Twelve Oxfordshire Artweeks artists are presenting a vibrant and colourful showcase of work in the newly refurbished 17th century Dolphin Art Wantage, this month, in an exhibition rescheduled from May because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Celebrating the best of this summer, despite its challenges, pieces range from local landscapes to the abstract in paint, and other media.
A series of ceramics have been created by local potter Jo Marshall who grew up in Oxford and describes visiting the Uffington White Horse as a small child, thinking it was the most magical place on earth.
“There’s something about the hill and the views that strikes a deep chord. Up on the top, you have the iron-age earthworks of Uffington Castle, The Manger and Dragon Hill below you and then the flatter Thames valley rolling away into the distance and you feel truly grounded in the landscape and its ancient history.
“It’s a stunning view and an incredible place.” she says, “and there’s something equally amazing about taking a blob of mud that’s literally come out of the earth and making it into something that’s useful and beautiful.”
White Horse Hill is also one of the best places in the country to see the elusive and free-spirited hares that often grace Jo’s plates, mugs and jugs.
Jo’s pottery is highly-decorative yet functional in a stylish colourful palette encompassing light midnight blue, a cheerful turquoise, soft sunshine yellow, and a harmoniously peachy sunset, colours inspired perhaps by the light at dawn and the colours of dusk and twilight hours. ‘They’re the most expectant times of day,’ she explains, ‘when you are likely to see most wildlife.’
Alongside, quirky animals by Christine Purdy are equally colourful, as are J C Clayton’s paintings, his style inspired by a combination of delicate pre-Raphaelite stained glass windows and contemporary graphic design which he teams with precise draughtmanship.
In contrast Michele Wallington’s local landscapes capture the warmth of a dreamy sunny Oxfordshire while sweeping seascapes by Lilla Fludra and Jane Vaux’s are expressive and free-spirited, transporting you to a coast where the breese whips through your hair.
In a range of styles, Laurie Bath, Jamie Clayton, Natalie Day, Lilla Fludra, Karen French, Kamal Lathar, Geoff Lawson, Jo Marshall, Debbie Martin, Christine Purdy, Michelle Wallington, and Jane Vaux present gorgeous green Oxfordshire views, from the ethereal to the cubist; Cornish seascapes in striking blues and luscious lilac with sweeping horizons with texture and depth.
Alongside majestic dramatic skies, characterful animals team realism with personality and photographic compositions present brightly coloured horticultural intricacy through vivid pinks and violets with a light-hearted touch.
In accordance with Covid safety, the three-day launch will be separated into 30 minute viewing sessions which can be booked for free on the dolphin gallery website: www.dolphin-gallery.co.uk
23-24 Market Place, Wantage, OX12 8AE (09:00-17:00, Tuesday-Saturday)