STAR BREWERY GALLERY
Start Of / End Of
11 September - 27 September
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-4pm
Martin Gayford works with painting, drawing and collage, as well as words and music. An ongoing conversation exists between these mediums, one responding to another. Martin employs elements that frequently disrupt our reading of the picture surface, treading a line between representation and abstraction and affording glimpses of places, interiors and
even people, only to contradict what we are looking at. They are worked instinctively, in response to ‘found’ images or work he has already made, taking him (and us) down unexpected avenues, whether they be pleasing, eerie, ncomfortable, comedic or otherwise.
Martin lives and works in Lewes and London and has had solo and group shows in London, Berlin and Lewes since graduating from Winchester School of Art in 1993. His recent mixed exhibitions include shows at Tate Modern and Terrace Gallery, London. He has also curated group shows, including ‘Six Days In December’ at Thames-Side Gallery in 2019.
Finding the Thread
2 October - 18 October
Opening times: Monday-Sunday 11am-5pm
The story behind these artworks is one of chance encounters. It's about the discovery of a hidden name: Iplicjian, the unravelling of its significance through psychoanalysis and the transformation of association with loss into something new.
Within my English upbringing a cloud of secrecy had blocked all knowledge of my Armenian family identity. It was completely unknown to me until at 18, just as I was leaving for the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris, my grandfather slipped me the phone number of his sister Araxie who lived there.
I found I had an extensive family which had enjoyed considerable prosperity internationally in the cotton trade. There had been branches all over the world until it had all dwindled away in the hands of my grandfather’s generation, leaving many of the dependents penniless. The cotton trade had shifted to India , but I wonder about the impact of the Armenian genocide in 1915 (which remains unrecognised). Strangely in England the family name of Iplicjian was erased and replaced. Only a year after my discovery of these vital bits and pieces my father in turn lost everything and I left Paris.
Decades later, following my own financial collapse and near death, I was rescued by another Armenian aunt who miraculously reappeared out of the blue after a 35 year absence. She gave me the chance to escape from this destiny. Her words “ If you have so little time left you had better spend it doing what you want to do!!” started that process.
I underwent a long psychoanalysis (Lacanian), the last four years back in Paris. The unconscious effects of this Armenian family history began to make sense.
I had produced occasional artworks but, following the analysis and moving to Lewes, I suddenly started using cotton as medium in a completely new way that resulted in something like bas relief, looking lively, tactile and accessible The process was immediately enjoyable and I couldn’t stop compulsively making piece after piece, signing them with the name Iplicjian, still without consciously recognising the significance.
A revelation came via a Turkish speaker who happened to see them and I realised that the name had been mistranslated from Armenian to French on the family tree. The correct translation into English of Iplic is “thread” or “cotton”. Once more the unexpected had led to new significance.
24 October - 8 November
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-5pm
As a contemporary landscape painter I respond to the natural environment as both activist and celebrant. Sometimes this will take the form of conveying, via the canvas, my personal sense of awe and deep nourishment found in natural places, or reflecting how the weather dramatically influences the emotional quality of a landscape. At other times I am motivated to address environmental issues such as pollution and climate change.
I am especially interested in the fleeting transitions between day and night and the visual, experiential effects these have upon the senses. I am drawn to elemental interaction within a landscape, earth and wood reflections in water, rain in the air, the multi-varied effects of natural light. Wild spaces are my muses and I see nature's endless possibilities offering themselves as subjects to be captured in paint.
I trained in Fine Art Painting at Chelsea College of Art, London Institute, during the 1990's, graduating with both installation and painting work. Since then I have publicly exhibited installation work internationally, including the Airspace Gallery, Sydney, Australia, and at Limehouse Studios in London. More recently I have shown paintings in a range of spaces including the Art wave festival Sussex, and I have been shortlisted for the Holly Bush Emerging Woman Artist Award 2020.
There has been a big gap for me in the years between postgraduate art practice and returning to painting. During this time I trained to teach and taught Art, raised a family, wrote and published books on birth and motherhood. So becoming a professional artist has been a truly exciting U-turn in my career so far. For me it’s like a love affair with painting that’s been reignited.
'You Drink a Bit and Watch the Ghosts'
13 November - 29 November
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-4pm
Peter Messer’s paintings are mostly on a domestic scale, resolutely figurative and, by implication, narrative. He uses the historic medium of egg tempera which he prepares in the studio using egg yolk and raw pigment. The resulting paintings tend to be intense and meticulous, with a compellingly flat, arrested quality. Most of these paintings are set around and within his home town of Lewes.
