Naked Music (2015 – 2016)

A gallery passed, an artist admired, a painting bought,
a new album born, inspiring new images……

2014, Chris Gollon’s  painting ‘CHAMPAGNE SHEILA’  bought by Eleanor McEvoy and collected from IAP Fine Art, London, and some music left for Chris and his agent David Tregunna to listen to.

Eleanor McEvoy loved the painting, Chris and his agent David seemed to love the music. Cut to Norwich February 2015, Chris Gollon’s national touring exhibition “Incarnation, Mary and Women from the Bible” in the beautiful Norman Cathedral had just opened with the artist in attendance. Eleanor went to the exhibition, lunches with Chris and David and squeezes them both into her sold out “ALONE” club show in The Bicycle Shop, Norwich.

The outcome: heaps of chat, mutual respect and admiration and a wish to find some way of working together.

Eleanor was, at the time, wrapping up some recording. In this venture she was “studio-performing” on her own, ie playing hers and others’ songs as she might in her solo show. The recordings have a very exposed intimacy. It seemed a possibility that Chris should be asked to do a painting for the cover in this solitary context.

More to-ing and fro-ing and the recordings as a collection acquired the name ‘NAKED MUSIC’. This gave a better focus to the two artists’ desire for mutual expression. Being offered this title, and with some song suggestions, instead of just one image Chris was so taken with the songs he completed four paintings in response. Two on the ‘Naked’ theme, and two others related to song titles and lyrics. The first ‘Dreaming of Leaving’ was written by Eleanor and Lloyd Cole. The other ‘Lubbock Woman’ a downtrodden cameo, is a song by West Texan legend Terry Allen. The paintings were such a hit, that all four talked their way into the Naked Music CD artwork.

The images, the CD artwork, sat in pride of place in the Metropolis Studio and exerted some influence on the mastering and final track order.

Next, Chris Gollon continued to take ideas and inspiration for paintings from the new songs. An exhibition then came about on the theme of ‘NAKED MUSIC’, with his whole series of paintings inspired by all the new album tracks by Eleanor McEvoy, some co-written with Dave Rotheray (from The Beautiful South) and with Lloyd Cole and Nat Johnson. Visitors came to experience the new Eleanor McEvoy album and the new Chris Gollon imagery side by side.

The exhibition at Gallery Different in Percy St, London W1 (curated and organised by IAP Fine Art) ran for 3 weeks.

Eleanor McEvoy’s new album ‘Naked Music’ was launched in London in
‘Naked Music – The Exhibition (music by Eleanor McEvoy, paintings by Chris Gollon)’, with Eleanor playing LIVE in a sell-out show in the gallery.  Having performed at the opening,  Eleanor toured England and Wales and was featured widely on UK radio, including an interview on BBC Radio 2 by Richard Madeley.

NAKED MUSIC by Eleanor McEvoy & Chris Gollon
was curated by IAP Fine Art at GALLERY DIFFERENT, 14 Percy St, London W1T 1DR. 2 5th Jan – 11th Feb 2016.

To listen to the songs that inspired these paintings, you can buy the CD here: Amazon.

To purchase the NAKED MUSIC Songbook, with all the songs and many of the paintings, plus interviews, click: Songbook.