Bonnie Brown "With a definition of poetry as “emotion recollected in tranquillity”, then the paintings are the written poem turned into a visual form. The motifs, colours, textures, sense and manipulation of space taking the form of the words, pulled together into a carefully considered composition where rhythms and balances are constantly reviewed until nothing more can be added or removed to achieve the desired transformation and translation of ideas. My intention is to create a luminous composition made up of the consonance of several colours to form a possible space for the spirit. The paintings are lyrical evocations of time and place, combining inner and outer worlds in a rich fabric of colour and spatial manipulations.
Ideas are triggered by something seen, felt, touched, observed, a memory often on the edge of recognition. All familiar and individual, these often unrelated images are formed together into a new visual relationship on the canvas. Working from sketchbooks and drawings the paintings are developed through a series of layered images in paint, colour, texture, frottage and monoprint. Often explored through small series of varying scales following a particular concept or idea which may have originated from observational research, and take many months to resolve with continual reassessment of the surfaces and the source of the idea.”
Studied at Winchester School of Art (1981 BA, 1982 Post-Graduate Diploma). Major awards and prizes include The Laing Competition “highly commended”, award at Discerning Eye Exhibition, London and first prize for Gallery Scene Open at the Turner Gallery, Exeter. Lives and works in her studio in Swanage, Dorset, UK and continues to spend time in France.
Included in Private Collections in Europe, Canada, America and South Africa; in Public Collections at Exxon Chemicals, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, The Paintings in Hospitals Collection, Computer Sciences and Accenture plc. Exhibits regularly including Cornwall Contemporary, New Ashgate Gallery and Artmill Gallery. In 2008, she exhibited in the Broadway Gallery, Soho, New York and published in the NYARTS magazine (work is currently on the magazine's website), included in "Fifty Wessex Artists" and numerous gallery catalogues. 2009 exhibitions include Leaden Hall, Salisbury and “7 Artists” Town Mill Gallery, Lyme Regis, Dorset.
Barbara Franc "I have always been fascinated by the shapes and sculptural forms of animals - they present a never-ending source of inspiration to me. I try to capture a feeling of their movement and presence in my sculpture. I use wire in a way that suggests drawing in three dimensions which allows me greater freedom to add changes whenever I want during the construction to keep the feeling fluid and to reflect the diversity of movement and form. I can emphasise certain lines with the use of resin and different gauges of wire - some pieces I leave in their metallic finish and others I colour using enamel or clear plastic glass paints. I have picked up different techniques as I've needed them - I often get the gem of an idea for a new piece by just picking up a piece of discarded metal, for example, a jam jar lid might turn into a flower head or part of a cat ! I might have scraps of lead sheet, which I’ll start to ‘stitch’ together and they start to transform into the idea of making a corset out of this soft, malleable metal.
My work has developed and changed over the last thirty years or so and reflects how I have responded to rapidly changing circumstances and fashions. The interest in crafts and construction, together with a love of decoration and colour, has led into many different areas, through a series of disciplines that includes woven and printed textiles and ceramics. Recent work uses much of the knowledge gained from all these areas for it is true that one has to know the rules in order to break them.”
Attended Morley College of Art in the late 70s, studied Life drawing under Maggie Hambling and John Bellany. In the late 80s attended Richmond College to study Sculpture under Avril Vellacott.
Work has featured in Country Living Magazine, Homes and Gardens, The English Garden, Décor Magazine, Country Homes and Interiors, Painting World and the book Garden Crafts by Geraldine Rudge. A Dragonfly sculpture was centrepiece in the BBC’s Dragonfly Garden design programme. Corporate commissions include Prudential Property Investment Managers, Pizza Express and 10 pieces for a large window display for Viscount Linley's London furniture store. Regular group exhibitor. Solo exhibitions include Morgan Lovell London, A FISHY BUSINESS' Chelsea and Westminster Hospital London, Molsey Gallery Hampton.
Jonathan Garratt I make artworks for green spaces which I term “Garden Punctuation”, taking traditional ideas of sculpture a step further by ‘knitting’ the pieces into the planting: a way of engaging more directly with the natural world.” Jonathan has specialised in making by hand distinctive and unusual terracotta pots for gardens for nearly 30 years and currently enjoys a reputation as one of Britain’s foremost garden artists. His passion for plants informs many of the innovative designs and he produces a wide selection of shapes for specific plant habits ie grasses, trailing, succulents, bulbs, annuals, architectural.
All the pots are made from local clay refined at the pottery and fired exclusively with wood from the locality. A typical kiln load will hold pots ranging from orange, through warm red to brown and purple/black depending on the heat. These subtle colourings mean that many look instantly antique and mellow in contrast to the vast majority of the high street products. Items are guaranteed frost proof to -20°C.
Studied in Cambridge in the 70s, his experience embraces museum demonstrations, visiting lectureships and programmes for television. Exhibitions include “Joined Together” Salisbury Arts Centre, “Form” Olympia; Dorset Arts Week; New Garden, Craft Study Centre Farnham; Society of Garden Designers at the V & A; Harold Hillier Arboretum Sculpture Show; Ceramic Art London at RCA, London Open Squares Day Fulham; Quenington Sculpture Show; East London Design Fair; Chelsea Crafts Fair London (Adrian Sassoon Prize – Ceramics). Collections: Miranda Richardson, London; John Ritblat, Sussex; Janice Blackburn, London; Lance Blackstone; Jeffrey Tolman, London; Arne Maynard, London; Noel Kingsbury, Hereford; Alan Titchmarsh.
