The Digby Gallery exhibits work by artists living and/or working in the region. The gallery is situated here at the Mercury Theatre and is open to the public from 10am to 8pm Mondays to Saturdays, and later on evenings when there is a performance.
We are currently looking for submissions for our Autumn/Winter season please contact Eleanor Farrow before the 15th of April 2013. If you would like further details about the Digby Gallery or would like information on forthcoming exhibitions, please contact Eleanor Farrow on 01206 577006 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions
Monday 25 March – Monday 15 April
The Splinter Art Group – Images of the Human Form
We are a group of professional artists who live in East Anglia and are inspired by the dynamic quality of the human figure. Our work is executed in a variety of mediums including charcoal, oils, acrylics and pastel. We are members of Colchester Art Society and all three of us exhibit regularly with the Society and at other venues in both Essex and Suffolk. Our website can be found at http://www.thesplinterartgroup.co.uk/
I work in a variety of media using colour and dynamic composition to create mood and atmosphere. My work combines line, texture and collage to develop semi-abstract images of the human form in my paintings and monoprints.
ANGELLA HORNER CertHE in Creative Arts
I have always drawn and painted people from early in my childhood. People intrigue and excite me. Drawing is where I start in order to capture interesting and dynamic poses. These I combine with colour, line and texture in order to create an exciting piece of artwork.
CHRISTINA TWEED BA (Hons)
I love drawing the figure, so much so that I run a life class so that I have more opportunities to explore different approaches. Most of my work involves trying to capture movement in figure work. After all, models aren’t marble statues. I think incorporating movement adds excitement to the studies.
Monday 15 April – Monday 13 May
Clare Sams – Knitted Narratives
Taking inspiration from the Mercury Theatre and her Colchester environment, Clare has produced an exhibition which documents the everyday mundane and combines it with a sense of humour.
She has recently worked as part of Islington Councils ‘A Million Minutes” project. This involved spending time as resident artist in the borough, encouraging participants to share their life journeys in a piece entitled ‘How did I get here?’ Through machine and hand knitting she depicted the stories of how people came to be in Archway.
Clare says – ‘To utilize knitting as a medium through which to tell the tales of our urban environment offers a unique perspective. When I knit to reflect the outcast, forgotten and neglected of the UKs built up areas, it automatically cloaks the subject in a shroud of comfort. It is as if the dirt and grime has been covered in a blanket of old time homeliness. To knit is a humble and accessible craft, a sign of domesticity, warmth, and a source of comfort to both the knitter and the recipient of knitted garments or bedding.
When knitting tales of the urban scenes of life around me, I imagine all the deprivation and despair is made accessible by the familiarity fairisle patterns in yarn. Troubling tales approached with warmth and understanding, there is a strong theme of respect for those on the edge of society, which the knitting process renders warm and reassured.’
Monday 15 April – Monday 13 May
Jan Whitehouse – Abstract Fantasy
Jan has been painting for a number of years and has previously worked as a sculptor. As a member of Tiptree Art Club, Jan has exhibited at Wivenhoe Art Club, The Minories, Sudbury Church and Long Melford Old School.
The theme of Abstract Fantasy was inspired by watching steam on windows which formed patterns that later became the fantastical backgrounds for paintings of mythological creatures. These are painted using the medium of Gouache and water colour and take many hours.
Monday 4 March – Monday 25 March
Borin Van Loon: New Paintings
Borin Van Loon has been a Suffolk-based freelance illustrator since 1976. He attended Lowestoft Art School from 1976-1979. He is an author, collagist and surrealist painter and has worked for a wide variety of clients in editorial, publishing and promotion. A selection of work is included on his website encompassing paintings, collage, bookwork, comics and model-making books. He has created an eclectic collage/cartoon mural on the subject of DNA and genetics for the Health Matters Gallery in London’s Science Museum. His collaged graphic novel The Bart Dickon Omnibus was published in 2005. He has exhibited work in London and Suffolk. His main aim in life is to pose questions which disturb and amuse in equal measure. www.borinvanloon.co.uk
Monday 4 February – Monday 4 March
Great Bentley Art Club
The Great Bentley Art Club was founded in the 70’s by Harold Lambert and they have been exhibiting, yearly, ever since. They are a small and friendly group that meet in Great Bentley Village Hall – If you would like to join them please contact the Chairman – Nina Morters. Contact Details are available from the Mercury Theatre Box Office.
