Breaking away from traditional representational art, abstract concentrates on the relationship between colour and form, portraying an emotional response to the subject. Sheila Marlborough begins this process from the landscape, simplifying the subject to basic shapes, exploring expressive colour with texture and pattern. Fans of abstract will enjoy Justine Lois Thorpe, her free use of oils responding to her emotional and physical connection with nature. Annette Waddy-Smith loves paint for it’s own sake and uses simplified shapes to create interesting and flattened spaces with strong composition.
With a new set of instantly recognisable reduction lino prints, Jane Walker shares a love of 1950s textile design with Monica Boxley, her flea market finds often represented in the still life pictures. Trained as a textile designer, Vivienne Cawson uses the contrast of natural form with geometric fabrics to create her fresh, vibrant watercolours whereas for Ray Sheldon the dynamics are in the stillness, the negative spaces, the simplification of painting the ceramics he has worked with throughout his career.
Ruth Green’s roots are in textile printing and her screen print designs are bright and colourful, drawing influence from Scandinavian design, while Sarah Young uses pattern to enhance the forms of her narrative prints. Movement and light play on the paper with Escher inspired graphite drawings by Louisa Crispin and the vibrancy of Indian textiles and rugs are reflected in Liz Moys stitchings.
When it comes to pattern Debbie Barber is an obvious choice for ceramics, with design training in textile decoration and embroidery she continues to use these influences for the surface decoration of her raku vessels and birds. Paul Jackson is synonymous with dynamic shapes and diverse colourful decoration, a complete contrast to Yo Thom’s quiet contemplative forms, creating harmony between tableware and food in the Japanese way. Jane Abbott finds a balance between with coloured clay rolled to create painterly surfaces. Many of our ceramic artists are here to stay, we find it hard to part with their work at the end of each show and, thinking pattern in particular, you will continue to enjoy Ken Eardley, Jessica Jordan, Marion Brandis and Michelle Freemantle. Vicki Atkinson likes to surprise but may have met her match in Alison Alldis.
Moving seamlessly over to the jewellery cabinets the mention of Japan brings Claire Lowe to mind with her current range inspired by the serious business of tea drinking: Claire once worked in a tea house that served over 55 varieties of tea. So far we have failed to mention the return of Lorraine Gibby and new work from Stuart Jenkins, Emily Thatcher, Caroline Reynolds alongside the delicate work of Goldsmith Ray Smart.