Elemental art on show in Chichester

Artel 2018 Jackie Knee in her studio
Artel 2018 Jackie Knee in her studio

Elemental is the title of ARTEL Contemporary Art’s Summer Exhibition 2018 at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery running until  Sunday, August 26, 10am to 4.30pm (closed Mondays).

Spokeswoman Caroline Pearce-Higgins said: “ARTEL is a Chichester-based artists’ peer support group which organises at least one members’ exhibition a year and other occasional events to foster our creativity.

“Members work in a wide range of visual art practices, often more than one. Almost half of the current exhibitors studied fine art at the University of Chichester. We choose a challenging theme each year to encourage us all to develop new ideas and new work, whatever our materials and techniques.”

Linda Neville, a mixed-media artist who uses materials that are of the earth in her work, said: “Elemental speaks of beginnings and origins; of the Earth and our relationship with it.”

Caroline added: “Maureen Brigden, sculptor, was inspired to create her four clay sculptures by John O’Donoghue’s book The Four Elements, in which he draws on his Celtic roots, observing the rhythmical energy of the world. Sue England, painter/printmaker, makes the connection between her artists’ pigments and the periodic table. Experimenting with colours which she grinds herself, and handmade paper, she has adopted the new, but very ancient, technique of hand-weaving to create her images of the four elements.

“Caroline, hand-builder in clay, felt clay itself embodied the elemental and created four pieces largely from her imagination to express the four classical elements.

“The painter/ printmaker Jo Gibson bases her work for this show on the circle and the square. Both have deep and complementary symbolic meanings eg the circle represents the female principle, the square the male, and have been used throughout time in pattern-making and architectural design.

“Carol Naylor, textile artist, expresses the powerful forces of nature over land and sea in her richly-coloured free-machine embroidery. Deborah Richards, painter/ printmaker, conveys the dramatic experience of travelling amongst changing water, dark seas and skies in the Solent in her semi-abstract prints. Jackie Knee normally works mainly in wood and hand-forged steel but has used the theme elemental to explore notions of irregularity and random movement such as you would find in nature. She creates automata out of understated and inconspicuous materials.

“The power of the root system of a particularly-beautiful tree, sadly no longer alive, struck Maggie Cronk and she has recorded it in her prints which involves exposing an image to a solar plate which is then inked and printed. Well-known as an exceptionally-gifted painter in watercolour, Bridget Wood’s subjects encompass both the landscape in all its moods and the human form. Seeking ever more elemental expressiveness she pushes her work at times to the borders of abstraction.

“With the recent arrival of two grand-daughters, Liz Hanan celebrates the beginnings of human life in her work. Within her study of the human body Michelle Watson focuses in her work particularly on women’s mid-life crisis and the menopause, every cycle bringing a displacement to both the body and the mind. Peter Moseley’s photographic work, on the other hand, reflects upon the resonant skin of older age and celebrates the monumentality of his subjects.”

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