Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Well-travelled artists return to fire station

COLOURS of the Mediterranean and local landscapes will feature in a joint exhibition coming to the Old Fire Station gallery in Henley.

Neighbours Karen Tomalin and Steve Davis return to the Upper Market Place venue from next Thursday (September 5) to Tuesday, September 10.

The exhibition is called Surfacing and will include wall hangings and paintings inspired by their trips to Europe and the local area.

Both artists use bold colours and surface texture in their pieces.

Karen, who previously worked in retail, started creating textile quilts and wall hangings six years ago.

She said: “Showing our work to the public has convinced us that people in the local area enjoy and support art and design.

“We have been given the motivation to carry on with something that completely fascinates us and hopefully we can share that fascination with you.”

The duo decided to hold another exhibition in Henley after the feedback they received from last year’s debut collection at the gallery, From Provence to the Pyrenees.

Karen added: “I was amazed by people’s reaction to our first exhibition. They were very positive and encouraging. The experience proved so successful that we decided to do it again. It’s all thanks to the warm welcome from the people of Henley.”

The pair were cautious about showing their work at first but they found that many doors have opened as a result which enabled both to pursue their passions of painting and sewing.

Since the first exhibition, they have been invited to join the Henley Arts Trail, which Karen has participated in twice, while Steve has exhibited at the Turbine Gallery in Reading.

The artists, who live in Wokingham, often find inspiration in their joint holidays, so their work captures the rich colours of the south of France.

Ms Tomalin said: “I produce textile quilts and wall hangings that explore my love of colour and shape found in nature and my surrounding landscape.

“I then captured the things we saw on holiday through the quilt. Our last exhibition was called From Provence to the Pyrenees. We visited artistic works from figures like Henri Matisse and Salvador Dali.

“It has become a serious hobby for me — but we all have a desire to create.”

Mr Davis produces paintings and drawings that are unique takes on landscape and portraiture.

Surfacing is open from 9am to 6pm and entry is free. For more information, visit www.henleytowncouncil

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