Contemporary dozen and family duo in double-bill of shows at Great Brampton House

By Ben Miller | 30 May 2012
An image of a black, purple and crimson abstract landscape painting
Nick Samsworth (work on the right) and Dominic Samsworth (painting on left) combine for We one are Two, part of a double-bill of new exhibitions at Great Brampton House
© Nick Samsworth / Dominic Samsworth
Exhibitions: Tryouts; We one are Two; Down Stairs at Great Brampton House, Madley, May 31 – July 15 2012

The enormous downstairs space at Great Brampton House, a grand Herefordshire hideaway, aims to become one of the region’s finest contemporary art galleries.

It strengthens that claim with a pair of thoughtful and diverse exhibitions: in Tryouts, 12 artists explore concepts of collecting, experimentation and everyday objects (appropriately, the House is owned by “antiques impresario” Martin Miller), manifested in mock English mansions in Beverly Hills (the photos of Sophie Percival) and Elizabeth Wright’s marriage of a ham sandwich and a copy of the Concise Oxford Dictionary.

A photo of a dictionary with a sandwich cut into two triangles placed on top of it
Elizabeth Wright, Oxford Dictonary And Ham Sandwich (2000). Printed Oxford English Dictonary© Elizabeth Wright
Sculptures, landscapes lifted from magazines before being cast in ceramic and Nick Bailey’s Magic Missile also feature.

“Throughout the curation, we ourselves have become selectors, hoarders and spectators on the process of building a habitat,” says co-planner Russell Hill, whose cast of graduates – largely from leading London institutions – seem to have been inspired by their surroundings.

The second show, We one are Two, features just two artists, but they have a blood connection.

Nick Samsworth makes large abstract paintings based on the elements of nature, and his son, Glasgow-based artist Dominic, creates paintings and sculptures responding to the urban environment, working with found materials.

This is the first time the pair have shared an exhibition, and any sense of poignancy is a pointer to Nick’s pieces, which use the sea as a source of meditation and solace during the illness and death of his father.

He’s influenced by Turner and Twombly, which is in stark contrast to Dominic, who portrays derelict and abandoned spaces with assemblages and sculptural interventions deploying materials predominantly spotted on the streets.

“I have seen Nick’s art change over the years,” says the younger member of the duo.

“This most recent body of work is a particularly important and personal one. The combination  will show the importance and value of learning from a generation to the next”.

  • Great Brampton House, Madley, Herefordshire. Open 12pm-5pm (Friday-Sunday only from June 11 2012). Admission free.
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