MEET THE ARTISTS
Antony Bridge grew up in Malvern, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where he began to understand the peace, power and solitude of the landscape which inspires his work. Self-taught, Antony is the Artist in Residence to the National Trust at Croome and paints in all weathers, enjoying the changing light and seasons. He simplifies his equipment to a pochade box or French easel and uses a limited palette to create his plein air canvases. He has been exhibiting solo since the age of 20, has won places at renowned RWA shows and has a worldwide following for his work with collectors in Monaco, South Africa, the USA and New Zealand.
Gardens, in all their forms, have long been a passion for Mary Brittain. She has written about them as a freelance journalist for The Times and Sunday Times newspapers and for a number of years opened her own garden for charity under the Yellow Book scheme. Now retired from journalism she has turned her attention to painting – another passion – full-time. She finds her inspiration in famous gardens throughout the UK and Europe and in her own back yard. She is also happy to undertake commissions. Her bold and colourful paintings and drawings span a range of different media but most have flowers at their heart.
After a career in the mining supply industry, Paul Burton has returned to his first love - contemporary sculpture. His return to art is influenced by his extensive experiences living and working around the world in the mineral extraction industries, in diverse places ranging from the Gobi Desert to the frozen wastes of the Arctic Circle. His unique steel, slate and glass creations are inspired by the earth’s resources, and look to incorporate his “Earthlight” sculptures back into the landscape. Paul’s garden in rural Worcestershire, designed by RHS Chelsea gold medal-winner Peter Dowle, is a showcase for his work.
Christine Charlesworth trained at Wolverhampton College of Art in the Sixties, concentrating on sculpture when she moved to Surrey. Since 2000, she has completed 46 private and 15 public commissions. She is an elected member of the Society of Women Artists and Royal British Society of Sculptors, and was the official artist with BT leading up to the 2012 London Olympics. In 2017, she was awarded at gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show for her sculptures in Scotts Miracle-Gro Come to Your Senses Eco-therapy Garden. Christine specialises in figurative and portrait sculpture using traditional methods, but also enjoys working with fabricated steel to produce artwork with a more contemporary style. Christine always endeavours to capture life and movement in each piece. Her portrait and figurative sculptures are cast in bronze or bronze resin and can be found in private collections in the UK, Europe, Australia, the Caribbean, Singapore, Russia, India and Hong Kong.
Jonathan Clift is based in East Herefordshire. Working as an artist blacksmith, he creates bespoke and imaginative items, mainly out of steel. Using traditional blacksmithing techniques as well as more modern processes, he creates contemporary or traditional items to fulfil the client’s needs. Drawing inspiration from the natural world and the beautiful countryside around us, Jonathan creates a range of sculptures to complement gardens both small and large. As an artist blacksmith, Jonathan balances the needs of form and function into all the ironwork he creates, as well as combining it with his free flowing style. Products range from gates and railings to interior pieces such as curtain poles, candlesticks, furniture and lighting.
Nicola Currie is a Fine Art painter living in Worcester. She specialises in contemporary still life oil paintings. Drawing on the techniques of the Old Masters, Nicola focuses on capturing her excitement of colour and light in everyday food, flowers and objects. Most paintings are produced on museum-quality gessoboard and Nicola uses the highest quality oil paints. Many of her pieces make use of traditional translucent colour glazing to produce a jewel-like finish. Nicola studied at Durham and Worcester Universities. Her second degree was in Fine Art. Nicola has exhibited widely including solo exhibitions at Worcester Cathedral and Carlisle Cathedral; Walsall Art Gallery; RHS Rosemoor and the Birmingham Society of Artists. In the past two years she has focused her work on reflective surfaces and often incorporates gold leaf into her floral paintings.
Heather Farmer was born in Worcester and has spent many years working at the university as a support worker for students with disabilities. Many of her students took degrees in art, and being surrounded by so much creativity rekindled a latent creative spirit in her. She loves the buttery feel of oil paint and feels the versatility of oils allows her to express herself freely and explore different techniques of applying colour – flicking, using a stick and toothbrushes and layering with a palette knife to create texture and movement. Taking inspiration from the places she has travelled to – from the birch forests of Siberia, where her husband was posted, to the local scenery of Worcestershire - her work is a response to the landscape through the changing seasons. She wants her work to connect with people, evoking feelings and memories. She lives in Great Witley.
Peter Fletcher is a landscaper by trade, but a metal artist by heart. He spent his formative years working in agriculture before moving into welding and fabricating, which led him into the world of metal art. Peter now creates one-off pieces including decorative gates and stunning fire spheres at his workshop in the Suckley hills, along with garden lighting and sculptures using upcycled materials. Peter creates intricate countryside designs and seascapes hand-drawn by his artist partner Pavlinka Matlasova. A qualified garden designer, Pavlinka impressed Peter on their second date when he asked her to draw a Gruffallo-themed design for a fire sphere. Now, her beautiful pencil drawings of flora and fauna form the basis for Peter’s exquisite metalwork.
