Prize Winners for Hertford Art Society 65th Open Exhibition - April 30th - May 13th 2017
2017 Hertford Art Society Open Exhibition Review
I have to say that I am totally awe inspired as to how people can find the words to form a review of an exhibition. With so many varied and intriguing pictures to look at and then somehow describe them will always amaze me. So when I was asked to write a review of the 2017 Open Exhibition I was daunted but definitely up for the challenge.
On thinking how to start I decided that the best way was to be as if entering the exhibition and ambling around as I would if just viewing.
On entry to the exhibition I noticed straight away “The Bubbles” by Sharon Wright, this item brought on great feelings of serenity and calm. The colours were moderate and the subject thought provoking, as well as very well executed. As I continued to shuffle around the pictures I was very impressed with the overall standard, as always. The mix of colour, shape and form was mind boggling.
Next to take my notice was “Holkham Bay, Norfolk” by John Rhoda. He had submitted two pictures in this style, which were very eye catching. These pictures brought to mind a likeness to that of Edward Seago, with its bright, high contrasting colours and very relaxed and free brushstrokes. Then not far from John’s picture I found Gillian Flack’s “French Farmhouse” which just oozed a wave of Mediterranean warmth. It provoked thoughts of eating French bread and drinking wine in the sun. The colours were harmonised and subtle and pleasant to look at.
Intriguing additions to the exhibition were three entries by Paul David Bell, “Alcalali”, ”Jalon Church” and “Lafranca”, all of which produced memories for me of works by Paul Gauguin, with their use of bright reds and oranges contrasting with the different hues of green all composed around large areas of light and dark. Continuing on as I moved around the screens I immediately noticed “New York”, by Carol Mountford, a well-produced picture that contained lots of colour, busy movement and imaginative thought provocation; typical of a busy city centre, all set in a semi abstract format that was none too heavy on the imagination.
Moving round to the large wall I saw another, very atmospheric John Rhoda picture, “Setting Sail, Snettisham, Norfolk. What an atmosphere, I felt as if I were to get soaking wet at any moment. I looked forward to entering the rear room where yet again there were a fine selection of exhibits. Immediately I took a shine to Anne McCormack’s, “Foreign Affairs”. Although the title sounded formal, the composition and style were definitely relaxed and pleasing to the eye. I almost cleaned my glasses as if mistaking them for producing a subtle image.
It was a joy to see Craig Alan Lee’s, “Spring is Near” this simple yet effective picture brought out all the pleasing colours of spring, in a nice simple format. It was becoming very obvious that simplicity in art can produce some of the best works. On seeing “Sunlit Harbour” by Ronald H. Johnson I felt as if I wanted to don my sun hat and sunglasses and kick my shoes off, because of the warming seaside feeling it portrayed, nicely bright and cheerful.
Denise Allen has entered a totally colourful picture with “Cosmic”. This picture draws the eye into a swirling cosmos of light and colour that keeps one affixed for a long time. This style of picture is fast becoming a must have and always draws attention. The picture “Urban Dusk” once again showed the keen and inventive mind of Kathy Burman, with meticulous attention to detail and a corresponding view to colours and composition. Full of hectic urban life.
John Killens, “Shed with the Blue Window” showed a mix of detail and impressionism, again a picture that required some serious studying. I then came across a very surprised rabbit that looked as surprised as I did, and then he gave me that steely look with just a glint of mischief and I knew straight away we were friends, lovely picture by Martin Payne, “Caught in the Headlights”.
The next works to take my attention were the two pictures by Anthony Parke – “The Jewels of Ms Kingfisher, Preened” and “The Strange Face of Mr Owl in Delightful Flight”. These were very precise and the colours intense but so realistic they could be mistaken for photographs. The amount of work put into these pictures must have been enormous. I next spotted the detailed and what seemed the most contentious picture, that of “Coke” by Brian Young, I thought this a masterful piece of art work in keeping with modern poster style pictures. It would appear that some visitors, though very, very few, did not think this picture appropriate. All I ask is – in the art world, what is appropriate?
