STAR BREWERY GALLERY
HEROES + ICONS
23 September - 1 October
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-3pm | Closed Monday
Martin Rowsell is an artist and designer from Peacehaven. Although creative all his life, it was only due to a downturn in design work during the pandemic that allowed him to begin to paint more productively. Working in a modern pop-art meets graffiti style, and often finishing the portraits off with foil leaf, the exhibition will be an opportunity to view a selection of his paintings in all their glory and see the impact their size has first hand.
Stories From A Life
Artworks by Neeta Pedersen
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-3pm
Neeta explores the world of her imagination, illustrated in her personal artwork, which is dominated by feminine sensuality, sexuality, energy, emotion, dreams and fantasies. She expresses these feelings in many media including paintings, sculptures, digital art and animation. Her work ranges from the highly decorative and romantic to the stark and explicit.
In February 2020 she became the owner and director of the Star Brewery Gallery in Lewes and has staged a wide variety of successful exhibitions by local artists.
Sensuality Of Being
Latest work by Sarah Bristow
Open 11am-4pm daily
In Conversation with Sarah Saturday 28th October 2.30pm-3.30pm
Sarah is a local artist, having exhibited broadly over the years, from London, Berlin, Ireland and East Africa. Sarah’s work is defined by it’s commanding use of colour, line and form, creating a strong sensual experience. Her work is usually derived from a single or inter-active figure, exploring shapes, spaces and shadows, with an emotional quality of touch.
Sussex by the Sea
Paintings of Hastings, Hope Gap, Newhaven and Brighton
4 - 19 November
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon - 4pm | Closed Monday
After several years focusing on woods and natural coastland this show will include paintings made in central Brighton and of the bulldozers and boats on Hastings beach.
In and Out of the Woods
25 November - 3 December
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon - 4pm | Closed Monday
Having spent so long painting the intimate details of Lewes town, I felt that I needed to move into some differently structured and nuanced spaces. The paintings in this exhibition contain many references to woodland, some actual and some less so. It has been a fascinating and liberating lateral step which has allowed me to pull many psychic loose ends together.
I will never be a plein air painter, neither do I especially share the current literary enthusiasm for reconnection with the natural world. I grew up playing and dreaming in the woods over the road from my childhood home and am simply seeking and making other, similar, playgrounds. For now.
9 - 17 December
"Many visitors and friends who came to my exhibition, said how glad they were that the gallery had been re-born since Neeta Pedersen took over as owner/manager. Following a period in which it had become a less-accessible space, it is now available to artists again as a proper gallery! My personal thanks go to Neeta for her guidance, communication skills during a difficult time for all, and her friendship. It has been the greatest pleasure to work with her. She is truly the star of the Star Brewery Gallery and long may she remain so."
Tom Walker, Artist, 03/08/2021
"Thank you, Neeta. Working together with my gallerist Sarah O'Kane, we both came away with a warm positive buzz from the experience of putting on a show of my paintings at the Star Gallery this October. Partly, of course, because all the practicalities - of installation, lighting, security, money, etc - proved straightforward and efficient, when working with you. Partly also because the footfall was so healthy! But mostly because of the whole attitude you bring to the gallery. You make it feel a welcoming place and one that's going to lift up the eyes and emotions of anyone who steps in - you make it feel like art ought to feel like. Once again - as in the old days of Pat and Mike Cooper that some of us remember - you are making the Star Gallery the heart of the town."
Julian Bell, 21 November 2021
‘It was a pleasure to show again with the Star Brewery Gallery. I first exhibited with the gallery (then called the Star Gallery) in the early 90s when it was run by Pat and Mike Cooper. They gave me my first shows including a joint exhibition of mine and my late father's paintings. It's so wonderful to see the gallery thriving again. Neeta is great to work with and the last show was one of the most successful I’ve had."
Tom Benjamin, 06/12/2021
"Neeta Pedersen could not have taken on the running of the Star Brewery Gallery at a less opportune time. The fact that she has managed to stage so many excellent exhibitions by well respected artists in the last two years is a tribute to her organisational skills and the esteem in which she is held by the arts community.
Many of us have exhibiting links with the gallery which go back to the pioneering days under Mike and Pat Cooper in the late eighties and it's encouraging that, among the new artists Neeta promotes, she is still very much supported by those with a history at the Star.
My exhibition last December, 'You Drink a Bit and Watch the Ghosts' was, after a difficult year for us all, marvellously supported and turned out to be my most successful show at the Star to date.
Working with Neeta is a pleasure and I'm really looking forward to my next collaboration with her in April 2022."
Peter Messer, 06/12/2021
THANK YOU Neeta Pedersen at The Star Brewery Gallery for delivering such a well organised and successful exhibition. Your expertise and support were outstanding throughout.
Andrew Fitchett 10/05/2022
“Neeta’s wonderful blend of empathy and acumen made the experience of exhibiting in the gallery a pleasure. Enough support & structure that the whole process worked smoothly, enough freedom to allow for individuality & creativity. And her inherent warmth to add to the atmosphere…great cocktail! Thank you Neeta for creating the space for this to happen and for this beautiful building to thrive. Respect and appreciation!”
Rachael Plummer 09/06/2022
'Showing at the Star Brewery Gallery was a really great experience. Neeta's excellent curatorial eye and help with setting up was invaluable. If any help or support was needed Neeta was aways on hand, nothing was too much trouble. It was such an easy and enjoyable experience exhibiting and everything went perfectly. I’m looking forward to showing here again.'
Jenny Arran 07/11/2022
The Art of Biodiversity
Celebrating nature in its many forms
2nd - 17th September
Opening times: Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm | Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm | Closed Monday
‘Biodiversity is the key to the maintenance
of the world as we know it’
This exhibition follows on from two highly successful group shows – ‘The Tree Show’ in 2001 and the 2022 Artwave exhibition ‘The River Show’. Both were exciting and successful events containing a diverse selection of artwork by painters, sculptors, photographers and printmakers, which attracted a large number of visitors.
We believe that art is an important way of increasing awareness of the urgent need to take action to preserve and protect our natural environment in an age of climate change.
12 - 28 August
Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-4pm | Closed Monday
New works, oils on canvas, pencils and inks on cotton rag paper, as always inspired by the world around us. I am immersed in the sea, the woods and nature. It’s a beautiful world.
29 July - 6 August
Open 11am-4pm daily
Moments in time captured in clay, photography, paint and pastels.
Fresh and affordable art by
Louise Bell, Pippa Honess, Ruth Plunkett, Jason Munro and Annie Bell.
The Vanishing Point series was created during a visit to Orford Ness, Suffolk on a memorably hot afternoon. Ruth says: I have often felt these images to have almost created themselves, for only later did I see, and re-see in them for the first time, how ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘future’ memory appears spatially inseparable, reminding me that nothing is quite as it seems, and that time and endings are rarely on quite the linear trajectory we often imagine. As a poet/photographer with a background in psychotherapy, Ruth is attracted by that which is ambiguous, misleading and/or unresolved. Longing and desire too, play their part, often to be found in images of solitariness.
