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Coffee helps artist conjure up a kiss
Published 28/07/14

Nacera Guerin says it can take years to find the inspiration for one of her works.

The artist from Dunsden completed a fortnight exhibition at the Old Fire Station Gallery in Henley on Wednesday.

Her work was among 30 pieces of sculpture, drawings and paintings featured in La Liberté d’Expression that was compiled by seven professional artists.

Two of them, Emma Bruce and Lucy Critchlow, live in Henley.

Nacera showed Henley Mayor Martin Akehurst around the exhibit and told him about The Kiss, one of her favourite pieces on show.

She said: “I throw everything on to canvas with ink and dyes and I then take out what I can see using charcoal. With this one I threw coffee on it - without milk - and then I did the same with ink and dye. I used three different types of dye.

“I like to discover the movement and the emotion of what is there rather than be precise.

“You need to be able to see what it is showing you and not mess it up. In the beginning I saw different things such as a baby on a back. People would come to me and say that they could see this or that. I didn’t want them to tell me what they saw but instead wanted to focus on what I saw.

“It does depend on the picture but they can take more than two years to create. The Kiss took about that long.”

Nacera, who also does bronze sculptures, says her working methods sometimes can lead to a lot of time-wasting. “I do it all outside. When it rains, and I forget, my work gets washed away.”

Nacera describes herself as “French-American”. She lived in America, France and Switzerland before moving to Dunsden five years ago. She says there are many talented artists in Henley and the gallery is a “beautiful space”.

She urged more people to visit, adding: “We want to show people what they are missing.”

PUBLISHED 28/07/14

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