14 January 2013
The Jim Ede Collections: Alfred Wallis’s Ships and Boats
The Jim Ede Collections: Alfred Wallis’s Ships and Boats on display at Art Exchange
At Art Exchange at the Colchester Campus to Sunday 17 February 2013
In 1964, the newly established University of Essex received a donation from Jim Ede, a collector of British-based artists who went on to set up Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. As new universities were built in the 1960s, full of post-war optimism, Ede declared that there “should be a Kettle’s Yard in every University” and gave a number of works, including five paintings by Alfred Wallis for the University to start a fledgling collection of its own. For this exhibition, Art Exchange at the Colchester Campus reunites the Alfred Wallis paintings from the University of Essex’s Jim Ede Collection, with the collection they were originally born out of, Kettle’s Yard.
Living in St. Ives, Cornwall and with no training, Alfred Wallis took up painting late in life, ‘for company’ after the death of his wife. Previously, he had worked as a mariner, crossing the Atlantic and later working on small fishing boats. With only household oil paint in limited colours on found bits of card, Wallis made artworks that came from a robustly original vision, that he considered to be more experiences and events than paintings. ‘I do most what used to be what we shall never see no more…’ he wrote to Jim Ede, one of his most ardent collectors.
Art Exchange will continue its focus on the University of Essex’s Jim Ede collection with an exhibition at firstsite, Colchester, from 18 March to 9 June 2013.
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