Elaine Almond offers solo art show in Rye

Kent-based artist Elaine Almond offers a solo exhibition at the Red Door Alchemist Gallery in Rye, from Wednesday, April 14-Monday, April 26, open 10am-5pm, closed Tuesdays.

Elaine Almond
Elaine Almond

Her second visit to the Red Door Gallery comes just as the country begins to open up again. She is a regular visitor to Rye and the surrounding area (“lockdowns excepted!”, she says), staying in Rye Harbour. The exhibition will be entitled Spring into Life.

Elaine is an intuitive abstract artist, who works expressively mainly in acrylic and oil, taking inspiration from the world around and within.

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As she explains, the exhibition is a reflection of inner creativity, culminating in a body of work expressing hope in the new life of spring and in colourful abstracts. During the latest lockdown she has been experimenting with new black and white ink sketches, painted with twigs but inspired by the local coastline. Together these works show a range of thoughts, feelings and responses in the varied colour palettes and brush strokes.

“Born in London, living in West Kent since 2001, I am an abstract artist, painting mainly in oils and acrylics and a lay minister.

“Always interested in art, I began painting in 2008 when unwell, leaving a career in the health service, and have never stopped. I joined a local art group and undertook various in-depth courses in 2016-7 when I was shortlisted in the National Open Art competition, a game changer. I exhibit locally in Kent, the south-east, at national art fairs and run a local art club in Borough Green (currently online).

“Spring into Life will provide an opportunity to meet people again, to visit the area and show new work, much of which relates to the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, but has been painted from memory/inspiration. I aim to build on last year’s exhibition at the Red Door Gallery and the connection I have with the Avocet Gallery and other galleries around. Art can be healing and I hope people will enjoy the colourful works and new ink sketches, cards, prints, mugs and tote bags from my own designs.”

Elaine admits she has found this past year tough: “Initially I did almost daily raging sketches about the pandemic and then calmed somewhat to paint Rye scenes and inspired pieces. Most difficult has been isolation, the prevailing sadness and uncertainty, being vulnerable health-wise. Walks around the village and painting provide a release, distraction and means to process my feelings. Just having this show to work on feels really great.”

Among her influences, Elaine describes herself as “in awe of Vermeer, and Rembrandt’s emotional portraits; Turner, Monet and the Impressionists for light and colour; abstract expressionism for freedom and colour; Kandinsky for the development of abstraction and recognising a spiritual dimension to art; modern artists Gerhardt Richter, Mondrian, Hockney and Caroline Hulse (Reading) who taught and encouraged me to exhibit.

“I worked in Peru years ago and love art from the Inca and Moche dynasties –primitive and yet sophisticated. My style has developed and become more abstract.”