Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Melanie Max and Marmite: Two exhibitions in Ely and Cambridge

It's the same every month:  as soon as I've posted tips for what's on in the world of Cambridge art (and nearby), another exciting batch of events lands in my inbox...

So I thought I'd share two further suggestions with you -- you may even have  more time over Easter to visit galleries!  I know that I myself often don't get to see all the shows I had planned on... there's just so much happening!

But why not brave the ice and snow of our East Anglia spring and huddle in the warmth of a gallery?

1.  Melanie Max in Ely

melanie max

Travel a bit further afield and see the wonderfully talented Melanie Max's landscapes and seascapes in Ely.  Her paintings are so minimal that they are almost abstract.  Almost!  They always retain a horizon, the play of light on clouds or water, a physical sensation of the elements in the crusty pigment slithering off the canvas.  I saw her exhibition at last year's Open Studio and was entranced.

Who:  Melanie Max
Where:  The Old Fire Engine House, Ely CB7 4ER.  Tel. 01353-668364.
When:  Fri 5 April - Sun 28 April 2013.  Mon-Fri 10.30am-10.30pm. Sat-Sun 10.30-5.30.

And once you're in Ely, why not look about yourself?

3 arty things to do in Ely: 

1.  Visit the airy Babylon Art Gallery, down by the river, and look at ceramic art.
(Pop next door into Peacock's Tearoom.)

2.  Take a look at the eel mosaic and the metal eel sculpture in the Jubilee Gardens, down along the riverside.

3.  Visit world-famous Ely Cathedral.  But be prepared to pay a high entrance fee (unfortunately, this has become necessary to pay for the upkeep of the cathedral).   Attending a service, however, is free.

And don't forget Topping's on the High Street, one of the best bookshops in the world.  Settle down in the window seat of the second-floor art section and enjoy.

2.  The Marmite Prize

marmite prize

I want to visit this for the sheer oddness of the title. But thereby, I discovered, hangs a tale!

This prize is not about a yeasty food product!  In French, the word 'marmite' refers to a covered earthenware cooking pot.  (You can see a picture of this pot on any marmite jar because until the 1920s, marmite came in marmites.)  And this is what the winners of the Marmite Prize receive:  "an artist-made vessel, which is awarded by the judges in recognition of artistic excellence" (Press Release).

The show contains 32 works of art, shortlisted from c. 850 entries, and is on tour until it reaches the Tannery Arts gallery (London) in June where a jury will choose the winner.

What:  Marmite Prize travelling exhibition
When:  Fri 12 April - 9 May 2013.  Mon-Sat 10-4.30.
Where:  Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University.  [Directions.]

Talk:  Thurs 25 April, 2-3 pm
Private View:  Thurs 25 April, 5 pm
Both talk and private view are free and open to all.

3.  Cambridge Drawing Society

drawing society

Did I say two more exhibitions...?  Oh dear, I've just spotted a third one and I just had to update this post to include it.

What:  Annual spring exhibition of the Cambridge Drawing Society.
Where:  Cambridge Guildhall.  Market Square, CB2 3QJ.
When:  Sat 13 April - Sat 20 April 2013.  Mon-Sun 10-5.30.  Sat 13 April:  Closes at 4pm.

What else is on?

Three Cambridge shows to visit in April
Coming up next week:  What's on in London
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