Paul Harvey has been sculpting since the age of 10, having been introduced to woodcarving at primary school. Inspired by bird life, having kept numerous species as pets in aviaries as a child, his contemporary work takes on an Art Deco form and he now works in bronze and resin which gives an almost unlimited freedom in design. Paul has sold all over the world, including to the royal family, and he has exhibited at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. For the past 14 years, his studio has been situated deep in the Hampshire countryside, in a three-acre waterside glade which he and his wife have turned into a nature reserve. The site was once the watercress beds for the Earl of Canarvon’s Highclere estate, of Downton Abbey fame.
Tony Ingarfield trained at the National School of Blacksmithing at Holme Lacy, near Hereford, and is a member of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths. From his forge at Bringsty, close to the National Trust’s Brockhampton estate, he works for private clients and businesses on a commission basis, designing and making metalwork sculptures to last a lifetime using both traditional and modern methods. Tony takes pride in producing pieces of ironwork for use in the modern age, which exemplify the virtues of the blacksmith’s craft. He takes pride in his work which he produces by hand for each individual client.
Master blacksmith Neil Lossock has been making original metal sculpture and garden art at Dragonswood Forge in Stoke Lacy, Herefordshire, since 1994. His individual and original work ranges from intricate, free-standing fern and flag iris sculptures to beautiful bird feeders, cardoons and artichokes to whimsical animal pieces. His sculptures have been featured in award-winning RHS show gardens and nursery displays in the floral marquees at all of the established RHS flower shows. Commissions include pieces for several rock stars, Oxford University and the Church of England and his work appears in private collections in the UK, throughout Europe and the US and Australia. He is a Fellow of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths.
Shelly is a freelance wildlife artist whose passion for travel and conservation are constant factors in the development and realisation of her work. Shelly aims to emulate both the beauty and fragility of the natural world and present that to her audience in an accessible way through her pieces. Using traditional and contemporary techniques, she starts working by hand using strong, fluid line drawings, painted textures, watercolour washes and textiles, which she then brings together digitally in up to 150 layers. Shelly prints all of her illustrations using the Giclee technique, selling them in limited-edition runs of just 50. Her commercial clients include the National Trust, BBC Wildlife magazine, the RSBP, WWF and Radio Times.
Landscape has been another important source of inspiration for Vanessa, particularly the Black Mountains. These paintings capture the broad and majestic panoramas of this naturally beautiful area. Whilst her work can be seen to be rooted in the traditions of landscape painting, the bold use of contemporary colour and exploration of vast space hints at the use of the landscape as an emotive vehicle. In a world full of conflict and challenge, these pieces resonate with harmony. Vanessa trained in Fine Art at Newcastle University and the University of Bologna, having won an Italian government scholarship. She has exhibited widely in London, Italy, Herefordshire and the Cotswolds. Her work is in private collections nationally and in the US.
The landscapes and architecture of Wales and Ireland are the inspiration for David Thompson’s watercolour paintings. After studying textile design at the South East Essex Art School and the Royal College of Art in London, David embarked on a successful design career for a major British carpet manufacturer, moving from Creative Services Manager to Design Archivist before his retirement. Painting expeditions to France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand following the death of his wife, Iris, sparked his passion for watercolour. He now works in mixed media, incorporating ink, pastels, gouache and collage. David, who lives in Droitwich Spa, enjoys analysing and capturing the character of the landscape and architecture and the qualities of light in different locations.
Artist and printmaker Julia Timmins lives in rural Shropshire. A fine jeweller, she worked for many yers as a jewellery designer and production director in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter. Julia uses the skills and attention to detail, developed by working with jewellery, in her prints. It has been a natural progression for her to use her jewellery-making and designing skills to create prints. She works from natural forms, plants, flowers and birds and is inspired by her garden and the Shropshire countries. She responds to the rich patterns in nature and translates these into prints. She is a member of the Society of Wood Engravers and Wolverhampton Society of Artists.
From her studio in Hereford, Chris Williams draws and paints landscapes of Shropshire, Herefordshire and beyond. She studied Fine Art in Newcastle and at the Laird School of Art and was a contestant in Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year in 2017 and Portrait Artist of the Year this year, each time being shortlisted as one of the three heat finalists. She paints predominately in oils and makes drawings in charcoal, graphite and ink.
For figurative artist Melanie Williams, the process of painting has always been a response to her life, the rhythms of the natural world and the physical environment. Her paintings reflect her journey from her student days in London to the Worcestershire countryside where she now lives and works. Her home in Shelsley Walsh provides easy access to the landscapes and animals she portrays, where she is inspired by life events and the passing of the seasons. Melanie, a former art and art history teacher, loves the craftsmanship of painting, and sees the integrity of the marks and techniques she uses as being fundamental to her practice. The paintings featured in this exhibition are part of a large body of work Melanie has been preparing for a solo show in London in May.
