it so I could see that the autochrome could be inspiring to create work for this exhibition. I am very much looking to people coming along to see it. It is gratifying that people will come along, hopefully like what they see and buy it, as it completes the circle that starts when you work on it.”

Describing what can be the complex process of creating each work of art, Julian explained: “it’s only really at the end of each work that you fully understand what you were doing. The process of creation can take you in a completely direction to the one you maybe intended when you started off.

“The process of creation is a negotiation in a sense. You set off in one direction but you won’t necessarily finish in that direction and that is fascinating to me.

“It can be exciting and frustrating sometimes because what you see in your head is never completely what comes out in your work, but it is worth it in the end.

I am fascinated by shapes and buildings. Blooms and flowers are all shapes, as much as buildings are, so you will see examples of all of them in my work in this exhibition.”

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