In June this year, Swindon’s impressive collection of Modern British Art received a significant addition with an anonymous donation of fifty works of prints, paintings and drawings, in appreciation of Meryl Ainslie’s services to the Arts.

The works were given to the Museum and Art Gallery to enhance the already established collection and as an expression of support for the continued work towards a proposed new Museum and Art Gallery for Swindon.

A selection of the works were on display in ‘The Lie of the Land’ exhibition which closed on Saturday 18 November, and now a large selection of the remaining gifts will be displayed in ‘Paper: Drawings, prints and works on paper from the Swindon Collection’, an exhibition which opens on Wednesday 29 November and runs through till Saturday 14 April.

The exhibition features some fascinating examples of modern art.  It includes drawings, watercolours and prints by modern and contemporary artists and demonstrates the huge range of effects that can be created using paper and imagination.

Works featured include those by Allen Jones, Nicholas Monro, Michael Ayrton, Basil Beattie and Katherine Jones. These are displayed alongside prints by Joe Tilson, Eduardo Paolozzi and Cecil Collins, and drawings by George Clausen, Gwen John and Michael Craig-Martin.

Alongside ‘Paper’, we are also exhibiting works by important local artist, Janet Boulton, which also opens on 29 November and runs till Saturday 20 January.

Known internationally for her watercolours and paper relief works, Boulton was born in Swindon and attended the Swindon School of Art and Design. She went on to study at Camberwell School of Art, before returning to work as an art teacher at Swindon College, Commonweal School and Hereod Parkway.

In 1977, Swindon Museum and Art Gallery hosted an exhibition of the artist’s work called ‘Windows and Reflections’ so this is a welcome return to Swindon for Janet Boulton’s thoughtful artistic perspective. Swindon is increasingly known for its modern British art collection and Boulton’s own work embodies the innovation and distinct artistic voice which has characterised recent British art, while providing a subtle counterpoint to its more strident tendencies. It is appropriate that in 2017, to accompany this exhibition, Swindon has acquired three of the paintings originally displayed in her September 1977 show.


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