About Mandell's Gallery
The art world has witnessed extraordinary changes over the last fifty years. Many art galleries have come and gone but Mandell’s Gallery, at the top end of Elm Hill, has survived and in fact blossomed. This year the Allen family celebrate fifty years at the helm of this enterprising gallery – a highly-regarded fixture in the vibrant artistic life of Norwich and Norfolk.
Many of us who love art and also buy art can remember vividly the Mandell’s Gallery of yesteryear. Geoffrey Allen, always genial and smartly attired, presided over his gallery space which was indeed distinctive with its rich red velvet curtains. What might have been a slightly hushed atmosphere was often lightened by Geoffrey’s (second) wife Pauline, who together with Whisky their cat, welcomed clients into the gallery. Chat and gossip were as much part of the offer as the Art and therein lies much of the success of the business.
An astute businessman with a fondness for the paintings of the famous Norwich School, it was in 1966 that Geoffrey staged his first Norwich School show in his new gallery named after the next-door passageway – Mandell’s Court. Geoffrey and all subsequent members of the clan still ield enquiries addressed to Mr or Miss Mandell. From the word go, the 1960s design gave the Mandell’s Gallery the bonus of good light, essential in the early days when the artificial lighting was somewhat subdued.
Geoffrey’s son, John, has been involved at Mandell’s off and on for forty years and under his guidance the gallery space has been updated and much improved giving artists two large, light galleries in which to show their works. Over the last five years his daughter Rachel has joined John running the gallery and they have greatly extended the range of exhibiting artists. A glance at the list of artists on the 2016 celebratory programme includes many who can be described as the top names in East Anglia, plus others from beyond this partof the world.
The story of Mandell’s is one of both continuity and vision. I salte John, Tina and Rachel in reaching this landmark anniversary.
As part of our 50th year celebrations we have planned an exciting exhibition programme please check the Future Exhibitions page or sign up to our mailing list in the banner below.
Mandell’s Gallery Elm Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1HN +44 (0)1603 626892
Sula Rubens Kin
SULA RUBENSJoin Sula Rubens at Mandell’s Gallery, Norwich for drinks at the Private View of her recent work ‘KIN’. Sun 6 May 2018 12pm–4pm Exhibition continues until 19 May 2018
The primary focus of ‘Kin’ is people. Although there is no direct reference in these works to current issues of the displacement and suffering of refugees, some of the people Sula paints are displaced, struggling to survive and protect their kin. Some are also making music, tending animals, sleeping, laughing or playing as people do wherever they happen to be. Children play football whether they are in a refugee camp or in their own street.
In Sula’s paintings and drawings the people are transient figures moving through spaces she creates for them on canvas, maps or book pages. In some works, sky, land, sea, maps or buildings show through their painted and drawn forms. They are portrayed outside and always relating to one another by talking, laughing or hand gestures. In each picture, there is one figure, even if it is a goat, who looks directly at the viewer.
The drawing is strong. The paint is laid lightly, just enough to convey their presence. The viewer can see just enough. There is no directly explained or implied back story. We view these people as they are at this moment. Their dignified presence in these paintings and drawings is at once moving and life-affirming.
Meet Sula on Sat 12 May 12pm–3pm.
An opportunity to meet the artist
and discuss her work.
About Sula Rubens
Studying at Central/St. Martin’s School of Art (BA Hons Fine Art), Sula Rubens was influenced by the working practices and theories of artist/tutors – Tricia Gillman, Alan Reynolds, Norman Ackroyd, Anthony Whishaw and Cecil Collins. Since graduating in 1989, she has exhibited widely and practised as a painter and printmaker in many countries (including Amsterdam, Gdansk in Poland, St. Petersburg in Russia and the rural landscapes of France, Spain, Greece and Ireland. She currently lives on the East Anglian coast.
Often travelling to paint, Sula has immersed herself in various landscapes, buildings and their people. She has collaborated with artists, poets and musicians nationally and internationally. Wherever she is, close observation through drawing is integral to her work. She tends to work in series, with a theme developing from her response to the circumstances she encounters.
In 2014 she was appointed first ever Artist in Residence at the Michaelhouse in Cambridge. Other residency appointments include The Lookout Tower in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, Potton Hall Classical Recording Studio/Concert Hall in Suffolk and the Westerkerk in Amsterdam.
Her work has been awarded numerous prizes and is represented in public and private collections in this country and abroad (including the Leicestershire Collection for Schools & Colleges and the Town Council of Amsterdam).