FEATURE: Young Basingstoke Artists & Jillian Smith exhibitions, Fairfields Arts Centre - until February 19 (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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FEATURE: Young Basingstoke Artists & Jillian Smith exhibitions, Fairfields Arts Centre - until February 19
THE two exhibitions currently on display in Fairfields are a fantastic demonstration of the power of artists both at the beginning of the careers and decades into a successful one.
The latter comes in Gallery Two, where the work of Jillian Smith is on show. Local artist Jill graduated from Portsmouth College of Art and was a graphic designer for many years. She now paints and teaches, mainly in watercolours.
The 15 hung pieces – a mixture of watercolours, silkscreen prints, linocuts, pastels and acrylics - are a fine representation of her career. Many are quite dreamy, including the wonderful Onion Moon, and the influence of the natural world is obvious throughout. Seascape Early morning, Gosport is a wonderfully evocative image of the harbour.
Gallery one contains a wealth of work which is a stunning demonstration of the talent of young artists in Basingstoke. Most of the work is for sale, offering everyone the chance to snap up a piece by a star of the future.
One wall is dedicated to Kev Munday, who is already incredibly successful, and who has been featured in publications including The Independent, Front, The Evening Standard and Knowledge Magazine.
In addition to the small and large canvases on show, Kev has given reclaimed bowling pins and a large antique wooden pipe a new lease of life by hand painting them.
A total contrast to Kev’s work are the largely acrylic paintings by Sian Storey. Sian was first featured by Fairfields in 2005 and returns in spectacular form with a beautiful array of pieces. The eyes of her subjects demand attention, and the faces of the figures are incredibly evocative, telling a story as you look. My personal favourite is the wonderful Peace, a small boxed acrylic on canvas.
The diversity continues with two ink on watercolour illustrations by Dave ‘Tic’ Linsell and two canvases by Kieran McKay, his use of nails giving them incredible texture.
Katie Smith’s ceramics, many mounted on carved oak, show landscapes of the natural world in the palette of the latter. There seems to be an entire world going on in these terrifically interesting sections of stoneware.
This very industrious young artist also makes pots, brooches, mugs and other vessels, which I couldn’t help but think would make for fantastically original gifts.
Finally come the bold lines, colour and pattern of Bill Thorpe, who, along with Katie, Kev and Kieran, is one of the arts centre’s artists in residence. Never seen what spraypaint and Frogg marker can do? Then check out Bill’s Orangeboom!!, among many other fascinating spraypaint, Glicee and marker print works.
*Find out more about the exhibitions by contacting Fairfields on 01256 321621.