The public have been invited to visit the Freemasons’ Hall on the 24th June to visit its first Artist in Residence exhibition by Jacques Viljoen as well as the work of nine guest artists. 

Freemasons Hall Covent Garden London

Open to the public from 10 am to 5pm, Rough to Smooth: Art inspired by Freemasonry – past, present and future is an exhibition that is helping to mark the Freemasonry’s official 300th anniversary.

The exhibition will feature 25 pieces of work by the United Grand Lodge of England’s first Artist in Residence Jacques Viljoen, who has invited nine other guest artists to work alongside him to mark the anniversary.

Running until the 1st July, the free exhibition celebrates Freemasonry and its continued role and relevance in society today.

In order to create the exhibition Jacques Viljoen was given  access to objects and spaces within Freemasons’ Hall to create works that will bring Freemasonry to life to a new audience.

Rough to Smooth coincides with an Open Day that allows the public to wonder around the Grade 2 listed building as well as viewing over 150 oil paintings and various sculptures.

Highlights of the display will include Norwegian oil painter Henrik Uldalen’s contemporary yet classic figurative works and Lithuanian artist Elika Bo’s images created by endlessly layering objects.

Brigadier Willie Shackell, Grand Secretary of the United Grand Lodge of England said:“During our momentous tercentenary year, we want not only to look back, but forward to our future, and inspire a new audience about Freemasonry. Jacques Viljoen is a hugely talented individual who has been able to capture something very different, embracing our traditions and heritage in paint. Freemasonry has a long tradition in craft and art and we hope this initiative opens up our unique history to the wider world.”

The Artist in Residence exhibition will be curated by Michael Petry and Roberto Ekholm, whose most recent joint project, Nature Morte was displayed at the National Gallery in Wroclaw and is coming to Guildhall in September.

Talking about becoming the United Grand Lodge of England’s first Artist in Residence, Jacques Viljoen said: “This has been an incredible opportunity to explore an organisation with an intricate and ancient history. I am personally intrigued by spaces where traditional figurative art meets the contemporary art world, where old confronts new, and I feel this resonates with Freemasonry as it examines its role and relevance in society today.”

Rough to Smooth: Art inspired by Freemasonry – past, present and future will be on display at the Freemasons’ Hall from the 24th June until the 1st July. 

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