Sunday, 14 August 2022

Exhibitions inspired by the natural world

Exhibitions inspired by the natural world

THE Old Fire Station Gallery in Henley is fully booked with exhibitions throughout August and will feature works ranging from paintings and metalwork to glassware and fabrics.

Sue Williams and Linda Caley have taken over the Market Place venue with a joint offering which will run until next Tuesday, opening daily from 11am to 4pm.

They have put together a display of pieces which reflect their love of the natural world.

Sue, 63, from Wokingham, is a printmaker and artist and is inspired by the importance that rivers play in our lives, whether for work, recreation or transport.

Her work comprises metal printing plates used as “postcards” of journeys.

Sue explains: “A couple of years ago, while walking along a local riverside, I passed a wooden bench with the word ‘Riverside’ carved in large letters.

“I returned to make wax rubbings of those letters. The crumpled sheets hung in my studio and became a starting point for this exhibition.

“Part of our industrial landscape, these rivers are now tourist attractions. I decided to make postcards from different metals as homage to the importance of the industrial heritage.

“As I worked on this project, each metal plate was cut, painted, etched, cleaned and polished by hand with a sense of pride and frustration.”

Sue will have about 25 pieces which have rusted in different ways. Some have been left to rust outdoors while others have been treated by solutions such as salt and vinegar.

She added: “I’ve always been interested in the changing of the surfaces and the changes to different metals such as steel, copper and zinc and the colours and patterns that are created.”

Her pieces are available to buy and prices range from £75 to £150.

Linda, 58, also works from nature, either from her wild garden in Reading or the Isle of Man, where she is from.

Her work is expressive and colourful and is made using a wide range of materials and she will have about 40 pieces on display.

Linda, who is a retired art teacher, says: “I like to use textual effects, using thick paint and layering.

“The materials I use are oil-based so I can mix it with acrylic. I also use fabric and torn canvas and sometime I scratch and imprint and use expressive colour.

“A lot of my recent work is based on my garden and I have done a series of small canvases but I’ve also focused on parts of the garden that I have brought inside so it is not exactly still life.

“I also have collage pieces that are semi-abstracted where they take the natural form but they are not what you expect them to be so you have to look in them.” Her pieces are available to buy and prices range from £50 to £200.

Jenny Atkins and John Whittaker stage Through the Seasons from next Thursday to August 14 which explores the changing features, colours and moods of nature through the seasons of the year. Their work is presented in a variety of styles and media including oils, acrylics, inks and watercolour.

Jenny, a retired primary school teacher who lives in Earley, said: “My artistic influences are generated by the sudden desire to react creatively to something that I find inspirational such as the changing nature of the seasons.

“I will be exhibiting original paintings of various sizes that vary in style, some being representational, some semi-realistic and others abstract.”

Jenny, who is an exhibiting member of Reading Guild of Artists, will be showing about 100 cards, 50 canvases and 30 browsers as well as some clay sculptures and decorative boxes.

Price ranges from £10 for boxes up to £300 for canvases. John, 65, from Tilehurst, specialises in oil paintings, mainly of landscapes of the area near where he lives.

The retired teacher will be showing about 15 paintings although they are not for sale. However, framed prints and cards will be available to buy.

Exhibitions to be staged later this month are Order and Chaos, which will feature cast and fused glass and acrylic paintings by Cat Noble from August 16 to 21. runs from August 23 to 28 and is a showcase promoting sustainable fashion. There will be pieces of handmade organic Lambswool, a live catwalk, panel discussions, a mini workshop and entertainment.

From August 30 to September 4, Fiona Hayward will be bringing her contemporary designs in colourful fabrics including quilts, cushions, wall hangings and small upholstered items.

She will be accompanied by Feltmaker Gwen, a felt artist and designer of paintings with fibre and wearable art, using a mediums such as including silk, merino and British fleeces.

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