UCA photography

Karen Neville

exhibition

Photo in image: From the series La Frontera © Harriet Brookes

Students from the University for the Creative Arts are showcasing some of their work in the latest exhibition at The Lightbox. 

UCA in Farnham has a reputation for educating some of the most innovative photographers of the time and the exhibition will offer visitors an opportunity to explore their work.

The students have captured a variety of themes in their photography to explore contemporary issues, some of which are deeply personal.

Among those whose work is on show include documentary photographer Harriet Brookes whose project La Frontera examines the problems faced by people in Gibraltar during the Brexit negotiations.

Using a series of black and white portraits, Sian Hayden’s photography engages with the uncanny and the male gaze while Neve Marinou explores issues surrounding harassment and the Me Too movement.

UCA Farnham MFA Photography Show is on at The Lightbox, Woking, until 2nd February. Entry to the exhibition is free.

More info

Wallingford Art Club

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exhibition

With the dark nights here, Wallingford Art Club’s November demonstration evening is very appropriate.

Melanie Cambridge’s demonstration on 19th November (7.30pm) titled Capturing Night Scenes uses oils and will offer some invaluable hints and tips.
A future date to put in your diary is the club’s Christmas Exhibition on 30th November and 1st December which coincides with Wallingford Christmas Festival and the Santa Dash.

This is always great fun and a chance to buy original art for presents, or treat yourself, all at reasonable prices. The venue will be in the centre of town, so look out for our posters and notices in November. The exhibition will be open 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday.
IN addition to all the extra events, Tuesday morning fee paying tutored classes continue and these are proving very popular, the afternoon classes have finished for now but will start again with a new tutor in December/January, more details to follow.

The Tuesday evening club painting sessions start as usual at 7.30pm. If you would like to paint or draw then go along and join them.

Non members are very welcome to attend these evenings and the demonstrators for a cost of £3. We cover all mediums throughout the year so there is always a subject to tempt you, or perhaps to try something new.

All events apart from the exhibitions are held at Centre 70, Kinecroft, Goldsmith Lane, Wallingford.

More info

Further information can be obtained on the website Wallingford Art Club or call David on 01491 681400.

SOFO exhibition

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exhibition

Photo: Laurie Weeden Glider Pilot Regiment

Honouring and remembering at new Second World War exhibition at Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum

As Remembrance nears, there’s a very timely new exhibition of photographic portraits on display at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock.

The exhibition, titled 3945 Portraits, is the work of award-winning photographer Glyn Dewis and features portraits of Second World War veterans.

Glyn is leading an ongoing project to photograph Second World War veterans from all branches of the armed forces, and from a wide range of different regiments and corps, including the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

The portraits are on display until 5th January alongside recorded interviews with the featured veterans, recounting their wartime experiences, as well as a number of drawings produced by children as a ‘thank you’ to them.

The project, and the exhibition itself, is designed to “remember, honour and educate”. Glyn said he intends to “honour and remember our surviving World War Two veterans by photographing as many of them as possible in order to provide both them and their families with classic, timeless portraits they treasure and can remain in their families for generations to come” and “to sensitively educate the current and future younger generations about the events of World War Two and of those who served, survived and were lost”.

The exhibition opened on Saturday, 19th October with a number of the featured veterans present, and a surprise medal presentation for one of them. Two members of the Glider Pilot Regiment who were good friends during their service but had not seen each other since the end of the war, were also reunited during the launch, having both had their portraits taken by Glyn.

Glyn will also be running two 3945 Portraits project workshops on the 9th November and 7th December between 11am and 2pm. These will demonstrate how the portraits were taken using minimal kit and often in very limited space, showing how we can all create classic portraits without the need for all the latest and greatest equipment. Spaces can be booked on the SOFO Museum website.

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum is open from Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm. The county’s only military history museum is located in the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock.

For information

To find out about visiting the museum head to SOFO and for details about the portraits project, click below

Animals exhibition

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exhibition

An exciting new exhibition has launched at Reading Museum offering an extraordinary glimpse of art work inspired by the animal kingdom.

ANIMAL: World Art Journeys delivers a visual treat inspired by the animal world, from lobsters and lions, to donkeys with dragons, and fabulous birds & beasties!

The free exhibition runs until 18th April 2020 in the John Madejski Art Gallery.

Drawn from across the collections of Reading Museum, the Museum of English Rural Life (The MERL) and Reading people, this is a show with something for everyone – from families to art lovers alike.