Monday 21 January – Monday 4 February
Art in the Community
Monday 21 January – Monday 4 February
Scarlett Valentine – CABINET
Scarlett Valentine Millinery is run by Sarah Valentine who designs and makes bespoke contemporary headpieces, traditional hats and unique accessories from her atelier in Suffolk. Here she is inspired by her rural surroundings and her love of her garden. Having trained at the London College of Fashion and Central St Martins London, Sarah makes everything by hand. Working with a variety of materials including hand dyed fabrics, straw, felt, feathers, metal, paper and embroidered textiles.
Hats are blocked, hand sewn then trimmed with a combination of handmade silk flowers, hand cut and dyed feathers, crystals and beads.
Headpieces are constructed with an imagination for manipulating unexpected materials. Beautiful corsages, shoeclips and bags are also a speciality.
Tuesday 1 January – Monday 21 January
Since living in the Essex area, Colin’s work has been greatly influenced by the local landscapes. His work is mostly acrylic but oil pastels and other mixed media is also used. For the last 30 years Colin has been self-employed, making dollshouse miniatures for adult collectors, selling throughout the world. Some of these are displayed in our cabinet.
Monday 10 December – Tuesday 2 January
Suffolk Monochrome Group
Monday 19 November – Monday 10 December
This exhibition will comprise images of people, places and events around the local area including the Stour Valley.
Monday 19 November – Monday 10 December
CABINET – Helen Leeder – The Contarini Collection
Through her work, Helen wants to capture the flow and colour of water, together with the muted and intense colours of the buildings of Venice, her favourite city. Working in gemstones, which are suffused with deep and vibrant colour, she seeks to craft beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings that everyone will enjoy wearing. Each item is unique and guarantees the wearer exclusivity.
Monday 29 October – Monday 19 November
Mary Pullen – Long Exposure
Long Exposure is an exhibition of illustration work which exhibits a series of illustrations made on site at locations in London and Colchester, depicting movement and activity in cafés, a railway station and at historical monuments.
Mary seeks to reflect traditional photographic processes in her illustration work. Repetition and overlap are common in Mary’s drawings and an element of influence drawn from Cubist painters is evident.
Monday 8 October – Monday 29 October
Monday 17 September – Monday 8 October
Experimentation’s with different media and techniques – these vary from landscapes, seascapes and townscapes, to figurative and sometimes abstract work.
Monday 20 August – Monday 17 September
This is an exhibition of photographs of common insects taken in and around Colchester. The focus is on the beauty and diversity, in close up, of creatures that many people dismiss or disregard.
Monday 20 August – Monday 17 September
We are currently exhibiting beautiful and original Cherokee Indian influenced work. Pieces include jewellery and bird boxes made from a variety of materials including leather, bone, silver, turquoise, coral and shell. This work is by a brother and sister team who can be contacted for commissioned pieces – please contact Eleanor Farrow for details.
Mon 18 Jun – Mon 16 July 2012
Crete has been the focus of Mick Hollingworth’s work over the last few years; a powerful influence that inspires these emotive paintings. Described by the artist as ‘a moment, a glimpse, a feeling’ – a mixture of all three is expressed in visual form through this exhibition.
Through these works, we are taken through moments of when the blue of the sea appears to force its way round the side of a building, glimpses of colourful flora through buildings, and the ambience created by the people of Crete themselves. The translation of this through his paintings, he tells us, is a different road to tread.
Mon 28 May – Mon 18 June 2012
Daphne Sandham: From Greyfriars
Landscape artist Daphne Sandham’s training started in Leicester in the late Sixties. After a year out to paint landscapes and portraits, she returned to London’s Royal Academy Schools for a postgraduate degree where she would draw and paint from the figure, and practise her etching and lithography in the print workshop.
This exhibition of landscape paintings and drawings shows a unique view from Greyfriars looking over the sights of Colchester as the seasons pass through one year. These colourful, bold works were made from the former Greyfriars Adult Education Centre, where she taught a portrait class in the top floor art room. Upon finding a small door at the end of the room, and investigating the room within, she discovered though a low window a magical landscape between buildings, over the treetops of Roman Road, and over the railway line towards High Woods.
