It is always exciting to stumble upon a collection of wonderful paintings hidden from the light of day for decades.
Between the years 1961-1966 the Australian born artist, Antonia Black, better known today for her effervescent watercolours, studied at The Slade School of Art in London in contact, with such alumni as Geoffrey Camp, Frank Auerbach, Harold Cohen, Keith Vaughan and John Piper, her greatest influence being Frank Auerbach with whom she worked for two years.
The Slade, one of the most prestigious art schools in the world was then renowned for instilling into its pupils the values of traditional painting and sculpture, exemplified today in the values of the New English Art Club. It was founded in 1871 as a result of a bequest from Felix Slade who envisaged a school where fine art would be studied within a liberal arts university. In offering female students education on equal terms as men from the outset, the Slade played a key part in the introduction of women to UCL. Since its inception the Slade has been at the forefront of developments in the field of contemporary art.
The Slade paintings that Antonia produced during that time, have graced the walls and corridors of her house in Alderton in Gloucestershire, and have never been shown before. It is these, quite extraordinary works, rich in colour and imagery that are the focus of this current exhibition.