Victoria Art Gallery invites you to take a look at Philip
Bouchard’s ‘Bath Sky Diary’
An unusual, if not unique, exhibition of
more than fifty paintings by Bath-based artist Philip Bouchard will
be on display at Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Victoria
Art Gallery from Saturday 8 September to Sunday 18 November.
Having painted surrealist subjects earlier
in his career, Philip Bouchard returned to the physical world
around him following a health scare two years ago. As part of his
post-surgery recuperation, he decided to paint a different sky
painting every day, and thus his ‘Sky Diary’ was born. When
completed, he found to his amazement there were over 100
The collection at the Victoria Art Gallery,
titled ‘Bath Sky Diary’, features two large paintings of the city –
one a detailed panorama of rooftops and sky above Bath Abbey, the
other an evening sky with arches below reflected in the River Avon.
Despite looking quite normal at first, the latter work contains a
surrealist twist that links it to Bouchard’s cityscapes of the
Jon Benington, Manager of the Victoria Art
Gallery, which is run by Bath & North East Somerset Council,
said: “This exhibition allows Bath art lovers to see the city quite
literally in a new light, from the top floors and rooftops of the
Georgian buildings upwards to the scudding clouds, the glowing
sunsets and the azure infinities that grace our skies. Visitors
will enjoy seeing the seasons change and at the same time be able
to rediscover Bath from an entirely new perspective.”
Philip Bouchard is self-taught, having
taken up painting while studying French at university, and has
worked as an artist ever since. He was a pupil at Downside Abbey in
Somerset, and was invited to return there as artist in residence in
1996. The beauty of the area, and in particular the classical
architecture of Bath, seduced him into staying and he now lives and
works in the city.
Councillor Cherry Beath (Lib-Dem, Combe
Down), Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, said: “It’s
always a pleasure for Bath & North East Somerset Council to
showcase local talent at the Victoria Art Gallery.
“Philip Bouchard’s Bath Sky Diary attempts
to capture a fleeting moment of each day; a moment that is of
interest to him in the surroundings with which he is most familiar.
Despite being painted quickly, the individual works are brilliantly
observed and depict enough detail to capture the essence of Bath.
They are definitely well worth a look.”
Philip Bouchard was a runner up in the 2003
‘NOT The Turner Prize’ sponsored by the Daily Mail, with his
surreal painting ‘The Open Debate’. Growing up in the Middle East,
Bouchard developed his passion for skies – at all times of the day
A tour of the exhibition with the artist
takes place at the Victoria Art Gallery on Wednesday 26 September
from 1pm to 1.45pm. Admission is free and no booking is needed.
The Victoria Art Gallery, near Pulteney
Bridge in Bath, is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays
1.30pm to 5pm and closed on Mondays. Attendance is free. For more
details call 01225 477233 or visit the Gallery’s website http://www.victoriagal.org.uk/.