THE RIVER SHOW
Peter Messer's paintings are mostly on a domestic scale, resolutely figurative and, by implication, narrative. He paints in 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 flat, arrested, deadpan quality. Often they contain wry or unsettling elements and, although the painter emphatically rejects the epithet ‘quirky’, it is still frequently applied. Many, though not all, draw on the fabric of Peter Messer’s home town of Lewes, Sussex.
Born in 1954, Peter Messer studied Fine Art at the University of Brighton 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” and, in 2021 “A Thin Place In Lewes”.
Title: Across the River
Medium: Egg tempera on gesso panel
Size: (unframed) 38.5cm x 29cm
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 rivers and lakes, tree portraits, and seascapes of Hope Gap in Sussex, as well as 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 and Alan Kluckow Fine Art in Sunningdale. He was elected to be a member of the NEAC (New English Art Club) in 2021. Tom also teaches at West Dean College in West Sussex.
Title: Riverside Early Spring
Medium: Oil on Linen
Size: 20inches x 48inches
I have been painting in and around Lewes since leaving London in 1992.
The visual composition skills I developed during my design and advertising career have a strong presence in my paintings, but draughtsmanship is its foundation. Whether I am
working on small drawings or large oil paintings, detail is unavoidable. Inspiration often
comes from the atmosphere of a place. I am particularly drawn to moments of stillness and
isolation and these sensations make a landscape interesting for me rather than any specific type of terrain. The painting that follows is a kind of enhanced memory of that place which is developed in my studio from sketches made on location. My long-standing fascination with Crows is more folklore than ornithological and they often make appearances in my paintings.
My work is in private collections in UK, EU, America, Canada and Australia and I have exhibited my work from Brighton to Edinburgh. I am a Senior Short Course drawing and painting tutor at West Dean College where I have taught for 16 years.
Title: When backs are turned
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 30cm x 40 cm
I was born and lived most of my life in London, moving to Lewes about ten years ago.
I was trained at The Slade School of Fine Art.
I became a member of the Royal Watercolour Society in 1990.
While living in London the river was important to me: many interesting sites between Lambeth and Putney. After coming to Lewes the Ouse became a focus of interest - rather, looking across it.
Watercolour was my medium of choice for a long time - I found it useful for seizing on momentary perceptions of things and originally took it up when living in Rome. Later, back in England, the watercolours became more complicated.
Oil painting was always present in my work of course and became my main activity after about 2000.
I was elected to The New English Art Club in the mid-nineties
Street scenes in the earlier watercolours gave way to still life (which I still approach from time to time) and cityscapes and now, to landscape as well.
I work outside and, perhaps more often, from drawings and studies of various kinds.
Title: Church, Railway, Tidalriver near Lewes
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 66cm x 63cm
Chris Drury has been described as an Eco-Land Artist but he himself says that he seeks to make connections between:
Nature and Culture
Inner and Outer
Microcosm and Macrocosm
To this end he collaborates with scientists and technicians from a broad spectrum of disciplines and technology and uses whatever visual means and materials that best suit the situation. Context is everything. Context gives rise idea, form, method and material. Context can be a piece of land or an idea from science. Running through all of it is a sense of the fragility of our planet and the need to live and work lightly. His work on paper, digital, photographic and drawings together with installations, are the works shown in Museums and galleries. Kayak Basket is new, made this year and Salmon Paddle was made for a show in North Uist after a 3 day journey across the island in a canoe with the Andy Mackinnon in 2011.
His has made works outside on every continent on earth, including Antarctica, where he was artist in residence with The British Antarctic Survey in 2007. In 2019 he was given a Lee Krasner Lifetimes Achievement Award by the Pollock/Krasner Foundation in New York.
Medium: Woven willow
Size: 219cm x 20cm x 15cm
Title: Salmon Paddle
Medium: canoe paddle wrapped in Salmon skins
Size: 124cm x 16cm x 4cm
Born and lived in Sussex for most of my life.
Trained in graphic design at West Sussex College of Art. Stepping down from a long career in advertising twenty years ago, I now happily paint from my home studio in Lewes High Street.
Working in acrylic my stylised-realist paintings attempt to illustrate the more extraordinary aspects of the Sussex landscape. I have a passion for unusual architectural features whether man-made or natural.
After living in a rural location for many years, moving to Lewes recently has provided me with a wealth of fresh creative opportunities just a walk away.