Having started work as a freelance model-maker in animation, Martin Adamson built up his knowledge of materials and techniques making puppets for the stop-motion animation industry. Now, he and his wife run the sculpture studio in Chalford, near Stroud in Gloucestershire. Passionate about sculpture, they create their own work, produce commissions for clients and teach their art. A keen surfer, Martin draws from his connection with the water. One of his favourite waves is the Severn Bore, a tidal wave which pushes up the Bristol Channel into the Severn Estuary. The tidal nature of the river provides a wealth of drift wood, which Martin often uses in his work. He loves the challenge of sculpting wildlife and tries to create pieces which can be placed in a setting and mistaken for reality, if only for a moment. He also links with wildlife organisations fighting to protect endangered species across the world.
Marie Therese King
Based in Malvern, Worcestershire, Marie Therese King has been working commercially since 2007. She has a foundation in graphic design and degree in multi-disciplinary design from North Staffordshire University. With a passion for British wildlife, particularly birds, butterflies, wild flowers and insects, her main discipline is batik - the Indonesian art form of layering melted wax and water-based dyes on cotton to create delicate and exquisite designs. Marie Therese comes from a family of horticulturists, bird-watchers, gardeners and keen walkers, and she spent much of her childhood in the Cotswolds. Her art cabin is in the grounds of Caves Folly Organic Plant Nursery, surrounded by the Malvern Hills AONB. She also takes inspiration from coastal birds - puffins, gannets, oystercatchers, terns, curlews and sandpipers and has recently started running batik and birdwatching holidays in southern Portugal.
Lindy Lloyd grew up in Worcestershire surrounded by dogs, birds and ponies. Her father had a passion for birds, and it was her childhood garden, filled with ornamental pheasants, quail, finches, poultry, peafowl and pigeons, that inspires her paintings to this day. At school, she painted and drew, but joined BA as cabin crew, putting her passion on hold. It was only after moving to Martley, in Worcestershire, that she joined Martley Art Group and her love of painting was rekindled. Since then, she has travelled to Florence and Venice to attend painting workshops, and she is is currently attending Brian Gorst’s Life Classes at Malvern College. She has had work exhibited at Malvern Summer Exhibition and through Martley Art Group. Commissions include dogs, ponies and peafowl and she works mainly in watercolour and acrylics, though does turn to pen and ink and charcoal and graphite occasionally. She now lives in Grafton Flyford.
Angela Palmer’s sculpture is a direct response to the human form. She finds it fascinating the way the body expresses mood and emotions, and she explores this in her work. She hopes to capture through the inclination of the head, or the tilt of the shoulders, a spiritual connection with the humanity of the sitter and to express this through the versatile medium of clay. Her sculptures are first modelled in clay, then cast in bronze resin. The surface is given a patina by a process which accelerates the natural weathering of the bronze and produces subtly beautiful colours. Angela’s sculptures are usually produced in editions of 20 and cast by Stephen Grassby at SPG Creations. Angela is based in Ross-on-Wye.
A figurative sculptor working largely from life, Moira Purver captures the essential vitality and warmth of her subject, whether restful or dynamic. Her focus is studying the surfaces and movement in the human form, but whether sculpting animals or humans, her aim is art that radiates a feeling of living energy. A large part of her work portrays the softness of the female form, but also includes male sculptures with stronger muscle tone and textures. Moira models her original sculptures in wax, clay or plasteline, though she favours clay. The resulting pieces are then cast in foundry bronze and bronze resin, and include sculptures for both indoors and outdoors. She is an award-winning Member of the Society of Women Artists.
Andrew Roache began sculpting when he was in the Royal Veterinary Corps, following 10 years veterinary practice in Devon. He understands animals well, and prefers sculpting them, rather than humans. In 2002, Andrew and his wife bought Showborough House in Twyning, Gloucestershire. Since then, they have devoted their love, time and energy to developing the gardens and hosting sculpture shows. The first Showborough House Garden Sculpture Exhibition took place in 2008 and it is an increasingly popular event. Andrew is a member of Oxford Sculptors Group.
Kay has been sculpting for over 25 years. She creates most of her work at her studio in Buckinghamshire. She is an experienced tutor and belongs to several art societies. Her work is both tactile and contemporary and is a reflection and expression of happiness, family, love and togetherness. Kay's vision is for her work to be enjoyed by viewing and by feeling its texture. She works with many different materials such as clay, ciment fondu, bronze resin and marble resin. She makes a combination of indoor and outdoor pieces and most of her work is unique or limited edition. Kay has exhibited her work at many events and exhibitions both nationwide and abroad. Some of her most prestigious venues include the NEC in Birmingham, Winchester College and Lincoln's Inn. Over the years she has also donated many of her pieces to raise money for charitable causes.
GARDEN ART EXHIBITION