Born in 1954, Peter Messer studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton. His work is frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and he has been a finalist in the Hunting, Garrick Milne, Lyn Painter-Stainers and Singer and Friedlander Prize exhibitions. In 1998 he won the Sotheby's-sponsored Chichester Art Prize and in 2000 was commissioned to provide twelve paintings for the Sussex Book of Revelations, an Arts Council Millennium Project which toured Sussex libraries. In 2004 he completed a commission for the House of Lords.
He lives and works in Lewes, Sussex and has paintings in collections in Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Sweden and the US, as well as the UK. In 2007 he published “On the Way to Work. The Lewes Paintings of Peter Messer”.
Marco Crivello & Jacob Crivello
Between the Water and The Clouds
4 December - 17 December
Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 11am-4pm
Between the water and the clouds will be the fourth exhibition by father and son Marco and Jacob Crivello, who work from the continuum studio in the heart of Lewes.
The show will be a rich mixture of micro landscapes, paintings, installations and collaborations, exploring themes of interconnection between the material and natural world.
In my new work, I have been exploring our precarious relationship with the natural world. From poetic memories and romantic encounters, to the dire threat of climate change; my microworlds invite the viewer to reflect on our place within the natural order.
For over twenty years improvisation has been my North star, finding expression in land and seascapes that emerged from a range of processes, that sought to replicate the actions of nature. That same love of improvisation and natural processes, continues to remain at the heart of my work, as it has evolved to explore more directly themes of transience, materiality and transformation.
PAST GALLERY EXHIBITIONS
Peter Messer | Andrew Fitchett | Tom Benjamin
17 July - 9 August
PAST ONLINE EXHIBITIONS
The work of the students in this show represent two things: firstly, the way young people think today, caught in the isolation of lockdown. Secondly, it shows us the expressive visual language of the point each has reached in their journey into a career in Art and Design.
Today, we all know that art makes a difference to how we see the world. We look at art to understand how we live as people. We might go to the National Gallery to understand how society once shaped the world. We look at a show like this one to see how young people explain what is new and different in the world to them now.
At Lewes, students are given the opportunity to learn technical and traditional skills and then challenged to apply those skills to their own work in an original fashion.
On every course in the department, the emphasis is firmly placed on uncovering the individual student's original voice, rather than bringing them to some predetermined and pre-confirmed and confining format: there is no 'house style'.
The college wants its students to learn, explore and to grow by producing highly realised and ambitious work. The Lewes art teaching team wants its students to make work which is the product of the student's own identity. Again, it should be emphasised, there is no house style, there is no single preferred way of approaching a creative problem.
Students are given tools, skills and frameworks that they can use to solve problems, but they must find those solutions for themselves. Students are always supported to be true to themselves and their own creative potential. Skills and techniques are taught, originality is prized.
Giving students opportunities as the work in this exhibition shows, allows those students, much as it does the other visitors to the exhibition, to really get to grips with, and understand the quality of the work produced en route to an excellent course grade.
Getting an A grade in a subject is obviously important, however, producing original and exciting work to a very high level is also vital as a preparation for the future and for students to make sense of the present in order to help them realise their sense of self.
Andrew Williamson, Head of Creative Learning at Lewes College. Lewes College is part of the East Sussex College Group.
Read the Sussex Express feature HERE
8 June-14 June
The exhibition 'A Performance' by photographer Andrew Whittuck shows a selection of photographs of Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Mick Jagger, Helen Mirren, Allen Ginsberg amongst others. View the Online Exhibition.
Our gallery will comply with government COVID19 rules and regulations.
Our aim is to make the gallery safe for the artists, the visitors and our staff.
Social distancing is vital so we can only allow four visitors in the gallery at the same time.
We ask all visitors to please wear a mask whilst visiting the Star Brewery Gallery.
The gallery will be cleaned and surfaces disinfected regularly throughout the day.
The beginning of the Gallery
'The Star Brewery Gallery has been at the centre of the art life of Lewes since its inception as the Star Gallery in the late 1980s. Over the ensuing years, under changing management and name, it has shown a huge range of artists and craftspeople including Paula Rego, Sir Hugh Casson, Christopher Le Brun and John Skelton to name just a few. I have consistently exhibited at the Star since its earliest days and have never found it to be less than an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
Neeta Pedersen worked there for five years as assistant to Gallery Owner, Curator and Director Angie Osborne under its spell as the Hop Gallery. I feel she really understood the Gallery’s ambitious attitude to the arts without losing sight of its place at the heart of the extensive local arts community. I, and many others, were very heartened to hear that she was taking over after a short period when, under other management, it had diverged from this and had become lost to view for many of us. I feel she has all the right capacities to make the gallery a great success. In addition to her five years practical experience in the space, she is a respected and successful artist in her own right and a well known and popular member of the community.
Due to the current unprecedented health emergency, the timing of Neeta’s takeover could not have been worse but she is attracting enormous goodwill from artists and supporters. The general feeling is that if anyone has the character, resilience and will to bring the Gallery successfully back to the centre of Lewes cultural life, it is Neeta.'
