The Crypt Gallery in Church Street, Seaford, was abuzz on Saturday, 6 October, as an all too short exhibition of six local artists opened.
Lindy Dunbar, who has exhibited all over Sussex and at London galleries, showed downland landscapes represented as billowing sweeps of lemon yellow and grey spiked with white to represent the chalk, and nudes often executed in barely-there rosy pastels and demonstrating the depiction of movement that make her work so special and that is seen particularly well in Trapeze Duo.
“The couple were practising in front of me. It’s quite hard to capture the essence of what’s there but it is really exciting,” she says. “Movement is what most excites me, and the sense of life.
“Even with a landscape I like to think of things changing in front of you.”
First-time exhibitor Sarah Gregson brought freshness to what can be hackneyed portrayals of local beauty spots.
Hockneyesque in her approach to vibrant colour, her interpretations of the cliffs and South Downs are uniquely her own as steepness is exaggerated and cliff edges foreshortened to represent a vista that your mind’s eye might conjure up but that a camera could never capture.
Of eight pictures on display, five bore red ‘sold’ stickers by the end of the first day.
Former art teacher Kathlyn Thornburrow uses oil on canvas paper or sugar paper to paint vibrant representations of the Downs in all weathers and moods, along with nudes, some in pastels.
In complete contrast were Wallace Street’s delicate watercolours and I particularly liked the eponymous Coastguard Cottages at Cuckmere Haven pictured in a wintery, strangely sharp light that gives a pleasingly frosty effect.
Sheena Bourne explored the girders and ornate ironwork on Eastbourne Pier, cladding it in vibrant pinks, greens and blues while Lorus Maver offered a broad spectrum of work, from larger than life-size watercolours of daisies and poppies and a seascape called Wrath of the Gods – a tumult of forcefully tumbling indigo and purple waves crested with a light-filled lacy froth of spume – to the striking Asian Sensation, a portrait painted in small cubes of colour, the face only emerging as you stand well away from it, but never being in sharp focus, giving the impression that the woman remains locked in a private world of her own.
Another relative newcomer was Richard Walsh who combines a great eye for a good photograph with use of electronic doctoring to turn his photos into what the eye tells the brain it sees but the camera lens cannot capture, so cherry and almond trees are a fuzz of bright colour and are given a deep perspective that draws the eye into the composition.
He assures me that no trickery was involved, however, in capturing a practically monochrome picture of Brighton Pier and beach lit by one small red umbrella. “I just got lucky.”
So did we.