Two distinguished artists offer a moving glimpse into the fragility of our sense of ‘home’ based on their own inherited narratives of domestic disruption. 

The art space at No 1 Middle Street, Stroud is the setting for an ingenious and thought-provoking collaborative exhibition combining the sharply precise photography of John Heseltine ( and the richly-textured layered paintings of Angela Findlay. 

Many will know John’s superb photographic images through exhibitions around the country as well as from countless books and magazines in the UK and Europe.  Here he addresses his fascination with domestic objects and the built environment, placing them in a historical and societal context but with distinct references to the contemporary world.

Angela departs from her hugely popular paintings of mud skies, and using her characteristically impactful colour palette she focuses on deeply evocative abstractions of interiors and everyday life, often combining her painterly techniques with John’s images and linking past and present in perfect but ambiguous harmony.  

When the two artists met, they found that not only did they share the confusions of dual nationality, but each was on a pilgrimage of discovery, a passionate and lifelong search for identity, understanding and a sense of place.  The everyday minutiae that makes up the fabric of family life and its often-unrecognised impact on all our lives, is beautifully way- marked throughout their exhibition.  The effects of domestic turmoil and loss are subtly commented upon, with reference to seemingly ordinary objects, as they research, recall and re-tell their own stories.

For Anglo-German Angela this is through her mother’s childhood flight from war-torn Berlin, as cleverly depicted in the Battenberg cake video – a teatime disrupted. For John, it is through his childhood lack of domestic permanence, his almost nomadic home life in Europe and the United States, and his enforced renunciation of crucial personal memorabilia.


Whilst we often see this portrayed through the popular media in literature, film, family-tracing documentaries and websites, it is rarely exemplified so achingly through the visual arts.                                                 

At times literally fused together, their work reveals the deeply etched sense of dislocation resulting from lost or abandoned domestic objects and memories.  It is a poignant insight into the huge significance of belongings and belonging and through them the primeval need within all of us to mark our place in the continuum of human history - a theme surely repeating itself in the ongoing cultural turbulence around the world today.

The first in a collaborative series by these two celebrated artists, this is an experience not to be missed and one, which will strike a deep chord. 

Jeannie Hignell

Art Consultant                                                                                                         

June, 2011

angela findlay
angela findlay


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