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[Gallery150] [Coventry Telegraph]

1st Aug 2012
Thank you for entering the Coventry Open 2012. I am delighted to inform you that your work was selected by the judges for our exhibition.
Rosie Addenbrooke - Senior Exhibitions and Events Officer - Herbert Art Gallery

Gallery 150 in its new location in the centre of Royal Leamington Spa, Livery Street, in the Royal Court Shopping Precinct was honoured to house the work of Roy Meats. This work is very different from much that goes on in the name of painting today. To get a broad brush and sweep it across a canvas and see a huge green area appear, as does Howard Hodgin is not the way of Roy Meats. He pays attention to detail and his background as a sign writer ensures his message has always had to be clear and immediately understood. Where’s the Victoria pub, or the Castle or the Lion one asks and by looking for the pub signs one easily locates them.

His exhibition at Gallery 150 was full of the brilliance of technical accomplishment. You want a painting of an owl in flight, over a lake hedged with trees, at night, you’ll get it. You want an image of your dog which you will never forget and can take to your grave, you’ll get it. You want a tiger, tiger burning in the night, you’ll get it. This is a painter who never flinches from clarity, where the slightest detail is caught to perfection, and you marvel. The Victorians would have loved this painting as they did of Landseer (1802 – 73), remember the lions at the base of Nelson’s coloumn, for he has many of that artist’s attributes. Think of all those hours spent attempting to render a nude figure, or a landscape or a raven and then compare your efforts with those of Meats and you could despair, or give up the challenge. This is an artist, who could copy the dog and the mirror in ‘Arnolfini and his Wife’ (1434) by Jan van Eyck with no difficulty. It was an enormous and very successful exhibition with a huge number of paitings and a variety of subject matter. People loved it, for they could measure the time it would take to complete a piece. No quick fix here. They could see right into an eye, they could understand the physicality of a cloud before it dissolved, they had confirmed the actuality of water, their hearts could melt as they identified love for a dog. Humanism prevailed and we were reassured that things hadn’t after all, changed that much.

Dave Phillips - Dec 2010

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