Daphne’s current exhibition is inspired by her drawings and oil sketches of those landscapes, based on looking out to High Woods Country Park and looking back from the landscape towards the window. She is currently working on a new line of etchings for next year and will be participating in Colchester and Tendring Open Studios.
Mon 7 – Mon 28 May 2012
Colin McAllister is a Cartoonist and Illustrator living in Colchester, working in black and white, pen and ink. His current drawing interests include local urban scenes, portraits and cartooning. His cartoons are microcosms of issues of interest, and, unlike most cartoons, require time to be studied in order to take in all the detail and action. He tells us that sometimes the subject matter is serious, sometimes sentimental and silly but whatever he is working on at the time has his full attention and he is always attempting to out-do his previous efforts without repeating himself. He has a love for interesting perspective and minute, exacting detail and attempts to use a piece of paper to its full capacity, leaving no subject detail left out.
For his exhibition this year, he has aimed to have completed a series of drawings which are updates of old masters paintings, reworked into my own style. He finds it interesting to begin with a well known composition but to give it his own modern twist.
Colin also goes under the pseudonym ‘Snublic’ and he calls his drawings Snublic Drawings. He aims to complete a drawing every month, either for himself or as a commission, and practice his observational drawing and light and shade skills as often as possible. His work can be viewed on his website www.snublic.com
Mon 16 Apr – Mon 7 May 2012
Ellie Farrow: Mercury 24
Photographer Ellie Farrow graduated from the University of Brighton in 2005 with a degree in Editorial Photography, and has since studied the History of British Photography through London’s CityLit University. She has exhibited solo projects in the Digby Gallery in 2004, and in the Brooklyn Art Co-op’s travelling sketchbook project 2011; and in group exhibitions in London’s OXO Tower gallery and Brighton’s Sallis Benney Gallery.
Her exhibition in the Digby Gallery this year is her contribution to the Colchester 24 project; a project that echoes an event from 1986 where a local group of photographers spent 24 hours documenting the goings-on in Colchester. They photographed shops to homes, families to workplaces, and general town life. Ellie’s work for this years Colchester 24 event centres on giving a new view of behind-the-scenes life at the Mercury Theatre. Having worked at the Mercury Theatre for over 10 years, she feels it is a Colchester icon, which she wishes to be preserved. Ellie has endeavoured to capture every department at every possible hour and from every possible angle. These pictures were taken over a 24 hour period on Friday 21st October 2011.
Mon 26 Mar – Mon 16 April 2012
Fine artist Michelle Ranson creates images using paint, drawing materials and printmaking. Her work centres on personal spiritualisation which comes from memories of home life past and present, demonstrating a form of narrative showing emotional reactions towards these both positive and negative experiences. She uses a variety of paint applications and processes which convey many elements of texture, tone and light to convey these emotions. Michelle’s images are mysterious yet familiar within their settings, making her work accessible to all through encouragement of individual interpretation.
Her current work combines line and colour, exploring the abstract of everyday objects and visions. Michelle’s work intends to give the viewer a sense of mystery with the subject matter, referring to how life and self image can be both positive and negative for the individual.
Mon 5 – Mon 26 March 2012
Brendan Wilson: Cradle of the Sun
Brendan Wilson’s work centres on the public spaces of Colchester, Ipswich and the surrounding area. The colour street photographs look for significance in the ordinary: a significance that, given the frame, angle and time of the camera, is peculiarly photographic, but resonates sharply with our sense of relationships.
The work is not an exhaustive survey of the area but an anecdotal attempt to catch the mood, essence and Englishness of the age in which we live, as seen by photographer and camera. Our town centres and the money we spend there are crucial to our economic wellbeing. Spending money on goods we want, as well as need, is a large part of the workings of our society and the accompanying advertising, branding and built environment are an inextricable part of the photographs.
Through Wilson’s discovered mis-en-scenes our town centres and fetes become a poetic symbolism of a corner of England in the third millennium.
