"In The Garden" is now open. Lovely to see you all on Friday night. Thanks to Peter and Jeff for serving the bubbly and Flic for taking the fabulous collection of photographs. (click on the images for a close up)
A bit of a swimming theme has emerged from our current show.
From the watercolour ripples faces emerge amongst reflections of sunlight on the glistening water. Young girls chatting by the pool, a quiet moment of rest during the long summer holidays. A more chilly feel for the open air bathers, is this the Muswell Hill mums group?
Looking for a momento for your favourite swimmer - check out Helen's "swimmer" range or maybe a penguin is more up your street. I doubt that Alison swims in the Medway (perish the thought) but her mudlarking collection also provides inspiration for her silver bottle jewellery range.
The exhibition continues until 25th March but we'd love to see you well before then.
Frances May ... Susie Monnington / Helen Beard ... Helen Noakes / Alison Boyce / Helen Noakes ... Mary Cairns / Ray Sheldon
"All Shapes and Sizes" is now open. Lovely to see you all on Friday night. Thanks to Jeff and Peter for serving the bubbly and Flic for taking the fabulous collection of photographs.
"In The Landscape" is now open. Lovely to see you all on Friday night. Thanks to Peter, Jeff and Harry for serving the bubbly and Flic for taking the fabulous collection of photographs.
Lovely evening with the Bedgebury Pinetum Florilegium Society and representatives from the Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum. The exhibition continues until 17th September - come and take a closer look.
Thank you Felicity Flutter for your photography skills.
THE BEDGEBURY PINETUM FLORILEGIUM SOCIETY
Botanical illustration is a genre that requires accurate and detailed observation and water colour technique using numerous washes of colour, one on top of the other, to give a deep and intricate record of the specimen. This artistic form has its roots in the 15th century when herbal books describing culinary and medicinal uses of plants were printed containing scientific illustrations of flowers and plants. In the 17th century, wealthy patrons commissioned artists to record new and exotic plants as they reached Europe from all over the world. Modern-day florilegia record collections of, often endangered, plants from particular sites.
It should therefore come as no surprise that there is a thriving florilegium which records the rare and endangered trees of the National Pinetum at Bedgebury. The Bedgebury Pinetum Florilegium Society was established in 2009 and comprises 12 highly talented botanical artists.
This exhibition represents just some of the works of art that have been undertaken by members of the florilegium and which capture the detail of the beautiful and rare trees to be found at the National Pinetum.
BEDGEBURY NATIONAL PINETUM AND FOREST
The National Pinetum at Bedgebury is recognised as one of the most complete collections of conifers on one site anywhere in the world, and is a centre for international conservation. It contains over 12,000 tree specimens growing across 320 acres including rare, endangered and historically important specimens, not only of conifers but also of beautiful broadleaf trees.
The collection was started in the 1840s by the Beresford Hope family and was greatly improved following its acquisition by the Forestry Commission in 1925 who managed it jointly with Kew Gardens. Over the years, the Pinetum has developed links with other conservation organisations across the world and the dendrology team has gained an international reputation for their extensive knowledge of conifers and their propagation.
The Pinetum is recognised as a site of international scientific interest in tree conservation and is now cared for by the Forestry Commission for people, wildlife and trees. Bedgebury Forest offers facilities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy healthy outdoor activities such as walking, running, cycling and adventure play. For further information about Bedgebury National Pinetum & Forest visit www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury
THE FRIENDS OF BEDGEBURY PINETUM
The Friends of Bedgebury Pinetum is a charitable organisation that aims to promote tree-related engagement, research and learning at Bedgebury, one of the finest conifer collections in the world. The Charity’s objectives are to support the Forestry Commission in its management of Bedgebury as a world-class centre of conifer research, conservation and education, a landscape of rare and endangered flora and fauna and as a site for high quality, healthy recreation.
For further information pick up our latest members’ magazine at the Artichoke Gallery or visit our website: www.bedgeburypinetum.org.uk.
"Come join us in the garden, the flowers are at their best,
the strawberries are blooming and the vegetables are fresh.
Look closer in the garden as the spiders weave their traps,
the bees are keeping busy and the birds have fledged their nests.
