TLF – the future.

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  • #10590

    TLF
    Participant

    I quite like Barns Graham's paintings but isn't the point that she can make no claims to have been conducting 'sociological and philosophical enquiry by visual means' in Robert's own words? And didn't have a big library? And wasn't that the reason for the charity?

    Exactly, Marlowe. I quite like WBG's paintings too. Frank has kindly posted the original aims and objectives of TLF, which skirts around the issue of how much TLF should be promoting Lenkiewicz either as a painter or a thinker but seems to prefer him as a collector. As I said, in terms of gaining charitable status at that time, there are good reasons why. Just taking Krauser's point about providing relief to the poor etc., there are of course many other charities that do this and TLF was advised by those professionals that the Bretonside type event is no longer considered to be helping but hindering this aim. So the sensible conclusion I think is don't interfere in things you don't know about and stick to what makes this charity unique. Billy:I don't think there's a fixation on 25 The Parade for its own sake but it fulfils certain criteria outside of its Lenkiewicz history. It occupies a prominent position on The Barbican; it offers reasonable space for the money; it is after all next to the large mural. In reply to your queries:1. Basically the renovation costs on St Saviours are prohibitive for TLF.2. Yes we feel it sustainable in the short/medium term. The longer term will tell its own story but probably depends upon what's done now.3. Plymouth Museum gave good advice on the archive material. Of course SWIB could be useful here but we won't be able to employ a full-time archivist for the foreseeable future.4. Again priority of finances towards primary aims would make this unlikely.Frank:It's not so much a one-liner for its own sake we're after but a clear statement to replace the somewhat arbitrary or downright impossible previous aims in the light of changing circumstance. I think we want to avoid the trap your quotes throw up. We can't be all things to all people. As Lincoln didn't say - you can please some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. Just put Billy, Marlowe and Krauser in the same room to find that out.Good to see some of the regulars back.Rosalind, I'll respond tomorrow.

    #10591

    TLF
    Participant

    More covergae in today's local press:http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/news/Lenkiewicz-museum-plans-hit-wrangle/article-2493098-detail/article.htmlIn response to Rosalind's question, all oil paintings in the permanent collection are here: http://www.lenkiewiczfoundation.org/lenkiewicz_archive.phpWe have also received our first paintings on loan. In addition, TLF owns 35 aesthetic notes (works on paper). All this material comprised the 2009 exhibition at Plymouth City Museum. TLF has all the Project Notebooks save for Vagrancy and Jealousy (missing during the artist's lifetime). There are several volumes of aesthetic notes (or watercolour sketchbooks). There are many 'relationship' notebooks, most only partially by Robert's hand, if at all. A large archive of biographical material including photographs and very extensive diaries dating from the early 70s. The remainder of the library consists of the modern books (not the antiquarian) and there is a nice guide to those by Jason Semmens at the Book Project site:http://www.robertlenkiewicz.org/lenkiewicz-book-collectorTo give some idea of value, all this material will be entered into our Annual Reports at a value of over £1million this year.This must be the starting point for the charity. How is this collection used? First of course it must be assessed in terms of content and condition. The oil paintings are currently being looked at by a restorer.

    #10592

    marlowe
    Participant

    As to Frank's change of question 'TLF - is it the future?', I'll ask in reply: is there anyone who thinks a major exhibition in Bristol should not be a prime objective and could anyone other than TLF achieve it? Maybe the next question for everyone is: since TLF is an educational charity, what events should it be looking to stage in conjunction with this exhibition?

    I would say in a city where his work is not so well known there will need to be a general introduction to Robert and his paintings, maybe some 'painting the Lenkiewicz way' workshops and a higher level talk about the ideas behind the work - one for Krauser to attend!

    #10593

    Frank
    Participant

    At some point in this thread we are going to have to decide if we are looking to identify goals (aims), strategy, vision, a mission statement, TLF objects or indeed “prime objectives”. TLF objects appear to me the right place to start. I believe the current objects provide sufficient degrees of latitude for TLF, they allow it to pursue both commercial and charitable objectives whilst keeping charitable benefits. TLF have the option to de-register as a charity and become fully commercial, but that would sacrifice tax and fundraising advantages. The legacy is contained in a separate trust vehicle and could be authorised for use for any event deemed appropriate by the trustees even purely promotional.However, if TLF remain a charity then its charitable aims must be clear, the promotion of an individual artist (in itself) is not a charitable aim, education and providing relief to the disadvantaged is. Does TLF see its charitable status as a hindrance? I am fond of this object:(2) To provide relief to the poor, the infirm and the aged and in particular by the provision of a Christmas Day meal in the City of Plymouth.But I like it because it reminds me of Robert, is very Plymouth centric and tangible, not because I believe it a significant contribution to organised charitable relief, and yes the Christmas event did carry a certain degree of local visibility. Maybe as part of its evolution TLF has to shed objects like these, but to replace them with what? – Could TLF collaborate with established charities for the poor, infirm, handicapped and socially marginalised rather than directly engaged? Is that enough?There isn’t much commercial mileage in reading rooms these days but it’s clear from the current set of objects that they were set up to facilitate learning, not demonstrate Robert’s prowess as a collector. TLF must come to terms with the true potential of this and keep the philanthropic doors open.

    TLF wrote:
    but a clear statement to replace the somewhat arbitrary or downright impossible previous aims in the light of changing circumstanceIt’s unclear what TLF mean here but circumstances always change, you never know who is reading, what seems impossible now may be just a longer term goal – The key is strategy and persistence.

