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INSIGHTExhibition Review Kate West’s review of the local arts scene

Guildhall Art Gallery Atkinson Grimshaw: Painter of Moonlight Opens 19th September

oming to the Guildhall Art Gallery after a successful run at the Mercer Gallery in Harrogate, this is the first major exhibition of Leeds-born Victorian artist Atkinson Grimshaw’s work in over 30 years. After a few early false starts aping the work of the Pre-Raphaelites, this self-taught artist secured his reputation as a painter of nocturnal scenes. Although Grimshaw took the night as his primary subject matter, his paintings are more about light - twilight, moonlight, gaslight - and their effects in darkness. His suburban lanes are flanked by trees whose bare winter branches are starkly silhouetted against the moonlit sky. Light pours out from shop windows illuminating the pavements of Leeds. Street lamps shine on the cobbles of the rain washed streets of industrial towns. There is an unquestionable romanticism in Atkinson Grimshaw’s work and a certain


nostalgia for a lost rural idyll in his landscape painting. But Grimshaw is also an insightful commentator on the new modern urban life he was observing at the time. His paintings often feature a lone figure walking in his night-time streets or a solitary female standing by a river. These figures speak of the anonymity of cities but also the potential for loneliness in city life.

Many paintings have been generously lent by private collectors for this exhibition and therefore have not been seen in public for decades. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know one of less well known masters of the Victorian age.

Moonlight Madness 21st October 6pm to 10pm Guildhall Art Gallery FREE Late View of Atkinson Grimshaw exhibition which will include music, poetry, magic lantern show and ‘moonbeam’ cocktails available from the gallery’s pop-up bar.

Guildhall Art Gallery Guildhall Yard EC2

Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm Sunday Noon - 4pm

Admission: £5/ concessions £3 / FREE for under 16s, Friends of GAG and City Residents. Bring proof of address to claim your Gallery card which allows free entry to all GAG charged exhibitions.

Museum of London

Freedom from: modern slavery in the capital

Until 20th November

n partnership with Anti-Slavery International, the world’s oldest human rights organization, Freedom from: modern slavery in the capital exposes the shocking reality and explores the personal impact of human trafficking and forced labour in London in the 21st century.


The display includes a map representing cases of slavery across Greater London. Most moving are the personal stories of those affected by slavery. Alongside these personal testimonies are a series of large-scale specially commissioned photographs which form the centrepiece of this exhibition. Chris Steele-Perkins from Magnum Photos has taken eleven images capturing slavery survivor journeys.

Guildhall Art Gallery Reflections on the Thames, Westminster, 1880 by John Atkinson Grimshaw

Leeds Museums and Galleries


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