Visitors will be able to journey through time and around the world, where great art meets great craft. See how artists have transformed the animal world into stunning stylised forms such as Peruvian weavings and Javanese batiks. Enjoy the work of artists from as far afield as ancient Egypt or 19th century Asia to contemporary Britain.

Star objects include a breath-taking 19th Century Chinese court robe and the acclaimed 19th Century artist Charles Burton Barbar’s stunning Gelert – which illustrates the legendary story of the faithful dog who protected the Welsh King Llywelyn’s infant son from a wolf.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an exciting activity and events programme including an ‘animal’ themed half term for children at Reading Museum, as well as talks and events at The MERL. There may even be animals who escape into the town…

More info

Find out more at Reading Museum or

Cllr Karen Rowland, Reading’s lead member for culture, heritage and recreation, said: “The exhibition offers a fantastic opportunity to enjoy art from both Reading Museum and The MERL’s collections.

“There will also be lots of animal themed fun activities available for children over the half term to look forward to, as well as lots of interactive activities in the exhibition itself.

“We are delighted to be drawing on the strength of combined collections and shared expertise to showcase a very special exhibition in the town centre.”

Kate Arnold-Forster, director of the Museum of English Rural Life said: “This is the second exhibition supported by Museums Partnership Reading  where Arts Council England is helping create exciting new collaborative programming for our visitors.”

Interiors: Decorex

Liz Nicholls

exhibition

Liz Nicholls looks forward to another Decorex International at Kensington’s Olympia London between 6th and 9th October…

Lush forest green tones, warm metal accents and a fresh, geometric take on more than 50 shades of grey….

These are just some of the home trends of note visitors can absorb at this year’s Decorex International. If you’ve never been, and love interiors, I recommend you visit – it’s like a giant, interactive Pinterest board, all abuzz with creative people and interiors ideas.

You can gain insight into the craft behind a piece of bespoke furniture or decoration as designers transform areas of the show floor into live workshops. In the Future Heritage zone, talented young names in British craft are given a platform to distill their aesthetic into a finished piece of fine craft.

Europe’s leading event for interior design professionals, Decorex has taken place in and around London every year since 1978.

One of the local creatives who exhibited last year (and provided the awesome inspo for my under-the-sea themed bathroom redseign!) is Chelsea-based contemporary fabric and home accessory designer Sarah Fortescue. Read Sarah’s blog and admire her gorgeous wares.

The leading designer and producer of Portuguese tapestry rugs in the UK, Putney-based Atlantico Rugs will return to show their new collection of elegant designs complementing current styles, trends and colours.

And Pooky, based in the kooky design quarter of Lots Road, is sure to bring a stand that will be another wonderland of colour & creative use of light.

Anyone who’s peeked inside the Fiona McDonald showroom in Fulham will be impressed by the custom-made bespoke furniture, lighting, mirrors and seating. Visit her stand for more inspiration on this stylish midcentury vibe!

Decorex

Follow @Decorex_Intl and visit Decorex for tickets, details and updates.

Full of pride

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exhibition

There’s extra reason to take pride in the Royal Borough as The Lions of Windsor & Maidenhead 2019 sculptures go on display for the next three months.

The public art event will feature a giant pride of super-sized lions displayed from 10th August to 27th October to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria and raise funds for local charities.

The colourful individual lions are sponsored by a range of businesses and organisations and have been decorated by leading artists, designers and illustrators. There’s also a mini pride of lion cubs which have been decorated by schools across the area.

The display also has a serious message with the aim of highlighting the plight of lions, which have become endangered with only 15,000 left in the wild.

The pride will go on show on the streets of Windsor, Eton, Ascot, Datchet, Maidenhead and beyond for the duration before being auctioned off for charity.

You’ll be able to ‘go on safari’ and follow the lion trail with maps available from the start of August and take a tour of the borough visiting the noble beasts on the streets.

The lions were created by sculptor Alan Dun who had previously created the Lions of Bath in 2010 and last year’s Owls of Bath.

Having shaped and moulded the original lion, a fibreglass mould was made to create the prototype from which the pride was born.
He also sculpted the lion cub to be decorated by schools, charities and community groups to then display on the trail.

Once the lions are taken off display they will be restored by the artists and then gathered together for one last roar goodbye on 9th and 10th November before the charity auction on 21st November.

