Fermynwoods Friday 25 – Alex Calinescu

In 2007 Fermynwoods curated an exhibition of new paintings and prints by Alex Calinescu – work created in London between 2006 and early 2007. Longtime supporter of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art Louise Davies recounts her memories of the exhibition and how it resonated with the quiet, homely welcome, which we hope endures to this day as we infiltrate the everyday in public spaces.

The stillness in rhythm, the quietness of breath, and the subtleties of space and connection. In 2007, London-based artist Alex Calinescu was invited to hold a solo exhibition at The Water Tower in Fermyn Woods – a place that by its very location, reflects and complements these qualities. The huge white spaces of the interior, the meadow flowers and summer breezes outside, and the passion for art that Rosalind Stoddart (the founder and then curator) brought to the event, provided the perfect backdrop to Alex’s quietly stunning canvases.

I was and continue to be a keen supporter of Fermynwoods Contemporary Art and recall several visits to the exhibition in 2007, drawing from it and from its location a sense of calm, stillness, and wonderment. The Water Tower was a very special place; an unusual place in many respects as it was also Rosalind’s home. This brought an immediate ease to a viewing – none of the slightly distant, beautifully dressed guardians of the London galleries. Instead a piece of homemade cake, a warm, enthusiastic welcome from Rosalind and an immediate endorsement of the art on the walls. A commercial gallery may have an eye to the market, but a gallery in your own home speaks entirely of passion and personal preference. It was a privilege to be invited in and to share it.

Since then I have attended many of Alex’s exhibitions and have been fortunate enough to visit her Deptford-based studio on a number of occasions. Her work has continued to evolve, but the relationship between rhythm and stillness and the exploration of the space between line and form remains. With a passion born well before the exhibition and expressed in perfect harmony at the exhibition, Alex continues to explore and search for the quietness and stillness in art and in life. The Water Tower is no longer a gallery space, but Alex’s work, including a few canvases remaining from that time, can be viewed online or by private appointment at her studio.

Louise Davies

Alex Calinescu - Fermynwoods Contemporary Art
Image: Alex Calinescu, New paintings and prints, The Water Tower

This project was supported by Arts Council England.

Look out for more Fermynwoods Friday posts each week looking back on some of our favourite projects.