Sent back to Coventry: Turner Prize nominee George Shaw opens exhibition at the Herbert

By Culture24 Reporter | 18 November 2011
A photo of an artist at an exhibition opening inside a gallery
Exhibition: George Shaw: I woz ere, Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, until March 11 2012

Turner Prize hopeful George Shaw needs little introduction these days. An artist of the people, Shaw’s paintings of Coventry are down-to-earth but full of feeling, so his show at the Herbert is a homecoming and a chance for the city to celebrate a local hero.

The first section is a set of paintings of the Tile Hill housing estate where he grew up, made in Humbrol and referencing the moments he has left behind.

A photo of an artist at an exhibition opening inside a gallery
George Shaw (second from right) enjoys the opening and (top of page) greets residents of the Tile Hill housing estate
The subsequent works present the same scenes as they look today, captured in watercolours made specifically for the show.

Incredibly, I woz ere is Shaw's first major show in his native climes.

"It's five years to the week that Rosie [Addenbrooke, Senior Exhibitions and Events Officer] first approached me to do an exhibition here at the Herbert," he said, speaking with typical humility at the unveiling.

"Opening it tonight has been great – my entire family has been here along with residents from Tile Hill. They have always been supportive of my work."

The third part of the display comprises Shaw's juvenilia, showcasing his creations before he went to art school and revealing his inspirations and influences.

More than 500 visitors enjoyed the first night, and Ludo Keston, of the equally successful gallery and museum, said the organisers were "thrilled" to be hosting it.

"We pride ourselves in supporting the work of Coventry artists whether they're just beginning their creative journeys or, like George, already have a glittering career and a Turner Prize nomination," he added.

  • Open 10am-4pm (12pm-4pm Sunday, closed December 25-27 and January 1-2). Admission free.
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