All proceeds from the auction will go to local charities – Thames Hospice which provides care for people with life-limiting illnesses in East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire; Windsor Lions Club which helps a wide range of people and organisations in the community; Look Good Feel Better equips people to face cancer with confidence and wildlife charity Tusk.

Lions represent nobility, royalty, strength and stateliness so are the perfect choice for the Royal Borough and to raise awareness of their decline – over the past 50 years, the number of wild lions in Africa have fallen from 200,000 to less than 15,000. Tusk, which is working to highlight the decrease in numbers, has declared 2019 to be the Year of the Lion.

Find out more

Visit the Lions of Windsor site

Normandy 75

Karen Neville

exhibition

A new exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy campaign telling the courageous stories of soldiers who fought there and during D-Day, opens today.

Normandy 75: Oxfordshire to the Orne will go on display at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum until 3rd November and will combine a travelling exhibition from the National Army Museum with stories staff at the museum have gathered from around Oxfordshire.

The stories will be told through objects, a map of key locations, quotes from Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire born soldiers who served on D-Day and beyond.

Soldiers from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry were among the first to set foot in Normandy on 6th June 1944 and were instrumental in the capture of Pegasus Bridge in the early hours, before the beach landings.

Visitors can sit inside a life-size reproduction of a Horsa Gilder’s compartment and listen to recorded interviews with D-Day veterans.

The museum’s collections manager Peggy Ainsworth said: “In addition to our own regimental stories, we wanted to use this exhibition as a way to represent the local soldiers who contributed to the Normandy campaign.

“There have been many fascinating stories coming in from the public, which we will be telling through artefacts from our collection and information gained thorough our Stories of Conflict and County campaign launched last year.”

The exhibition of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, will end with a special collecting day on 2nd November. The We’ll Meet Again collections day will encourage the public to bring objects to the museum and tell their stories of Oxfordshire from the Second World War to the 1970s. Items donated or loaned will be used to form the Second World War and Reminiscence displays.

Exhibition

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum is open from Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm.

For more information

Henley Arts Trail

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exhibition

How many of the 300 exhibitors will you see and enjoy around Henley?

This year’s Henley Arts Trail is the biggest to date with almost 300 artists and makers at 33 venues covering an area of 50 square miles of countryside.

Taking place over the May bank holiday weekend, 4th to 6th, the trail showcases the vibrant visual arts and crafts scene around Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

The trail attracts around 10,000 visitors across the region taking in Bix, Twyford, Shiplake, Sonning, Hurst and Waltham St Lawrence with work displayed in studios, garden sheds, garages and village halls.

Such is the variety of work in the trail that life-size sculptures sit alongside delicate jewellery and abstract paintings nestle next to detailed nature art.

Many of the venues are dotted in villages along the Thames, offering a great opportunity to enjoy some splendid countryside at the same time. However many venues you are visiting it couldn’t be easier with the help of a map you can download from the website or pick up a leaflet from libraries or in village newsletters.

Organiser, Jo Keiller, says: “The standard of work on show is exceptional. Where else can you see the work of an artist who exhibits internationally, alongside emerging talent taking part in their first show? Talent is often hidden in spare rooms and garages, so the trail gives artists the chance to connect with the public and the public to discover new and exciting makers.”

Many venues offer refreshments and some boast demonstrations or workshops for visitors to get fully immersed in the art trail experience.

Find out more and see the map on the Henley Arts Trail site

A mini marvel

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exhibition

Mary Quant and models at the Quant Afoot footwear collection launch, 1967 © PA Prints 2008

A new exhibition at the V&A showcases the fashion revolution launched by Mary Quant.

Miniskirts put Mary Quant on the map, it became a fashion icon and came to symbolise a new era for women.

The little skirt which made a big difference will no doubt be a stand out attraction in a new exhibition at London’s V&A showcasing the work and influence of the designer.

Examples of her famous designs from across the 1960s and 1970s will highlight the way in which she launched a fashion revolution on the high street. More than 200 items of clothing and accessories, including unseen pieces from Quant’s personal archive will form part of the exhibition.

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive-WEB

Satin mini-dress and shorts by Mary Quant, photograph by Duffy, 1966 © Duffy Archive

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Model holding a Bazaar bag c.1959 © Mary Quant Archive

Born and brought up in Blackheath, her Welsh schoolteacher parents refused to let the young Mary attend a fashion course so she studied illustration instead at Goldsmiths where she met her future husband Alexander Plunket Greene. After graduating in 1953 she began an apprenticeship at a high-end milliner.

