Friday, 23 September 2011


Saturday 24 September 2011
This year we are grateful to Newcastle City Library for allowing us to hold our AGM in their splendid Bewick Hall once again.
After the business of the AGM we will be showing a nostalgic short film 'The Bewick Man.' This documentary, made in the 1980s as a North East BBC production, takes the form of an interview with the Society's President Iain Bain in his home and discusses his enthusiasm for Thomas Bewick.
We acknowledge our thanks to the BBC for permission to show the film to our members and to the Natural History Society of Northumbria who own the copy of the original film.
Date and time: Saturday 24 September at 2.00 (AGM) for 2.30 (film).
Venue: The Bewick Hall, Newcastle City Library, Charles Avison Building, 33, New Bridge Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8AX.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Freda and Esmeralda

Review of Tale-pieces in Vancouver.

Art_cag2_2282 review of Tale-pieces in Vancouver.
"New director Nigel Price puts stamp on downtown space, handing out magnifying glasses and introducing a 1960s pop-artist nun
By Robin Laurence,
Thomas Bewick: Tale-pieces
Corita Kent: To Create is to Relate
At the Contemporary Art Gallery until October 30"
"Clearly, Prince believes that Bewick’s tiny wood engravings continue to resonate in the 21st century. They speak, he suggests, to our relationship with our natural environment, our treatment of animals, our human frailties—and our mortality. Designed as tailpieces to fill spaces between paragraphs and chapters in the natural-history books that he was acclaimed for illustrating, Bewick’s prints depict peaceful scenes of pastoral life, but also register his keen sense of justice and psychological nuance.
The 100-plus Bewick works, two to a framed page, are best viewed with a magnifying glass (available in the annex) to fully reveal their exquisitely executed observations of life. There are charming vignettes here of fishing, farming, and ships at anchor; there are also hanged men, suicides, and children torturing animals. A cruel man beats his starving horse, a glutton pukes up his dinner, and a toddler wanders, alone and in peril, while her nursemaid canoodles with some guy in the bushes.
Linking the Bewicks thematically to the Corita Kent show are a commitment to social justice and a desire to make art widely accessible to the public. Born Frances Kent in Iowa in 1918, the artist took the name Sister Mary Corita when she joined the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles in 1936. As artist, teacher, and activist, she gave community-based screen-printing workshops at the order’s art centre while also producing a large body of her own emphatic work. Eventually, she left the order, moved to Boston, and made art under the single moniker Corita."

Full text here :

Monday, 12 September 2011

Thomas Bewick Contemporary Artist

From a review of Tale-pieces in the Vancouver Sun newspaper:
"But more than that are the ideas and scenes he's depicting. They show a curious, ironic and observant mind at work. They collapse the two centuries between then and now. Creating an exhibition with Bewick's engravings to redefine contemporary was very much on the mind of Nigel Prince, who took over as the CAG's executive director in January.
"I think it's important curatorially to question what is the meaning of contemporary art. Does contemporary art mean something made yesterday? Does contemporary have more to do with ideas and issues and the propositions in an artist's work? Those are issues are evident in the images, which are relevant to concerns today.""
Centuries-old engravings still cut deep, Works depict human cruelty and injustice.. By Kevin Griffin, Vancouver Sun September 10, 2011
Click here to read the full review:

Friday, 9 September 2011

Good Times, Bad Times, All Times Get Over

Curated for the Queen’s Hall Gallery by Jonathan Watkins (Director, IKON Gallery Birmingham) and presented as part of the International Print Biennale, Good Times, Bad Times, All Times Get Over is a rare opportunity to see prints by the extraordinary nineteenth century wood engraver and ornithologist Thomas Bewick and contemporary responses to his work by artists Graham Gussin, Lutz and Guggisberg, and Bedwyr Williams.

A special Ikon exhibition for the International Print Biennale 2011 at Queen's Hall in Hexham.
Good Times, Bad Times, All Times Get Over is centred on the vignettes of British wood engraver, artist and naturalist Thomas Bewick (1753-1828). Clearly influenced by his childhood in the North East, these tiny scenes of everyday rural life provide an invaluable insight into social history while also demonstrating Bewick's imagination and wit. Taking its title from Bewick's depiction of a gravestone with the words "Good Times, Bad Times, All Times Get Over", we show 24 of his 'tale-pieces' alongside the work of four contemporary artists: Graham Gussin, Swiss duo Lutz and Guggisberg and Bedwyr Williams.
Queen's Hall Arts Centre, 15th October - 19th November 2011, Monday to Saturday, 10am - 4pm
Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS
Tel: 01434 652477
International Print Biennale brings museums and galleries across the north east together to celebrate printmaking from around the world. Find out about exhibitions, special events and classes from 17 September to 19 November 2011.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

York National Book Fair

The Bewick Society have a stall at this year's York Book Fair.
We're on the Upper Mezzanine Level,
Knavesmire Suite,
York Racecourse,
YO23 1EX

Friday Sept 9th 2011
12 noon - 7pm
Saturday Sept 10th 2011
10am - 5pm
Admission on the door: £2.00

See you there.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Keith Armstrong Book Launch Invitation

Keith Armstrong writes:
"I am launching .. 2 books .. at the Red House, Quayside, Newcastle on Tuesday 6th September 7.30pm. All are welcome - admission free. Best wishes Keith"
The books are
The Month of the Asparagus: Selected Poems

Both books contain poems on Thomas Bewick.

Listen to Keith reading his poems on Soundcloud. />

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Bewick in Vancouver

From the website of the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver:
"The CAG will present the first exhibition in North America devoted entirely to the vignettes of British wood engraver, artist and naturalist Thomas Bewick. Born in Cherryburn, near Mickley, Northumberland in 1753, Bewick worked in Newcastle until his death in 1828. Clearly influenced by his childhood on a small farm on the banks of the river Tyne, Bewick's love of the countryside is reflected in his detailed woodcuts of animals, birds and rural scenes. Amongst his most ambitious projects were illustrations for General History of Quadrupeds (1790) and History of British Birds (two volumes, 1797 and 1804), both of which also included a great number of vignettes. Bewick referred to these as ‘tale-pieces'. Intended as illustrations of 'some truth or point of some moral' they provide an invaluable insight into social history while also demonstrating the artist's imagination and wit."
Exhibition runs SEP 8, 2011 to OCT 30, 2011
555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6B 6R5

A Walk from Cherryburn to Ovingham


Sunday 4 September 2011
(Please note the change of date from Saturday 3 to Sunday 4)

A Walk from Cherryburn to Ovingham

Come and join us on a short post lunch walk to Ovingham and back exploring Bewick’s childhood by the Tyne. Meet and park at Cherryburn and bring appropriate footwear.
Refreshments will be available to buy from the Cherryburn farmhouse shop on our return.
Distance approx 3 miles round trip.

Date and time: Sunday 4 September 2011 at 1.30pm prompt.
Venue: Cherryburn, Station Road, Mickley Square, near Stocksfield, Northumberland NE43 7DD.
Contact: June Holmes: The Bewick Society, c/o The Natural History Society of Northumbria, The Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT.