The latest exhibition from Katesgrove artist Robert Fitzmaurice runs until 11 May at the Peacock Gallery, Maiden Erlegh School. It is called To and Fro and is subtitled a reflection on the treaty ports of Canton.
It is an imaginative reflection upon the shared obsessions and interactions between Britain and China in the 19th century, but it also resonates with contemporary issues surrounding cultural identity, independence and trade. These narratives also find their counterpoint in the contrasts I have sought between materials as used in Western painting and traditional Chinese art.
The historical context of the works is the period of the Opium Wars between Britain and China, 1839-1842 and 1856-1860.
The Peacock Gallery is part of the community arts centre at Maiden Erlegh School, Silverdale Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 7HS. The exhibition is open on weekdays from 3pm to 4.30pm and on Saturday 29 April and 6 May from 10am to 3pm.