Littlehampton Museum art display

Pictured is Cat Mclelland with her painting,

Pictured is Cat Mclelland with her painting," A Hundred Thousand Stars", from her, "Journeys, Memories, Dreams, Reflections", exhibition. Littlehampton.

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INFLUENTIAL faces of Littlehampton’s past are coming to the fore as the town’s museum opens its first two exhibitions of 2014.

A history of 11 of the most colourful and renowned people from Littlehampton during the 19th and 20th century are being exhibited in the Community Gallery’s Forgotten Faces display.

Everything from pioneering businessmen and prolific shipbuilders, to photographers, artists and sweet shop owners.

All have made an impact on the town be it small or large, and each, in their own way, helped turn Littlehampton from a small fishing village into a thriving coastal town.

One of those residents featured is George Groom.

He moved to the town in 1892 coming from Suffolk. He became a well-known businessman in High Street, opening George Groom’s Provision Merchants at the current site of the Sainsbury’s superstore.

George was a well-known member of the town’s now defunct Littlehampton Urban District Council having been the authority’s chairman.

He was also an instrumental force in building the first swing bridge across the River Arun in Littlehampton, as well as bringing the first telephone exchange to the town, which was based on the first floor of his store.

The second exhibition, which launched at the museum, in Church Street, on Saturday, is by local artist Cat McLelland and is inside the site’s Hearne Gallery.

Entitled Journeys: Memories, Dreams and Reflections, Cat’s work is bright, surreal and eclectic.

Everything from a deep red-brown desert with buffalos roaming free, to an explosion of colour, bursting out of the deep blackness of space representing a galaxy in the dark void, are featured.

Art teacher Cat has previously featured her work in London, Winchester, Worthing, Arundel and Shoreham.

She has also been a part of the Rustington and Littlehampton Art Trail.

Speaking about her exhibition, Cat said: “I have always been passionate about the visual arts. Many of my paintings explore the personal narrative, dreams, and the way in which we as individuals are influence by our surroundings, man-made or natural.”

“I explore my experiences and responses to remembered, imagined and symbolic spaces; a forest, a cityscape, the sea, a desert and outer space. The places act as symbols for aspects of my life experience.”

Both Cat’s work and the Forgotten Faces exhibit will be displayed until Friday, March 14.

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