As the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee approaches, many of our local shops, restaurants, parks and pubs have unrolled the bunting, raised the Union Jacks and released the corgis. Interest in the Jubilee celebrations is reaching a peak, with street parties and celebrations planned up and down the country.
But here at Blue & Berry Art Gallery, we are offering visitors a unique artistic perspective on the historic event.
The gallery is hosting an important artwork by the celebrated artist Stephen Raw, whose eclectic pedigree includes sitting on the Royal Mint Design Advisory Committee, teaching at the National Arts School in Papua New Guinea and working as Artist-in-Residence at Manchester Cathedral.
The Crown, Raw’s latest collaboration with former Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, is a 3D watercolour column that brings together Duffy’s evocative words and Raw’s vibrant palette.
This extraordinary column was originally exhibited at the Queen’s Gallery, Holyrood House, and is now privately housed at Windsor Castle, where it is not available for public viewing. Blue & Berry Art Gallery is now offering the public a chance to view the only replica made
for display by Raw. A unique and powerful acquisition, the column will be signed by both Stephen Raw and Carol Ann Duffy in the presence of the investor.
The Crown is by no means the only acclaimed creation from the pair, yet its topical significance makes it an extremely special acquisition. Duffy and Raw’s previous collaborations include
Ritual Lighting, an anthology containing some of Duffy’s most celebrated poems, beautifully illuminated in Raw’s distinctive colours. Blue & Berry are thrilled to also be presenting Richard, Raw’s illuminated watercolour of Duffy’s moving tribute to a controversial king. Written for the re-interment of Richard III at Leicester Cathredal in 2015, the poem was read by Benedict Cumberbatch before the congregation.
Monarchy may always have been a compelling subject for art and poetry, but with Raw and Duffy’s creations it is brought forward for a nuanced, contemporary creative analysis; the nature of monarchy and service is considered sensitively through Duffy’s verse, whilst Raw’s illuminations serve to embolden and vitalise both subject and language.
Whether you are monarchist, libertarian or anarchist, Stephen Raw’s remarkable artworks offer visitors to Blue & Berry a rare and enriching piece of artistic and cultural history.