50 over 50

Finally got to see the 50 over 50 exhibition at the University of Brighton Gallery, Grand Parade, part of the Celebrating Age Festival. I was very impressed by the standard (why am I surprised?) and enjoyed almost all of the exhibits. Chris Stevens' oil 'Versace', depicting a young black man against a wall decorated by NF grafitti, is a worthy winner of the 5 grand prize and I loved another big canvas 'Turkish market' by Judith Jarvis. Most of all I was drawn to the pencil works: David Crew's 'Hidden Past' of a graveyard (worryingly, quite a few of the exhibits studied illness and death!) and the thin reversed out abstract lines by Geoff Catlow, who must get himself a life! Liz Skulkina's graphite-like prints on draughtsman's paper are wonderfully subtle, but two layers would have sufficed. There are also a few pieces of sculpture: notably Michael Allen's giant fabric flea, and Joan Ainley's multiple of a camouflaged poppy 'Search: recall reflect remember' stood out. The only local I recognised was Roger Bamber, and there was quite a lot of outstanding photography besides his. So why wasn't judge Cyril Mount represented? And why only 50? Maybe next year it'll be 60 over 60! The exhibition continues until the end of August. Don't miss it!

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