A fabulous opening for our last show, many thanks for all your support. With special thanks to Peter and Jeff for keeping drinks flowing and Flic for her wonderful photos, not easy in the sunny evening light.
I am rooted but I flow - Virginia Woolf
As an island nation, we have a strong connection with the sea. Take a walk to Rye Harbour on a winter's day and watch the wind whip the water into a frothing boiling turbulent mass, white horses riding the waves into shore. A few months later gentle waves ripple across the sand at nearby Camber. as the sun sets, the melancholy call of the seabirds passing through, low to the water, the beach deserted now after a busy day. A quiet time of contemplation. Hastings brings to mind Fishermen, wonderfully evocative craggy characters with weather-worn faces and gulls aplenty, trying to steal your fresh fish and chips.
From wistful walks along the beach with the sound of the sea rhythmically echoing in the background, your thoughts wander ... and your imagination takes flight. Little wonder that our history is filled with stories of mermaids, myths and legends.
The English Coast is a constant source of inspiration for artists with it's rhythm and flow, rock pools and pebbles, big skies and constantly changing light. But we are equally connected to the rivers and marshes and we've included a touch of landscapes for those without sea legs!
With a mixture of detail, precision and rough abstract our artists interpret their emotive responses to the sea. Our selection of ceramics and jewellery takes inspiration from the colours and textures that evoke wind and water, the natural elements of coastal landscapes.
Another fantastic opening. Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for the opening of "Coming Up Roses". A warm welcome to lots of new faces and really pleased the open evenings are worth coming back for. With thanks to Peter and Jeff for keeping drinks flowing and Flic for her wonderful photos. Lovely to see James from Limden Vineyard amongst the crowds - we hope you had a chance to sample his wines.
For in the dew of little things,
does the heart find its morning and is refreshed
.... Kahlil Gibran
As I write we are just leaving February, with the warmest ever winter days. Not for us the hesitant emerging of buds poking their noses into cold and frosty mornings. Spring came early, yet still we wait for the abundance of summer, rose gardens and herbaceous borders riotous and billowing with colour. Delicate blooms plucked for display in irresistible vases, statuesque pots overflowing with flowers, birdsong erupting through an open window and the gentle buzz of insects: busy, busy, busy.
Our gaze wanders to the horizon, catching movement as birds swirl and swoop in the warm evenings, before we turn to tend the vegetables. Juicy mellow fruits soon to ripen and grace the table in delightful decorated bowls, bringing the inside out for quiet evening drinks. Earthly delights of a voluptuous garden captured in paint, glaze and sculpture, treasured memories recorded by skillful artists.
Dressing up for summer parties, sun blushed complexions a perfect foil for intricate precious jewellery, a soft pastel cotton scarf to ward off the chill as the sun sets. Looking for a hostess gift? Who doesn’t love a jug, a vase, a thank you becomes a treasured possession.
Wow - what an evening! Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for the opening of "Imbalance". A warm welcome to lots of new faces and really pleased the open evenings are worth coming back for. With thanks to Peter and Jeff for keeping drinks flowing and Flic for her wonderful photos.
“It is a controlled yet intuitive development that allows a huge amount of freedom”
Karen Stamper on the process of collage
With the political world leaving us all feeling a little off kilter we’re reminded that throughout history artists have risen to such challenges. Chaos is a more natural state than order, the eye can rest uneasily on perfection, looking always for the variation or asymmetry inherent around us.
For this show we welcome The Cambridge 3: Lesley Birch, Karen Stamper and Clare Maria Wood, who have embraced their differences, balancing their unique skills whilst learning from each other. Individual artists made stronger by collaboration. Turbulent times encourage us to evolve our practice and we are excited to see how Jane Cairns has developed since her last show here. Meanwhile Jane Walker provides stability, with gentle precision she designs her multi layered lino prints, the balance of her compositions keeping the viewer entranced. Fresh from her success at the Society of Wildlife Artists exhibition in London, new sparrows have arrived from Esther Tyson. Her delicate, controlled oil paintings highlighting a once common bird now struggling to find a home, a passion for nature shared in Louisa’s intricate drawings. And then you have Mychael Barratt, who has probably seen it all before, with a career making original prints that covers virtually every possible technique. Last but by no means least we welcome ROI multi award winning artist Bernadett Timko to our selection, a young artist with an impressive resume.
