New exhibition showcases work from artists all over Devon

Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton 
28 May 2022 to 23 July 2022

Artists and makers from across Devon are exhibiting work in a new exhibition at the Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton.

Fresh! features embroidered whippets, wet-plate photographs of wild swimmers, a set of drawers containing small pieces of art, and an installation made from World War 2 love letters.

The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, pottery, glass work, textile and paper art by more than 50 established and emerging artists from Devon Artist Network. The exhibition is hosted by Thelma Hulbert Gallery as part of Creative Communities, an initiative to promote the value of individual and collective creative expression, and fresh ideas and perspectives. 

Work includes:

Penny O’Brien’s ceramic pots feature places in Devon using the What3Words app. The show landscape features of a particular location, with the three words imprinted on the clay. Penny’s work is inspired by her surroundings: the landscape of Dartmoor, the places she visits, and the ever-changing weather. 

Tessa Jane’s ‘Let life live through you’ is a set of twelve drawers, each containing individual pieces of drawn, stitched, printed art, photographs, found objects and collage. Visitors can open the drawers to explore the artist’s dreams, passions, hopes and fears.

Karen Nicholls’ embroidered appliqué is inspired by photographs of her whippets and a passion for fabric. Based in Tavistock, she makes framed freehand machine-embroidered and appliqued original pieces depicting animals, birds and foliage. Karen loves to sew the quirky, beautiful, magical, humorous or touching characters from her photographs and sketches, combining the images with the texture and warmth of fabric and the stitched line.

Martin Staniforth is a sculptor based in the village of Awliscombe. His practice focuses on emergence, regeneration and natural progression, drawing influences from nature.  His work experiments with forms falling and rising: pieces from the burnt-out Royal Clarence Hotel, Exeter; microscopic creatures and the human form. He is intrigued by ‘vulnerability’, and how this is masked with statements of certainty and how we express this in the masculine and the feminine.

Nicky Thompson (aka Barton) is a Wet Plate photographer, who uses old photography techniques. Her stunning photography artwork in the exhibition is an example of an ongoing project of Wild Swimmers taken on glass plate using wet collodion, a Victorian photographic process.

Philippa de Burlet creates thrown, hand-painted porcelain which is strong and durable from her studio in Chagford. Her collection in the exhibition comprises exquisite blue and white ceramic candlesticks and bowls are painted with a blue/grey underglaze painting. 

Sara Evans’ work develops from a variety of sources and engagements with contemporary life. Human psychology, environmental issues, and gender roles are thematic threads. Narrative, metaphor, and humour feature in her pottery pieces; she is intrigued that each viewer brings a different meaning to what they see.

Ella Slade’s compelling landscapes capture the essence and vitality of the rugged scenery of Devon and Cornwall, in all of its many shifting moods. Rolling storm swells and phosphorescent briny seas set against the craggy coastlines of the South West continue to inspire Ella. Every day she works in the open air and from her beachside studio in Exmouth.

Gillian Taylor has used love letters written during World War Two to create an installation of poppies which is suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. Fragments of the original text can be seen on the poppies, hinting at what life was like in another era.

Ruth Smith is an emerging artist, who has been inspired by local produce during the pandemic. With neighbours dropping round eggs and sharing plants for allotments, she began to think about how local produce brings community together, and how disconnected we are from the people and processes behind many items sold in supermarkets. 

Ruth said:

“Since the lockdowns I have been really conscious about how local produce creates connections between people and the land. As it’s all fresh veg, grown here in Devon, I thought it would fit perfectly with this celebration of all things wonderfully fresh and inspiring about Devon.”

Throughout the exhibition there will be a programme of workshops for community groups and families.

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