The Swing Bridge over the Ouse was one such opportunity and a delight to paint.
Apart from numerous local exhibitions including The Rye Gallery, The Towner and Pelham House, my work has been shown many times at the Mall Galleries London.
I’m also a past prize winner in the Singer & Friedlander/Sunday Times Watercolour Competition.
Title: The Swing Bridge
Medium: Acrylic on board
Size: 34 inches x 34 inches
Steve Gallagher was born in the American Midwest and studied photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). After working as a fashion photographer in Chicago, Miami and New York, he began to apply his skills to graphic design, building a successful career in advertising and digital media before moving to the UK in 2002. In 2019 he moved to a house next to the sea in Worthing on the south coast, where his love of photography was reignited by the beauty of the Sussex Downs and the ever-changing nature of the local shoreline and the sea. The first COVID-19 lockdown inspired him to pick up his camera again and focused his attention on the only two subjects he could access: the sea views on his doorstep and flowers from the family garden.
For both his seascapes and floral portraits he aims to bring out the detail and richness of the subject with the hope the viewer will stop and take a much closer look.
Title: Star of Adur
Size: Print size – 40.5 x 40.5 cm, Framed size – 45.5 x 45.5cm
Nichola Campbell paints the natural environment using lightfast, permanent India inks. With the South Downs National Park, Ashdown Forest, and the magnificent coastline of Sussex on her doorstep, the local landscape is an endless source of inspiration which she conveys through the changing seasons using a combination of observation and imagination.
In this exhibition we are showing some of her ‘Framescapes’, an enchanting series of small works on wood in their integral painted frame.
Nichola is originally from Brighton, studied at Eastbourne College of Art and Brighton University (Polytechnic) in the late 1980’s, completing her BA Hons Illustration in 1990. Restarting her painting in 2013, she joined the Lewes artist-run cooperative Chalk Gallery in 2016 where she was Chairperson for 3 years, until leaving in May 2022.
Nichola lives and works from her home studio in Newick, near Lewes.
Title: Summer walk by the Ouse
Medium: Ink framescape
Size: 20cm x 23.5cm x 4cms
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.'
Title: River Ouse, Sussex Downs
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 90cm x 90cm
Riga was born in Chile and raised in Australia before coming to England at the age of seven. She trained in Fine Art Painting at Chelsea College of Art, London, where she received her BA Hons Degree with both installation and painting work. Shortly afterwards she created several large public displays of installation work in Sydney, Australia, and in London, UK. Many of Riga's paintings and commissions now belong to private collections across the UK, Europe, Canada, Australia and South Africa.
In 2020 she was shortlisted for the Holly Bush Emerging Woman Artist Award 2020 and featured in both a solo show (2020) and group show (2021) at the Star Brewery Gallery, Lewes. In 2021 she was shortlisted for the Royal Cambrian Art Prize and exhibited in the VAA International Exhibition. She was also shortlisted for the VAO Exhibition, UK.
In 2021 she was a prize-winner in the Painting Awards at the Florence Biennale 2021 and had a solo show at Alistair Fleming in Lewes. In 2022 she is participating in Artwave at the Celebrate Cuckmere Haven and Victoria Pavilion Exhibitions; the Star Brewery Gallery 'River Show' and she has also been shortlisted for the 2022 Wales Contemporary Prize.
Title: 'Drifting in Light'
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 100cm x 70cm
Helen has been living and working in Lewes for over 30 years and In the 1990’s she co-organised “Oakleaf Exhibition Space”. She studied at Bath Academy of Art exhibiting in Bath at the Michael Tippet Centre then the Thursday gallery. She has also shown at the Terrace gallery in Worthing, “Clockworks – Seeing Spirits” 2005 and “Weaving worlds”2006 at the Brighton fringe; her museum of curiosity exhibited at Ashdown Forest visitor centre gallery in 2013; at ZU studios 2012 and 2013, and the Paddock Studios in Lewes 2014. Helen took part in the Lancashire “witch 400” project in 2012 working with the “Wrights and sites” on “Signs and Wonders”. She has also exhibited at the Star brewery gallery 2021, and in open houses/contemporary art fair with two performances at Lewes Town Hall with her magical dress “The Cabinet of Charms” in 2013/2014.