Lisa Rippon: Diverse Forms in Nature
Clacton based artist Lisa Rippon’s recent work has been heavily influenced by the naturalistic, exploring form, texture and the design of the living world. These works examine the relationship between the patterns and colours used by animals to communicate with each other and to camouflage themselves. Another section of Lisa’s work has drawn inspiration from ancient writings and texts and; using the poems of Virgil and Shakespeare, examines the depiction of languages and scripts from early history.
Following graduation from Wimbledon School of Art where she studied Fine Art (Painting), Lisa was accepted onto the Government Enterprise Scheme and began working as a commissioning artist. Early on, she carried out some seasonal work as a scenic artist for the Mercury Theatre in Colchester and also worked for a book publisher illustrating children’s educational books.
Lisa has completed a number of corporate commissions, notably a 16-foot by 4-foot oil panel depicting the daily life and services in a hospital in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry. This currently hangs in the Accident and Emergency Department at Colchester General Hospital. A further commission was for another Hospital Trust in Harlow, Essex; a 14-foot by 4-foot oil panel of a jungle scene that has been hung in a family interview room.
She has, and continues to exhibit in a number of galleries around the country and her work is held in private and corporate collections in the UK and abroad. Lisa is a member of the Colchester Art Society and is a Benefactor and supporter of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Monday 23 January – Monday 13 February 2012
The Magical Realms Exhibition by Jane Mary de Woolfson
Evenstar Art Studio, Rowhedge
Trained at the Wimbledon School of Art, London.
Previous exhibitions in Guernsey and Marrakech.
Having travelled extensively in recent years, I have settled in Rowhedge where I work as a free-lance artist. I am able to take commissions for illustrations, paintings on childhood themes featuring magical elements, in particular, portraits of children with a fairy-tale theme, and paintings to commemorate special occasions such as anniversaries, christenings etc., in a variety of mediums including pen, ink and watercolour, gouache and acrylics.
This current exhibition is the culmination of many strands of influences but most particularly, The Victorian Golden Age of Illustration, featurings artists such as Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac, and The Aesthetic Movement, exemplified by Edward Burne Jones and Aubrey Beardsley, with its emphasis on the Cult of Beauty and its premise of Art for Art’s Sake for all to enjoy.
My present work reflects my passion for decoration, pattern, jewel-like colour, shape and line, as mastered by the above artists and as shown in Oriental Art such as Japanese prints and Indian miniatures.
Monday 2 Jan – Monday 23 January 2012
Getting Off at Manningtree by David Thomas
David Thomas grew up in east Suffolk where he has been landscape painting for over 30 years. After studying 3-D design at Ipswich Art College, he worked at the Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich for three years, where he designed many notable sets.
Having become freelance in 1987, David has worked as a designer and scenic artist largely in theatre and the theme industries. He has also painted many murals and trompe l’oeil over the years. Working for the Mercury Theatre since 2000, he has painted most of their sets including 11 pantomimes and designed The Recruiting Officer, The Caretaker and Two.
Working freelance allows David time to pursue his own painting mainly in Suffolk but also with frequent visits to Essex. In recent years David has been exploring the beautiful area around Manningtree.
Monday 5 December – Monday 2 January 2011
Joint Exhibition: The World’s a Stage by Wendy Cruickshank and Jewellery by Silver Hammer Crafts
The paintings featured in Wendy Cruickshank’s The World’s a Stage exhibition are largely from memory and imagination. The most recent are constructed by thinking about light and surface rather than tone. Ideas develop over very long periods, and often involve lots of drawings and different versions.
Wendy has been involved with painting throughout her life; her main formal training was at The Byam Shaw School of Painting and Drawing 1971 -75. She has taught part-time since 1979, and is an exhibiting member of Colchester Art Society.
Silver Hammer Crafts are based in Colchester and have developed a range of fossil based jewellery and gifts. All products are designed and created by a single craftsman, utilising self taught skills that have developed throughout his life, through his hobby of jewellery making. When creating a piece, the elements are carefully examined and selected to utilise their natural beauty and coupled with either wood or silver that will best complement and enhance them.All of Silver Hammer Crafts products are unique. Everything is Sterling silver, including the chains, bands and earring wires.Monday 14 November – Monday 5 December 2011
12PM was formed in 1984 from a group of professional artists working in and around Colchester. Some are members of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, the Printmakers Council or the Society of Wood Engravers. Many have had solo exhibitions, shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, Royal West of England Academy Autumn Exhibitions,’ Originals’ Print Exhibitions, or taken part in mixed exhibitions all over the UK and abroad.
