Saturday, 28 May 2011

Tooveys Auction - Snap up a bargain tonight?

Snap up a bargain (perhaps) tonight at Toovey's contemporary Art Auction
Tooveys Auction House in Washington - between Horsham and Worthing each year stages an auction of contemporary art submitted by the Dan Bennett, Emma Brownjohn, Sam Chivers, Sarah Young and Frances Doherty are amongst lots of other artists who have submitted up to 3 pieces for the auction.
Auction starts at 18.00 tonight.

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Friday, 20 May 2011

ACOFI at Castor & Pollux 24th May at 6pm

Or Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration book launch.

Please join Amelia Gregory, of Amelia's Magazine, Amelia's Anthology of Illustration and now, Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration for a Free Talk between 6-10pm on Tuesday 24th May at Castor and Pollux.
Amelia will give an informal talk about the creation of Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, the rise of eco fashion, illustration process and social media for creatives, followed by an official book signing and chance for fellow creatives to network whilst enjoying complimentary organic juices from Juiceology, fine teas from Lahloo and yummy baked goods from Angel Food Bakery.

On purchase of books there will also be the opportunity to take part in a personal portfolio crit with Amelia Gregory.

Keep an eye on Twitter @ameliagregory and @castorpolluxart for updates on the #ACOFI hashtag. Free to attend but places will be limited so please come early! For further information contact

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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Dionne Swift wins Gold Award

Textile artist Dionne Swift has won the gold award for Textiles in the Craft & Design Selected Awards!

Please find the judges’ comments below;

Dionne Swift’s engaging and innovative work commands huge respect from her peers as well as from other professionals and the public. Her great skill and extensive knowledge of her materials, techniques and processes are leading to exciting synergies. She not only breaks boundaries but admits to ignoring them, the results showing an uncompromising integrity. Tracking her career leaves one anticipating even better to come. Dionne’s work inspires and encourages others and most importantly, I think her work is distinctive and memorable. It will be valued in decades to come.

We are delighted that Dionne will be exhibiting her work at the Palace Art Fair in October.

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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Three Open Houses

We've been a little snowed under to visit too many Artists Open Houses in Brighton this May but the few we have made it too have generally been very good (although as always some are gloriously awful but they're worth a look too). I can recommend

THE ARTFUL FOXJoy Fox is opening her delightful house behind Preston Park Station for the first time this year with an eponymous theme.

Not all the artists have been able to respond to the foxy theme but Judy Dwyer's dangerous dolls and dogs have morphed to be dangerous foxes.
Betty Bib has produced small fox dolls specially and other foxes are seen throughout the house. The house has a lovely artists' feel to it and the work is well chosen to work well together and to suit the house.

The HOUSE OF NEWTS (South Avenue Kemptown)
The House of Newts has had quite a big change-around of artists this year although Sarah Young still has quite a key position - although showing new prints, her portraits of women from 1940's American yearbooks and her new Greek Myth's Book
Muir and Osbourne are selling their knitted Dogs, book "Best in Show" and kits and also cashmere clothing
Angela Charles' abstracted landscapes are in the Living Room along with Rachel Eardley's jewellery and embroidered pictures.

Steve McPherson's work made from collected strandline plastic have attracted a lot of attention and need a slow peruse. (House of Newts has a lovely sunny garden and Sarah serves tea, coffee and cake with proceeds going to the Marletts Hospice)

THE OLD FORGE - South Heighton Newhaven

Literally up the road from the Pottery mentions in a previous posting the Old Forge won last year's best open house and it well worth a look. Rhoda Barker puts together a great selection of artists and makers throughout the house, studio and garden which in all has something of a Bloombury feel to it.

Christian Funnel's sculptures, fire baskets and birdbaths line the garden - which incidentally is the best place to have a cream tea during the festival or just relax looking at the view across the Ouse. There are about 16 artists and makers exhibiting in this house including Robert Peel who won best artist at last years festival (so best house - featuring best artist!)

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Monday, 16 May 2011

New Exhibition: "Michael Kirkman - Printmaker"

On Saturday 21st May "Michael Kirkman - Printmaker", a new exhibition, opens at the Emma Mason Gallery in Eastbourne, East Sussex. The Emma Mason Gallery specialises in original prints from the 1950s to the present day. This exhibition will show work made in 2011 by Michael Kirkman, a young printmaker who finished his MA at The Royal College of Art just last year. This is Michael's first solo show and all the prints have been made for the exhibition and include monoprints, linocuts and lithographs. Michael is becoming a highly collected printmaker with many of his editions of prints made earlier selling out. He has also received commissions from publishers Faber & Faber and recently completed a commission for The National Theatre, London.
The linocut that Michael has made for The National Theatre, called "Theatre" is being launched at his solo show, alongside the launch of the print at the National Theatre. It is a beautiful, large linocut made in an edition of 75 and profits go to supporting The National Theatre.
One of his other large linocuts for this exhibition, "Smithfield Market" has already been reserved for purchase by the art committee for The Palace of Westminster Collection for their permanent collection.

The exhibition is now available to see on the exhibition pages of the Emma Mason Gallery website. The exhibition opens on Saturday 21st May at 10.00am where there will be drinks at the gallery to celebrate the opening and Michael will be there during the day - all are invited.
Emma Mason Gallery - 3 Cornfield Terrace, Eastbourne,East Sussex BN21 4NN

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Sunday, 8 May 2011

South Heighton Pottery

Visiting South Heighton Pottery is always lovely and this May, as part of the Brighton Festival Artists Open Houses, they have created a very special exhibition. Not only is the pottery open with beautiful work by Chris Lewis and Chris Ford, but also the flint house is open and in it is something special - A Retrospective Exhibition of Pottery, Sculpture, and Paintings by Ursula and Norman Mommens.

Just past Newhaven or on the way into Newhaven, depending on where you are travelling from, is South Heighton, a small community and village, rather tucked away by the Downs. As you arrive it is the pottery you see first and it is filled with pots, bowls, jugs and more by Chris Lewis and Chris Ford who both make all their work at the South Heighton Pottery.

We spent a long time looking and enjoying seeing the different pots. We could not resist them and came away with a beautiful pinched stoneware jug and a large stoneware mug. There are also some rather lovely collages and related prints by artist Jane Robbins on display as part of the Brighton Festival.

Then we headed across the garden to the flint house where Ursula Mommens lived until she died at the age of 101. The retrospective of work by Ursula and her husband Norman celebrates the 60th anniversary of their arrival at South Heighton, where Ursula was to live and work until she died in 2010. Chris Lewis, who shared the pottery for many years with Ursula Mommens, has curated a beautiful exhibition. It is all displayed so well in the house where Ursula Mommens lived. There are pieces on display from all stages of her long career and includes early pieces from her student days at the Royal College of Art and others made to celebrate the Festival of Britain.

We then headed out into the beautiful garden which has some great garden seats and pots made by Chris Lewis. In one corner of the garden in the pottery workshops there are hand made cakes and teas and coffees for sale. We had coffee and cakes sitting on one of Chris Lewis's garden seats. We learnt that Ursula Mommens favourite cake was lemon drizzel, which she would keep and eat for weeks, a small piece at a time. We wondered if that was the secret of her long and fascinating life!

South Heighton Pottery and the retrospective exhibition of work by Ursula and Norman Mommens is open at weekends throughout May 11.00am - 6.00pm
South Heighton Pottery, Newhaven, East Sussex. BN9 0HL
Tel. 07754814067
For more about Chris Lewis ceramics see
For more about Chris Ford ceramics contact Chris on
The obituary in the Guardian from 2010 has more about Ursula Mommens and her life.

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