F G Davis
Chantal Ashwell is an abstract artist working in acrylic and mixed media, based in Torquay, South Devon. Having taken a conscious decision to avoid formal training, her artistic journey continues to move towards a deeper appreciation that the imagination has no boundaries and that depth of emotion revealed through art may be a natural outcome.
Her work is motivated by a fascination with the forces and effects of natural elements - such as water and wood - and of their intrinsic qualities, which lend themselves to an almost textile-like interpretation on the artist’s canvas.
She has been painting for around ten years and is committed to only producing pieces that truly reflect her observations and perceptions of a subject; to paint with a brave honesty in order to maintain her artistic integrity.
Chantal’s work has been exhibited in the UK and Europe.
Submission sponsored by Great Western Railway.
Elizabeth Elliott trained as a designer and specialised in ceramics for a number of years during which time she gained recognition for her industrial work and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her recent abstract work represents a departure from the disciplined work necessary for manufacturing and include a multitude of materials applied in a free and layered textural manner.
Originating Nottinghamshire, Elizabeth worked in the Stoke-on-Trent ceramics industry, as a lecturer at the University of Central England and also as Head of Design at Pilkington’s, Manchester. She then moved to the South West to become Creative Director for a large commercial company, working on ranges for Conran, Laura Ashley and the V&A amongst others.
Although her recent work has been free and abstract in nature, previous commissions have been more illustrative and detailed. The current collection has been inspired partly by retro influences and partly by the need to create pieces for individual contemporary spaces.
Previous projects include a collection of fine bone china for Harrods, framed prints of documentary illustrations and a ceramics collection for Paolo Gucci.
Elizabeth Rashley is a linocut artist based in Newton Abbot, South Devon, creating imaginative, stylised linocuts using bold shapes, pattern and flowing lines that have a strong sense of placement on the lino block.
Having had no formal training in art, she is inspired by all forms of naïve art as well as the images of master linocutters and woodcutters, such as Edward Bawden, Claude Flight and the Grosvenor School, Shiko Munakata and John Muafangejo. Over the years, Elizabeth has progressed from spoon to bookpress to mangle, but now prints on her 1844 Victorian Albion printing press. Her colour cuts are reduction prints where the image is printed from one block only, which is successively cut away as each colour is printed on top of the one before. This makes the printed edition a unique event that cannot be added to, repeated or changed at a later date. The cut block at the end of the process is useless and is thrown away.
Elizabeth has illustrated several limited edition private press books and is a member of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen.
George Davis is a leading contemporary artist sharing his working time between his homes in Devon and the South of France. Known principally for his exquisite use of colour, texture and pattern, he explores many and varied themes with acrylic, collage, watercolour, gouache and mixed media.
His work is unique in its diversity, encompassing a wide range of subject matter taken from his everyday experiences and memories, and working in a full range of scales, from intricate detailed pieces to bold large works. Interpretations are often witty and playful, capturing the essence of his starting points with a keen perceptive insight and frequently completed as part of an extensive series of work which testify to his love of experimentation and his unerring ability to tantalise the viewers’ imagination.
The pieces on display are all taken from three expansive series of works completed in the last five years and sample his numerous stylistic influences and his mastery of colour and surface quality.
George has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally.
Born in Dorset, Heatherbell graduated in Fine Art from Exeter. After travelling overland to India and working abroad, she returned to Devon in 1984.
Seeking out beautiful and unspoilt landscapes, Heatherbell finds her inspiration on her doorstep, although it was discovering the wild beauty of the Isles of Scilly that defined her practice as an artist; the light from the sea created a stunning backdrop for her paintings and her colourful palette reflects this in both atmosphere and tone.
For several years Heatherbell designed large stage backdrops for plays and musicals, but since 2010 she has painted full time from her Red Sail Studio in Devon. She has exhibited in Norway, Germany and several solo shows in the West Country. Two of her sketchbooks have toured the United States with the Sketchbook Project, now on permanent display in the Brooklyn Art Library, New York.
