Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Oxfordshire Arts Week 2011

Just come back from a great few days visiting art events and artists studios in South Oxfordshire! As usual the group exhibitions were very hit and miss. And some of the random artists studios in the middle-of-nowhere were fabulous!

Completely by accident I stumbled across Jim Vincent's brilliant collages, called 'Imaginary Landscapes' at the Cornerstone Arts Centre in Didcot. He ingeniusly combined collaged printed images with acrylic paint to blend surreal views, with the occasional recognisable landmark. The closer you looked, the more you saw. They were also ridiculously underpriced (c.£150-250) and, though the exhibition had only been open a couple of days, half had already been sold!

Elsewhere, Penelope d'Aguilar's vast oil paintings were a completely unexpected surprise, created and exhibited in the Baptist Church at Bayworth. The atmosphere was complimented by the loud dance music being played by her son in the studio. They were right up my street, and sensibly priced (c £2600). Each must have been 150cm square and constructed cleverly using positive and negative shapes. The blacks were not black and the whites were not white, but the subtlest mixture of shades. I wish I had my camera with me that afternoon!

At Brightwell-cum-Sotwell I came across the brilliant Anne Ware, amongst a mixed bag of local painters. She had a great colour sense and her watercolours were unexpectedly vibrant.

By coincidence the following day I met the artist who claimed the accolade of having taught Anne Ware. Caddy Attewill had a splendid stone-built studio at Marsh Baldon, with an enormous timber framed window overlooking a meadow. As an architecture graduate I spent more time looking at her studio than I did her paintings!

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