The lives of Colin and Jennifer Beales and their contributions to The Ken Stradling Collection

This introductory text is part of the display information that I wrote for ‘The Beales Bequest’ exhibition 

 Colin Beales 11 July 1931 – 22 August 2014

Jennifer Beales 23 July 1934 – 24 November 2014

A view of the exhibitionThis is an exhibition celebrating the lives of Colin and Jennifer Beales. It commemorates their shared interests and influences in art and design, particularly in association with The Ken Stradling Collection and The Bristol Guild of Applied Arts.

Colin worked as an architect and designer in Bristol from the 1950s, after studying at the RWA School of Architecture. He was initially an architect with the Bristol City Council but later joined the Dickinson Robinson Group and was the architect and interior designer for The Dickinson Robinson Building at 1 Redcliffe Street, Bristol (1963), the city’s first ‘skyscraper’. He had a vast knowledge of 20th century art and design, and was greatly influenced by Modernism. In retirement, Colin became an accomplished potter. Several of his pots were bought by Ken Stradling, director of The Bristol Guild, and are now part of The Ken Stradling Collection.

Jennifer was primarily interested in printing, etching and painting. She took printing classes at The Bristol School of Art, and drew with local artist Rachel Hemming Bray. She was largely more traditional in her tastes, being an admirer of the Impressionists, as well as of Cezanne, Van Gogh, and Italian painters such as Giorgio Morandi.  Continue reading

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The opening of The Beales Bequest exhibition at The Ken Stradling Collection

The Beales Bequest PosterA version of this article is on The Ken Stradling Collection website

From tomorrow, Wednesday 14th January, the latest exhibition at The Ken Stradling Collection will be open to the public. I have co-curated this show, entitled The Beales Bequest, and wrote the gallery’s information texts. I also contribute to their blog, and will be writing a series of blog posts about individual objects featured in this exhibition.

The Beales Bequest revolves around the eclectic objects that a Bristol architect and founding trustee of The Ken Stradling Collection left with his artist wife to the Collection when they died last year.

Colin and Jennifer Beales were great friends with Ken Stradling. Colin often drove around Bristol with Ken, and they travelled together to parts of Europe, to view or purchase furniture, ceramics and art. He in particular had a long association with The Bristol Guild. Jennifer also made significant contributions, such as formulating the title of the Collection’s catalogue, “The Incidental Collector”, which Colin helped to write and edit.

On display in the exhibition there will be a great variety of ceramics by many important British makers from the 20th and 21st centuries. Think Dan Arbeid (who The Guardian has described as “one of the pioneers of unconventional vessel-based handbuilt forms”), Mick Casson, Stig Lindberg and Herbert Krenchel.

There will also be bold and often humorous pieces of glasswork and sculpture, as well photographs of Colin’s main architectural projects and some of the Beales’ own art – pottery, etchings and paintings – exhibited too.

The Beales Bequest will be open to view every Wednesday 10 – 4pm and by appointment until 11th March (the exhibition has been extended beyond the original date of the 4th February).

Pieces by Stig Lindberg, Erik Hoglund and Herbert Krenchel

Pieces by Stig Lindberg, Erik Hoglund and Herbert Krenchel