Together with Plunket Greene and a friend, the three opened a restaurant in the basement of a house Plunket Greene bought in King’s Road, Chelsea, by this time fast becoming “the place to be”. But it was the boutique she opened on the ground floor, Bazaar, that was to pave the way for Quant’s career and change in fashions.

Starting with clothes bought wholesale, she soon switched it up a gear after the success of a pair of lounge pyjamas she had designed for the opening and began stocking the boutique with her own designs.

Working overnight to produce new stock for the shop, which continually offered new lines, customers came in search of the unique items at competitive prices.

Bazaar was making a name across London as one of the few shops selling an alternative to the more “mature” designs of traditional high fashion. And it wasn’t just the clothing that brought about the different approach – the boutique offered loud music, free drinks, extravagant window displays and extended opening hours that all helped to attract shoppers.

She drew her influences from the musicians, dancers and street chic as well as the Mods who were shaping London’s youth culture. Quant’s initial collections were modern, simple and wearable, she wanted “relaxed clothes suited to the actions of normal life” as epitomised by the miniskirt, named after her favourite make of car, the mini.

Bright colours were a feature of her designs too drawing on clothing she’d worn as a child at school and dance classes and soon coloured tights were seen all over the capital, often with one of her high-hemline skirts.

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Kellie Wilson wearing tie dress by Mary Quant’s Ginger Group. Photograph by Gunnar Larsen, 1966. © Gunnar Larsen 

Mary Quant (1934-), British fashion designer and fashion icon. Ca. 1970. (Photo by adoc-photos/Corbis via Getty Images)

Mary Quant, photograph by Ronald Dumont, c.1967. (C) adoc-photos/Corbis Premium Historical/Getty Images

By 1957, the popularity of her clothing led to the opening of a second Bazaar in the King’s Road designed by another design icon Terence Conran.

And her originality didn’t end there – in 1966 as the nation was celebrating England’s World Cup glory, she invented hotpants, a garment even shorter than the miniskirt. The designer was also honoured with an OBE in this year.

She went on to sign a contract with American retailer JC Penney and expanded into the UK mass market with a cheaper line, Ginger Group.

By the end of the sixties, it is thought as many as seven million women had at least one Quant in their wardrobe while her cosmetic range was worn by thousands more.

The beginning of the next decade saw her empire grow to include homewares, swimwear and jewellery and even a skincare range for men.

In 1990 she was awarded the Hall of Fame Award by the British Fashion Council and in 2015 became Dame Mary Quant in the New Year’s Honours.

Co-curator Jenny Lister received an overwhelming response to the request for items for the exhibition. She said: “Quant is a fashion icon and one of the UK’s most well-known designers, so it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to fully celebrate her contribution to global style.”

• The Mary Quant exhibition, sponsored by King’s Road, runs at the V&A from 6th April until 16th February 2020.

Tickets £12. To book and for more details visit www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/mary-quant

Line & light: Art show

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exhibition

From Saturday 9th to Sunday 24th March, enjoy an exhibition of photographs, ceramics and life drawings presented by Gaby Guz and Rob Farrands.

Line and Light is the product of a wintertime collaboration between two artists using three media. It is their first joint exhibition. Rob is a photographer who lives in Oxford and Gaby, an alumna of St John’s, is a ceramicist and artist.

Gaby uses line and light to capture the fleeting poses she likes to draw. Her concerns are to convey the essence and emotion of a subject in the brief time that a dynamic pose allows. Her ceramic vessels are largely monochromatic, with bold black and grey lines spreading across egg-shell like pale surfaces.

Rob’s photographs honour the soft, reduced light of the winter solstice. He has shot directly into the light (often including the sun) and dealt with the resulting technical challenges to produce work with strong monochrome tones. His compositions are intended to arouse both a memory of winter’s darkness and the promise of the coming spring.

Rob’s photographs are all taken in Oxford mostly along the banks of the Thames between Iffley and Sandford. He has previously exhibited at the John Radcliffe Hospital in 2016/17 and also in Art Weeks. Gaby’s raku ceramics are monochrome and provide a perfect complement to Rob’s black and white photographs.

The exhibition is at The Barn Gallery, Kendrew Quad, St John’s College, St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JP. Opening times are 12-5pm weekdays and 11am-6pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Visit gabyguzart.com and  rfarrands.com to see more about Gaby and Rod!