Winter art show near Petworth
Gallery founder and director Elspeth Bray said: “I am often asked how I select my artists and truth to be told there is a lot of instinct in it. A painting must be beautifully crafted, but it must do more than represent. It needs to feed the soul, take us out of mundane daily life and appeal strongly to our visual and aesthetic senses. The artists in this show are all personal favourites.
“John Hitchens is a master, the equal of his more famous father Ivon.
"These large-scale works date from the 1970s and 80s when John was totally immersed in the West Sussex landscape. His sweeping broad, brush strokes, sense of rhythm, pattern and colour create works that sing of a landscape I know so well. Sarah Warley-Cummings’ paintings by contrast are small scale but evoke majestic vistas. Your eye soars over, fields, woods and trees flying up the ridges of the Downs. For their scale they have sensational impact.
“Philip Lyons and Lucy Powell are two of my favourite still-life artists. I love Philip for what he leaves out. He takes a simple structure, often a bowl, but with his eye for simplicity and form he elevates it to an almost sacred object. Lucy has a wonderful colour palette; she sets darks against lights creating a dancing rhythm across the surface. Her paintings almost appear out of the surface of the paint. She starts with random paint marks and somehow the objects, the flotsam of daily life, materialise into a harmonious whole.
“Amy Shuckburgh’s evocation of childhood is exceptional.
"Her paintings project a sense of being with her children and caring for them rather than just capturing how they look. They explore a private domestic world where women are strong but also vulnerable.
“The work of the Scottish colourists has always been a personal favourite and so it is a treat to have one painting by the artist Jean Martin, a direct artistic descent of the colourists.
"Her glorious evocation of Venice in shimmering blues and gold captures the iridescent light of that mythical city transporting us far from the wintry Sussex Downs.”