Annie is a Lewes based artist who translates the feelings from moments in time into abstract, expressive oil pastel drawings. Be it spotting the first daffodil in spring, a good news story or a gloomy dark day. Annie likes to play with colour and mark making to create textured oil ‘landscapes’ on paper. Building up several layers of oil pastel until finally achieving the ‘moment of calm’ in which the work is finished.
Annie is also the Event Director of London Design Fair. She has a degree in Fine Art from Kingston University.
Pippa’s hand built, smoke fired, ceramic vessels are inspired by her love of the sea and Sussex gardens. She has worked as both gardener and potter for over 20 years. Pippa studied Fine and Applied Art (Ceramics) at City Lit College, London.
Jason’s latest series of paintings focus on everyday objects around the home. Those rare moments when the light falls perfectly and the spaces usually ignored seem to catch our attention. Working in oil paints he captures light and colour in a way that highlights the beauty in the mundane.
Jason is a Print / Graphic Designer. He studied Illustration and Design at Kingston University.
A Lewes based ceramic artist, Louise makes hand built sculptures with multi - layered surfaces and multi - layered meanings. Her ‘Ancient Toys’ are inspired by the universal appeal of toys that date back as far as 1500 BC. The surface treatment of this collection gives the impression of toys being rescued from the earth and reflects a desire to preserve childhood objects and value iconic toys. Louise studied Fine and Applied Art at City Lit College, London and completed a Masters in Craft, specialising in ceramics at Brighton University in 2019.
15 - 23 July
Open Tuesday- Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-3pm | Closed Monday
Paintings on a burlesque theme, to evoke the excitement, anticipation and colour of live performance.
As a figurative artist with an interest movement, this is a theme from which I can draw constant inspiration. For me there is a nostalgia and surreal quality to circus and burlesque which reaches out to all the senses, making everything seem larger than life.
Burlesque as a term originally comes from an Italian word burla, meaning “joke, ridicule, a mockery”, and was first coined in the 1500s. It came to describe a variety show in the USA, popular from the 1860s until the 1940s, that was both provocative and comedic. Resurgence of interest in the art form in the 1990s led to neo or new burlesque, which is characterised by self expression, elaborate costume, bawdy humour, circus performances and sensual dance, and is no longer about seeking the validation or approval of men.
I think what particularly interests me in portraying these performers is seeing physically and emotionally strong women who push at the boundaries of what is socially acceptable, completely out there in terms of being their true uncensored, unapologetic selves.
1 - 9 July
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-3pm | Closed Monday
Claire Hoskin’s work is based on objects in the Pitt Rivers Museum which houses the University of Oxford’s anthropological collection.
Using drawing and collage as a process of abstraction the original artefacts are “evolved” into small scale mixed media sculptural pieces. The sculptures are made using predominantly natural and repurposed materials to reflect the nature of the objects that inspired them.
Each piece’s title is the museum’s accession number for the original artefact to acknowledge its connection to the work and skill of its largely unknown, or unnamed, maker.
Cloth, Paper, Steel
A photography exhibition featuring work by Steve Gallagher
17 - 25 June
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm | Sunday 12noon–3pm | Closed Monday
"Cloth, Paper, Steel" is a new exhibition of fine art photographs by Steve Gallagher, whose finely-detailed floral studies and dramatic seascapes reflect the richness and variety of the Sussex landscape. Steve's recent work has been shortlisted for prestigious awards such as Lens Culture's Black & White Photography Awards 2022 and Close Up Photographer of the Year 2022.
"Cloth, Paper, Steel" showcases Steve's use of a range of media to highlight different aspects of his work. It is an opportunity for visitors to experience photography in a new light and discover the impact those media can have on the overall experience of the photographs. Each medium has been chosen to enhance the impact and meaning of the images on display, providing a unique visual experience for visitors.
The exhibition features a diverse range of photographs, from stunning seascapes to intricate floral portraiture. The photographs printed on cloth create a sense of delicacy and an ethereal element to the imagery. Steve's images on paper, on the other hand, provide a classic and timeless feel. And finally, new photographs printed on metal (steel) showcase a different level of depth, richness, and texture, an ideal medium for images that depict strength, power, and durability.
Nature's Rhythms: Semi-abstract and Abstract
3 - 11 June
Open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-3pm | Closed Monday
For this body of work I have attempted to achieve the right balance between the figurative and abstract. Both disciplines are familiar in my art process and create a way of communicating through artistic expression.
Reimagined and seen places of the semi-abstract landscape dominate most of my work as we move from season to season. The influences of post impressionism are very evident as I strive to reject limitations. Walking at the coast along with walks in the country, I often take photographs and do little sketches at familiar places. Back in my studio I tend to work intuitively and warm up by taking an existing painting to rework before I start on new work. Mark making and layering is a process which adds depth and texture and allows me to experiment and explore, including the addition of collage.
Without the foundations of a starting point abstraction can be a challenge, but in all of this, there is an element of emotional response, which can take me in many directions as I look to the non-representational and rely on my inner stimulus and what it is I am attempting to portray. Using collage within my abstract work is also a means to an end using various materials and assembling to create contrast, including several applications of mixed media, relying on informed decisions which represent how I feel about a particular topic.
Mark Munroe-Preston & Gareth Hayward
19 - 28 May
Open 11am - 5pm daily | closed Monday
An exhibition showcasing the work of Mark Munroe-Preston and Gareth Hayward.
Both artists use their individual mediums to create atmospheric landscapes, utilising
colour, texture and light to create their dramatic statement pieces.
The show will include original paintings and limited edition prints on aluminium and paper.
John Martin RBA
5 - 14 May
Open Monday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-4pm
The exhibition will include paintings made over the last few years on location in Sussex and on the Continent, as well as still life and interior subjects.
Inside and outside is a theme which often occurs in my paintings.
Sense of place and light are very important to me and I hope that this is conveyed in a spontaneous way through paint.
The Lower Limb of the Moon and Other Paintings
15 - 23 April 2023
Open 11am-5pm daily
His landscape and figurative work reflects the influence of the urban landscape of London and the rural vistas of the Sussex weald and downland – its swelling hill-forms and concave valleys, its trees, skies and heavenly bodies – and also of human figures, dancers in particular.
