Just four contemporary artists are a group of four female artists who thrive on painting and working together. They are Jenny Hill-Norton, Anthea Stilwell, Sophie Bartlett and Jo Ellis. This exhibition, in the magnificent 16th century Tithe Barn at Bourton House Garden, is a collection of recent work featuring a wide range of subject matter in a variety of media. ‘The four of us find that we produce our most interesting and inspirational pieces while working together,’ says Jenny who co-founded the group. ‘There is a collective energy when we are together and our work is created for the sheer pleasure of painting.’ This creative collaboration has made them brave and free to take risks which is releasing for them and produces exciting results. ‘Our work is all about experiencing a place or object not about representing it. Emotional reactions to what we are looking at are an important part of creating a painting – something unexpected often reveals itself in the process of working.’ This makes their work individual and expressive but connected by the vitality and energy linking the group. Their subject matter ranges from gardens, flowers and still lifes to landscapes, seascapes and created in a variety of media, including: oils, acrylics, watercolours and collage with charcoal drawings and studies on show as well.
Craig Narramore joins them as their + one whose unusual sculptural pieces add a unique 3D dynamic to the work on show. He combines natural woods with metals, composites and coloured resins in his furniture and sculpture.
Jenny Hill-Norton has travelled from the detail of engraving glass, through scaled drawings for Garden Design, to bursting out into the freedom and energy of water-colours. She is adding oils to the fun, particularly enjoying the depth of colour this brings. Her wide subject matter includes landscapes, flowers, still lifes, animals and nudes.
Anthea Stilwell studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing, Oxford and then taught art at Harrow School for 25 years. ‘My subject matter is wide-ranging, sometimes becoming abstract or semi abstract, always built on drawing and often memory. I just enjoy the conversation and the struggle with the medium I have chosen. I never have an end in mind, I just stop when the work feels right’.
Sophie Bartlett works in a variety of media, sometimes combining it with collage, working directly from the subject, from drawings or from memory. She describes her work as ‘loosely impressionistic’ encompassing still life, figures as well as urban and industrial landscapes.
Jo Ellis trained as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator. Returning to working as an artist, she draws expressively in charcoal and then works into paint, enjoying the layering qualities of using mixed media, including: watercolour, acrylic and oils. With an emphasis on allowing the image to reveal itself in the process of working, she abstracts subject matter from nature, landscapes, seascapes and still lifes but with a strong sense of the place or object.
Craig Narramore is a unique craftsman who has combined using the latest technologies from his career creating special effects and props for the film industry with his passion for working with the organic qualities of natural wood. His work involves using unusual metals, resins and composites with burr, walnut and beech. Adding his own contemporary twist, he creates unique, unusual and tactile sculpture and furniture.
15% of all sales at the Exhibition will be donated to WellChild – the national UK children’s charity making it possible for children and young people with exceptional health needs to be cared for at home instead of hospital, wherever possible.
The Exhibition in the Tithe Barn, Bourton House Garden, will be open daily from 10am to 5pm. Refreshments available.
Image by Jenny Hill-Norton.
For further information, please ring Bourton House Garden 01386 700754
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