Valerie Oxley “In 1989 I was invited to teach a course in botanical illustration at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Adult Education. By the mid 1990s the Diploma in Botanical Illustration had been developed, with botanist Dr Patrick Harding teaching the related plant studies programme and myself teaching the botanical art. This was the first part-time course to marry the art with the botany of the subject, leading to a qualification at level two of a University degree. The programme was highly successful and always over subscribed. In 2003 I was invited to write the book “Botanical Illustration” by the publishers, the Crowood Press, the content being based on my work as a botanical artist and my related teaching experience. The offer was turned down at first as my busy teaching programme showed no time for writing books! Fortunately the Crowood Press said they “would wait” !! Valerie has been pleased to leave paperwork and writing reports behind and is now a free-lance tutor, teaching short courses, mostly for residential colleges all over the UK, as well as leading study tours abroad. She is Chair of the Florilegium Society at Sheffield Botanical Gardens and Vice President of the Northern Society for Botanical Art and is a member of the Society for Botanical Artists, the Society of Floral Painters and the Institute of Analytical Plant Illustrators.
“Botanical Illustration” has 192 pages and contains 216 illustrations by 54 botanical artists. It deals with the history, botany, and all related technical aspects of the subject in detail, setting up, conditioning of plants, starting to draw and all related media, colour theory, what to paint, how to paint, finishing touches and the role of photography and computers. “Botanical Illustration” by Valerie Oxley - published by the Crowood Press, 2008 rrp £19.99
Emma Peios “I produce images either in the studio or on location. Both disciplines require a great deal of patience and carefully consideration. A strong eye for design means that a single stem carefully placed within the frame of the viewfinder can have as much impact as a dozen stunning red roses.
The emotion that colours can convey is a key theme - Agave succulents are photographed under soft winter light to emphasis the healing properties of this medicinal plant; an oriental explosion of colour comes from printing a transparency in the negative to produce a fluorescent effect. As an artist and photographer I do prefer the traditional approach of using techniques at the camera stage, through lighting and composition, rather than extensive post production computer manipulation.”
A professional photographer for over 10 years, Emma’s commercial client list includes major retailers, advertising and design agencies and the publishing media. Leading brands such as Marks and Spencer specially commission her to supply graphic and illustrative imagery for their stores. Consultancy has included the highly successful Garden Photographer of the Year Event at Kew Gardens.
Born in North Yorkshire to Greek and Welsh parents, Emma grew up in the States, Greece, Eire and the UK and was interested in photography from the age of 10 and since then has continued to travel with her camera. She studied photography at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Rochester. Following a degree in Communication Media, she trained as a freelance photographers assistant for 5 years in London, working with fashion photographer John Swannell to food photography with Carol Sharp gaining valuable experience of many different styles of photography. Emma’s fine art prints are held in private and corporate collections - she exhibits regularly throughout the UK and in Greece. Some of the images for her Pollen Series were shot on location in Dorset at the Knol Gardens.
Sally Pinhey “I became perversely hooked on the idea of painting dye plants in 2005, starting with a knowledge of them at about 1 on the 1 - 10 scale. After about a year of painting the best known ones, a chance meeting put me in touch with Judy Hardman, a spinner and dyer of formidable energy and intellect and yes, she was interested in doing a book. Her take on natural dyeing was to provide recipes either using benign mordants, or mordants which are completely absorbed so that there is no toxic residue to dispose of (mordant is the additive that makes the material absorb the dye) and this agreed with my notion of being “green” and soil conservation so we felt between us we had something to offer. It turned out that we are both trekkers and teachers in different fields with the same style of working under pressure. It was a joy to me to illustrate the details of plants - weld, woad, agrimony and dock -which are routinely ignored, sprayed and mown on verges. Creating garden designs, using the remembered vestiges of a course done in France years ago - studies from Chelsea, Hampton Court and Tauten - lay dormant on scraps of paper until the rush of summer flowering subsided and through the summer visitors and renovations, I often rose at 5.30 to make the most of a quiet house. Judy worked on methodically, keeping details of all her experiments and recipes and recording the results, photographing and keeping her samples of wool in perfect order.”
Working on their ideas for a further year, Sally painted all hours and Judy made a succession of experiments and grew plants foreign to Dorset. Ideas evolved, but a publisher was still needed until Judy found the Crowood Press ready to embrace the project.
At Easter 2008 Judy’s e-mail reached her in Kathmandu, and she was sufficiently removed from reality to say “Yes, go for it”, little knowing what was really involved - Crowood wanted the work completed by September and they wanted a bigger book meaning painting more plants and including more history, associated folk-lore and more garden designs.
In two years they had a third of the work but now had just five months to do the remaining two thirds. They delivered to Crowood on time and are confident that “Natural Dyes” will provide a beautiful, valuable, and comprehensive step-by-step guide approach to dying with plants with botanical watercolours for correct identification. Sally is a full member Association of Illustrators, Fellow of the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society, Founder Secretary of the South West Society of Botanical Artists. Botanical Art instructor for Kingston Maurward College since 1998, runs “How to Draw Courses” and also at Springhead Trust near Shaftesbury. Tutored courses at the Eden Project Cornwall 2000-03, and Art in Action demonstrator in 2002, 03 and 05.
“Natural Dyes” by Sally Pinhey & Judy Hardman - published by the Crowood Press, 2009 rrp £14.99