Yesterday evening I ventured to the preview night of ‘Traces of Memory’ exhibition at Stockport Art Gallery that took place from 7pm to 9pm. It was bloody cold I tell you and I came earlier finding the gallery doors closed, so I waited outside on the marble stairs for an hour.

The exhibition belongs to an artist, Henry Quick.

Henry Quick in his studio
Henry Quick’s studio at the Vernon Mill Stockport

Henry Quick has associated with art and history since being a student.  Art was hismain course at Teacher Training College in Kent, from 1968-1971. After a long teaching career in Manchester Henry Quick returned to study Art and Design at Stockport College upon his retirement. His studio is located at Vernon Mill Stockport, however he doesn’t stay there all the time, travelling around Europe, often on a bicycle.

F2 Scapa Flow
F2 Scapa Flow by Henry Quick Using leather and mixed media
La Manche by Henry Quick
La Manche by Henry Quick

The inspiration behind his works originates from his interest in the people and places related to the history of the two World Wars. Moreover his father joined as a soldier in the Second World War.

The textured surfaces of the mixed media paintings have links to specific places, therefore their titles can give a clue of where the incorporated found objects are from. Fragments of mess-tins, water-bottles and clothing; pieces of rusted shrapnel, bullet casings and sometimes earth come from the battlefields that Henry Quick visited.

Hillman No. 2 by Henry Quick
Hillman No. 2 by Henry Quick The artist used a real canvas tent (left bottom part).
Detail of Hillman No.2 by Henry Quick
Detail of Hillman No.2 by Henry Quick

Henry Quick frequently returns to those places that impact his work; to the invasion beaches of Normandy, to Ypres and the Somme, to bunkers, blockhouses, cemeteries and museums. Some tactile pieces have been based upon Quick’s love of the sea. A series of paintings derived from a collection of aerial reconnaissance photographs and stories told by World War One participants in the famous 1914 Christmas Truce that also base this exhibition.

Landing craft, Omaha No.3 by Henry Quick
Landing craft, Omaha No.3 by Henry Quick The artist used real bobs and cardboard to give a feeling of metal.
Detail of Landing craft, Omaha No.3 by Henry Quick
Detail of Landing craft, Omaha No.3 by Henry Quick

Not surprisingly some of Henry’s works carry a personal theme. The work below, Talisman (diptych)  carries a personal connection to the artist himself.

Talisman (diptych) by Henry Quick
Talisman (diptych) by Henry Quick
Detail Talisman (diptych) by Henry Quick Rosary belonging to the artist's Aunt.
Detail Talisman (diptych) by Henry Quick
Rosary belonging to the artist’s Aunt, the leather under the rosary is a part from artist’s Uncle’s wooden leg.
Talisman (diptych) by Henry Quick The bulge of the pocket relates to the fact that there are some medals inside
Talisman (diptych) by Henry Quick
The bulge of the pocket relates to the fact that there are some medals inside
Relic Series No.1 and No.2 by Henry Quick They were created using parts of soldiers uniforms from different countries
Relic Series No.1 and No.2 by Henry Quick
They were created using parts of soldiers uniforms from different countries
Detail from Babelplatz by Henry Quick Nine metal drawers, like from army cupboards, with burned notebooks and books inside. Charcoaled with bits missing.
Detail from Babelplatz by Henry Quick
Nine metal drawers, like from army cupboards, with burned notebooks and books inside. Charcoaled with bits missing.
WW1 Battlefield relics that Henry Quick collected
WW1 Battlefield relics that Henry Quick collected
Crossroads, Vouville by Henry Quick
Crossroads, Vouville by Henry Quick

Being the first one in the building gave me the opportunity to meet Henry Quick himself and let me tell you, I was really nervous, but Mr. Quick was really nice and buzzing with energy. He approved of me sketching outside (it was COLD!) the gallery and talked with me about my college project that we are finishing now (you remember my rants about the World War One brief, right?). However, it was difficult to talk with him later, as there was so many people coming inside. I was able to see Mr. Quick welcome his friends and family to the exhibition, furthermore I admit that I listened to his talks about his art (it’s not spying if there is over thirty people next to him?).

Altogether, I am very happy that I visited the preview night.

See ya! 😀

Detail from Gold Beach, Jig/King Sector by Henry Quick
Detail from Gold Beach, Jig/King Sector by Henry Quick
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