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Well over fifty years ago, I was a newly qualified Art teacher in my first teaching post at Chelmsford Technical High School. I was full of the desire to share my enthusiasm for Art and eager to create experiences to help my students to discover themselves through my teaching.
Successful lessons were measured in the level of response and enthusiasm for their work from the whole class, but it was inevitable to want to find signs of promise in individual students.
Roger Mirecki, as I knew him then, was a boy who clearly showed skill in detailed draughtsmanship and commitment to his work.
As his Form Teacher it was clear that the same commitment extended to many school activities, including Music and Science.
The Art Department in the school were surprised when, at the age of 15, he decided not to opt for my 'A' level Art class. He explained this recently that the school's subject grouping did not allow him to follow his interest in Science and Art. It was, at the time, a great personal disappointment.
Many years later, I was working with a school group visit to Chelmsford Museum where I saw a large and impressive landscape painting of a scene I knew well, Chappel Railway Viaduct and painted by my former pupil Wladyslaw Mirecki. Recently I moved back into the Chappel area and resolved to take the opportunity of meeting him again. So I called at the Chappel Art Gallery.
One of many reasons for my visit was to return to him his own detailed drawing of a steam locomotive in Indian Ink on school-work cartridge paper. It had been sent to the Royal Drawing Society to be awarded their Diploma of Merit (c.1969).
During my career as an Art teacher, I had used this picture, along with others, in schools in Essex and included it in a portfolio of students' work at career interviews as an example of what "I could do as a teacher" to be told at one interview that they were considered too good to be students' work.
I was delighted to be invited to write this introduction and glad to be able to add some detail to the start of Wag's artistic career. I wish him every success with the new exhibition and want to add my compliments for a remarkable collection of watercolours which give us examples of his lifetime commitment and detailed affection for the natural world through his eyes.
1956 Born Chelmsford, Essex of Polish parents. He is self-taught, having painted all his life including periods whilst gaining his science degree at Kingston Polytechnic, London (1975-78); as an industrial designer and co-proprietor of Chappel Galleries (1986 – ).
1988 New English Art Club, Mall Galleries, London
1989 Epping Forest District Museum “Artists in Essex”
1989 Beecroft Art Gallery, Westcliffe on Sea, Essex 31st Open Exhibition
1990 Chappel Galleries, Essex Solo Exhibition
1991 Foyles Art Gallery, London
1992 Department of Transport Art Competition, Mall Galleries, London
1992 Deuxieme Salon Biennale de L’Aquarelle, Hirson, France (Chelmsford 1993)
1996 Chappel Galleries, Essex10th Anniversary Exhibition: Solo Exhibition
1997 Singer and Friedlander, Sunday Times Exhibition, London
1997 Beecroft Art Gallery, Essex: Open Exhibition
1998 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition
1999 Jiangsu Provincial Art Gallery, Nanjing, China: Solo Exhibition
1999 Chappel Galleries, Essex Solo Exhibition
2002 Chappel Galleries, Essex Blyth Spirit “Walberswick Artists 1880-2000
2003 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition
2003 WH Pattersons, London Christmas Mixed Exhibition
2004 Royal Academy, London Summer Exhibition
2004 WH Pattersons, London Christmas Mixed Exhibition
2004 Dove’s Barn, Suffolk
2006 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition
2007 Royal Watercolour Society Open Competition, Bankside Gallery, London
2007 Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, Mall Galleries, London
2007 Royal Society of British Artists Annual Exhibition Mall Galleries, London: Winner of the Edward Wesson Award.
2007 Beecroft Art Gallery, Westcliffe on Sea, Essex 49th Essex Open Exhibition: Awarded Prize and Shirley Robson Bowl for the best watercolour
2007 Chappel Galleries, Essex ‘Southwold, the East Coast’
2007 Sunday Times/Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Watercolour Competition, The Mall Galleries, London: 3rd Prize Winner
2007 Lynn Painter-Stainers, London
2007 Chichester Open Art Exhibition, Chichester
2007 Royal West of England Academy 155th Autumn Exhibition, Bristol
2007 New English Art Club, The Mall Galleries, London
2008 RWS/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition, Bankside Gallery, London
2008 Lynn Painter-Stainers, London (third prize winner)
2009 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition
2009 Lynn Painter-Stainers, London
2010 Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 198th Annual Exhibition: The Mall Galleries, London
2010 Eastern Open, King’s Lynn Arts Centre
2010 The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition’s 23rd Year (2nd prize winner): The Mall Galleries, London
