About the gallery
Opening initially as a place to show Don Cordery's paintings and prints, as well as his wife Cheryl's photographs, it is planned that Gallery 9 will evolve over time into a space in which carefully discerned works from other artists may also be offered for sale.
Don Cordery studied at Winchester School of Art and The Royal Academy Schools in London, winning prizes in the Young Contemporaries and John Moores Painting Prize competitions. During his time at the Academy he met the eminent war artist, Edward Bawden, who was then working on designs for the mural subsequently installed at the BP-Shell headquarters at Britannic House, London. Bawden invited Don and two fellow students to work as assistants in painting the mural at his home in Great Bardfield, Essex.
In 1967 Don was appointed visiting lecturer at Manchester College of Art under Norman Adams RA, and from 1971 taught on the Foundation course at Berkshire College of Art. In 1979 he left teaching to become a freelance painter.
He produced a sell-out series of lithographs, depicting owls and birds of prey, for Christie's Contemporary Art. Represented by the illustrators' agency, Folio, he was commissioned by The Royal Mail to produce the artworks for the postage stamps commemorating the Centenary of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) in 1989.
A complete break from illustration and commercial work led to a wide-ranging period of experimentation. The work of the early 19th century watercolourists, particularly John Sell Cotman and Thomas Girtin, both artists who went beyond the topographical traditions of the time to embrace a poetic vision transcending mere appearance, led Cordery to a wider use of watercolour. 'Winter Stream', soon to be shown in the 'Paintings' section of Portfolios above, particularly expressed this deeper journey into subject and technique.
He was a runner-up in The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition in 1993 with his translucent portrait "Study in Sunlight" (left). Since then, he has worked and exhibited, not only with Brian Sinfield and The Merriscourt Gallery, but in his studio/gallery on the hill near Compton Abdale. Now, in Northleach, he has been re-visiting his early exploration of abstraction and use of mixed media. His interest in early Buddhist and Egyptian wall paintings, alongside the symbolism contained in number and geometry (two purchased by Barclays Bank in Canary Wharf, London), has richly informed his more recent work.
As a printmaker, Don Cordery uses a traditional French etching press. Traditional printmaking attracts considerable interest and Don is considering offering regular weekend teaching workshops for individuals or small numbers wishing the learn the craft.
Alongside paintings and prints produced in the studio at the rear of the shop, a selection of giclee prints of Don's work will soon be available for sale.
Images produced by Don's wife, Cheryl, a self-taught photographer, will be sold in the form of prints, framed and unframed.
In addition, individual photographic portrait sessions (fondly known as "The Kitchen Sessions") will be offered, although these will only available once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. Cheryl's portraits, which were due to have been shown in the Gallery this month, can be seen instead in the 'Portraits' section in Portfolios.