Art In and Out of the Garden – Taking the Long View.

Did the sun shine?  Did the rain spoil? Did the crowds come? Did we show fabulous artists in a stunning private garden? Was there great bonhomie, good conversation and a judicious sprinkle of Prosecco all round? Absolutely!

If you came – and if you wish that you had – have a trip through our photographs here and see the wonderful support that our artists enjoyed. We enjoyed working with them, they enjoyed meeting each other, our guests enjoyed their work and what could be better?  Well, only that we raised a magnificent total of £2,000 – for the East Anglia Children’s Hospice, whose volunteers could not have been more helpful to us, thank you to all of them.

EACH  volunteer team
EACH volunteer team
The sun shone!
The sun shone!

Thank you to the amazing models who stalked the garden like birds of paradise in Brenda Mayo’s original creations,

akin to sculpture in so many ways…

Admiring the model
Admiring the model
Making an entrance
Making an entrance
Models three - Gail and Rosemary
Models three – Gail and Rosemary

Thank you to Andrew Jones and Ed Willis whose mobiles and kinetic works were entrancing, thank you to Carol Sinclair and Cary Norman – magic out of reclaimed copper and wood, thank you to Mark Evans and Martin Thompson for beauty found in stone. Thank you to Eric Marland also for exquisite lettering on slate and to Joe Smith for creations in slate, to lovely Dragan and to Matthew for wonderful furniture. Melissa Pierce Murray brought us art from the Masters programme at Norwich and kept us at the cutting edge while the complexities of cut and angle in wood were mastered by the incomparable Richard Bray.

Portland vessel. May 2015
Portland vessel. May 2015
'Powys' by Carol Sinclair
‘Powys’ by Carol Sinclair
The Seat Matthew made.
The Seat Matthew made.
Nick and Patrick Carnegy
Nick and Patrick Carnegy
Happy Visitors!
Happy Visitors!
Into the light...
Into the Light!
Olivia through the Rays (CN)
Olivia through the Rays (CN)
Sara’s happy mugs!
Elegance personified from Katharina!

Inside the house I had the pleasure of introducing four amazing potters – and found a reflection of each personality in their works;  the chirpy Sara Paynter, the sophisticated Katharina Klug,the generous Daphne Carney and the wise Sarah Perry.  Their cool and cunning creations surprised and enchanted.

Cushions and pots
Cushions and pots

Thank you so much; while this year Oriel Fine Art brought paintings and drawings by many late and great artists who knew Suffolk and North Essex well – John Nash,Rowland Suddaby, Lucy Harwood and Joan Warburton from the Benton End School, Tessa Newcomb, and some Welsh painters too – John Elwyn, Ewart Johns and Ray Howard Jones made an appearance. Hooray for them!

And on the roof – was an ‘intervention’ by the maverick architect and designer, Hugh Pilkington: so if you came, you know – and if you didn’t – well, what a pity you missed it!

Up on the roof……..

So there we are, thank you to each and every – especially Olivia and Charlotte, Anita and Vicky for stalwart behind the scenes help. We hope you enjoyed as much as we did – thank you for your support too.

And don’t forget to look out for some of these artists at their Open Studios in July.

Oriel Fine Art can be viewed on the website and watch out for other exhibition information for shows in Suffolk and London later in 2015.


Alan Foxley – Potter or sculptor? Probably both.

Here is Alan, demonstrating techniques to an audience at Anglian Potters; he brings scale into ceramics in a way few people can even attempt and the result are stunning, strong ceramic sculptures that blend old and new,  both neolithic and modern in  a clean form with age-old texture. Alan has brought three new pieces to the Garden – we wondered about the inspiration behind them and this is what he says –

“The two ‘  Untitled  ‘pieces came about as a result of picking up two small but very interesting stones whilst on a walk, and using them as a starting point. Once the work was underway the pieces evolved as the changing planes began to suggest a new direction  – the torso as a result of life drawings.

Current themes have evolved from 1997 onwards, Ideas are developed from natural and man-made forms from the study of beetles, Egyptian amulets, axe heads, armour, boats, stones and the human form.