Peter Chasseaud is a painter and printmaker, who also works in several other media. He has been painting in and around Lewes for 50 years. He did his foundation course in 1969-70 at Croydon College of Art, and studied Fine Art Painting and Printmaking in the 1970s at Brighton Polytechic – now University of Brighton. He has exhibited at many venues in Lewes and Brighton, some of his earliest being part of the ‘Lewes is Alive’ festivals of the 1970s. He has shown at the Star Gallery (now Star Brewery Gallery), Fitzroy House,
Thebes, Lewes House, North Street Gallery, the Burstow Gallery at Brighton College, etc. In addition to his painting, he runs the Tom Paine Press & Gallery in Lewes High Street, and produces his own artist’s books/poetic photobooks. His last exhibition at the Star (Willow/Wilg/Weide/Saule) was a series of large gouache paintings on hand-made paper, the theme being Flanders willow trees. He has shown his artist’s books at the London Artists Book Fair at the South Bank, Barbican, and Whitechapel, and at the Small Publishers Fair and Oxford Fine Press Fair among other venues.
One For Sorrow
1 - 10 April
Open Tuesday-Sunday 11am-4pm | Closed Monday 3 April | Open Easter Monday 11am-4pm
Talk and divining to be held on 6th April at 6.30 pm
A deeply personal series of images in response to the grieving process and recovery from loss.
Photographs and Books
One for Sorrow paints a delicate portrait of grief and loss. Having lost both his father and brother decades apart, the grieving process is something Hight has faced head-on and addresses the binary reputation of recovery as something, “one always feels the need to be on the right side of.” Taking inspiration from his own dreams during periods of heightened emotion alongside the symbiotic relationship which exists between light and dark, the carefully curated work remains distinctly Hight in style while thematically exploring a universal experience. Articulating something which will affect us all, Hight’s collection of images traverses the varying degrees of sorrow and grief, most importantly accentuating the idea emotions are anything but linear.
Josh Hight (b.1979, Detroit) is a photographer now residing in Lewes, UK. Josh’s work is informed by nature, isolation, occultism and the unknown. Often his work places the viewer in the midst of things so that we are not certain of what we are seeing, where we are or what might happen next. Over the past 10 years Hight has garnered attention as a fashion photographer, and has shot for brands such as Fendi, Margaret Howell and Sunspel, while the list of talent who have stood before his lens is endless, including the likes of Emma D’Arcy, Alan Moore and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
Today Hight continues to make work in and around Lewes, citing the mysticism of the East Sussex landscape and folk lore history as current drivers within his work.
Visions to Enchant
East Sussex College
21 - 26 March
Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm | Sunday 1-4pm
The Visions to Enchant exhibition comes to the Star Brewery Gallery in Lewes later this month, ahead of the Royal Opera House Design Challenge 2023. Art and Design Extended Diploma student, Phoebe Ociepka-Tearle, reports.
This year’s Design Challenge is based on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera, ‘The Magic Flute’.
Work by ESC Lewes students studying Art & Design Extended Diploma, will be showcased along with the work of two Beauty & Makeup students at the Star Brewery Inn this month in an exciting new exhibition, Visions to Enchant. To help support the students, members of the public are encouraged to fill in a short questionnaire and vote for their favourite piece of work. The 'best in show’ will awarded a private view to be held lunchtime on Sunday 26th March, before the exhibition will be opened again, at 1pm, to members of the public. A selection of work will then be submitted to the Royal Opera House Design Challenge.
Each year, East Sussex College Art & Design students submit work for the Royal Opera House Design Challenge. The competition, open to all UK FE colleges and sixth form schools/colleges, is an incredible opportunity for students to engage with a ‘live’ brief, a real client, and create a design for the most prestigious stage in the country, if not the world.
Locally, it provides the Art & Design Extended Diploma, Animation & Illustration and Beauty & Make-Up students from ESC Lewes the opportunity to test and develop their marketing, production and creative design skills based around a production.
Students will hear if they have been successful in the Royal Opera House Design Challenge later this Spring. This will be the xx consecutive competition the College has entered, and follows success in its previous xxx years.
Spirit of Place
New paintings by Julian Le Bas
4 - 12 March
Open 11am-5pm daily | closed Monday
‘The joyous and challenging experiences of several decades of painting the South Downs and coastline has deepened in my work over the last three years. Colour has increasingly been a significant vehicle to express my feelings about form and light.’
Julian Le Bas 2023
The Sussex Book of Revelations
A rare chance to see the longest book on Sussex ever published.
A historical poetic voyage – 26 feet long!
Poem by John May / Paintings by Peter Messer
3-11 December 2022
Opening times: 11am-4pm daily / Closed Monday
The Book of Sussex Revelations contains a long epic poem by John May with 12 paintings by Peter Messer. The book was designed by Andy Gammon, Text pages were silk-screened by Ian Brown, bound by Rachel Ward-Sale in a lectern/Carrying case made by Colin Sullivan with metal fastenings by Simeon Smythe.
What makes the book unusual is that its 29 pages, each measuring 34.5cm x 50.8cm, are held together in a concertina binding which is encased in a specially made box. When fully extended, the book forms a 26ft-long frieze [7.9metres] which enables all the text and pictures to be seen at once.
Commissioned in 1999 as a core element of a Millennium Festival project, the book toured 11 libraries in East and West Sussex from July to December 2000. In the following 20 years this valuable and unique book was lost to sight. John May made many attempts over the years to try and locate it without success until finally, in 2022, he was contacted by Hastings library who had held the book in their archive. It was returned safe and sound in July and is on show in an art gallery for the first time.
11am-4.30pm daily | Closed Monday
Encouraged to leave school at 16 with Sculpture O level firmly under my belt, i entered the job market with high hopes and a love for all things creative.
After spells working as a Furrier, Estate agent, Hairdresser and Sofa bed delivery man, I eventually settled into an apprenticeship in Hatton Garden as a jeweller.
Always with creativity in mind, I specialised in lost wax casting, and on completing my term as an apprentice was promptly replaced by technology and my job became obsolete.
Once again I set out into the big wide world and found myself washed up on the shores of Camden Lock. It was the early 90s and the country was raving. Camden was buzzing and at the weekend fly pitching was the thing to do , making and selling my own jewellery. By night I painted backdrops for various clubs and raves, I spent the mid nineties travelling in South America with my now wife Jacqueline and upon my return in ‘96 we set up shop on Brighton Seafront in the Sugarglider Gallery selling works of ceramic, silver and paint. Good years on the seafront were interrupted beautifully by the birth of our first son and new adventures called, so we sold up and moved to France, a little village in the south called Valras Plage. It is in the South of France that I found my love of landscape painting. With a year as house husband I would take Alex on long walks with my paint box and it was from these roots the landscape grew. We returned after one wonderful year and found ourselves by lucky hap in the picturesque village of Plumpton. We were blessed with another child and I settled to being a father and painting the surrounding South Downs , which have become my absolute muse. I still live in Plumpton with my wife and two children and I hope you enjoy the paintings on show.
11am-4pm Daily, closed Monday
Jenny studied Sculpture at Brighton University and has an MA from the Slade School of Fine Art. She’s been Artist in Residence for Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, performed at the International Festival of Drawing and has had drawings and poetry published.
