2. Exit, pursued by a bear


Artist: Mychael Barratt

Location: Bankside Gallery

Narrative artist Mychael Barratt was born in Toronto, Canada, but considers himself to be a Londoner ever since arriving for what was meant to be a two-week stay over thirty years ago. He has an incredible zeal for his adopted home that is rather infectious, including local settings and recognizable vistas in much of his work.

Mychael’s paintings and prints are steeped in imagery relating to art history, literature, theatre and everything else that overfills his bookshelves. Language and humour are hugely important too; his titles are an integral part of the work, often involving verbal and visual puns and references to artistic and literary themes.

This artwork is shown with the support of Bankside Gallery.

Bankside Gallery is a public art gallery and educational charity, home to the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) and Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE). Situated on the Thames Path just along from the Tate Modern, its vibrant exhibitions celebrate the very best in contemporary water-based media and original print, championing the work of both new and established artists.

*note this work is INSIDE the gallery, which is free entry.

“Exit, pursued by a bear is the most famous stage direction in the history of English language theatre. I think that its enduring appeal comes in part from what we perceive as the surreal impossibility of the situation. For the Elizabethans, however, bears were a very real presence (it’s not for no reason that a street very near to the Globe is called Bear Gardens). Audiences at the time were often frightened by the appearance of the fur-clad actor playing the bear, convinced that it had been borrowed or escaped from the nearby bear baiting arena and news of the stage direction spread. I see it both as a very funny line and an irresistible visual gift.”



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