'We were very disappointed when only a week away from the opening night, we realised the coronavirus crisis meant we would have to postpone the launch exhibition of The Star Brewery Gallery. To our amazement, Neeta refused to give in and within days, pulled together a very presentable online Star Brewery Gallery, worked out a social media campaign and launched the whole thing online and on time. The online Star Brewery Gallery has given me great publicity and healthy sales beyond my expectations. Neeta really has taken very good care of us and I feel very lucky to be represented by such a dynamic gallery.'
I was approached by Neeta last year to see if I would be interested in exhibiting in the opening exhibition of the Star Brewery Gallery along with Andrew Fitchett and Peter Messer. It wasn’t a difficult decision. Although we haven't exhibited together for some time we have had a series of shows together in the past and I admire their work and I thought it would interesting to do it again. I also have a long history with the gallery and had some of my first solo shows when Pat and Mike Cooper ran it. I have always liked the character of the space, its beautifully lit and you can get surprisingly large amount of work on the walls. I also had a joint show of mine and my late father's paintings, which was a special occasion for me as we never had the chance to exhibit together in his lifetime and it attracted a lot of interest.
It’s been a pleasure working with Neeta, we have had to be light on our feet as we've tried to keep pace with the rapidly changing restrictions imposed by the crisis. Neeta quickly thought of making the show an online event and we've combined in depth interviews, short films and images of the work to give people as rich an experience as possible. The response to the show has been tremendous and we are all committed to putting on a physical show in the gallery when we are on the other side of this challenging time.
This delightful visual arts exhibition space, first established as the Star Gallery in the late 1980s and later known as the Hop Gallery, has a history of hosting exhibitions by local, regional, national and international artists and of showcasing both successful and established artists and up-and-coming talented artists and makers.
This multifunctional space is ideal for displaying not only traditional and contemporary art and sculpture but also installations and craftwork of various kinds. We aim to stage an exciting diverse programme of exhibitions to suit all tastes and pockets.
Situated in the centre of Lewes, the vibrant county town of East Sussex, the gallery is housed in the renovated 18th century Star Brewery building with its ancient brickwork and massive beams that is occupied by artists, framers, potters, filmmakers and many others.
The gallery is also a short walking distance from a wide range of Lewes’ other attractions which include the Norman castle and an interesting array of atmospheric coffee shops, pubs and restaurants as well as bookshops, antique markets and unique independent shops.
“My aim as Director of the new Star Brewery Gallery is to revitalise its reputation as being one of the significant and prestigious visual arts venues in the South East by putting on a wide diversity of stimulating and interesting solo or group shows. Thematic shows by guest curators will also feature as part of our creative offering.
Our Selection Panel will help me assess a broad range of work in many mediums - painting, illustration, art installations, photography, sculpture and crafts – and choose what we feel is most suited to our exhibition premises.
I want visitors to the new gallery to feel welcomed into this warm and beautiful aesthetic space.”
Neeta Pedersen, who is an artist in her own right, has a special relationship to this artistic space having worked there for almost five years as gallery assistant to the then Gallery Owner, Curator and Director Angie Osborne when is was known as Hop Gallery.
Neeta is a multimedia artist with a distinctive style that comes from her unusual heritage, her extensive travels and her rich visual imagination. She has expressed herself in paintings, sculptures, digital art, illustration and animation. Her work, which ranges from the highly decorative and romantic to the stark and explicit, has gained her an international reputation.
Born in Mumbai to unknown parents, she was adopted at the age of six months by a Danish couple from Aarhus. After her primary and secondary schooling in Denmark, she left home at 17 to travel to Israel and then subsequently travelled to India and Nepal for six months to absorb and observe the culture she came from. She has also visited France, Germany, Central Europe and Scandinavia.
In 1997, she moved to Lewes to study at Brighton College of Technology, where she gained a BTEC National Diploma in Multimedia. In 1999, she moved to the US to enrol in the Total Immersion Intensive Workshop at the New York Film Academy and, in 2005, gained a BA (Hons) in Animation from the University of Westminster in London.
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ADDRESS: Star Brewery Gallery, Star Brewery, Castle Ditch Lane, (off Fisher Street) Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 1YJ
PHONE: 07932 500 952
All submission or gallery hire inquiries must be done by email.
There is a direct train from London Victoria to Lewes and bus services from Brighton to Lewes. Catch the bus No 28 or 29 which takes you to Lewes High Street. Get off at the Lewes Crown Court and walk down Fisher Street where you will see the Star Brewery building on your left. There are two different entrances to the gallery.
The Star Brewery Gallery does not have designated parking. There are car parking facilities within the town which allows all-day parking, payment by the meter.