Her work is inspired by the physical ‘bodies’ of nature, the sense of movement and entanglement, the chaos and rhythm, the play of light and shade. Painting is an intuitive and expressive process - a translation of a sensory experience - she works from visual memory, recalling snapshots of colour, the sense of fleeting moments of time and connection so the work becomes a blend of the real and remembered - of inner and outer landscapes.’
Spirit of Water
8 - 16 October 2022
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-4pm | Monday Closed
The spirit of the sea will always captivate my Piscean personality. I've always lived by the coast of Sussex and during lockdown my family took many walks along our local coastline. I love that the sea has so many moods, from the high energy and exhilaration of powerful waves to the contrasting soft light of a late afternoon when the sea is like silk.
When I'm not by the coast I'm wild swimming and diving in some of the UK's stunning lakes and rivers. Under water gorges and the depths of our Crystal waters take me to another world, I would love to share my view with you.
My Midnight Garden
24 September - 2 October 2022
11am - 4pm daily | Closed Monday
Harriet studied Fine Art at the City and Guilds London Art School, and this is her first show at the Star Gallery in Lewes. Her work is of a story-telling nature, oil on hardboard, and draws on dream-like themes set in strange nocturnal landscapes, with a focus on adolescence, aloneness, motherhood and moonlight. In her work can be seen the echoes of her major influences such as Redon, Rego, Aitchison, Munch and Pacheco. Her paintings reveal personal longings and confusions, and bravely expose her childlike wonderment and fearfulness, at a time of transition in her own life.
THE RIVER SHOW
3rd - 18th September 2022
Opening times: Tuesday-Friday 11am-4pm | Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm | Closed Monday
As a part of the Artwave Festival, the Star Brewery Gallery presents THE RIVER SHOW - an exciting group exhibition of works by artists celebrating the beauty of rivers and highlighting their importance in a climate change era. The exhibition has been organised by Gallery Director Neeta Pedersen and journalist John May.
Neeta says: "We hope our exhibition - which features various artists from Lewes and the surrounding area - will focus minds not only on the importance of our rivers and our water supplies and their great value to wildlife and our natural environment but also to their great beauty which has inspired artists - past and present. The paintings on show from 16 artists are very varied and demonstrate the many different styles and mediums that the artists have brought to this subject."
Thank you Stewart and Lesley Dalby for so kindly donating funds to help us to finance the RIVER SHOW for Artwave 2022.
Rhythms of Life
5 - 21 August 2022
Tuesday to Sunday 11am - 4pm | Closed Monday
My work is a mixture of colourful, energetic and thought provoking seascapes, landscapes and abstracts. I work in oils, pencil and pastel. I have exhibited in over 100 shows, many of them solo, across the UK also in Berlin. My work has been featured in many TV shows and I have buyers across the globe.
Life in front of the Lens
People and Stories by Andrew Whittuck
July 22 - 31 2022
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 4pm | Sunday 12 noon - 4pm | Closed Monday
Andrew Whittuck is a professional photographer with over 50 years experience.
During his long and varied career he has photographed: The Pink Floyd in 1967; the Beatles when they met the Maharishi at the Hilton Hotel; Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithful; Malcolm X meeting RD Laing and Allen Ginsberg at the Roundhouse and took ‘stills’ of Helen Mirren in one of her first films.
Earlier in his career he photo-documented some thoughtful pictures of the Aberfan disaster. He was also the photographer for a journalist writing a piece on the stresses facing undergraduate students back in the 60’s.
He photographed the amazing dishes created by Keith Floyd and Antonio Carluccio for their cookery books, and for many magazines including the Observer, Sunday Times, Elle and Woman magazines.
Andrew has worked with performance and artists including Bobby Baker, Richard Deacon, Mark Storor, and also for galleries White Cube and the Lisson Gallery.
Tide mills and the Surrounding Area
8 -17 July 2022
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 4pm | Sunday 12 noon - 4pm | Closed Monday
As a painter I view The Tide Mill site as a hidden record of the past 200 years, waiting to be rediscovered . A lost Village, littered with the remains of two World Wars and even remnants of the Napoleonic wars.
The Tide Mills remind me of my own past in the 1940s as a child, surrounded by the bomb sites of London.
We played on these sites, running in and out of the ruined houses. The rooms would be scattered with old photos, books, broken furniture and china, and even pictures hanging on the damp paper walls.
I grew up in an orphanage, and these derelict family homes had special significance that resonates with me to this day.
Using what remains on the Tide Mill site, my paintings create a collage of the history, in an attempt to capture surrender of the soul and submission to a way of life.
24th June - 3rd July 2022
Monday-Sunday 11am - 5pm
In 1966 I attended art school and trained to be a graphic designer. I worked in London and then Brighton where I freelanced for ten years. I then became a lecturer in graphic design until my retirement.
I have been making images all my life through photography, drawing,
painting, collage, graphic design & digital media. I have made many collages and other mixed media artworks and dabbled with painting. During 2010 – 2020 I made a series of Art Boxes. On the first of January 2020 I started to paint seriously using acrylic on canvas & combining paint with collage.
The exhibition will display my paintings and some art boxes.
On the 1st January 2020 I started to paint seriously and have been painting since then. I see my work as a fusion of subconscious reasoning with paint, collage, colour, texture & three dimensional elements. I use abstract expressionism to paint quite large works on canvas with acrylics. Colour is my main consideration, and I like to use bright hues. I also combine paint and collage in my work. I don’t really plan works as such. I want to use my subconscious to create paintings which are free from constraints. I am getting away from the rules and regulations governing the work I did as a graphic designer and teacher during my life. So, I start with a few ideas, and then progress, until I feel the work has reached a satisfying conclusion. Then I see all kinds of references and symbols which I recognize.
The Art Boxes display imagery which illustrates a particular story or theme. I found the research very interesting and the method I was going to use to communicate the idea. I used a variety of mixed media for these.
Oil & Stone
10th - 19th June 2022
11am - 4pm daily | Closed Monday
I live and work in the village of Chiddingly, East Sussex. Throughout my adult life I have performed in physical theatre and contemporary dance, attained a BA Hons degree in Dance with Visual Practice, qualified as a therapist and taught pilates for 20 years.
Throughout my work, a passion for the human form has led me to rediscover working with both clay and paint. I started working with clay when I was 16, in my school art classes. It was something of a eureka moment for me . But it would be another 30 years before I began sculpting and painting again.
My work is constantly evolving. My sculpting explores the human form with a strong emphasis on movement, texture and colour. This same emphasis has been carried into my painting process, albeit with less focus on the human form.
The exhibition will include both my paintings and sculptures.
My process is loose and free, both in application and in its finished form. I experience the combined qualities of movement, texture and colour as I work, allowing feelings and emotions to play their part. It is simply the essence of my subject , in that moment , that I am trying to capture. The exhibition is an opportunity for me to show all aspects of my work thus far.
animal / mineral
28 May - 5 June 2022
11am - 4pm daily
A body of work which explores animal, mineral & plant life & the ways we interconnect, belong, forget … a departure and a homecoming.
