From October 15th, this exhibition can be viewed at IAP Fine Art, and shows a collection of 23 paintings by Chris Gollon, which were the climax of two years of artistic boundary crossing with singer-songwriter Eleanor McEvoy. From 2015 – 2017, a very creative to-and-fro of images and lyrics took place, since they literally spoke to each other through their work, each taking the other’s art form somewhere new.
It began with Eleanor buying a painting by Chris Gollon called ‘Champagne Sheila’, a very sensitively painted nude, a woman in middle age drinking too much champagne. The painting directly led to the concept of McEvoy’s 2016 album NAKED MUSIC, looking at ageing and female vulnerability. On that album was a song she co-wrote with Lloyd Cole, called ‘Dreaming of Leaving’, which in turn prompted Gollon to paint an image inspired by those lyrics.
Eleanor McEvoy was so taken with ‘Dreaming of Leaving’ (the painting), she not only bought it and used both it, and three others on her album cover; but the image inspired her to write a song ‘Gimme Some Wine’, which she then dedicated to Chris Gollon. She played it live for him in London and Monmouth in 2016. Gollon was very taken with the song, so much so, he made it the theme for his next 23 paintings. As fate would have it, given his untimely death in 2017, they turned out to be his last great series of works on a single theme.
The acclaim for these works is ever-growing, as is interest in how a painter and singer-songwriter could work together so productively, and how this very unusual dialogue worked.
In summer 2021, it became the subject of an award-winning documentary short: ‘Gimme Some Wine: The Story of a Song’ (Director: Mark Calderbank). Launching on 15th October, a new version of the song is also the title track of Eleanor McEvoy’s latest album Gimme Some Wine (Blue Dandelion Music, 2021), with Chris Gollon’s painting ‘Gimme Some Wine – Final Version’ on the cover.
These two events now combine with this online exhibition, and publication of a new fine art monograph, featuring all 23 paintings, with texts by Eleanor McEvoy, art historian Mary Rose Beaumont and curator Wilfrid Wright.
Furthermore, in a unique evening at Manchester’s Louder Than Words Festival, Eleanor McEvoy will play Gimme Some Wine live, as well as other songs from the new album, followed by the first public screening in the UK of the award-winning documentary Gimme Some Wine: The Story of a Song. This will be followed by a live Q&A with David Tregunna (Gollon’s gallerist and friend) and Eleanor McEvoy, chaired by Roisin Dwyer, which will explore how Gollon and Mcevoy worked together, and what each gave the other’s work.