Sunday, 24 October 2021

Well-travelled artists will bring taste of Provence

Well-travelled artists will bring taste of Provence

IT’S a rare holiday that proves so captivating it inspires an art exhibition.

But while journeying from Provence to the Pyrenees, neighbours Steve
Davies and Karen Tomalin produced a series of paintings and textile pieces reflecting their impressions of the South of France.

Now they are bringing an exhibition of their artworks to the Old Fire Station Gallery in Market Place.

“From Provence to the Pyrenees” runs from Thursday, April 5, to Tuesday, April 10.

The show offers a chance to compare the artists’ different interpretations and see how they have used colour, shape and texture to create a fascinating document of their travels.

Karen said: “We are based in Wokingham and have been neighbours for 20 years. I have recently started quilting. Steve is an art lecturer at East Berkshire College and has always painted and sketched. Recently we have had two holidays in the south of France with our partners, where Steve would sketch every day.

“We travelled from Béziers to Remy Aux Provence, home of Van Gogh’s sanatorium, via Orange, down to Collioure and the Fauvists, then across to the Pyrenees near Foix.

“We stayed for a week at each base and did the sights. The landscape was quite different — Provence was dry and hot and intense the Pyrenees were very lush and green. The colour and light was quite different.

“We spent time scrambling over any Greek and Roman ruins, castles, cathedrals, gardens, art museums and local galleries and sites of interest.

“We also dropped down into Spain and Girona and Figares to see the Salvador Dalí museum. On our return Steve continued painting, as he does, but what was new was that my quilts were influenced by what we had seen, and somehow an idea was born. We decided to hold this exhibition — our first. Brave or foolhardy, who knows?”

The exhibition will be open daily from 10am to 4pm. Admission is free.

Art exhibitions are running throughout next month at the Old Fire Station Gallery, with the Red Kite Artists and Makers in residence from April 12 to 17, followed by “La Liberté d’Expression” from April 19 to 24.

Henley Art and Crafts Guild will then stage its spring exhibition from April 26 to May 8 — an event that dovetails with the Henley Arts Trail weekend of Saturday, May 5, to Monday, May 7.

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