Saturday, 23 October 2021

Painters show town’s full of life and colour

A GROUP of local artists are aiming to make the Henley Royal Regatta an experience

A GROUP of local artists are aiming to make the Henley Royal Regatta an experience to remember for art-loving visitors to the town.

Regatta is the title of an exhibition being mounted at Henley Studios in Duke Street from tomorrow (Saturday).

Set to run for four to five weeks, starting with the coming regatta week, the show will feature original artworks and prints by Kate Findlay, Maria Meerstadt, Claire Prentice and Sarah Pye.

Speaking ahead of the show’s unofficial opening today (Friday), Sarah Pye said: “The exhibition is inspired by Henley and the regatta, as the artists are all local to Henley.

“The collection ranges from the fun and contemporary to the more classical in style.”

According to Sarah, one of the main connections between the featured artists is their involvement in the popular Henley Arts Trail.

She said: “We have all exhibited our work in and around the Henley area for a long time. Kate Findlay and myself were past organisers of the arts trail. Kate founded it with a couple of others 10 years ago this year.

“Kate is a textile artist and also teaches art at St Mary’s School in Henley. She has also had her work published as far away as America. All her work is stitched, though when it’s behind glass you would think it was a bold, bright, modern painting.

“Maria is a classical oil painter and her work is always beautifully detailed and rich in colour. She also teaches art, but to adults.

“Claire is also an art teacher and for many years lived and worked in the centre of Henley and is very well known in the area.

“She is a classical watercolourist and her work is loose with a natural freedom to it.

“I’m not a teacher. I gave up my job as a gardener a few years ago to follow my passion for art and have painted full time for nearly four years now.

“My work is very impressionist, usually strong in colour, with lots of splashes, hoping to encourage your imagination to fill in the detail and explore the painting a little further.”

She added: “This purely Henley and regatta exhibition is a first for us and for Henley Studios and, we hope, celebrates Henley at the time of year when it is most full of life and colour.

“All the artwork is for sale and by doing prints of the work as well as originals it makes picking up a memory of Henley or your day at the regatta an affordable treat.”

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