The Makers’ Art Collective are first artists back at Oxmarket

The Makers’ Art Collective and guests offer a spring showcase exhibition as Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery reopens.

Paula Reason - Office
Paula Reason - Office

The exhibition runs from April 13-18.

Makers’ Art Collective exhibitors are: Dawn Thorne – surface textile artist and chairman; Paula Reason – stitched textile artist; Sian Highwood – mixed media textile artist; Samantha Dewar-English – jewellery and metal designer; Helen Twigg-Molesey – product designer; Lene Ryden – ceramics; Sharon Kearley – woven textile designer; Jennifa Chowdhury – surface pattern designer; Wallace Regelous – fine jewellery designer; Laura Adburgham – woven textile designer; Susan Blandford – constructed textile artist; Tracy Dryden-Jones – ceramics; and Hermione Thomspon – mixed media textile designer.

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Guest exhibitors are: Beverly Ayling-Smith – artist; Kas Williams – textile artist; Caroline Burvill – artist; Harriet Walford – jeweller; Lucy Rhodes – woven textile artist; Jennifer Jones – woven textile designer; Christine Johnson – contemporary fine jeweller; Cara Wassenburg – sculptor; Erin Donahue – artist; Peipei Yu – artist; and Alice Howard-Graham – printed textile designer.

Chairman Dawn Thorne explains: “We are all alumni from Farnham University of the Creative Arts, but we live all over the south. Some artists are quite local to Chichester. The group was formed in 2017.

“In 2017-2019 members of The Makers’ Art Collective worked as individuals over the course of their MA studies.

“Nonetheless the collective experience provided a diverse and symbiotic viewpoint from of a group of makers and artists whose shared experience gave life to both individual and conjoined themes and areas of exploration.

“There was a connection made within the group that saw a study of matters both deeply personal and reflective of the wider human condition. Themes such as grief, loss, healing, placement in landscape and time, the erosion of time and memory sat conversely yet easily with makers exploring ideas that provided beacons of light, movement and playfulness.’

“The group was formed to promote this relationship and encourage the education and discipline of craft and design.

“This will be the first time that the makers’ art collective will be presenting an exhibition at the Oxmarket. We hope that it will become a regular venue going forward for the future.

“Our spring showcase aims to bring together a multi-disciplined exhibition that showcases the work of both emerging new talent and established artists. This exhibition celebrates creative thought through innovation and a thorough understanding of connected processes demonstrating skilled craftsmanship.

“The newly--refurbished Oxmarket is a perfect platform to realise the group’s ambition to offer visitors the opportunity to be able to engage with some of the artists, gain an understanding of the work and own unique pieces.

“The artworks presented and for sale help The Makers’ Art Collective to reinforce that art, craft and design remain at the forefront of public awareness. Craftsmanship within the creative arena needs to be celebrated and embraced.

“All of our makers are masters in their particular field and include researchers, educators and authors. The range of work epitomises the strength of original design that we have in Great Britain today and talent that we should be proud of.”

Dawn originally trained as a pharmacist: “But in my early 30s I changed direction and studied creative embroidery at East Berkshire College, I went on to do a HND in creative textiles, and a BA (Hons) in the creative arts and then graduated with a Master of Art in textiles in 2019.”

“I am a practising textile artist and a trustee and fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, together with being a member of the Studio 21 textile group. I exhibit regularly both within these groups and independently.

“I have been a curator for the past 11 years for both small and large multi-disciplined exhibitions alongside a teaching career in textile design, giving talks, workshops and lectures both here and abroad. I am the author of Transparency in Textiles, published by Batsford Books (2009) and regularly write for courses.

“My current practice aims to visualise the unquantifiable, the intangible record of the action of movement of as we occupy time and space performing a process of making. I turn the data into a signature pattern code that can be taken into interiors, clothing and artworks.”