Mineral inclusion, plant matters, animal presence…
“ A completely achieved personal visual language.” Julian Bell, Artist and Art Writer
“ An energetic and delicate perception.” Louisa Thomsen Brits, Author
“ Some of them look like mud but in a nice way, all of them make me feel excited and alive.” Lola aged 9
Jonathan G Skelton
Diadem and Dance
Paintings of downland and music
15 - 22 May 2022
11am – 5pm daily | Closed Monday
This exhibition features the many aspects of a single downland hill, Wolstonbury, near Hurstperpoint, Sussex. In a suite of paintings, Jonathan’s broad brush strokes capture her sinuous curves and the dignity she maintains despite the vicissitudes of man.
The artist’s love of music is represented in a single piece by what’s been described as the ‘art of dance’, Bach’s famous keyboard work ‘Goldberg Variations’.
Jonathan G Skelton (b.1949), son of the sculptor John Skelton, began work as an artist from the mid 1990’s, following professional life as designer and craftsman. He created 2D and 3D mixed media pieces until 2009 when he turned to landscape painting. His twin practices of Tai Chi and Chinese calligraphy feed into his work.
Closely Observed Worlds
Paintings by Andrew Fitchett, Films by Nick Collins
30 April - 8 May
Saturday 30th April – Sunday 1st May. 10am to 5pm
Monday 2nd -Friday 6th May. 11am to 4pm
Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th May. 10am to 5pm
8pm to 9pm Saturday 30th April, Wednesday 4th and Saturday 7th May
Both artists use their respective mediums to create meditative images that revel in the long gaze. Following initial connection to their subjects Andrew and Nick contemplate the minute elements that make up the work, lingering on moments in time to create atmospheric slivers of existence. These beautifully crafted observations give the viewer an opportunity to dwell on bold, powerful compositions and to lose themselves in the physical detail and passing ghosts of shadow and light that hold our world together.
I have been making paintings since leaving London in 1992. The composition and drawing skills I developed during my design and advertising career have a strong presence in my work. Whether I am working small or large, I find detail is unavoidable. Inspiration often comes from the atmosphere of a place. I am particularly drawn to moments of stillness and isolation, and it is these sensations that make a landscape interesting for me rather than any specific type of terrain. The painting that follows is a kind of enhanced memory that is developed in my studio working with oil on canvas from sketches made on location. Sometimes the work has a meaning beyond the obvious elements that make up the painting and connects with my wider experiences.
My long-standing love of Crows is more folklore than ornithological, and they often make appearances in my paintings. I have recently been exploring the world of moths and butterflies. Close observation of their intricate wing patterns has inspired me to make a series of oversized paintings in celebration of their beauty.
My work is in private collections in UK, Holland, Germany, Norway, America and Canada and I have exhibited my work across the UK from Brighton to Edinburgh.
Nick was born in 1953, and has been making films since 1976. His films, usually filmed on Super-8 and 16mm film, explore landscapes, human presence and absence and the passage of time. Nick Collins’ films have been shown widely at film festivals in Europe and elsewhere.
'The hallmark of Nick Collins’ films is their concise poetic and observational statement that offer a space for reflection on landscape, cinema, sound and image.’ (A.L. Rees, Sequence, issue 2, 2012).
I think of my films as objects which have a time dimension. Each film should have an overall sense of the time it represents (often the sense of a single, though in reality composite, day) and also a shape across its duration, as well as a feel and a palette. Qualities of light and times of day are very important to me. I attempt a balancing-act between the sense of an event and the sense of an object, trying to achieve both at the same time.
The films are usually the result of my encounters with places, and the filming often involves revisiting places which have a particular historical quality or resonance. My relationship with a place evolves with each visit, with my reading about it and reflection on its filmic possibilities. The films I have made in Greece both draw on and feed my obsession with the ancient world, and with places where it is visible in and part of the present. I prefer small sites to more spectacular ones, which have often been separated off from their surrounding environments.
The film camera is an instrument for seeing and can sometimes represent an individual’s vision. The sense of historical time present in the films throws into relief moments of attention visible in the filming – a pan which is like a glance, a focussing movement, or the appearance of a striking composition. The medium I use, 16mm film, is also important – each frame exposed by the camera is a once-only, permanent altering of a piece of film material, which remains as a trace of the moment of filming. My body of work contains both sound and silent films.
Quiet Times Close To Home
Paintings by Peter Messer
15th - 24th April 2022
Monday to Saturday 11.00am – 4.00pm | Sunday 12.00 -3.00pm
'Quiet Times Close To Home'' is Peter Messer's first exhibition at Star Brewery Gallery since the highly successful 'You Drink a Bit and Watch the Ghosts' in 2020.
He is well known for his intense tempera paintings, frequently set in, around or parallel with his home town of Lewes. Whilst the settings are often recognizable, the implied narratives and tensions create an idiosyncratic world that sometimes unsettles and occasionally amuses.
His work is filled with arrested moments pinned down within a luminously deadpan egg tempera technique and his intent and watchful paintings, for all their quiet ‘realism’, demonstrate that the unseen exists and has properties. He works in a world ignored by many of us until he, deftly and persuasively, reminds us of it.
Born in 1954, Peter Messer studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton. He works mainly in egg tempera on a traditional gesso ground and has exhibited in solo and group shows in the UK, US, Germany and France.
His work has been frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the New English Art Club 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.
'On The Way To Work. The Lewes Paintings Of Peter Messer' was published in 2007.
'A Thin Place in Lewes' was published in 2021.
He has been a full-time painter for many years, lives and works in Lewes, Sussex and has paintings in collections in Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Spain, Norway, Sweden and the US, as well as the UK.
Marco & Jacob Crivello
‘and the rest is rust and stardust’
25 March - 7 April 2022
11am – 4pm daily | Closed Monday
Following their successful 2021 show at the Star Brewery Gallery, Father and son, Marco and Jacob Crivello look forward to returning with new works, including Resonance paintings, dioramas, sculptures and installations.
Marco and Jacob work out of the continuum studio in the centre of Lewes.
Wish You Were Here
East Sussex College
22 - 27 February 2022
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm | Sunday 1pm-4pm
The Royal Opera House Design Challenge is an international annual competition which is open to all UK FE colleges and sixth form schools/colleges. Locally it provides the Art & Design Extended Diploma students from East Sussex College, Lewes, the opportunity to test and develop their marketing, production and creative design skills based around an opera or ballet production. This year the opera is Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten. This project is an incredible opportunity for our students to engage with a ‘live’ brief, a real client and design for the most prestigious stage in the country, if not the world.
Each participating student needs to work through the stages of design, realising a professional director’s vision and building a portfolio of their process and a final piece in one of four categories:
Marketing Strategy & Design
Hair, Wigs & Make-Up
There is an additional requirement of the Royal Opera House Design Challenge to follow a Director’s Vision. The close collaboration and full understanding between a director and a designer are an essential part of every production and crucially important to the successful execution of the conceptual vision of the director.
