Gallery co-director Greg McGee is HONOURED to have been Art Advisor for internationally well regarded poetry magazine, 'Dream Catcher' for the last 5 years.
Here below is his foreword for a 2016 issue featuring the art of internationally well regarded Harry Malkin. We're planning on curating a new show of Malkin's latest collection in 2019. Keep on popping back! More information soon.
With work in public collections all over the UK, ex-miner and artist Harry Malkin is a well regarded painter of a world of which he has first hand experience: mining for coal one mile underground. In many ways, his experiences ensure that his work is instantly important. His world is rapidly disappearing, or moving elsewhere, and the Britain we know today has less miners than ever. Anyone who can report first hand on what it feels like to work chest deep in water in total blackness, with survival depending on the competence of colleagues and the dependability of machines, is worth listening to. Crucially, though, it is Malkin's skill as a draughtsman and painter that endows his art with a sense of national importance. There are a lot of ex-miners who have taken to art to exorcise their memories or their anger at pit closures and indifferent governments. Malkin, however, has the touch of the dramatist in his compositions, where muscles, slick with sweat, flex and bristle; where eye sockets disappear in theatrical chiaroscuro; where poise and movements are perfectly calibrated with the workman's instinct and knowledge hewn from many decades’ worth of witnessing the work that has all but gone from our culture.
Malkin's first memory of drawing comes from him making marks on the coal black back of his father after he'd returned from work. "It was a broad back", says Harry, "As big as a barn door." Malkin senior was a miner who worked almost naked at the coal face. When he came home, he liked to lie full length in front of a coal fire with his shirt off. In terms of early inspiration, drawing eagles and dragons on the sinewy back of their father is up there with the best of them.
Harry's art is now nationally recognised as a crucial chronicle of a very recent time lost to history, with public art commissions snapping his work and memorials up. He exhibits nationally too, and has a growing army of collectors watching his career keenly. Malkin's memories of life underground, the graft, and the subsequent art that so beautifully depicts it, belongs to a disappearing world and thus is all the more precious.