I would like to touch on the abstract exhibits. These are not my forte, but there are some that do take my notice. “Forest Floor” by Malini Croxson was a fine example of abstract art being understandable to the ordinary person. It was bright and colourful with the titles meaning being in plain sight and an enjoyment to behold. On the other hand there is Jean Noble’s, “Spirit of Autumn”. One had to use one’s imagination and back this with the wonderful autumnal colours and behold a view which did appear though the mists of an autumn day.
I must touch on the 3D collection, as is good to see, the numbers submitted were up on last year and the standard is still persistently high. The two items that took my eye were “The Zebra Crossing” by Maria-Luisa Wilkings, this is a follow on from last year’s entry and very joyful to look at and admire. Also, of interest was “Dancing Smoke (Indiana Limestone)” by Mary Spencer, impression giving forms of fluid movement and sweeping shapes, very pleasing.
The prize winners were true to form and represented the best of the forms and styles submitted. Well done to those winners; Roger Dellar, Stella Green, T. John Jarrett, Nigel Earle and Trevor Chamberlain.
In conclusion this was yet again a very successfully arranged and organised exhibition (well done Michael Radley) that was full of variation, colour, size and subjects. A delight to see, perhaps it would be even more pleasing to see some new names appearing in future catalogues, to add more spice to this already “spicy” exhibition.
Paul D. Swinge
The 19th Members’ Art Show and Sale
28th - 30th October 2016
For only the second time in its history, this took place at the Cowbridge Halls, Hertford. Once again the Members rose to the occasion and put on a varied and vibrant show of work of a very high standard. The light and spacious surroundings made this a show which was a delight to walk around and, of course, there was the lure of tea and homemade cakes at the back of the hall! Visitors have told me and other stewards how much they enjoy this show and what a credit it is to the Society. Thirty six paintings were sold and also many cards (always a popular feature of the show).
As always, the subjects of the paintings were many and varied but I did notice that the effects of light on the subject, be it landscape, portrait or still life, were a strong feature of this show. Atmospheric lighting was evident in all the award winners' paintings.
Award winners were:
There was great variety of paintings, in a range of media - something to suit every taste. In addition to the framed paintings, artists contributed unframed works and some 3D items. Our 3D artists are encouraged to contribute more of their work in future shows as the Cowbridge Halls is an ideal space to display sculpture and other 3D items.
Finally, our thanks go to all those Members who worked hard for their Society's Show, whether setting up or dismantling, stewarding or making teas (and cakes!). You are too many to name but we all know who you are and we all appreciate the time you put into making this show such a success.
East Herts Decorative and Fine Arts Society
For the last five years sponsorship of the award judged to be the best piece of 3D work at the Open Exhibition has been provided by EHDFAS – East Herts Decorative and Fine Arts.
The 2016 winner was "Queue of Life" Bus Stand - 7 Figures 7 Stories by Maria-Luisa Wilkings. Actually it’s 8 figures, I think Maria got carried away when she was submitting her figures. Each one comes with a short back-story documented in a mini-booklet accompanying the figure. Their future stories have yet to unravel: Maria says we may well be seeing what happens to at least some of them at a future exhibition. This saga could run and run.
EHDFAS Members enjoy monthly talks at the Spotlight Centre in Broxbourne on a wide range of arts subjects well beyond the decorative and fine. Among other things we also go on visits to outstanding buildings and galleries, hold Special Interest days and sponsor Young Art in local schools. Our most recent success has been this batik abstract (‘Lollipops’) entered by a 14 year old Sele School pupil into a National competition where the subject was ‘Edibles’. It won first prize in the 14-16 year age group.
Several members of the Hertford Art Society are members of EHDFAS. For more information on EHDFAS please visit their website.
Open Exhibition 66th Open Exhibition - Spring 2018, 6th May - 19th May 2018 (Handing-in on 28th April 2018). From an entry of over 600 works, approximately 300 paintings and sculptures are selected by a panel of judges. Held at Cowbridge Halls, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG. Admission FREE. Click here for a review of the 2017 exhibition.
65th Open Exhibition prizewinners, 2017.
Art Van Go