The Lots Road Group - Connected: the changing face of Britain
Waterstones Lower Floor Gallery, 82 Gower St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6EQ
Open Monday-Friday 8.30am-9pm, Saturday 8.30am-8pm and Sunday 12-6pm (Check website Public Holidays) Closest tube: Goodge Street
The Lots Road Group’s latest exhibition presents a microcosm of contemporary British society through the artists’ own connection to family and friends.
Seventeen members of the group have chosen an eclectic mix of sitters - diverse in age, gender, ethnicity, and nationality of origin. Having connected with each other through our attendance at The Heatherley School of Art we decided to explore through portraiture how our personal connections spread outwards and reflect life in 21st century Britain.
Set against the backdrop of Brexit, a time often described as divisive, our sitters are people to whom we have personal ties, some traditionally British from Aberdeenshire, Cornwall, Oxfordshire, Sussex and Yorkshire, as well as residents who have come here from a staggering array of countries: Bolivia, Brazil, British Guiana, Eritrea, France, Iraq, Norway, Pakistan, Poland and the United States.
Lots Road Group representative, Hilary Puxley said, “We started with the simple idea of painting people to whom we are connected, and have been astounded by the results! The list of countries with which our sitters are associated is astonishing and reflects a sea change in British society. Our artists have come up with a wealth of compelling and sometimes touching stories that evidence a much kinder and more welcoming Britain than you might suspect. I think the public will find the portraits fascinating.”
Charity partner 'Children & the Arts'
Our charity partner this year is 'Children & the Arts' whose CEO, Rosie Millard OBE said, “I am delighted that Children & the Arts is partnering the distinguished Lots Road Group in this year’s exhibition, which testifies so beautifully and powerfully that art is an essential expression of humanity. Without it our lives are diminished. We work with thousands of children across the nation and across all art forms. We change lives and open up vistas. On the threshold of a time when the UK moves away from Europe into an uncertain future, our mission has never seemed more important, and it has never seemed more appropriate and meaningful for us to be connected with this wonderful show which celebrates life with all its diversity and difference.”
As usual, our exhibition has a narrative component which introduces our sitters and explains how we are connected to them.
Changing tastes of Britons
Several sitters evidence changing tastes, of Britain being more open both to world, to different lifestyles and conscious of the impact all our lives have on our environment.
Long term friendships
There are also very long-term friendships, touching stories of young people being added to family circles, and of courageous immigrants finding a new life in this country, or helping others acquire skills they need.
Our charity partner this year is Children & the Arts which works with arts venues across the UK to reach children in communities and hospices who may be in danger of missing out on creative and cultural experiences. Since the charity was founded in 2006, it has given half a million children access to the arts, provided more than 1000 children and families affected by life-limiting illness with therapeutic arts experiences, and created more than 6000 partnerships between schools and arts organisations in the most deprived areas of the country.
Sponsored by Heatherleys
Our sponsor is 'The Heatherley School of Fine Art'. Founded in 1845, it is one of the oldest independent art colleges in Britain and is among the few art schools in the UK that focus purely on portraiture, figurative painting, sculpture and printmaking. The college offers both vocational and part-time courses to students aged 18 years and over.
Portrait commissions accepted
The Lots Road Group accept commissions. To find out more about individual artists click here.
To see a copy of our catalogue click here.