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Book Launch in London 2008

Date: 2 Jul 2008

Painting at the Edge of the World, The Watercolours of Tony Foster

Bankside Gallery, sited on the Thames in London.

The launch of Tony Foster's book, Painting at the Edge of the World, The Watercolours of Tony Foster, was opened at The Royal Watercolour Society (RWS), Bankside Gallery, London, UK on 2 July 2008 by Professor Duncan Robinson, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

The gallery is sited on the Thames just up-river of the Tate Modern and the Millennium Footbridge.

Bankside Gallery Chairman, John Thirlwell, spoke of the nearly two hundred years of the RWS and how it was set up as a break-away from the Royal Academy to support artists painting with water-based media on paper. He spoke of his pleasure in having the opportunity of having Tony Foster's work on display and introduced the guest speaker, Professor Duncan Robinson.

Professor Duncan Robinson opening the exhibition at the RWS Bankside Gallery, 2 July 2008

Professor Duncan Robinson spoke of Tony Foster's "unusual self-effacing approach to his work based on his intention is to promote the concept of the primacy of the subject rather than the personality of the painter, that he should faithfully record what he sees and experiences and not use artistic tricks to embellish or romanticise the work: that finding the best vantage point to paint from is worth spending much time and effort: that his task is to draw the viewer into something of what it was like to be there, sometimes for weeks: that these beautiful wildernesses are worthy of profound respect and that they should be valued and protected."

Guests at the Bankside Gallery

He talked of of Tony's ability to "motivate and mobilise travelling companions to help him meticulously plan and undertake arduous and sometimes risky journeys to remote and inaccessible painting sites: and then to work there painstakingly putting watercolour onto paper, sometimes in the most inhospitable of conditions"

To his works he adds natural and artificial objects picked up along the way along with diary notes that help the viewer in some measure to share his own experience and feel their own emotional response to the subject."

Tony Foster signing a catalogue

Tony Foster thanked Duncan Robinson, John Thirlwell and the dedicated team at the Bankside Gallery who had made such a success of hanging the pictures and promoting the exhibition.

The exhibition at Bankside Gallery in London ran until 20 July 2008 when it moved to the USA.