With over 2,000 entries nationwide, the full-time art & design students have been hard at work on this year's challenge since September. What you will see in this exhibition are this year's entries, including the selected shortlisted candidates. East Sussex College, Lewes have had astounding success in this competition over the past seven years, with fourteen winners and eight highly commended.
Extended until Saturday 12 February
Wednesday-Saturday 11am - 4pm
We have reopened the gallery with an impromptu exhibition showcasing selected works by the Star Brewery Gallery director/owner Neeta Pedersen who is an artist in her own right. The Gallery is usually closed in January but this year there was a small but steady flow of visitors who were disappointed to discover bare walls, so we decided to use the space to present a mixture of her old and new work comprising art prints and sculptures as well as scarves and bags. Some of the work explores the subject of feminine emotions and energy. Other works are illustrations for a forthcoming book inspired by a powerful personal experience when her adopted father appeared to have died only to come back to life for a while before passing over again.
The exhibition will be on display until the 6 February
Opening times: Wednesday-Saturday 11am-4pm
Sunday the 6 February 12noon- 3pm
Recent coastal paintings of Sussex, Pembrokeshire, Dorset and the Gower Peninsula
by Tom Benjamin
13th - 28th November 2021
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-4pm
Meet the Artist: Saturday 20 from 11am-12noon / Sunday 21 from 12noon -1pm
Tom Benjamin NEAC was born in Totnes Devon in 1967. He has lived and worked in Lewes for thirty years. His paintings are done in oils outdoors directly in front of the subject. There are a number of repeated themes in his work, including tree portraits, seascapes of Hope Gap in Sussex, Newhaven, Wales, Cornwall and Harris He has regular solo shows in Lewes at the Star Brewery Gallery and shows with The Russell Gallery in London, Alan Kluckow Fine Art in Sunningdale and Browns Gallery in Tain, Scotland. He was elected to be a member of the NEAC (New English Art Club) in 2021. Tom also teaches at the Paddock Art Studios in Lewes and at West Dean College in West Sussex.
A group exhibition celebrating trees in reality and the imagination
30 October - 7 November 2021
Tuesday-Saturday 11am-4pm | Sunday 12noon-4pm
Harry George Brayne
Keith A. Pettit - courtesy of Sarah O’Kane Contemporary Fine Art
This group exhibition celebrates trees in reality and in the imagination. The varied works by Sussex artists highlight the beauty and importance of trees in the Climate Change era.
The exhibition brings together a wide range of mediums, styles and approaches to a subject that has fascinated landscape painters, photographers, illustrators, engravers and sculptors throughout the centuries.
Their huge variety of forms and foliage provide an ever-changing backdrop to the countryside as we move through the seasons. The striking inky skeletons of bare trees acquire buds that unfold into fresh leaves or needles. Frothy blossoms add colour and pollen. This exciting exhibition captures many of these aspects in the work of the talented artists on display.
The show also includes a living "tiny forest" consisting of saplings loaned to us by David and Penny Saunders who run Foxwood Forestry which supplies wood and timber to visual arts and theatre organisers, universities and individual artists.
The Tree Show was conceived by environmental journalist John May working with the Star Brewery Gallery's owner Neeta Pedersen.
Recently our whole understanding of trees has been upturned by the scientific revelation that the roots of trees are intimately linked by the fungal mycelium in the soil forming a connected communication network called the Wood Wide Web. Tree-planting on a massive scale across the world is making a contribution to cutting carbon levels, increasing biodiversity, and cleaning the atmosphere of crowded cities. The new global environmental movement is very focused on rewilding and regenerating damaged nature.
Lewes has active tree groups who are collecting seeds and rearing saplings and looking to involve local people in the important work of community planting.
Natural approaches to flood control using trees and shrubs can make a valuable contribution to the town's environmental protection actions.
Common shapes, familiar souls
15th - 24th October 2021
Jason is a classically trained painter. In 2016 he opened an atelier in Lewes where he works on personal projects and commissions. He regularly paints portrait commissions and his paintings are held in private collections throughout Europe.
His personal work explores traditional themes through a contemporary lense. Large works are painted over multiple sessions employing a limited palette of muted colours and historic painting techniques, oils and mediums. They are typically made from direct observation from nature under natural light, but go past a purely visual representation.
'Emptiness, absence, silence. The unsaid. Memory and the passing of time. My painting reflects the modern dissociative experience. Works explore these ideas through carefully composed arrangements of line, tone and colour.'
These works are particularly poignant, painted whilst grapping with the conflicting emotions of the pandemic and the birth of his first daughter.
2nd - 10th October 2021
Julian Bell’s studio is among the watermeadows south of Lewes. For this set of paintings he has been walking out from it in all seasons, taking an easel and a canvas. He places himself before this or that feature of the plain and paints a portrait-in-landscape: of a tree, a ditch, a field, a barn; of chalk, earth and water, of winds and humans that pass. What these pictures dwell on is simple - what stands and what lies, what stays and what flows.
Julian Bell is a highly-established painter as well as the author of What Is Painting? and Mirror of the World. He teaches at the Royal Drawing School and is editor of Ways of Drawing, a set of artists' reflections on the practice.
Julian was born in 1952 and descends from the Bloomsbury Group: his grandmother is Vanessa Bell, his grand-aunt Virginia Woolf and his father Quentin Bell.
His take on humanity is global. He has travelled around the world for his art, yet he approaches a suburban or London street scene with the same curiosity. ‘I am interested in the things people do on earth, the way they make spaces for themselves, make structures.’
Having passed a couple of years in conjuring up scenes of London life - frenetic, anxious, densely populated – for his 2019 solo exhibition When the City is Built, Julian turned to the landscape around this Sussex studio, geographically a plain, and began painting its trees and sparse structures en plain air: ‘I set to work, sploshing through the mud with my radial easel and canvas amidst the cattle. I soon discovered that the simplicity and clarity and modesty were deceptive. A tree, it turns out (no doubt I should have known this), is an unbelievably complex organism, one that proved an altogether greater challenge than painting a human being,’ the artist writes.
Helen Hockin & Marcus Ripley
11th September - 26th September 2021
Monday-Friday 10am-5pm | Saturday-Sunday 11am-4pm
Helen Hockin studied fine art at Bath Academy of Art. She has exhibited widely in Lewes, and also in Brighton, Worthing, Lancaster and Bath; she had a solo show at the Ashdown Forest Centre. Helen has worked collaboratively on projects with other artists including forming Oakleaf Exhibition Space with ceramicist Jo Hall, working in Zu Studios, and creating performance pieces with Marion Deprez and Dirk Campbell for “the Cabinet of Charms”. She also participated in the “Witches 400” project in Lancaster, alongside poet Simon Armitage and writer Jeanette Winterson. Helen's artworks from that project are on permanent display at the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall.
