Borderland Visual Arts 2020
Saturday 9th May – Saturday 27th June
Open Studios will run over 2 weekends : 13th & 14th June and 20th & 21st June
As part of Open Studios, the Willow Gallery presents a rich variety of work by emerging and established artists. All the artists are members of Borderland Visual Arts (BVA), a thriving artists’ community based in Oswestry and the Borders, Since 1999, this annual show has attracted many visitors from across the region. This is a unique opportunity to see high quality art on display and to meet talented artists working in their studios. The 60 members of the BVA work in a broad spectrum of art-forms. As well as painting and drawing, members work in textiles, printmaking, woodcarving and photography. There are ceramicists, sculptors, and jewelers too. Working with the Willow, this is the largest showcase of work by the BVA, and Oswestry’s largest art event. Most of the works on display are for sale, making this a great opportunity to buy an original piece of artwork at an affordable price.
Visit the Borderland Visual Arts Website for full information on each artist.
Maps will be available at the gallery and to download showing studio locations.
Suzette Smart and Judith Harrison recreate a studio within the Willow Gallery.
As well as displaying their own work the artists also offer an opportunity for visitors to experience some of their techniques and make a greetings card with either collage or decorated fabric material. There will be a small charge of £2 per card to cover costs.
Janie McLeod is essentially a landscape painter but draws on the thinking and working practice of Abstract Expressionism. What goes on the canvas is not so much about creating an image but more a process that seeks to show the immediacy and excitement of painting.
It is the often difficult battle between what is seen and what is felt that is played out on the painted surface. The sheer physicality of moving paint around whilst retaining an emotional connection to ‘Place’ (most often the far West of Cornwall and North Wales) is what challenges Janie during each work.
Fundamentally I am drawn to the underlying structure of landscape and of human interaction with it.
I work with landforms from drawings, photographs and memory. Points of departure come from direct experience or from the written word.
The materials I use are mostly water based (acrylics and inks)plus collage and maybe oil pastels. I build layers of texture and paint and although I usually have an idea to begin with I am led by my dialogue with the colour, shapes and marks that I make on the 2D surface.
Self-taught, my work is predominately figurative, with my paintings leaning more towards portraiture.
Recently I have become interested in derelict farm houses and old buildings. Homesteads where families lived for generations but which became abandoned.
The roof falls and plants begin growing inside as wild life takes shelter and ‘nature reclaims’ what was once loved by man. I see a multitude of companies frantically building new homes but with sola power, boreholes and satellite connects these historic places could be inhabitable again. At the least I am trying to help record old homes before they totally vanish.
Since training as a painter at Birmingham, Stourbridge and Liverpool Colleges of Art John Smout has exhibited and taught widely. He says it is difficult to explain his paintings and that he would rather they spoke for themselves. The real and the abstract constantly intermingle in his work, though he does like to emphasise the order and structure in the visual world, whether landscape, architectural painting or life painting. His work often involves letter forms and shapes as an integral part of the whole image, and most paintings follow numerous working drawings.
Hilary Cowley Greer
My work is largely figurative – I find the human form a source of endless fascination and inspiration for its almost infinite variability of proportion, contortion, flexibility, fluidity, movement, stillness and beauty even in its occasional ugliness. I find the process of seeking a likeness challenging but also enjoy exploring form in both 2 and 3 dimensions.
I’ve enjoyed drawing since childhood but only recently found the time and confidence to take art more seriously. I delight in unexpected glimpses of beauty in the everyday world, be it in the look in someone’s face or the conjunction of forms or objects in nature or the man-made environment.
Currently I am exploring surface and what lies beneath, I am influenced by both urban and rural landscapes, marks both natural and man-made are a source of inspiration to me. I am also interested by the changing environment and the idea that the past can never be totally erased.
Process is important, I use found fragments of used paper often sewn together to create seams and texture, sketchbook work, objects, and unused drawings, paintings to create a collage onto board. Through concealing and revealing, and adding and subtracting, random and unexpected compositions can slowly reveal themselves. In addition I look for connections, texture and shape that begin to appear on the surface that may develop into an abstract work.
