The Fry Art Gallery creates a Menagerie with paintings and prints of the natural world

By Ruth Hazard | 03 October 2012
a drawing of a tyger moth
John Norris Wood, The Bee Tyger Hawk Moth, Linocut© Courtesy the Fry Art Gallery. Photograph Stephen Bond
Exhibition Preview: The Fry Menagerie, The Fry Art Gallery, Essex, until Sunday 28th October 2012.

The Fry Art Gallery is inviting visitors to explore its menagerie: a host of creatures great and small enlivening the walls and animating the display cases in its exhibition which focuses on beasts, birds and the natural world.

The pieces have been chosen from the North West Essex Collection by co-curators Mark Hearld and Iris Weaver and their final selection evidences the importance of colour and humour when painting this kind of subject matter.

Artist, printmaker and natural history enthusiast Hearld describes the display as "pamphlets, books, and ephemeral smatterings" which "run rife with snails, bluebottles, mice and sparrows, portly pigeons and mad harvest hares."

He adds "a cat sitting in quiet repose on a kitchen chair, a farmyard bullock, tongue lolling at the promise of beet pulp or a cockerel full-crow in the morning meadow remind us of the joy to be found in the natural world.”

Hearld has created a five colour lithograph, The Menagerie Swan, especially for the display. There's also a chance to see works by classic Fry artists including Edward Bawden, Eric Ravilious, Michael Rothenstein, John Norris Wood, Sheila Robinson and Olive Cook, alongside other pieces from the gallery's permanent collection.

  • Open: Tuesday, Thursday Friday 2-5pm (Saturday 11am-5pm, Sundays until end of October 2.15-5pm)
    Admission free.

More pictures:

a poster with the heads of four cows advertising Dried Beet Pulp
Edward Bawden, 'That's What We Want', Lithograph© Courtesy Fry Art Gallery, Photograph Stephen Bond

a lithograph drawing of a cattle market
Edward Bawden, Braintree Market, Lithograph© Courtesy Fry Art Gallery, Photograph Stephen Bond

a painting of a farmyard scene with seveal cows seated on hay
John Aldridge, Essex Farmyard, Watercolour© Courtesy Fry Art Gallery, Photograph Stephen Bond

a painting of a man sat in a bar in a pub with his arms open wide
Bernard Cheese, A Fisherman's Story, 1956, Lithograph© Courtesy Fry Art Gallery, Photograph Stephen Bond

a painting of a rabbit in an eerie grey landscape with a tree and a moon
Richard Bawden, Pink Eyes, Etching© Courtesy Fry Art Gallery, Photograph Stephen Bond

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