The Ferens Art Gallery in Hull.
The Ferens Art Gallery in Hull.

Ferens Art Gallery favourites to feature in special exhibition

Iconic and much-loved artworks from Ferens Art Gallery’s permanent collection will be the focus of a special celebratory exhibition later this year.

After months of closure due to the Coronavirus lockdown, the art gallery wants to enable visitors to reunite with the paintings they love.

Ferens Favourites will tell the story of the municipal art collection through the eyes and hearts of the people of Hull, the East Riding and beyond.

Councillor Marjorie Brabazon, chair of Hull Culture and Leisure, said: “Visitors to the gallery have grown-up with these artworks. They are treasured and, in many cases, have inspired people to engage and fall in love with art.

“Lockdown hid these wonderful artworks from us, but only temporarily. This exhibition will be a fitting celebration of our Ferens favourites and will enable visitors to reunite with the artworks they love.”

People are invited to choose their favourite painting in the Ferens permanent collection and explain the reasons for their choice: what it means to them, why they like it, how it makes them feel or how it inspires them.

There’s an entry form and full instructions on how to take part on the dedicated exhibition website.

The permanent collection can be viewed here.

Ferens Art Gallery will be providing updates on Ferens Favourites on social media using the hashtag #FerensFavourites.

Internationally renowned artist Ian McKeever, whose work was celebrated in a major retrospective exhibition at Ferens in 2018, and who grew up in Withernsea, was asked to choose his favourite piece from the collection. He selected Stanley Spencer’s Greenhouse and Garden (1937).

Ian McKeever said: “Just occasionally one sees a painting which for whatever reason sticks in the mind, becomes a part of one’s living consciousness, so to speak. Such a work for me is Stanley Spencer’s modest painting of a bunch of onions hanging on a greenhouse wall, Greenhouse and Garden, which I first saw as a boy at the Ferens in the 1950’s.

“Of all the things one could paint, the grand themes of life, why paint a bunch of humble onions? This question mystified me.”

Ferens permanent collection is one of the outstanding regional art collections in the UK, and includes art treasures dating from the early Renaissance (1300s) to the 21st century. There are almost 800 paintings, covering a wide array of subjects, styles and techniques.

Ferens Favourites is due to open at Ferens Art Gallery towards the end of this year.

Find out more here.

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