Her materials are mainly natural, they do no harm to our environment.. “Take only what you need”. In the “River Project” she portrays the Egrets which have arrived in Sussex and used the mud from the tidal Ouse river, that can never be quite predictable enough not to spill its banks, or dry up.
After completing a degree in Fine Art at the Byam Shaw School of Art, London, I specialised in painting and printmaking at the Royal Academy Schools and graduated with a PGDipRAS.
Prizes include the Richard Ford Travel award and the Edna Weiss prize for figurative painting.
I have had work included in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2000, 2001, 2010) and the Royal Society of British Artists annual show. I have regularly exhibited in group and solo shows both in Sussex and London.
Although I often work in oil paint looking at the landscape, both rural and urban, drawing is a key part of my work. I have been developing a series of drawings on maps as well as experimenting with very large drawings/drawing installation. I regularly draw and sketch on location to inform my work across all media.
I am also involved in Art Education and am currently developing a resource bank of drawing research and ideas @the.drawing.democracy I believe passionately that the act of drawing is something that can benefit and belong to anyone.
Medium: Graphite and Gesso on Fabriano
Size: 108cm x 81cm
Jenny Arran is a Lewes artist, her work has always been inspired by a sense of connection
to nature and the landscape. She 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.
Painting is an intuitive and expressive process - I’m interested in the relationship between the body and the animate earth and in the translation of my sensory experience of the landscape - the play of light & shadow, sound, movement and energy.
I walk daily in the landscape and work from visual memory, recalling snapshots of colour, the sense of fleeting moments of time and connection. Often I listen to music while I paint and the work becomes a blend of the real and remembered - of inner and outer landscapes. Each piece is like a captured moment and a story and often paintings have poetry or written fragments which go alongside the process of painting.
Title: Slipstreaming Sun
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 100cm x 100cm
Interested in the transformation of post-functional objects, Rachael Nicholson works with scrap metals and recycled ephemera to create free-standing and wall-mounted sculptures. She explores how metal, a relatively unyielding material, can be used to express movement, change and colour. Nicholson is increasingly concerned by the threats to biodiversity incurred by industrial expansion and road-building. There is an irony in her usage of industrial materials to create eco-conscious artworks.
Nicholson has two MA degrees and is a trained puppeteer. She has exhibited in galleries, business centres, art shops and private shows in Cambridge, London, Surrey and Sussex. In 2022, she was awarded Arts Council funding for research and development of her sculpture practice. Commissions have come from churches, charities, schools and art centres, and from several private collectors in the UK. She lives and works in Lewes.
Title: City Stream
Medium: Salvaged steel
Size: 47cm x 82cm x 30cm
Adele Gibson’s work engages with nature and environmental themes. She has an MA in Fine Art from the University of Brighton, has exhibited across the country, and has collectors near and far.
In 2017 Adele was awarded a residency on the prestigious Arctic circle project where she spent 3 weeks in the High Arctic in Svalbard and witnessed first-hand the impact of climate change in that vulnerable region. In 2018 she won a major Arts Council grant to fund a project at the University of Brighton entitled ‘Let’s talk about the Anthropocene’
The works shown in the ‘River show’ were made especially for this exhibition. Adele’s paintings are developed using many transparent glazes of oil paint to achieve a lustrous depth of colour. They emerge from both memory and imagination and are meditations on our relationship with rivers.
Can we dream ourselves a different future? Are we drifting to a place we don’t want to go? Rivers are both a metaphor for our relationship with nature as well as an indicator of the current environmental situation. The actions we take now will flow into the future.
Can we think like a river and dream downstream in time?
Title: Dreaming Downstream
Medium: Oil on wood panel
Size: 80 cm x 70 cm
Vicky Gomez is a Spanish printmaker living in Hove. She discovered printmaking during her Erasmus at the Accademia di Brera in Milan and she loved the medium. After many years working on Digital she felt the need to work in a more traditional way so she started printing again.
Her family was always connected to the sea and the coast in the north of Spain and it has been an important source of inspiration for much of her work. Now living on the coast again continues to be an important theme for her among other subjects like nature, films and different cultures.
She creates original linocut prints with a bit of cartoon style. Her latest works were inspired by nature and the awareness that we have only one planet.
Her work has been exhibited in several galleries around Sussex (UK) and Spain , as some Printmaking exhibitions and Arts Fairs.
Medium: Linocut print
Size: 28x39.5 cm ( 32x44cm framed)