Submission sponsored by Great Western Railway.
Hilary ‘O’ Dwyer believes that an artist’s life experience must form the bedrock upon which their creative output is built. In her own case, she has travelled extensively in Europe and North America and has lived in several regions of France, Ireland and Germany before settling in the South West of England in 2007.
These life experiences inform her creative process and each body of work is a chapter in that journey. Her work is often a reflection of our current economic and social climate. Personal emotion, intuition, ambition, hard work and some good fortune play equally important roles in her creative process.
Over the years she has developed a very versatile approach, experimenting with a vast array of materials and processes. Her choices are influenced by a fierce determination to express in her work the rich texture, subtle colour and forms of the many places she has lived as well as by a profound and deeply personal desire to enjoy the process of creating.
She is currently working on a commission awarded at the CALMARE (Centre for Alternative Materials and Remanufacturing Technologies) Exhibition in April 2015, to produce an art work continuing in the theme of the exhibition and promoting the Zero to Landfill ethos.
Ian Carr is a non-figurative painter who works chiefly in oils. He studied at Chester School of Art, Leeds College of Art and Manchester University. He now works in Salcombe from his Sailmaker Studio.
Ian’s paintings are responses to his environment:
‘When you paint something so much is lost: scale, movement, sound, smell, touch, so you compensate by putting things back visually. My aim is to paint the experience of looking at something rather than recording figuratively what I see. I like to analyse what qualities are holding my attention and explore the visual elements that will enable me to share that experience.’
He has exhibited widely throughout the UK and extensively in Devon since moving there in 2007, including in the Bunker Project, which he organised from 2011 - 2013. In August 2015 he founded the immensely popular Salcombe Contemporary Art Fair.
Kim Freeman works from her home in Churston, Brixham, set betwixt the sandy beaches of the coast and the rolling hills of the South Hams.
Her enduring love of colour, pattern and texture is indulged through the coastal landscape and the verdant countryside. People, buildings, geology and the changing seasons all find expression in her work.
A love of experimentation and the process of creating her art, ensure that ideas and practical aspects are taken on a journey of discovery to a final presentation. A variety of materials and techniques are employed to produce final designs that are visually intriguing, colourful and mostly abstract in style. Kim also enjoys the challenge of working directly onto canvas, melding her abstract style with realism, as can be seen in her ‘Tour de France’ inspired paintings.
As a member of Devon Artist Network, Kim exhibits locally, including taking part in Devon Open Studios. Through the facility of workshops, she enjoys giving encouragement and support to others, guiding participants through a creative and uninhibited approach to producing art.
Martin Dutton worked as a Head of Department at Bradford College and exhibited widely in the North of England prior to moving to Devon 1996 to focus on painting. He is now well established in the South West and is an elected member of the Southwest Academy.
Martin’s work is multi-faceted and is based on different themes. These range from in-situ landscape painting - through evocations of Venice - to abstraction - often with a geometric basis. Each theme presents its own particular intellectual and intuitive challenge coupled with an appropriate response in terms of media and working method. The groups of images produced are an outcome of his expressive response to the particular nature of the theme. He does not impose any preconceived stylistic limitation or cohesion across his themes.
His work is in the Dean Clough Collection of Contemporary Art, Halifax, the Stafford Museum and Art Gallery and private collections in this country and abroad. He has exhibited as a solo artist throughout the UK and participated in group exhibitions in the North and the South West of England.
Seventeen-year-old Millie Fraser, is currently studying A Level Photography, Art and Media Study’s at South Devon College, with an aim to pursuing photography at university.
Her work and broader love of art comes as a result of her dyslexia; unable to read in the early years of her life, Millie turned to drawing to express herself. Now, her work is a direct response to these early experiences. Her series on display, ‘Brain Freeze’, considers the difficulties she faced, the ice in the images representing the physical barrier dyslexia placed upon her, as well as recreating the distortion of understanding and expression which are a part of the condition. In the presentation she hopes to give insight into the experiences of those who have dyslexia and to encourage a positive attitude towards being dyslexic.