Allanah’s Paintings are primarily concerned with making an image which has a meaning for herself. Usually, this will reflect some aspect of a myth, symbolism, art history, or the concept of time which fascinates her, past, present and future and how they are all intertwined.
“My paintings are mostly figurative, and I enjoy making stories from still life and ambiguous human images juxtapositioned or combined.”
I’m a textile artist living in North Shropshire with a passion for colour and all things stitch. After sampling other textiles I discovered free machine embroidery in 2002. I burned out my first sewing machine but found new love in a Bernina 1008.
I find inspiration in all sorts of places, including the landscape around me, a sentence jotted down or sometimes a piece of found or inherited cloth. As I have a strong sense of narrative, you will find that whatever the piece of stitch, there is always a tale to tell.
Lives near Oswestry, in North West Shropshire – close to the welsh border.
John paints, mainly in acrylics, usually taking landscape, in its broadest sense, as his subject material. Recent paintings sold have included winter views of the lake district hills and sea and costal views of the Scottish western isles.
In contrast, John’s prints tend to be more closely studied details ranging from individual plants to studies of individual buildings or even simply details of buildings.
I paint various aspects of the landscape, including horizontal and aerial views, which is a result of many years of rock climbing in my former years. Subjects have included seascapes, the River Severn from source to sea, aerial views, Japanese landscape and abstraction.
Jas makes figurative sculpture, mostly now in bronze, using the lost-wax process to produce human-scale work which explores his relationship with his world, and those with whom he shares it, rooted deeply in the fabric and mythology of his land.
I am a printmaker who also works in mixed media and collage.
The inspiration for my work usually starts in the Celtic landscapes of Scotland and Wales with the animals and people, real and imaginary, which inhabit it. The work is primarily narrative and aims to superimpose the myth into the landscape and the ancient onto the visible relic. At other times my work strays into more modern literary influences and Dogs.
“My paintings try to reflect the beauty of nature that surrounds us, pathways leading into the landscape or seascape, the flash of sunlight breaking through the clouds or trees or shining on water, creating a painting using richly layered watercolour washes building up a contemporary rhythmical landscape or seascape. Imagination takes over and the creativity begins, sometimes resulting in quite a different painting from the original observations which are taken from sketchbook studies carefully observed and taken back to the studio.”
Diana takes inspiration from many sources, including visual references, and has developed an abstract expressionist style of painting reflecting her character and need to search for the ‘otherness’ or ‘intangible’ in life.
Diana combines dyes and paints with collage and fabrics, layering, folding, shredding and tearing to create texture.
Sara Piper Heap
“I work in metal. I love that when you hit it – it moves and when you heat it it becomes easier to manipulate. I love that it can sparkle yet ages beautifully. I make creations of a curious nature inspired by a statement made in jest, a resonating song lyric, a one off event or even an every day occurrence. Something hits me ‘where I live’ and I need to produce the scene that’s in my head. I hope you like them and indeed I hope they make you smile.”
Paintings based on old pilgrim sea routes of the Lleyn. Words and images.
“I consider myself a fine artist who has colour, line and texture to play with: a painter that uses threads, an artist that draws with a sewing machine.I started to explore my love of the natural world through the medium of embroidery and found it the perfect vehicle to express the colours, textures and shapes I find so fascinating. I try to combine in my compositions a sense of light and an interesting juxtaposition of colour, shape and texture.”
I have recently been looking at things very carefully and enjoying analysing and interpreting what I see into paint.
Some of the work is highly detailed and this is contrasted with ‘loose’ more painterly mark making in the same painting.
“I am an artist drawn to the seclusion of mountains, woodlands and historic places. For me these are magical landscapes, abundant with wildlife and alive with the legends of those who braved the elements before. My previous work is an illustration of these experiences, a visual account of complete sensory awareness to surroundings explored on foot. “