Tuesday, 25 January 2022 | 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Barnett Freedman (1901–58) was a pioneering artist at the interface of modern art and design in 20th century Britain. He was a close friend of artists Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden and Enid Marx who he met at the Royal College of Art in 1922. He was born in East London and his parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. Life was hard and it was his work that took him from his humble beginnings to his subsequent rise to become one of the UK’s most sought-after illustrators and commercial designers who brought art to the masses. He was unusual in that he had experience in both the commercial world and in the art world, having worked at a commercial printing company and in an architects practice but also having studied art at St Martins School of Art and at the Royal College of Art.
Our speaker, Emma Mason, was born in Lancashire and studied History of Art & Italian at Leicester University. After university she worked for many years in the fruit trade as an importer of Italian produce, much of the time based at New Covent Garden in London. In 2002, she and her family moved to Eastbourne in Sussex. Soon after moving to Eastbourne she met artist and printmaker Robert Tavener, who was then in his eighties. The inspiration for setting up the gallery came from Tavener, his work and the conversations she had with him about the craft of printmaking. Her gallery and work space are currently in Lushington Lane in central Eastbourne, where she specialises in work by artist printmakers working in Britain from the 1940s onwards. She has curated exhibitions in partnership with other galleries, including being guest curator at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester for the exhibition in 2020, “Barnett Freedman Designs for Modern Britain”.
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