Helen’s recent works are in mixed media including wax, card, dyes, natural and found objects. Over the last year of seclusion, she has amassed a new body of intimate and enticing artworks which she has described as an exploration into her inner playroom of thoughts and worlds. The works portray moths and fairies, along with cages of nature and her muses, her dolls in their playpen.
Marcus Ripley has exhibited work since the early 90s including being part of the Oakleaf Exhibition Space and at the Star Brewery Gallery, Lewes as part of the Millennium Exhibition. Marcus has also exhibited at various “ArtWave” shows along with joint exhibitions at the University of York, Worthing Museum and Art Gallery and a solo exhibition at Blackheath Halls, London.
The work chosen for this particular exhibition spans 30 years and includes painting, sculpture and collage. It is a distillation of a wide range of subjects, including Religious Imagery, Iconography, Philosophy and Eschatology, Classical Art, Dada and Surrealism.
A Life in Wide Angle
27th August - 5th September 2021
My diverse career as a London photographer frequently involved creating images of well-known individuals. I originally studied photography at the London College of Printing. Whilst there I documented the Aberfan disaster in South Wales - a truly heart-breaking experience. After exhibiting those pictures, I left college to work as a freelance photojournalist alongside writer Farrukh Dhondy. Together we covered many varied stories through documentary photography and portraiture. One of these focused on the band ‘The Pink Floyd’. I shot them up close in my bedroom/studio using their gig lighting, and subsequently at Abbey Road. In 2017 some of these photographs were shown within the highly regarded Floyd exhibition at the V&A.
A further musically related story involved photographing Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and The Beatles, alongside Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull before they all went up to North Wales for a ‘preach’ in with the Yogi - thus launching ‘Transcendental Meditation’.
For many years I worked as a studio advertising photographer specialising in editorial Food and Still Life for magazines ranging from The Sunday Times, The Observer and The Daily Telegraph to Elle, Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Journal. I worked with many chefs including Keith Floyd, Marco Pierre White, Nigel Slater and Antonio Carluccio. In 1985 I received a Gold Award for my Still Life work by The Association of Photographers.
Outside of Food and Still Life my career frequently drew me to the arts - complementing the famous singers and musicians, I photographed numerous performers in film, stage and radio such as Helen Mirren on set to all the work of performance artist Bobby Baker. Such a network also enabled me to work for London galleries such as White Cube and The Royal Academy in photographing the artworks of other visual artists including Damien Hirst and Sydney Nolan.
Turning to literature, I also had the privilege of shooting many authors, such as Christy Brown, the writer of ‘My Left Foot’.
In recent years I have pursued landscape photography here in the UK and in France. However, I always enjoy revisiting my earlier images, both for the faces, photographic style and the memories evoked.
Pamela M. Earl
6th - 22nd August 2021
Pamela’s work includes place and history. She holds a Dip Int/Env Des from The New England School of Art & Design (at Suffolk University), Boston, Ma. Her major was Art Deco. She holds an MA in Pub and a PG Dip in Cons His Env. In 1989, Pamela briefly returned to her native Houston, finding work as an extra in ‘Robocop II.’
During her first stay in London (1990), she was a draftsman at Renton Howard Wood Levine Partnership. From 1990 – 94 Pamela lived in Dublin, where she worked in film and live television as both an actor (RTE’s ‘Nighthawks’, Anne Enright was Producer) and within production.
Returning to London in 1994, she worked as a props buyer, produced pop promos including ETA’s ‘Casual Sub’ and the film short ‘Upstairs.’ Its premier was held at the ICA. She was production assistant on the award-winning opera film ‘Hell for Leather.’
Pamela’s paintings are mostly oil and mixed media. Her watercolour, acrylic, oil and pen and ink works have hung in London, Boston, Ma, Austin and Arlington, Tx. Since the late Nineties, Pamela has been making found assemblage boxes, including biographical ones.
Between 2014 and 2019 Pamela produced a three-piece tapestry on the life of William the Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke. It was to mark the 800th anniversary of his death. Unveiled at St Anne’s, Lewes, it resides in Pembroke Castle. Tom Walker is the illustrator. She also stitched.
Pamela is a proud native Houstonian and Texan. She has lived in Europe and England since the end of 1989. She and partner Seb moved to Lewes in 2011, where they live with their house bunny Chevy.
Recent pastel works by Tom Walker
23rd July - 1st August 2021
Tom Walker, now 71, left school at 16, started taking art seriously at Brighton Art School evening classes; from 1969-75 lived by his work in Northern Italy. He studied Graphics and Illustration at Brighton Poly 1976-79.
He has been living, working and exhibiting in Lewes and Cooksbridge for 42 years, creating pictures in oils, acrylics and, for the last 30 years, exclusively in pastels. He has pursued themes as far apart as French organ music and snooker in 2 huge projects, shown in St.Paul’s Cathedral in 1990 and Sheffield Wintergarden in 2009 respectively, and he has exhibited in many other parts of the UK, across Europe and in the USA. He has also designed two tapestries: for The Battle of Lewes on show in Lewes Barbican Museum; and the William Marshal tapestry, also stitched in Lewes, now on display in Pembroke Castle.
There have been numerous themes, explorations and obsessions in smaller series in every genre from precise studies to wild abstraction and all stations in between. Nothing is excluded in his onward quest to do better than last time. He taught art at Northease Manor School for 11 years, became self-employed in 1993 and taught private pastel students in his studio in Cooksbridge for 18 years.
Since September 2020 he and his wife, Anita, live in Ashburton, Devon, where he hopes eventually to start pastel classes. He has been a member of the Pastel Society since 2012.
This exhibition at the happily re-born Star Brewery Gallery, will be of his most recent works, collectively entitled Glimpses, with perhaps one or two earlier pieces. As well as original works there will be prints and cards.
Depending on the Covid situation, Tom and/or Anita will be looking after the exhibition and welcoming visitors every day.
This may be the last of Tom’s many exhibitions in Lewes. Farewell and thanks to all who have helped, supported, encouraged and even purchased, at 10 shows in the Star/Hop/now Star Brewery Gallery, 4 at Northease Manor School, 2 at the Friends Meeting House, the Pelham House Hotel, 4 at the much-missed Foundry Gallery, 2 at Bonne Bouche Chocolate Shop and 10 Artwave shows in Cooksbridge.
Journeys from Home
9th - 18th July 2021
Laura is an artist and writer living in Brighton. Her main focus is landscape and she uses oils paint to explore the bones of the earth below, the feeling of the weather above and the way people move through the land. Her work expresses the ideas and colours that emerge whilst travelling through a landscape.
Her inspiration for a painting is often triggered by a word or a particular colour, from walking maps and pathways, and she’s drawn to the simplicity of the lines and shapes of the South Downs.
She studied Geography at Manchester University then worked in marketing before becoming a freelance and creative writer. She shows her work in Sussex and London and is studying painting at the Art Academy in London.
