On Saturday 2nd February 150 people braved snow and a severe weather warning to attend the private view of the Hibrida III show dedicated to Ian Colverson’s collections and collaborations. This is the first in a trilogy of influential Hibrida III exhibitions taking place this spring, all curated by Colin Lloyd of Bradford School of Art, to form a regional festival of print and contemporary art.
Ian recalled "My first connection with Bradford was through involvement in the acclaimed Print Biennale.
I then received a phone call asking me to come up to discuss setting up
a new printmaking department in Bradford. I was born in London and
mistakenly thought they were talking about Birmingham, so I was
astonished to find it was 200 miles away! But the job was such an
exciting challenge I was delighted to accept. That was back in 1969
when I was 29 and although I retired a few years ago, the MA
Printmaking course continues to thrive under Colin’s leadership.
Bradford College’s Masters in Printmaking course is unique in the
region and this celebrates its range and significance."
Ian has amassed a large personal collection of work by many renowned international artists, reflecting the travels made during his career. He purchased work when he had a fellowship in Rome and during his years as Professor of Art in Los Angeles during 1972 -76 and again in 1982 – 84. Ian said “I bought my first piece in 1961 for 21 shillings from the person who taught me etching. I also collect antiquities and the show also features a number of these, including a Roman arm, Egyptian hieroglyph and some pre-Columbian pieces."
Ian’s sabbaticals not only enriched his teaching each time he returned to Bradford, but his travels considerably expanded his art collection. The exhibition features 138 prints, expertly chosen by Colin Lloyd. Ian explained “Colin’s contribution has been immense. He not only rifled through all our stuff and selected the exhibits but also arranged the hanging to illuminate the messages and themes implied in the work. Some are about the subject matter, others the technique, colour or surface et cetera." Ian joked that his house was now rather bare, although it meant some forgotten pieces had an airing. “I am just glad to be sharing my collection with a wide audience. I am also pleased about the international dimension, with work from North and South America, China and Korea.” Colin added that “Every print in the exhibition, whether from a ‘Big Name’ or a young person is of a very high quality."