Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Beetroot Tree Open Exhibition 2014

 Walking into the Beetroot Tree Gallery's Open Exhibition is like walking into an Aladdin's cave. There are lot of entries this year and all are of a very high standard. There are paintings, textiles, sculptures and jewellery, and some unusual 3D objects.

Here are a few pieces that caught the gallery's attention.

'Gethsemane' by Michael Cook: acrylic and oil pastel on paper

Michael Cook's Gethsemane is stunning. Paul, the gallery director, told me that while the painting was waiting to be hung, it was leaning against the wall in shadow. Suddenly, a ray of sunlight came through the window. As the light hit the paper, the colours in the picture shone as if lit from within. 
Michael Cook hides spiritual symbols in his painting. Can you find the fish?

'Stormy Peak' by Sandra Orme: pastel

Sandra Orme's landscapes are inspired by walks in the Peak District. They are full of movement and power. If you look closely at the sky, it's almost like looking at an abstract painting. 

'Spring Hare' by Helen Ellwood: paper mache

Helen Ellwood's hare, made from paper, card and wire, is another piece that looks lively. Helen uses her knowledge of animal anatomy to give her creatures a realistic look and then adds detail in the eyes and posture to give each one a unique personality. Harry the Hare sits poised on his plinth as if ready to spring.

'Thorn Tower' by Jane Bevan:  woodland materials

Thorn tower is constructed with twigs and feathers. Jane uses traditional techniques such as tying, stitching, twining, coiling and binding to produce her delicate sculptures and vessels.

Wherever possible, the gallery employs artists. The staff somehow find time to produce their own work and keep the gallery afloat: cooking food in the vegetarian cafe, dealing with fellow artists, organising exhibitions and making very good coffee.

'Mushrooms at Orchid Wood' by Nicole Orgill photograph 

Nicole Orgill's photographs intrigue me. They celebrate the tiny world that people often hardly notice. Fungi and grasshoppers suddenly become beautiful when seen this close up.

 Jewellery by Yvonne Parry: fused glass

 Yvonne's colourful jewellery combines layers of Bull's-eye glass and silver. Some have a subtle blend of colour, while in others she lets the colours clash in a vibrant way. This is definitely jewellery to get you noticed.

The Badger by Emily Smalley: watercolour pencil

I love Emily's drawings of wildlife and flowers. This badger looks soft enough to stroke. Her work is technically accurate and yet she brings out the character of every creature she studies. She also 'draws' with thread to create amazing textiles.

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