Notes in a Landscape
18th June - 4th July
John Worth, abstract painter and photographer, is inspired by the vibration, rhythms and musicality inherent in nature, places and urban environments. He studied Photography at West Surrey College of Art & Design, 1989-92 (now the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham).
‘Notes in a Landscape’ takes its inspiration from the practice of daily walks in the South Downs John uses to underpin his artistic interrogations. By repeating the same journey to Mount Caburn each day, taking photographs as he goes, he has developed an intimate connection with a particular landscape.
The results are paintings, sketches and photographs that pay homage to the synergies of the rhythms he discovers in the contours of the landscape combined with the abstract qualities of the textures, light and shadow as they change through the seasons.
Both walking and in the studio, music is important to his creative process; abstract paintings blend the sense of musicality he feels in the landscape itself with the landscape of his own heart and mind.
A habit of producing daily sketches enables an immediate translation of his visceral experiences; a way of responding to the energies in the landscape; an occasion to witness the rhythmic and chaotic narrative of nature as it changes.
John’s influences include painters such as Cy Twombly, Antoni Tàpies and Paul Klee and his work speaks to the tradition of lyrical abstraction. The paintings have a stillness suggestive of surfaces aged by the passage of time. He builds these surfaces using his own techniques that include layering strips of linen or canvas and overlaying in mixed media, scratching and sanding back multiple times, resulting in a patina that suggests both the action of time and multiple stories interacting.
Some pieces are based on the five lines of a musical stave, suggesting the two experiences of music and land superimposed upon each other, generating unique sets of rhythms and vibrations. A preoccupation with traces, fragments, exposure and erasure all work to pose a question about identity.
As a way of countering the over-saturation of our lives with screen-based images, John is increasingly concerned with the finished painting as a physical and tactile artefact. Many of his pieces invite touch, recalling the visceral inspiration of their beginnings, and some are finished with a wax varnish to enable this type of engagement.
28th May - 13th June 2021
Adele Gibson’s exhibition ‘Elementa’ brings together a collection of work from a three-year period, inspired by the Amazon rainforest, forest fires and volcanic activity, stormy seas and Arctic ice, and the airiness of the South Downs.
Adele has an MA in Fine Art from the University of Brighton where she specialised in painting and research into the Anthropocene. Her work is inspired by the natural world and her paintings reflect her love for spending time in raw, un-tamed and sublime nature. In 2017, Adele was awarded a place as artist-in-residence on the International Arctic Circle Art and Science expedition and spent 3 weeks aboard a masted Barquentine sailing vessel exploring the Svalbard Archipelago. This was a life-changing trip: she witnessed first-hand the profound beauty of the region but also saw the huge changes happening due to the changing climate.
Resulting from this experience, in 2018 Adele was awarded an Arts Council grant to lead a residency for 8 artists together with an exhibition she curated at the University of Brighton entitled ‘Let’s talk about the Anthropocene’.
In 2019, Adele fulfilled a lifetime ambition to visit the Amazon and spent time at the Tambopata Scientific research centre deep in the rainforest. The lushness and magic of the forest was overwhelmingly beautiful but like the Arctic, the area is facing the grave threat of climate crisis.
Adele paints in oils in her studio in Berwick and she aims to evoke an emotional response in the viewer rather than provide a representation of the landscape. She paints largely using her visual memory and hopes to convey something of the awe and wonder she experiences in her life as an artist.
Adele has exhibited in galleries across the county and is currently represented by the Maze gallery in London and Kevis House gallery in Petworth. Her work is collected across the UK, Europe, and the US.
14th - 23rd May 2021
Mark was born in Yorkshire and after completing his photography degree, at Wolverhampton Polytechnic, he moved to London in 1991, He first worked as a photographer’s assistant and worked with many photographers on a wide variety subjects, before starting a career as a freelance photographer, specialising in still life projects. With the arrival of computers and particularly Photoshop he transitioned to a more illustrative style of work. Since then Mark has worked as a digital illustrator for book publishers & magazines around the world, a digital artist for several national newspapers, a children’s illustrator working in 3D and most recently as the Creative Director for an American toy company, where he designed a range of award-winning emotional learning children’s toys.
Mark moved to Sussex in 2001 and it was there that he began to explore the local countryside, and particularly the Ashdown Forest and the South Downs National Park, with his dogs and his camera. It was not until 2017 that he began utilising this large library of photographs to create pieces of art for his first exhibition at a local art fair in Uckfield.
To create his work Mark digitally enhances his photographs with paintings, drawings, textures, and found objects to create the final artwork. Some of the pieces are more literal interpretations of the places he has photographed, while others are more conceptual or graphic in their approach, but all seek to evoke the beauty, drama, and atmosphere of the landscapes around him. He uses the coordinates of where the original photograph was taken as the titles of his work so they may be visited or found on Google Maps. The works are presented as limited edition prints either on sheets of brushed aluminium or archival fine art papers.
Since starting to work full time as an artist Mark has exhibited all across the South East and London. His work is sold in galleries around the UK and as far afield as Panama.
Suzanne Hennegrave & Sarah Money
Whispers of the Wild
30th April - 9th May 2021
Suzanne Hennegrave (BA Hons, MA) is a semi-abstract, contemporary landscape painter and art educator. She recently founded Art Hub Lewes, a new provider of art classes for children and adults. She is inspired by the land, sea and big skies. She paints in oils and mixed-media, from memory and experience, and her work is developed using artistic intuition. Her greatest loves are atmospheric weather and fleeting light and this she tries to capture in her work, through her own emotional response. Much of her inspiration comes from the beauty of her surroundings, living in the South Downs National Park.
Marco Crivello & Jacob Crivello
Continuum 4 21
Between the Water and the Clouds
17th - 25th April 2021
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.
The wall installation and the Sussex Stack in the exhibition is a joint work with Martha Crivello.
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.
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.
Sarah Money (BA Hons)
I’m an artist working with texture, colour and movement.
I approach my sculpting and my painting essentially in the same way, in that, I look, feel and then express what I receive from my subject in that moment, whether I am working with a model or working alone. My work process is loose and free, both in application and in the finished piece. I experience the combined qualities of movement, texture and colour as I work, allowing feelings and emotions to play their part. It is simply the essence of my subject, in that moment, that I am trying to capture.
You Drink a Bit and Watch the Ghosts
4th December - 18th December 2020
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”.
24th October - 4th November 2020
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.
Finding the Thread
2nd October - 18th October 2020
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.
Start Of / End Of
11th September - 27th September 2020
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.
East Sussex College Lewes
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
Peter Messer | Andrew Fitchett | Tom Benjamin
17th July - 9th August 2020
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 established artists and up-and-coming talented artists, photographers 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.
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.
Stewart J Dalby | Sandra Banks | Andy Banks | Edward Mawby
'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.
Gallery Director, Neeta Pedersen
Neeta, 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.