Nine talented artists showcased in museum’s Open Art Show

Posted on: 14 January 2016

The work of nine artists has been selected for display in the Open Art Show at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

Now in its 14th year, the show promotes the work of amateur and professional artists working in North Devon. The show runs from 16 January to 20 February during normal museum opening times.

A panel of judges, including the White Moose Gallery, North Devon Arts, and PETROC’s HE School of Art helped to choose the selected artists, who are either local residents, or their work has been inspired by northern Devon, Exmoor and Lundy Island.

Visitors to the show can enjoy:

  • Bert Bruins’ paintings of North Devon’s rivers, moors and coastline
  • experimental and unique Verre eglomise glasswork by Danni Bradford
  • striking oil paintings of water sculptured landscapes from Peter Stiles
  • a series of mixed media paintings by Gerrard Lindley, inspired by seed bombing
  • a ‘Grabbist’ painted scroll, based on an Exmoor folktale, by Debbie Lee
  • printmaking techniques by Louise Thompson BA, capturing the movements of birds and memories
  • Matt Biggs’ short film covering an epic journey through the Atlantic Ocean beneath the North Devon and North Cornwall coastlines
  • eye-catching fantasy headwear from Amanda Bluck
  • atmospheric mixed media and pastels exploring the shifting character of the moors from Janis Glover

Executive Member responsible for leisure and culture, Councillor Dick Jones, says: “There were some fantastic entries for this year’s Open Art Show, the judges must have had a very hard time choosing the winners. However, it’s clear why the nine selected artists were chosen – come along to the museum and see what these talented artists have to offer.”

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon is open from 10am to 4pm on Monday to Saturday, admission is free. Check out the museum’s Facebook page to keep up to date with all the latest news and events.

More information about the artists and their work:

Bert Bruins’ paintings focus on the North Devon landscape in a variety of media, subjects particularly the rivers Torridge and Taw, the moors and the coastline. His love of the outdoors, particularly the uncultivated part of our landscape shines through, as well as his admiration for artists such as the Scottish colourists and the ‘railway poster’ artists of the 1920s and 30s.

Danni Bradford works using a technique known as Verre églomisé, the gilding of precious or non-precious metal leaf onto glass. It originates from the pre Roman period, but was notably revived in the 18th Century by French interior decorator Jean Baptiste Glomy. The elaborate technique demands experience, crucial precision and attention to a multitude of variables. The artist must create static to lift, position and float each delicate leaf of pressed metal onto the glass, above a minute layer of purified water and gelatine, or oil. Danni takes a unique approach to this timeless art by combining it with modern, often experimental, process based techniques.

Peter Stiles has painted pictures of Welcombe and Hartland since 1980 when he left the Slade School of Fine Art in London and moved to North Devon. Once again his work has been influenced by these local water sculptured landscapes in producing his striking oil paintings.

Fine Art and graphic artist Gerrard Lindley’s series of mixed media paintings were inspired by the act of seed bombing on industrial land, together with the marks and signs left behind, after the demolition of buildings. Seed bombing, where compressed bundles of soil, containing live vegetation, are tossed or dropped onto the derelict spaces is used by guerrilla gardeners to enhance ‘off limits’ land, and was started in New York during the early 1970s.

Debbie Lee combines the visual and audio tradition of storytelling. She studied patua scroll painting with the folk artists of Midnapore, in India, who sang stories as they unfurled picture scrolls and now uses this art form to transcribe folk tales and ballads of the British Isles. Her ‘Grabbist’ painted scroll is based on a folktale from Exmoor about a contest between a Giant and The Devil to hurl rocks from Bossington Beacon to Porlock Common.

Louise Thompson BA specialises in printmaking. Mixing techniques such as lino cuts, collographs, silk screen and mono-printing, to achieve her desired outcome in trying to capture the movement of birds or the memory of a walk, rather than a figurative/photo realistic approach. Her inspiration comes from the dramatic Devon land and seascapes, wildflowers and wildlife.

Artaura Productions filmmaker Matt Biggs’ short film covers an epic twelve month journey through the Atlantic Ocean beneath the rugged coastlines of North Devon and North Cornwall. Filmed in over thirty locations, above and below the surface of the ocean, his film captures the changing seasons as warm nutrient rich summer currents give way to violent winter storms.

Amanda Bluck’s flower inspired three dimensional work is based on her passion in historical headwear and combines art in a piece that is also wearable. Made using wire, which allows her more flexibility in deciding the finished form, acrylic resin and a range of polymer colours – from the delicate translucence to the more vivid spectrum – she has produced some really eye-catching fantasy headwear.

Working in mixed media and pastels Janis Glover creates atmospheric landscapes and seascapes of Dartmoor and Exmoor, setting out to convey an essence of place, and is passionate about painting the intricate patterns of pathways fields and woods that have marked the landscape of Devon. Her paintings and pastels explore the shifting character of moors as wild and primordial places at times overwhelming the overlay of mankind.

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