“Music and painting are, in my view, as with all art genres, seeking the same truth.”
In this exhibition we show a collection of 23 paintings by Chris Gollon, which were the climax of a two-year period 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 to 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 and desire. 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.
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 the song Gimme Some Wine, which she then dedicated to Chris Gollon. She played it live for him at concerts 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. 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). A new version of the song is now 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.
The album and documentary 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.
In a unique evening in November 2021 at Manchester’s Louder Than Words Festival, in a live performance, Eleanor McEvoy playedGimme Some Wine, 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. Chaired by Roisin Dwyer, it was followed by an ‘in conversation’ with David Tregunna (Gollon’s gallerist and friend) and Eleanor McEvoy, which explored how Gollon and McEvoy worked together, and what it was creatively that each gave the other’s work.
A TV documentary being made on Chris Gollon's life and work is currently being made, which will feature an interview with Eleanor about her collaboration with Chris, and the music and paintings that emerged from their artistic boundary crossing.
A full-colour 36-page exhibition catalogue is available here: Shop
Further information on Chris Gollon: Estate of Chris Gollon
Purchase 'Gimme Some Wine' the new album by Eleanor on CD here: Golden Discs
Further information on Eleanor McEvoy tour dates: www.eleanormcevoy.com
Exhibition reviewed: Artlyst