    TLF wrote:
    is there anyone who thinks a major exhibition in Bristol should not be a prime objective and could anyone other than TLF achieve it?Or equally we could ask

    Frank wrote:
    is there anyone who thinks the Sun is offensive and should be extinguished by an omnipotent forceHmmmm no, didn’t think so either.

    #10594

    TheWolfman
    Participant

    maybe some 'painting the Lenkiewicz way' workshops and a higher level talk about the ideas behind the work - one for Krauser to attend!

    #10595

    gbl
    Participant

    I think the Bristol Acedemy is the ideal next step for an exhibition location & venue - closer to the so called 'mainstream' of London - yet still in the Westcountry where he is known. Bristol is an excellent 'pivot-point' in that respect.

    ...maybe some 'painting the Lenkiewicz way' workshops and a higher level talk about the ideas behind the work - one for Krauser to attend!

    #10596

    WEB WEAVER
    Participant

    How about the the possibility of Bristol City goalkeeper and art lover David James attending the forthcoming exhibition?

    #10597

    TLF
    Participant

    The Kurt Jackson exhibition I attended had a DVD about the artist playing, as did the recent Beryl Cook exhibition. TSW have produced suitable features on ROL over the years. In addition there is the tour of the Library and Studio DVD.

    #10598

    marlowe
    Participant

    The original articles sound like running a college or art school. As for a Christmas dinner for tramps, I'm not sure there are any any more. Only a handful turned up in Robert's last few years. I'm fairly amazed the RWA is putting on an exhibition - how many other public galleries in the country would be wiling to take it on? Is there a theme to this exhibition?

    #10599

    TLF
    Participant

    I'm fairly amazed the RWA is putting on an exhibition - how many other public galleries in the country would be wiling to take it on? Is there a theme to this exhibition?

    Well, the show took some negotiating - thanks to one of our trustees - but we hope that it will act as a showcase to persuade others to exhibit Robert's work. There will be a loose overall theme - not a Retrospective - with one or two rooms with more specific themes. Obviously there are more people reading this thread than posting. We'd like to hear from them too as well as the regulars!

    #10600

    gbl
    Participant

    Will you have enough decent paintings for this exhibition, or will you be borrowing some?

    #10601

    TLF
    Participant

    Will you have enough decent paintings for this exhibition, or will you be borrowing some?

    Last year's exhibition at Plymouth Museum contained everything in terms of paintings and works on paper belonging to TLF (apart from a few they banned). That filled the room at the back which adjoins their main gallery. On that basis TLF's collection would just fill one of the smaller rooms at the RWA - out of two very large rooms and three smaller ones - or comprise about 20% of the show. The other 80% will be on loan from various owners. That's why it's such a complex logistical business putting on an exhibition like this and can only be achieved every so often. Then there's all the back-up material to be produced and educational events to organise. Believe me, it's a full-time job.So, if you had any ideas of looking for other venues, you have to either ensure the dates follow consecutively to the day in terms of collection/delivery (bearing in mind most public galleries work up to two years ahead and it's a two/three day de-install/install) or, even worse, send everything back to owners and start from scratch!You may be wondering why we'd even try this but the current board feel that whatever future plans they have, they are dependent upon the wider recognition of Robert's work and this is too good an opportunity to turn down.

    #10602

    Chaya Lenkiewicz
    Participant

    To TLFA question, about access for all. My cousin Chris has just finished a course at Plymouth Art College. He has Muscular Dystrophy and like some other students at the college, he is confined to a wheelchair. When my father linked the ‘main’ studio to the smaller building, 25 Parade, he planned to restore the lift that was in the bedroom area. Obviously this isn’t possible now. To fit in with the rights of the disabled members of the public, businesses occupying older buildings that cannot be adapted with ramps and lifts, have to make every effort to bring their services outside to people (weather permitting). Although my family are very attached to 25 Parade (my father made sure that it was Thais’ birthplace on her birth certificate, as a member of TLF said – Robert’s DNA is in the building), can it realistically be used by all for the listed TLF objectives? How can reading rooms, studios, galleries etc be made available to everyone? My cousin and his friends would love to participate in all these things TLF hope to provide. My father once helped raise money for an electric wheelchair for Chris. Surely it must be possible to find suitable premises where everyone can enjoy Robert’s work, The Plymouth Dome perhaps? Any other ideas?

    #10603

    TLF
    Participant

    Yes, Chaya, good question and it's something we have discussed. The way we had designed Robert's old studio meant that the ground floor had full access but above that would have been difficult. The plan for a lift depended upon the other half of the building so that was out of the question. We did fully consult and the bottom line is that there are allowances made for historic buidings which don't adapt themselves easily to current legislation.I'd say two things:First, the nature of The Barbican means that old buildings are problematic in this respect. Ideally a totally renovated or purpose-designed building would solve this issue but that is almost certainly beyond the reach of TLF financially. And especially in the current climate, it's going to be tough to persuade anyone else to foot the bill.Secondly, TLF sees much of its task as taking Robert's work out to a wider audience. For instance, as an online resource. Also through exhibitions/events in collaboration with organisations which already fully comply with access issues.

    #10604

    gbl
    Participant

    I think creating, running and maintaning a library would be a big undertaking for TLF, with all the legislation, running costs, etc.? Not to mention siting it/finding a location, and all the future legislations that get though-up by 'elf & safety' that are yet to become law - but will later take you by surprise each time a new bit of legislation is invented! An 'online' alternative might be an option as you say. Perhaps you will be forced to make a compromise between the 'art' and the 'literature' at some point?

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