Millie’s submission to Torbay to London is supported by the Friends of South Devon College and Kevin Cowell Photography.
Submission supported by Friends of South Devon College
Born in the South West of England, Nicky Carole now lives and works on the Devon border producing abstracts from her studio.
Nicky is a self-taught artist, devoted and passionate, she strives to create truly thought-provoking encaustic wax art. Inspired by nature and the universe, her style has developed over the years culminating in paintings which thoroughly capture the viewers’ imagination. Nicky’s process begins with colour, all thoughts, feelings and influences translated in the creation of her palette. With this decided, she begins to create, melting and mixing colours onto the chosen substrate keeping areas to a certain temperature and working the designs with a variety of implements in a small area to gradually build a picture.
The absence of titling in her work was a conscious decision, allowing the viewer the freedom to “see” a multitude of scenes. One piece can portray anything from a forest scene or caves full of stalagmites and stalactites, to a battlefield full of Samurai Warriors; the viewer must reveal the piece not from an interpretation of a judgement placed upon the work in titling, but through their own exploration and imagination.
With several solo exhibitions, she has established herself in the South West, and her commission work is held in private collections internationally.
Rachael Bennett previously worked in London designing textiles for the interior market. Now living by the docks in the seaside port of Teignmouth, she takes inspiration from her immediate surroundings; overlooking the port and river, she witnesses a landscape where salt meets fresh water and land melts into sea, a place of constant physical change.
In her paintings, Rachael sees herself as creating an environment which might offer freedom of thought and connections, allowing the viewer a space to make a personal interpretation. The result is work that provokes strong reactions; paintings which at first sight appear calm, invite the viewer in and prompt a reinterpretation, one which often becomes more of a struggle, as tranquillity is replaced with the task of unravelling the underlying energy of the piece.
Though her style is abstract, Rachael’s work is predominantly landscape. Preferring to work on a medium to large scale, her unconventional process brings together collaging, printing and painting on to canvas and handmade papers. After developing an initial concept through a broad exploration process, Rachael works on several pieces at once. This parallel method allows the pieces to “talk” to each other during the making.
Ray Vyse is a digital artist and creative designer based in Kingskerswell, Devon. Originally interested in photography and graphics, his work now includes the creation in wood of abstract wall-art described as anisotropic.
While carving and shaping wood and laminated wood, Ray found he was able to exploit the directional qualities of wood grain. Working with saws, chisels and power tools, the technique carves and shapes to produce relief patterns and in some cases 3D constructions. Progressing from there, he has added colour to create bolder directional effects and unique colour combinations. In some pieces this takes anisotropic effects to another level, where what you see depends on your viewpoint or the direction of lighting.
In his most recent work, Ray has returned to digital creativity with abstract images using over-lapping semi-transparent areas. He has enjoyed producing glowing colours and stylised imagery with crisp, clean outlines.
Rhian is an artist and illustrator who works from her home studio in Paignton on the South Devon coast. In a previous life she was a graphic designer and typographer, working in the design industry in Warwickshire for many years.
Realising that she had neglected her childhood love of drawing, painting and colour, Rhian began to experiment, finding her artist voice and her own quirky style.
Creating lively and colourful mixed media illustrations, Rhian repurposes old books and maps as both the backgrounds and the inspiration for her work, with a nod towards her design career. Her challenge is always to find an unexpected interpretation between word and image. Drawn by hand, then coloured with ink, gouache paint and pastel, Rhian uses traditional techniques rather than digital and if she can inject some humour or wit, all the better.
In less than two years, Rhian has built an extensive local following, successfully exhibiting at a number of Devon galleries and producing tailored series for several exhibitions, including the Agatha Christie Festival. Her distinct style lends itself to many subjects and themes. For this exhibition she has especially created two larger pieces on vintage newspaper.