It enables a number of like-minded artists to meet regularly to exchange ideas and discuss each other’s work.
By sharing the expenses and responsibilities involved in mounting exhibitions, members are able to exhibit several times a year. 12PM has held many successful exhibitions in London, East Anglia, elsewhere in Britain and abroad. Lastly, the group feels strongly about the need to heighten the awareness of the public about printmaking as an art form and to dispel any misunderstandings about the definition of an original print.
This particular exhibition will focus on small and mini-prints where some members show in International and British Min-Print Competitions.
Monday 24 October – Monday 14 November
Joint Exhibition: Suffolk Monochrome and Lola Swain
The Suffolk Monochrome Group are a select group of twelve, dedicated and highly experienced photographers whose aim is to enjoy and promote the art of monochrome photography, in all its various forms.
For many years since the birth of photography the monochrome image was dominant and it was only in the middle of the last century that colour photography started to gain popularity. When in recent years digital cameras took over from film cameras colour became the main form of photographic image making and black/white monochrome photographs were in danger of dying out.
At the beginning of 2009 a group of photographers who are members of the Ipswich and District Photographic Society decided to take positive steps to try prevent monochrome photography from becoming a lost art, especially in the East Anglian area.
The group aim is the creation of quality monochrome images, by any of the photographic processes available and that the experienced members will freely pass on their knowledge, techniques and inspiration to the less experienced.
Lola Swain is a self taught potter, working from a purpose built studio in Leigh on Sea, Essex. She is an Advanced Skills Teacher, working part time in a special school where she is also a Teacher Governor. Additionally, she teaches art at Meadowfield Nature Study Centre and provides children’s art workshops for their open days.
Lola is an active member of the Leigh Art Trail, exhibiting and assisting in the organisation of the event and our auction each year. She arranges schools’ exhibitions and children’s art workshops. She is also a selected member of the Anglian Potters Association and regularly exhibits in their collective exhibitions. As a member of Activate Visual Arts Group, based in Chelmsford, she plays an active and supportive role in promoting the visual arts.
Monday 3 – Monday 24 October 2011
Tracing the Elements: Colchester Institute Group Show
Tracing the Elements is a group show brought together by seven Fine Art students, all currently studying at the School of Art and Design in Colchester. This all female group subtly brings feminine concerns to the work. The work in this exhibition explores a wide range of underlying themes including spaces on and within a subject, memory, fragility, order, chaos and human relations and behaviour.
The methods and processes used by each of the group are as diverse as the themes. They have all studied various techniques in printing, textiles, photography, drawing and the use of colour and have each gone on to develop an individual style to work employing one or more of the above methods.
Members of this group have previously exhibited at The Minories, Slack Space and Cuckoo Farm all in Colchester, The Brasilia Café in Ipswich and at the 2011 Eastern Open in Kings Lynn.
For further information vistit www.angiebowles.co.uk and www.abbeypotter.org
Monday 12 September – Monday 3 October 2011
Scene Shifting by Wendy Cruickshank
This exhibition includes some of the evolvement drawings and different versions as described for pictures included in The World’s a Stage exhibition showing here in December.
After leaving school in Maldon Wendy attended Colchester Institute for Art (1966), and later took evening classes at the Central School of Art (1970), before going to the Byam Shaw School of Drawing and Painting, (1971 – 75). Drawing was a priority at each school, with differences of approach.
Thursday 11 August – Monday 12 September 2011
A Short Fall from Heaven by Simon Ambrose
Simon’s latest work has involved ink pen on cartridge paper in the style of Pointillism, a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of pure colour are applied in patterns to form an image. This technique relies on the perceptive ability of the eye and mind of the viewer to mix the colour spots into a fuller range of tones.
His work is based on this style of art but with my own unique touch included. The end result can be looked at and added to with the use of the viewer’s imagination.
This technique has been used to complete a collection of art based on film noir. This is all portraiture work which shows a wide range of emotions and feelings. These include romance, danger and intrigue. This has been achieved through the use of atmosphere, shadows and poses, which all relate to the film noir style.