Paintings by Alex Lowery, Louise Balaam NEAC RWA, Martyn Brewster ARE, Vanessa Gardiner, Julian Bailey NEAC and Frances Hatch ARWS. Furniture by Petter Southall.
18 November – 21 January 2024
A celebration of light in the landscape, contrasting the distilled sophistication of Alex Lowery’s bright new paintings, the painterly energy of Louise Balaam’s wild open spaces and Martyn Brewster’s deeply felt abstracted landscapes. On the ground floor we present works by some of our most popular artists including Vanessa Gardiner, Julian Bailey and Frances Hatch, from perfect small presents to thrilling major works. Petter Southall’s work includes a new refectory table exploring beautiful simple lines and natural textures. Ceramics, sculpture, textiles, books, prints and accessories by leading designers and makers will also be available in a lively and vibrant display.
The sunshine and architecture of Greece and Sicily has brought new brilliance to Alex Lowery’s most recent paintings both of Ydra and Ortigia as well as his more northerly and well-known locations in Portland, West Bay and Orkney. Compositions of roofs and different planes of light set the current moment against the timeless wonders of sea, sky and mountain. Alex is a painter whose sense of colour and unusual angles consistently surprises and refreshes the eye. Often linked to the work of Edward Hopper, Alex Lowery’s wide and deep knowledge of art history feed into his own highly original sensibility.
Born 1957 in London, Alex Lowery studied at Bath Academy, Sir John Cass School of Art and the Central School of Art in London. He has painted and shown regularly in Dorset and London since 1994. He exhibited for many years with Art First in London and has shown at the Estorick Collection and at Browse and Darby. His work is in many distinguished private collections as well as the Dorset County Hospital Art Collection, Great Ormond Street Hospital, St George’s Hospital Tooting and the Fidelity International Art Collection. He has shown at Sladers Yard since it opened in 2006. He lives in Charmouth with the artist Vanessa Gardiner.
Louise Balaam NEAC RWA is a painter of expressive landscapes that communicate an intense emotional response to the experience of being outdoors. The materiality and sensual qualities of oil paint are important elements of her process. She is influenced by the English landscape tradition, particularly Constable: ‘Painting is but another word for feeling.’ Other important influences include Joan Eardley and Peter Lanyon, as well as American abstract expressionist artists Willem de Kooning and Joan Mitchell. Louise’s work is also informed by writing about the natural world. She uses drawings she has made out in the landscape as starting points for her exploratory and intuitive technique – the painting develops through an almost unconscious process.
Louise Balaam is a member of the New English Art Club and of the Royal West of England Academy, and has a degree and a Masters qualification in Fine Art. She has work in many private collections and has shown in the Royal Academy Summer Show, the Threadneedle Prize, the Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize, and the Discerning Eye. Since 2010 she has had six solo shows at Cadogan Contemporary gallery in London.
Martyn Brewster’s richly coloured lyrical paintings have a depth of field that draws you into a space inspired by light and landscape. Martyn has lived in Dorset, near the cliffs, open skies and beaches of Southbourne for thirty-five years. He is inspired by nature as well as by paint itself. He is an artist whose seductive use of colour and vigorous originality has produced paintings and drawings that are collected worldwide.
Martyn Brewster was born in Oxford in 1952. He studied Art and Design in Hertfordshire and Fine Art (Painting) in Brighton followed by a Postgraduate diploma in Printmaking. He has been working as a professional artist ever since with regular solo shows in museums and galleries in London and throughout the UK as well as exhibitions in USA, Canada and throughout Europe. He has won numerous awards and his work is in private, public and corporate collections worldwide including the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum. His work is in the collections of Pallant House, Chichester and the Hepworth Wakefield. He has recently been elected an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Painter/PrintMakers. In London he is represented by the Portland Gallery and in New York by Waterhouse & Dodd. In the West Country he has been represented by Sladers Yard since 2017.
Petter Southall works mainly to commission, designing and making furniture to suit clients’ needs and wishes. A group of his exceptional pieces is on permanent display at Sladers Yard. To this he adds works he makes to explore new ideas. A recent workshop move to Denhay northwest of Bridport after 30 years at Chilcombe has opened a new chapter in his career and new thoughts about bringing wood into people’s lives in joyful and life-enhancing pieces of work.