The Art of Sidney Sime, Artist and Philosopher
Exhibition at the Lightbox, Woking 15 April - 28 May 2017 - Sponsored by
Sidney Sime (1865-1941)
("Illustrative" c 1920)
The work of the late 19th century artist Sidney Sime will be exhibited at the Lightbox gallery and museum in Woking for the first time from 15 April - 28 May 2017. This will be the biggest ever exhibition of the artist's work and inclue many recently restored paintings and illustrations from the collection based in Worplesdon. The exhbition -The Art of Sidney Sime, Artist and Philosopher' will explore the life of Sidney H Sime (1865 - 1941), one of the greatest imaginative artists since Blake, renowned for his book and magazine illustrations, paintings and drawings. His art was shaped by his journey from the coal pits of Lancashire to the world of aristocracy, of the artistes of the London clubs, theatres and music halls. Sime’s fascination with imaginary beasts, hell and the afterlife, is in sharp contrast to his Scottish landscapes and later quiet life in Worplesdon, drawing caricatures in the local inn.
All this can be traced in fine black and white illustrations, theatrical caricatures of actors’ comedians and singers, drawings of bogey beasts, dramatic oils of apocalyptic proportions, and humorous sketches of ordinary men doing everyday jobs, in a marvellous display that has become an important local piece of social history.
(Demon with coal scuttle)
(Old King Cole)
Although his reputation languished for many years, and despite the encouragement of his two aristocratic patrons, Lord Howard de Walden and Lord Dunsany, to exhibit his works publicly, Sime’s reticence and desire for anonymity mostly prevailed. His philosophy of life resulted from a 'profound inquisition into the minds of men' and his great and active brain. His exceptional and original fancy, his penetrating invention and his delicious humour earned for him the distinction of 'genius'.
Lord Howard de Walden wrote, following Sime’s death: “I don’t like the idea of his being forgotten only to be rediscovered in a hundred years hence….I am determined that he should be recognized in spite of himself.”
The purpose built Sime Art Gallery at Worplesdon Memorial Hall from where the exhibits have been selected is home to over 800 items of paintings, drawings and memorabilia by Sime, bequeathed to the Trustees by his widow Mary.
(Portrait of Mary Sime)
The trustees of the Sime Gallery in Worplesdon and sole sponsors, Ewbank’s Auctioneers of Send, thank the The Lightbox gallery and museum for hosting the exhibition to celebrate the memory of and to ‘rediscover’ the Art of Sime. The Trustees are indebted to Ewbank's Auctioneers for their generous sole sponsorship of the exhibition and to NADFAS, GEDFAS, Surrey Museums, Worplesdon Parish Council, Guildford Borough Council, Friends of Guildford House, and individual donors who have supported restoration and conservation of the works shown.
For further information please visit thelightbox.org.uk