Textures and the apparent effects of the elements and time upon the forms are of paramount importance to achieve a timeless contemplative feeling which hopefully encourages the handling of the work. Reduction fired to 1280 C and in some cases polished post firing with abrasives. Scale varies, but is generally large and is principally suited to outdoor display.”

These sculptures are ensured a long life!

Katharina Klug – a rising star

We have super news from Katharina, she has been shortlisted for the Craft and Design Award 2015 with the Crafts Council.  Katharina has been especially busy but has sent over some new photos of completed work that we are looking forward to seeing in the show. So here they are, yunomi’s – tea bowls and flasks – and fingers crossed that the Judges love it as much as we do!DSC_2070 DSC_1642 Bottlecups

Eric Marland, set in stone …..

From Eric Gill to David Kindersley, from David Kindersley to Eric Marland  For those who admire the art of the letter cutter and the stone carver – there is no need to say more – from one master to another. SAMSUNG

 Eric continues a very special tradition in Cambridge and brings the art of literature to our generation. Eric is another lynchpin in our stable – we have shown his work many times and each time there is always something new to admire.  Eric works in a converted chapel and the result is a wonderful harmony of words and stone.  Eric says,

 “The pieces of carved lettering in wood and stone, as well as the carved and gilt green man in oak, which I have on display this year are quite different to the sort of thing I make for most of the rest of the year in that they are a reflection of my interests and obsessions rather than those of the clients whose commissions usually occupy my time. The objects required are usually in some way or another more functional, even utilitarian. A house number, a headstone, a sundial even an opening plaque performs some sort of service whereas here I am freed from such constraints and can indulge the little artist who lurks within.
  I am very grateful to, once again, be asked to participate in this unique call and response with this beautiful setting. Truly a case of Rus In Urbe as the saying on the slate goes.”

Andrew Jones – extraordinary conversations with the wind…

Andrew with sculpture 2015Andrew Jones is artist-engineer; he has been fascinated by air for as long as he can recall and has worked in design for kites and aerofoils before turning his talents to kinetic sculpture.  He brings together a unique collaboration between art and science and his work has endless possibilities in seeking to capture the profile of the air.  Andrew says ‘Because the wind cannot be seen, it is often ignored unless it is doing something useful or destructive. But it is endlessly fascinating in its own right: the way it reveals itself, animating objects in its path.
Some of my work is decorative or figurative, but the pieces with more linear elements are concerned with shifting geometries, with possibility and probability, with chaos, ambiguity, order and recognition. In light winds, the movement can be quite gentle and the juxtapositions slow to change. In stronger wind, some pieces get frantic and confusing.

I use light alloys, fine stainless bearings and accurate balancing to ensure that the elements of each work can move in very light wind. Some work uses small magnets to bring the linear elements to order when the air is still. Because the constructions are mainly slim they will withstand quite strong wind (like bare branches in winter). They are, however, designed to respond to breezes in semi-sheltered areas where strong airflow is stirred and slowed by the surroundings.’

Lattice discs 2013

Carol Sinclair – our touchstone!

Carol Sinclair has bepowys_carolen showing with us over the last ten years, we couldn’t give her up – she is a touchstone . She works with stone, wood and metal, some reclaimed – often beautifully weathered. Carol is a sculptor living and working in Hildersham in rural Cambridgeshire. The River Granta, which passes her house set in water meadows is a frequent source of inspiration.

Carol Sinclair graduated in Fine Art from the Central School of Art in 1987 and has since exhibited prolifically in private galleries and public spaces. The minimalist and contemplative qualities of her work have attracted commissions for both interior and garden environments. Her work is in many private collections.

One of Carol’s acknowledged inspirators is the late Jim Ede, the curator/art collector who created Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. She shares with him a reverence for objects worn by time and the elements.

“There is often great beauty in naturally eroded materials – they encapsulate the elusive concept of time and infinity.” She likens her sculpture to the contemplative qualities of Japanese design. “It’s about stillness really. And observing things.”

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