In sculpture we are reminded that Vicki’s androgynous figures are captured at the edge of movement and this tension is echoed in the works of Reece Ingram, Rowena Brown and Sarah Palmer. It can be liberating for an artist to have some control wrested from their hands, to be steered along a different course. Flaws can be very pleasing, encouraging us to continue with and develop our work in our own way; blisters and colour runs in glazes, slubs and faults in fabrics, fissures and grains in wood guide us in directions we may not have initially taken, allowing our thoughts and imagination to flow freely.
Pots and vessels lean and slump, incongruous subjects come together in the same frame, rough unpolished jewels sit atop gleaming precious metals. An eclectic mix of pattern, tension and precision.
Another beautiful evening for the opening of our latest exhibition, "Natural Living". Lovely to see so many people, both familiar faces and new visitors. Many thanks to Jeff for keeping the drinks flowing and Flic for her sensitve photography.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful” - William Morris
Memories of the long hot summer fading, we leave the garden in peace and turn to our interiors, looking to artists to keep us in touch with nature.
Painting can be a solitary experience, the better to absorb and distil the world around us. With landscapes featuring strongly, each artist has their own approach, a distinct language arising from their method and interests, the process capturing the light and mood as much as the view. Whether painted en plein air or back in the studio the soundscape is as important; the cry of birds, the whistle of wind or simply the absence, the stillness. But it's not all beautiful scenes of boats and light dancing on Bewl Water or the rolling Sussex landscape. Pause a moment to admire the arresting industrial structures and how they define our landscape and our place within it.
In contrast to this variety of landscapes there is quiet contemplation and intricate observation.
Nature is always in the background of our choices for Artichoke Gallery and this show will not disappoint. Across the gallery you'll find birds and insects, frogs and dogs, a camel and even the odd deer or two (well it is nearly Christmas).
The ceramics are understated, tactile neutral forms as much a pleasure to handle as to view. Enjoy the clean lines in a glorious range of colours and glazes from a variety of highly experienced studio potters. Others are decorated, hand painted and informed by centuries of familiarity with functional household vessels.
We have an exquisite range of jewellery and luxury scarves to set your heart on, make it easy for your loved ones and leave a hint or two with us.
And there's always time for fun at Artichoke, from Tai Chi goats to Pizza Eater Cheetahs, we like to raise a smile with the odd bit of frivolity!
Beautiful weather for our opening of "Follow the Line", with wines to taste from the local vineyard, LImden, and Kit's Popup Paella. With thanks to Jeff for keeping the drinks flowing and to Flic for her role as paparazzi - click on the images to look closer.
It all begins with a line, the physical mark on a surface
The stroke of a brush, charcoal or pencil, the splash of a sponge, a cut with a knife, incising into lino, metal or clay. Random or controlled, colour or monochrome. From initial sketches to finished works, those early marks remaining to tell the story or hidden beneath subsequent layers but still important to the final piece.
Intuitive marks, fluent and confident, spontaneous or more considered, the empty spaces telling their own story. Building those lines into blocks, creating patterns, systematic layering or seemingly uncontrolled yet never left entirely to chance.
Lines can be seen across the landscape: a neatly ploughed field, a row of trees, the wavy line of hills in the distance, where an artist can capture a sense of place. We walk these lines, footpaths and bridleways, gathering memories as we journey.
Geology, geometry, graphite, gesture, graffiti all have their part to play in influencing artists.
When choosing ceramics, shape and form become important. The outline, uncluttered by pattern encourages touch, a sense of quiet and balance. Equally we are drawn to the colours, textures and surface design, a line to entice us round the form, a tactile sensory treat. A row of bottles, a collection of jugs, a juggling dog, holding the delicate porcelain, a feast to the eyes alongside their function, a small everyday luxury.
Jewellers using repetition to create pattern out of lines. Clean, crisp, mathematical precision come to the fore. Others use a linear thread to hold onto, as well as adding colour to the line.
Things happen that we want to tell you about but there's not a proper place on our website ... so we're posting it here