It’s busy in the garden, with all the luscious growth,
harvest and preserving for Flower Shows and Fetes”
Surrounded here by some of the most beautiful gardens it seems only natural to rejoice in the arrival of summer with a feast of flowers. Artists keep these moments alive, capturing the essence alongside favourite bottles, plates and mugs, the objects carefully chosen, carefully placed to elicit memories long after the blooms have faded. Whether captivated by the objects, the flowers or simply the painterly process, each artist tells a story of beauty in the everyday.
Combine your visit with trip to nearby Pashley Manor Gardens, Merriments or King John’s Nursery and reflect on how the artists are playing with scale, form, colour and perspective, concentrating on creating an aesthetic rather than illustration: bold, blousy ceramic blooms, delicate bees, richly decorated pots and plates, exquisite earrings inspired by natural contours.
All change in the Gallery as we go bolder and brighter, celebrating nature’s rich bounties. Join us for the opening on Friday 1st July from 6-8pm.
Whilst perfecting his throwing skills, apprenticeship to Lisa Hammond under the 'Adopt a Potter" scheme involved Darren Ellis in building a similar soda kiln. Master thrower, Matthew Bayman, takes woodfiring a step further, coppicing his own trees and utilising the resulting ash in his specialist glazes. If you would like to learn pottery from a man who can throw a perfect set of 5 bowls, we are happy to put you in touch with Matthew. Darren is continuing to support "adopt a potter", now working alongside Florian Gadsby who produces a fascinating photoblog on Instagram.
When we source new artists we often find a connection with Marion Brandis during her time as Ceramics Technician at Glasgow School of Art. Now based in Sussex, where she created her beautiful domestic ware to sell at Glyndebourne, Marion continues to experiment with ceramic sculpture, her seagulls featuring on the cover of the latest Brighton Artist Open Houses brochure and her Gallé inspired Cat watching carefully over Peggy in the Gallery.
A regular showstopper for our window display are the exquisite lustre bowls by Jonathan Chiswell Jones. These involve a third firing where silver and copper salts are deposited in a minutely thin layer and combine with the glaze. The design reflects light, and like oil on water, can break into iridescent colours. The process is uncertain and the results are a testament to Jonathan's skills.
Drawing into the clay will affect the way glazes react, deepening colours, creating patterns. See the delicate sgraffito stoneware by Elizabeth Renton, the incised lines enhancing the serene and tranquil forms. For Tessa Wolfe Murray decoration is an interplay of incised lines on surfaces that have been textured, built up, impressed or distorted. Whereas Carys Davies creates a deliberate horizon line in her porcelain pots, reflecting the rugged landscape with hedges and ditches, using words to resonate. Holly Bell is more than a little obsessed with the breadth of colour to be found at the line of the horizon, colour that changes constantly with time of day, weather conditions. She uses layers to draw the eye, pairing glazes that will overlap and create a depth of colour and surface unhindered by handles. Jessica Jordan develops her ideas through drawing, print and paint within her sketchbook, translating these ideas into sculptural marks on the clay washed over with oxides and/or coloured slips to highlight the textures that are already on the surface.
Each clay is carefully selected for its properties. Julia Smith works with black clay inspired by the lava and geothermal landscape in Iceland. Ros Perton uses porcelain for its innate ability to respond to and reflect ambient light and colour; she then balances a piece of silver on the rim, allowing the firing process to determine the emerging pattern. Parian clay is a self-glazing body, extremely translucent and ideally suited for casting Jillian Riley’s bottles, subsequently decorated with oxides and waxes and her own pen and ink illustrations of ravens, crows, bats and bugs. Sarah Grove works with Paper Porcelain, laying the clay into plaster moulds taken from her fabric designs; a touch of pearl glaze reminiscent of the pearl buttons from the original sumptuous fabrics. Elaine Bolt is currently experimenting with local clays in a year long project funded by the Arts Council working with basket weaver Anne-Marie O'Sullivan (Making Ground). Her current collection of sculptural pieces blur the boundaries between created and found, using porcelain, terracotta and local clays, alongside found and reclaimed objects.
The act of making is central to Sian Patterson, each piece wheel thrown, hand trimmed with a restrained palette of unique glazes, often combined in subtle contrasts. How each individual piece feels to hold and to use is as important as the collection's appearance and visual coherence.
The Marshes are moody evocative places, especially early morning when our wildlife artists prefer to visit. This same sense of isolation, reminiscence and contemplation is key to understanding Rowena Brown's sculpture, look closely for the marks of abandonment and environmental damage, stand back for that moment of memory.
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