Rosie Cunningham is a professional abstract artist who paints out of her own studio in Plymouth, South West England.
Having attended the Plymouth College of Art and Design (PCAD) - where she learnt the rudiments of form and design - Rosie took time out to travel extensively in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. She attributes the experiences gathered during this time as the inspiration for much of her work.
Though working mainly with acrylics, Rosie is also a talented watercolourist. The starting point for her paintings is predominately a glimpse of colour or a sound that inspires a certain colour to come to the fore.
Rosie exhibits extensively in the South West and her work is held in collections internationally.
Having now returned to live in the picturesque landscapes of Torquay, Devon, after spending many years in London and the home counties, Sandra allows the beauty of the surrounding countryside, with its multifarious coastline and countryside, unpredictable and changeable weather, and seasonal variability, to evoke in her the passion that fuels her work.
With her inspirational locality and frequent travels to France and Spain, Sandra has returned to her early love of contemporary impressionism, experimenting over the years with many different techniques and styles, including mixed media, watercolours and acrylics.
Her interest lies in light and atmosphere, places and objects, seeking to convey through her work an area beyond the physical. Experimenting with texture and colour, Sandra creates rhythm and patterns through simplified forms, capturing movement and light with their ethereal qualities to evoke the deeper memory of the initial visual impact.
Now, Sandra is able to indulge completely in her passion for art, drawing from her formal techniques learnt over the years. She has exhibited extensively in the South West including at The South West Academy, as well as nationally and internationally.
Susan is a botanical artist living in Topsham, Devon. She trained in graphic design and worked in advertising, before studying botanical drawing and watercolour painting at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh.
Susan’s watercolour painting incorporates detailed work as well as a free, more personal style. She has added birds to her portfolio inspired by the bird sanctuaries locally in Devon, and she has experimented with silk painting and print to create less controlled pieces. Her work on display in this exhibition features primarily her botanical watercolour work.
She has been included in the Royal Academy of Art’s ‘Summer Exhibition’, the Llewellyn Alexander ‘Not the Royal Academy’ and has appeared in the Westminster Art Gallery with the Society of Botanical Artists. She also exhibits at the Majlis Gallery in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she teaches botanical workshops. Her work is held in collections internationally.
Submission sponsored by Great Western Railway.
Since drawing as a child Zena has always had a love of art. Now based in Torquay, she is an experienced abstract artist specialising in larger works.
Living in Devon, the surrounding sea and countryside have a huge influence on the colours and themes of Zena’s work. In recent years she discovered her love of painting, inspired by artist Peter Max, she purchased some paint and canvas and so began her art journey.
Her paintings reflect her interest in Greek gods and mythology, nature and the elemental, and the universe and the cosmological. Working in acrylic and mixed media, Zena’s method involves varying the consistency of her paints to influence the interaction between them, in doing so conveying movement and creating depth and texture.
Original and unique, each art work draws the viewer into the painting. Each work is finished in a high gloss resin which gives a ‘behind-glass’ effect to the finished piece.
Torquay born Tim initially qualified in illustration and graphic design before his career path moved into Media Studies which he lectured on at an international level.
On his retirement from lecturing, Tim developed a fascination with the qualities of fused glass, and he began an exploration of the technique, experimenting with the quality of light and colour achievable through the form. Though initially he worked solely in float glass – a method creating sheet glass of uniform thickness – he soon expanded into a more colourful and challenging art form which could better express his life’s experiences.
His love of photography has left us with a fine record of his travels, his observations of people and life’s situations, but it is his work which offers the greatest insight into the man himself. Artizan is lucky to hold a small collection of his work which is on display in this exhibition, alongside additional contributions from his wife Helen Ridehalgh, a South West Academy sculptor who continues to work from their shared studio in Torquay.
Rhian Wyn Harrison