Tag Archives: halesworth gallery

one hundred square feet : project/exhibition

Saturday 3 September 2016

100 square feet: my story… there were two versions. summarised over nine photographs:

[in the beginning]


the start of one hundred and one monoprints on white paper, utilising the raised grain of the wood panel. long days in heat of the summer. pastel shades.


staying in the shade, pale and interesting, printing and painting in a north-facing room.


the stained and patinated wood panel at the end of the day.

another day, start all over again… on black paper.


blockwork. brickwork. fieldwork. combining, harvesting. squares within squares. a limited palette of black, red and gold (with some white).


back to the wooden panel, the palette du jour.


stacked, signed and numbered: 101 square paintings for the exhibition’s box sets.


the surface of the palette as a work of art: paint it black, 15cm frame, 10cm window, gold leaf, hinge…


composition gold leaf on the reverse (or front) of the wooden panel; it’s an icon. add a d-ring fixture to hang it on the wall.


it hangs at a angle with weight of the frame on one side, and protrudes from the wall due to chiselled edge, with the intention that the gold leaf will subtly reflect back onto the white wall.

i have titled it black square 2016. my work is done.

[the end]


100 Square Feet: A collaborative art project organised and curated by Paul Cope with Joanna Barfield, celebrating 50 Years of Art at the Halesworth Gallery 1966-2016.

One hundred artists were each given a square piece of wood to utilise as they wished to create a work of art for the planned exhibition. Each artist has also made 101 small artworks measuring 15cm sqaure (as prints, multiples or unique pieces), and each artist will receive a box of 100 artworks at the end of the exhibition, with the 101st box displayed in the gallery as the top prize in a raffle for the charity SightSavers.

100 Square Feet
20 August to 7 September 2016
Halesworth Gallery
Steeple End
IP19 8LL

The exhibition is open 11am – 5pm weekdays and Saturdays, Sundays 2pm to 4pm.


shades of grey, in an exhibition

Wednesday 5 September 2012

today, about five minutes before the deadline, i handed in two paintings for the annual Halesworth Gallery Open exhibition. below are some photographs of one of the paintings – it is #118 in the catalogue, so there are at least 118 artworks in this art exhibition…

shades of grey is one of a series of small paintings on wood, (wood that I found abandoned, lying on the road), and these paintings developed as ‘incidental paintings’ – using left-over paint from other painting activities – incidental in the slow making of them and in the textural patina and surface qualities. the loose formation of blocks and grids echo aspects of the local farming landscape – in agriculture, machinery and architecture.

shades of grey, abstract painting on wood

[shades of grey, detail]

shades of grey, abstract painting on wood

[shades of grey, detail]

shades of grey, abstract painting on wood

[shades of grey, detail]

shades of grey, abstract painting on wood

[shades of grey in shades of grey, acrylic on reclaimed wood]

for the halesworth gallery open exhibition, every artwork submitted is exhibited (amateur of professional, paintings, prints, drawings, photography and 3d work) and this established annual event raises much needed funds to support the running of the gallery. it’s a very lively & eclectic art exhibition (expertly curated and hung by the gallery team) – do try to visit if you are in this rural area of suffolk. the exhibition is open daily, from 8th to 26th september 2012.

the small market town of halesworth is located a few miles west of the A12 – click here to see the gallery’s location on google maps. please note, there is no car parking at the gallery – park on the market place, which is only two-three minutes away, dependent on how fast you like to walk! please ring the gallery beforehand on 01986 873064 if you have mobility issues, as the gallery is situated on the first floor of a very old almshouse building and access is via a staircase.

Halesworth Gallery Open exhibition
8 – 26 September 2012

Steeple End, Halesworth, Suffolk IP19 8LL
Opposite St. Mary’s Church
Open Weekdays and Saturdays 11am – 5pm, Sundays 2 – 5pm

six abstract painters : a private view

Monday 30 May 2011

walking past st mary’s churchyard from the marketplace towards the new exhibition ‘six abstract painters‘ at the halesworth gallery, this is what you will first see – a most charming grade II listed building, built in 1686 (or perhaps earlier). as with a lot of very old buildings they are altered and rebuilt over the centuries making them difficult to date accurately. this building was formerly the town’s almshouses – that is, a place providing shelter for the destitute & impoverished of the parish.

halesworth gallery - suffolk

i was surprised to discover that this building still functioned as almshouses up to the early 1960s (read more information on halesworth, its history and the halesworth town trail here). the halesworth gallery has exhibited art by some notable names in twentieth century british art – including sculptor elisabeth frink and the painters mary fedden RA, feliks topolski, josef herman, mary potter and margaret mellis

the selection of artists for inclusion in the halesworth gallery exhibition programme takes place in january following a national ‘call for artists’. the exhibitions are planned & organised by a gallery committee. the halesworth gallery is only open from may to september as the building is very old and unheated (it would be very costly to heat it effectively, given the restrictions laid down on modernising listed buildings). so, the halesworth gallery season closes each september with a fabulous ‘open’ art exhibition, where every artwork submitted (with some size restrictions) is exhibited. i am always amazed how efficiently & imaginatively this process is undertaken, and the exhibition always attracts a lot of visitors. i must actually remember to submit a little something this year!

