Cutting to the Chase in the world of art
PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:03 12 August 2019
Arts writer Alison Summerfield meets David and Jane Wimsett, owners of Georgian House Framing and Gallery, in Ottery St Mary, who chose a woodcut by the late Japanese artist Tadashi Nakayama called 'Girl in the Wind'.
It is seven years since Jane and David took over the framing business in Ottery and as Jane explained: "Framing gives us the privilege of seeing a huge range of different types of art; from family photos, first attempts at art classes, to ancient oil paintings and just occasionally, a client will bring in something that we both really admire."
Perhaps therefore, to ask them to choose their favourite artwork was too big a challenge because as David pointed out: "It would be unfair to choose a piece of art by one of the artists whose work we currently sell and as we have good working relationships with many Devon-based artists, it really would be difficult to choose just one of them."
However, it was without much hesitation they decided on a woodcut by Tadashi Nakayama dated 1956.
This charming, woodblock print is an early work depicting a simple, profile portrait of young girl looking into the distance with black birds against a green background.
There is something beautiful about the simplicity of form and matt earth colours of this approximately 8" x 91/2" image.
Nakayama is considered one of Japan's leading woodblock artists which also brought him world-wide fame.
He combined traditional Japanese kiyo-, (a genre popular during the 17th - 19th century, in which artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of beautiful women and flora and fauna) with a love for Persian miniatures, Byzantine art as well as Western-style painting.
Nakayma was born in 1927 in Japan and from 1962 -65 he lived in Italy and England, teaching for a brief period at Bath University. He died in 2014.
David and Jane already had a small collection of woodcuts and this piece really stood out for them when it came in for reframing.
"We liked the graphic look and the silvery highlights that catch the light. It took a while to locate a copy but we eventually found one in California", says David, "and having made the purchase online, we tracked its progress and were delighted when it eventually arrived safe and sound."
I asked David whether he knew immediately which would be the perfect frame for their new acquisition.
"It actually took a while for us to decide," he says, " but in the end, we chose a sympathetic coloured mount with a subtle, slightly metallic frame along with anti-reflective glass."
It is imperative to get the right frame to enhance a painting and I am one of the many grateful artists whose work David has framed over the years and I have certainly challenged them with my work - such as asking him to frame paintings that are still wet but required quickly for an exhibition.
Georgian House also sell an excellent range of cards and wonderful objets d'arts for the home.
Georgian House Framing and Gallery
13 Silver Street
Ottery St Mary,
Open Tuesday-Friday 9.30am-5pm.
Do visit Market House Gallery in Marazion, Cornwall, this summer to view a joint exhibition of paintings by myself (Alison Summerfield)and Simeon Stafford.
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