|Dates:||21 August 2020 to 25 August 2020|
|Times:||Fri 10am to 5pm, Sat to Tues 10am to 6pm|
Private View, 21 August 2020, 6pm to 9pm
Five female artists – Josephine Harvatt, Christine Jeffryes, Karen H King, EJ Laven and Sarah Stokes come together to showcase some of their recent works. Varied in style and approach, but linked by a passion for the natural world, they display their ideas in paint, ceramics, glass, resin and mixed media.
About the artists
“I graduated with a degree in fine art in 1996 and since then have sold and exhibited both nationally and internationally.
“When I work I am constantly striving for a harmonious balance between opposing forces: the structured and the intuitive, the real and the imaginary, the abstract and the representational, they all meet and shake hands within my canvases.
“I paint almost exclusively in acrylics; I love their vibrancy, and the short drying time makes for an immediacy of process and allows for a fluid execution. Additional overpainting with diluted colour or using a dry brush technique creates layers of paint that add to the complexity and depth of a piece.
“My influences range from fine art such as the works of Hundertwasser, Klee and Klimt, through to folk art, textiles and ceramics. Although most of my work is either semi or fully abstract, inspiration is always rooted in the world about me, whether that be the flowers in a garden, trees in a woodland or boats in a harbour.
“Above all things colour and colour relationships are a never ending source of fascination, and I am particularly interested in the way different colours and tonality can be used to express, and create, moods and emotions.”
“I graduated from Loughborough College of Art and Design with a first class degree in printed textiles and began my career as a textile designer and colour consultant working for two London based design studios and selling worldwide. My passion for drawing was always evident in my work and I began teaching art and design in a further education college to share my knowledge and skills. Over the last thirty years I have taught all aspects of art, design and photography as well as taking on a wide range of professional projects and exhibiting my work in galleries.
“My interest and work in glass is my newest venture, I love the freedom and experimental nature of this medium and I currently run fused glass experience days from my home studio in Broadstairs.
“Most of my recent work is inspired by coastal environments, but I enjoy travelling and recording ideas in my sketchbooks and via photographs as well as responding to client briefs to create bespoke art and design work on a variety of themes.”
Karen H King
“I have been an artist and illustrator for the past 20 years and love to constantly evolve my work from illustration to fine art.
“Having graduated from Middlesex Uni with a First Class BA(Hons) in the nineties, I freelanced for some time before working for the Fire Service in the midlands for over 10 years. I relocated to Broadstairs 10 years ago and opened a small gallery in the town in 2016, fulfilling my need to get back to my artistic roots, as well as immersing myself in the local community.
“I currently work in resin, acrylic and oils, producing pieces that are inspired by the Kent coast. Vibrant blues, wood and recycled windows combine to create unique work with a contemporary feel.”
E.J.Laven’s portfolio includes a diverse range of painting, sculpture and ceramics. Much of her work has, at its core, a deep-rooted love of coastal landscapes and weathered objects which hold unfathomable secrets as to their purpose, meaning or individual histories.
Growing up in Kent, amongst Whitstable’s now long-vanished sail lofts and semi-derelict boat yards had a profound effect on her life and her work, as did the stretches of deserted beaches, windswept marshes and muddy creeks around Faversham and Swale and the contrastingly chalky coastline of the nearby Isle of Thanet.
E.J.Laven has always taken great pleasure from making use of found objects and gathering materials from her local environment. She first dug and fired her own clay from the beach outside the old railway carriage in which she was living, whilst a student, on the Sussex coast. During these years, experiences such as assisting land artist, Andy Goldsworthy; spending time in the expansive Alentejo countryside in southern Portugal and developing skills for carving stone to produce abstract sculpture, led E.J.Laven again to working directly with locally found natural materials and to reaffirm her appreciation of the beauty of simplicity.
Over the span of her subsequent career she has undertaken a number of sculpture commissions; run community arts projects; been an artist-in residence; made props for a children’s TV show and spent several years teaching Art and Design in schools.
E.J.Laven’s paintings, Shoreline Collections, came about after years of storing her much loved beachcombed finds with the intention of using them in the creation of artworks. Her results were always unsatisfying as in every attempt to manipulate them, the objects seemed to lose a little of what had made them so beautiful and intriguing in the first place. Eventually, she decided to simply paint them exactly as they were and to try to capture in each, what is was that originally enticed her to reach out and pluck them from the shoreline. She arranges these collections of ‘precious’ fragments and finds, as if laying them out for cataloguing in a museum or archive, exploring the gentle rhythms generated through the repetition of similar forms. Within these paintings, E.J.Laven aims to capture and celebrate the innate beauty and the rich surface patina that has developed over time and through exposure to the elements, of these insignificant, yet exquisite objects and curiosities.
Her ceramic vessels are intended to be enjoyed as objects in their own right, however perhaps also to be used as sympathetic containers to hold and display the’ treasures’ that walkers may gather from the shoreline, whilst also reflecting aspects of the landscapes in which they are found. They are made through a variety of techniques and often incorporate a little locally dug clay, oxides and sand to give additional texture, colour and character. The pots are left unglazed and fired to stoneware temperatures, their resulting appearance and tactile surfaces, arising from the composition of the material itself.
The abstract sculptures made by E.J.Laven are deliberately ambiguous. Their full and often gentle, undulating forms and tactile surface qualities welcome the viewer to pick them up and engage in playful questioning as to what it might be and where it might have come from; whether it could have created for some unknown purpose by a past civilization or if it could be a strange life form washed up from the deep sea, perhaps lost for years amongst the hoard of curiosities of a Victorian collector. The purpose of these works is not so much in the answering these questions as in generating a sense of curiosity and triggering personal memories and associations which may be unique to every viewer.
E.J.Laven now lives with her family on the Isle of Thanet. Whenever possible, she seeks out and relishes exploring desolate stretches of coastline and roaming the precious boat yards that it seems, time might have forgotten, tucked away further up the coast.
“I’m a self taught musical artist who works in an intuitive, improvisatory style. I love the physicality of applying paint and allowing the life state, energy
“Whatever is going on to express itself freely. I don’t always have an idea of what will develop so like to be surprised!
“Being an artist, creative, human being is like a constant process of reinventing ourselves. It take courage to connect our hearts. I like to call my pieces ‘freescapes’ or ‘storyscapes’
“Currently based in East Kent, I work mainly with acrylics, ink, charcoal, occasionally oil, and smaller acetate pieces, which are random and very gestural. I also undertake larger abstractive commissions and take photos and songwrite.
“Exhibitions across the UK include Salisbury, Lymington, London and Kettering and widely in South and East Kent. I have pieces in local and international collections.”