Monday, 27 September 2021

Artists’ collective fired up for first gallery show

Artists’ collective fired up for first gallery show

A GROUP of eight artists have joined forces to stage an exhibition at the Old Fire Station Gallery that opens next week.

Calling themselves Red Kite Artists and Makers, members’ work is going on show at the Upper Market Place venue from Thursday (April 12) to Tuesday, April 17.

Open daily from 10am to 5pm, the free exhibition will feature an eclectic mix of paintings, ceramics and upcycled decorative objects.

A spokeswoman for the group said: “Red Kite aims to showcase a slice of the vibrant creative scene which thrives in and around Henley. It is a new collective of creative people from Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

“Using diverse media — oils, acrylics, watercolour and fabric — the painters are captivated by light, landscapes and animal life. The ceramics are inspired by the sea and wildlife, while worn and ordinary items are transformed into unique objects through découpage and decorative techniques.

“Together, the show will be contemporary and full of energy, offering a chance to experience unique and original work at first hand.” The show’s official opening is on Thursday from 6pm to 8pm, when the artists and makers will be delighted to discuss their work and inspiration.

The spokeswoman added: “Come for a glass of wine to celebrate the opening of the first Red Kite exhibition. I know ‘private view’ sounds off-putting, but all are welcome!”

The eight artists are: Liz Baldin, Clare Buchta, Liz Chaderton, Kate Findlay, Caroline Gatfield, Jo Keiller, Maria Meerstadt and Louise Spiers.

Liz Baldin trained as a graphic designer but is now concentrating on painting and illustration. Her work predominantly depicts English and Scottish landscapes — focusing on capturing the light and atmosphere of the scenery, depending on the seasons and weather conditions.

Clare Buchta has a love for the local landscape rich in rivers and lakes. These often appear in her work, which uses a method of oil painting developed to capture light and colour. The UK coastline is another influence on her work, which has sketches and photographs gathered on location as its starting point.

Based in Hurst, Liz Chaderton has a passion for watercolour and animals. She works on both paper and canvas, capturing the character of domestic and wild animals. Her paintings have appeared in books, been published as prints in the USA and the UK and originals can be found as far afield as Australia and California. She teaches regularly and writes for Leisure Painter magazine.

Kate Findlay is a textile artist and teacher working in Berkshire. She has been creating art work for many years, but switched to textiles as her main medium about 12 years ago. Her current passion is to create local landscape and wildlife subjects in her distinctive collage style, using a technique called raw edge appliqué.

Caroline Gatfield is a Berkshire-based ceramicist best known for her sculptures of native British wildlife, jolly fishing boats and commissions for much-loved family pets. Each piece is hand-crafted — a technique that aims to create something unique, characterful and lasting.

Jo Keiller said: “Painting and drawing have always fascinated me from a young age. I paint a wide range of subject matter from landscapes and cars to animal portraiture using acrylic paints as my medium. I have more recently started experimenting with more abstract pieces inspired by reflections.”

Maria Meerstadt paints in classical oils, inspired by dramatic scenery from the Highlands of Scotland to the Cornish coast. From billowing clouds to crystal clear seas and wild floral cliff tops, Maria hopes her work will reignite people’s memories of places visited.

Specialising in interior decoration and bespoke hand-finished furniture, with a core styling ethos in the marriage of contemporary and vintage trends, Louise Spiers’s pieces are individually hand picked or sourced to order and transformed with decorative techniques including paint finishes, textile and paper découpage.

For more information, visit

More News:

POLL: Have your say