the halesworth gallery is now an established exhibition venue in central suffolk, it is non-profit-making, run by a team of dedicated volunteers, with a commitment to showing high quality, contemporary art (including painting, printmaking & sculpture) by professional artists who have strong connections or links to suffolk or east anglia. ok, let’s go in and take a look around the current exhibition, ‘six abstract painters’

halesworth gallery, suffolk - six abstract painters art exhibition

this is the first room of the gallery, showing mixed media paintings by the painter mari french, along the leftside wall. on the small table is the gallery’s guest book. the view through the window looks across to the church…

halesworth gallery, suffolk - six abstract painters

over to the other side of the first room are mixed media paintings by norfolk artist anthea eames (with one of her paintings hung in the old fireplace). there are two more of mari french’s canvases to the right. these two small works by mari caught my eye, where she has used plaster & textile collage elements to build up surface texture…

halesworth gallery, suffolk - exhibition - six abstract painters

mari french, ancient landscapes IV & V, mixed media on plaster on panel

mari french’s recent series of paintings are inspired by the open landscapes of north norfolk, where she has recently moved to from the highlands of scotland – from one dramatic landscape to another. in mari’s own words: “light and atmospherics play a strong part in my finished pieces, where the build-up of complex layers and the exposure of under-painting all add to the visual intensity.

these two paintings by anthea eames are near the reception desk…

six abstract painters - exhibition - halesworth

anthea eames, coastal dwelling & coastal dreaming II,  mixed media, including norfolk woad, earth pigments and sand

anthea eames‘ map-like abstract paintings have strongly cultural resonances, bound up in the history of ancient sites or tribal landscapes. anthea says that: “my more recent work draws on my present home in Norfolk and frequent visits to Australia. Collecting impressions and subsequently working with these, I attempt to understand my place in these disparate worlds. Each location brings with it its own spirit, colour and textural palette.” also key to anthea’s process is that she sources & uses locally-derived pigments and earth minerals in her work, such as norfolk woad… these are the kind of paintings, embedded as they are with discreet layers of history and meaning, which ask to be deciphered slowly

on through to the next room of the gallery, we encounter the work of another norfolk-based artist, john midgley…

halesworth gallery, suffolk - six abstract painters - art exhibition

john midgley, marsh cut, threshold I & II, oil on canvas

i first came across one of john midgley’s paintings at salthouse 09, where i was also an exhibitor. he describes his paintings as “strident, gritty paintings that grab you by the collar and demand attention.”

this new series of landscape-derived works have a more subdued mood though, reminding me of the poetic daubings of cy twombly. you really have to see these paintings close-up to appreciate the gestural brushwork. this series of paintings are inspired by the same location, salthouse marshes. john has been a member of the salthouse art committee since 2008 and is also exhibiting in this year’s salthouse art exhibition, salthouse 11: ad limina, curated by art historian and gallery owner of art1821, laura williams…

the artist geraldine carratu is exhibiting some large canvases on the opposite wall; she is also based in norfolk. she works in both acrylics and oils. these three paintings worked well together, united in form and content…

halesworth gallery - six abstract painters - an exhibition

geraldine carratu, evening sail, harbour blue & beach hut

this leads us through to the third and final room of the gallery, one that feels lighter and more spacious. to the left are a series of canvases & works on panel by the london-based artist joan hickson. joan works with a muted colour palette and her paintings suggest the weathered elements of the coast…

halesworth gallery - six abstract painters - art exhibition

joan hickson, sleep I, mixed media on canvas, and waterfront study 1 -4, mixed media on board

and lastly, to some of my own paintings in this exhibition…

six abstract artists - art exhibition - halesworth gallery, suffolk

to the right, in the fireplace, the large canvas painting, edgescape rost

and over there, on the church-side wall, three farmscapes

six abstract arttists - exhibition - halesworth gallery, suffolk

farmscape VI, VII and II, mixed media on canvas

you can see more abstract farmscape paintings here…

art exhibition - six abstract painters

edgescape fenn

you can see more pictures of the abstract painting fenn here. the observant might also note a change in orientation – this is because this is (to me) a seasonal painting; in the spring the suggestion of new life rises up from the earth, in the winter it is sleeping below ground…

and lastly, to some of my small iCons

six abstract artists - art exhibition

wildwood I, II, III

six abstract artists - art exhibition

siena (top), congo and redwood (below)

six abstract painters artists - exhibition art gallery

close-up of one of the small iCons – redwood, 2011

you can see more images from this exhibition in the previous post: six abstract painters : an exhibition

Six Abstract Painters, Halesworth Gallery*, Steeple End, Opp. St Mary’s Church, Halesworth, Suffolk, IP19 8LL

28 May to 15 June 2011

open daily, Monday-Saturday 11am to 5pm, Sundays 2pm – 5pm…

if you are holidaying on the beautiful suffolk coast, or perhaps visiting aldeburgh, snape, southwold, walberswick or dunwich, the small market town of halesworth is only a short drive away, a few miles further inland from blythburgh church (with the legendary scratches of the fearsome ‘black shuck’, curious pew carvings representing the seven deadly sins and exquisitely carved angels high up in the roof), and not far from henham park (a private estate which hosts the annual latitude music festival). the town of halesworth is signposted off the a12.

*n.b. due to the unique character and age of the building those with mobility issues will find the steep, narrow stairs to the upstairs gallery difficult. please call the gallery on 01986 873064 should you require any assistance or more information prior to your visit…

addendum: the artist mari french has put up some photographs of the preview evening of ‘six abstract painters’ here…