Debut exhibition in Chichester from Jilly Hawksfield

Wings and Waves offers the debut exhibition from Jilly Hawksfield running until October 3 at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery.

Jilly Hawksfield
Jilly Hawksfield

Jilly, from North Bersted, said: “This is my first exhibition and I’m so excited and terrified at the same time but if the last 18 months has taught me anything, it’s to grab life with both hands and not to look back with regret at things not done.

“The planning has been an incredible journey. It is stressful but I have met some incredibly supportive people who have advised and recommended and helped me to the next stage, making the whole process so much more fun than it might have been. Everyone at Whitbys Photo-Video and Studio 5 Bespoke Framing, thank you so much. I couldn’t have done this without you.

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“Seeing the images I’ve taken go from the small screen of my phone to printed enlarged photographs and then to fully framed pictures has been has been so amazing and they look fabulous.

“I can’t wait to see them hanging at the Oxmarket Gallery.

“There are 25 black and white photographs of WWII aircraft and Sussex coastal scenes. I’m passionate about my subjects and I hope this comes through to others as much as it does to me. I think the important point is that all the photographs were taken on my single-lens mobile phone.

“As a child I met several friends of my parents whose wartime experiences had a profound effect on me and a lasting fascination of those six years of conflict: an RAF pilot, whose face had been badly burned when his Spitfire was hit and caught fire during the Battle of Britain; an army veteran, who’d been a POW in Colditz Castle; the heart-wrenching story of an Austrian business colleague of my father’s who was the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust; and a couple who both suffered but survived Japanese prisoner-of-war camps.

“Like a lot of people, I love the beauty of our beaches on a sunny summer afternoon and am in awe of the power of the sea on a stormy winter day.

“I was given my first camera before going on a school trip. I snapped away to my heart’s content while we were away and couldn’t wait to dash down to the local chemist and collect the prints a week after we returned and I’ve never looked back.

“It is only over the last few years moving closer to the beach and going to air shows, military museums and holidays to WWII battlefields that I have put my loves together. I have no formal training or expensive camera but a passion for the subject, a mobile phone with a good camera and a talent for composition.

“Although I’ve always been interested in WWII, the 75th anniversaries for Dunkirk, D-Day and VE Day has made it a popular subject and the beach is always in vogue so I think my work will appeal to most people. This is definitely the highlight and hoping there will be many more!”

Also coming up, Jane Fremantle offers the exhibition Song of Sea and Sky at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery running from September 28-October 3.

Living and working now in her studio in Chilgrove, Jane grew up on the South Downs.

She explained: “This exhibition takes its inspiration from the energy of the sea and the way in which the sea reflects and meets the sky. I love to stand on the cliff edge and look at the ever-changing patterns and textures.”