2010 Duncan Campbell Fine Art, London: Solo Exhibition
2011 Exhibition at Handelsbanken, Colchester; celebrating their new branch.
2011 Sunday Times/Smith Williamson Watercolour Competition 2011: The Mall Galleries, London
2011 Discerning Eye Exhibition: Mall Galleries, London
2012 Piers Feetham Gallery, London: Solo Exhibition
2012 Lyn Painter-Stainers, The Mall Galleries, London
2012 Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition
2012 Norwich Castle Open Art Show
2013 Chelmsford Borough Museum: Two Man Exhibition with Paul Rumsey
2013 Studio Eleven, Westcliff on Sea, Essex: ‘Kiss the Joy’ mixed exhibition
2013 Royal Society of British Artist, Annual Exhibition: The Mall Galleries, London (invited Artist)
2014 March 1st-30th ‘…just as it is…’ Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo Exhibition
2014 September Sunday Times/ Smith Williamson Watercolour Competition: The Mall Galleries, London and touring
2015 Lyn Painter-Stainers: The Mall Galleries, London 16th to 21st February 1st prize winner
2015 Piers Feetham Gallery, London: Solo Exhibition 19th March to 11th April
2016 The Arborealists: St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, Hampshire
2017 John Russel Gallery, Ipswich, Suffolk: Solo Exhibition
2017 The Arborealists: Nature in Art Museum Art Gallery,Twigworth, Gloscester
2017 The Arborealists: Les Dortoirs des Moins, St Benoit, Poitiers, France
2018 March 3rd – 1st April Chappel Galleries, Essex: Solo exhibition
2018 The Arborealists: John Davies Gallery, Moreton-in-Marsh June dates tba
Black Swan Arts, Frome 20 July – 2 September
St Ives Society of Artists 29 September – 24 November
2019 Les Arborealistes: Collegiate Saint-Croix, Loudin
2019-2020 Arborealists at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire
2020 Coastal Scenes Exhibition 2020 Solo exhibition 20th June to 19th July Chappel Galleries, Essex
2020 Browse & Darby, London ‘Six Painters’ selected by Andrew Lambirth 10 September to 8 October
2021 ‘Being with Trees Gustavo Bacarisas, Galleries, Gibraltar
2021 The Fitzwilliam Museum, ‘Scent from Nature: Beauty’s botanical origins’ includes the painting ‘Bluebells in Chalkney Woods’ by Wladyslaw Mirecki,18th May to Sunday 31st October
2021 ‘Concrete Castles’ Bodmin Keep Cornwall 27 July – 4 December and tour until 2023/2024
2021 Chappel Galleries, Essex ‘Just Waj’ Watercolours Old & New by Wladyslaw Mirecki 4 – 19 September
2023 Solo Exhibition, Chappel Galleries: Watercolours 2019-2023, 30th September to 29th October
2023 ‘Concrete Castles’ Monmouth Museum until December 2023
2024 ‘Concrete Castles’ Royal Engineers, Gillingham January 2024 for 2 months
1989 Essex County Council
1999 Jiangsu Province Art Museum, People’s Republic of China
1999 Jiangsu Province Department of Culture, People’s Republic of China
2000/09 Chelmsford Museums, Essex
2000 Ipswich Borough Council Museums & Galleries, Suffolk
2012 Colchester and Ipswich Museums (on behalf of Colchester Borough Council)
2016 Beecroft Art Galley/Southend on Sea Museum, Essex
2016 Our Lady Immaculate, Catholic Primary School, Chelmsford, Essex
2018 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
2019 National Railway Museum, York
2000 February Edition, Jiangsu Art Monthly
2000 April Edition, Artists & Illustrators Magazine
2003 ‘A Walk in the Country’: Introduction by Richard Scott – 32pp Monograph, Published by Chappel Galleries, Essex
2006 “Southwold: An Earthly Paradise” by Geoffrey Munn.
2006 Wladyslaw Mirecki at Fifty: Introduction by Simon Frazer – 32pp Monograph, Published by Chappel Galleries, Essex
2006 BBC Television Programme: ‘Seven Man-made Wonders of the East’ featuring, Mirecki and his paintings of Chappel Viaduct
2003 2009 ‘On My Doorstep’: Introduction by Laura Gascoigne published by Chappel Galleries, Essex
2009 The Spectator “Winter Fine Arts” by Andrew Lambirth November issue
2009 Jackdaw Magazine “Easel Words” May/June issue
2009 The Artist Magazine “Masterclass” November issue
2009 Pratique des Arts, France issue no. 89 November 2009 – feature.
2010 Duncan Campbell exhibition brochure: Introduction by Andrew Lambirth
2012 Jackdaw Magazine Jan/Feb 2012 page 36 : News ‘That Beckham Tattoo’
2012 ‘Closely Observed’ Landscape – East Anglia and Beyond: Introduction by Andrew Wilton published by Piers Feetham Gallery, London.
2012 Lynn Painter Stainers catalogue page 11 ‘Holme Valley, Yorkshire’
2012 ‘Around and About: Introduction by David Lee editor of ‘Jackdaw’ published Chappel Galleries, Essex.
2014 ‘…just as it is…’ Introduction by Mark Curteis, Curator Chelmsford Museum, published by Chappel Galleries, Essex
2015 ‘New Landscape Watercolours’ Introduction by Andrew Lambirth, published by Piers Feetham Gallery
2016 The Arborealists – The Art of the Tree Introduction by Tim Craven, curator Southampton City Art Gallery published by Sansom & Co.
2017 Les Arborealists L’art des arbres
2018 “…Stand stable, here / And silent be…”: Introduction by Frances Spalding 32pp Monograph Published by Chappel Galleries, Essex
2018 2018 The Arborealists and other Painters, John Davies Gallery, Gloucestershire
2020 September Review; The Oldie ‘Six Painters’ selected by Andrew Lambirth
2021 ‘Being with Trees Gustavo Bacarisas, Galleries, Gibraltar, published by Plato-Beale Productions UK
2021 ‘Concrete Castles’ Bodmin Keep Cornwall 27 July – 4 December, published by Tim Craven
2021 Packs of 32 Postcards of Arches, East, Chappel Viaduct
2021 September Spectator ‘Incredible Hulks’ by Laura Gascoigne
2021 September Country Life ‘Going out on a limb’ by Laura Gascoigne
2023 Packs of 32 Postcards of Arches, West, Chappel Viaduct