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Glass has always held a fascination for Alison. From an early age she was fascinated by the fact that it was both a liquid and also solid at the same time. Then in her previous packaging career she was in awe looking into enormous glass furnaces and feeling the intense heat and then watching a constant stream of white hot ‘gobs’ of glass shoot overhead and into banks of blow moulds every few minutes to make bottles and jars on a huge industrial scale.
She loves the clarity and refraction of glass and the ability to create such dramatic variations in its appearance through colour or shape and a variety of techniques. She favours pieces with weight and substance. She is intrigued by the ancient techniques but also the ability to play and innovate with glass and techniques.
Nature inspires her, in particular the seaside, waves and oceans, but also mountains and clouds. Contrastingly she is also inspired by high-tech architecture.
Caroline's paintings reflect experiences, memories, personal connections and often visceral responses rather than direct representations.
Living in the heart of England her local landscape includes bridle paths and drovers’ roads, ancient burial sites and stone circles, tracks and old hollow ways. Walking these well-worn paths, stopping to look listen and draw, she feels totally connected to the natural world, the earth and sky. Capturing that moment is the essence of her work. Using written notes as well as drawings to record that changing, moving place and time she can then recreate that sensation on canvas in the studio.
She uses a mixed media, multi-layered approach and water-based acrylic paints on large and small canvasses, boards, and paper, incorporating collage as well as print-making techniques in some pieces.
Ian Fraser has lived and
worked in Oxford for many
years and has always been fascinated
by the rich detailing of the buildings.
Some years ago he developed a
technique which gives the images a
flat perspective, like an architectural drawing, but allows the buildings to be seen in their architecturally correct form and retains their fabulous detail.
All his prints are photographically originated and some of them, such as the ‘Basilica Di San Marco’ in Venice, are painstakingly composited from literally hundreds of different photographs. This makes the views of many of the buildings totally unique.
He was commissioned to produce the series of Blenheim oak tree prints using this same technique. All of the oak trees in this series are in the grounds of Blenheim Palace and each tree is numbered with a metal tag. The certificate on the back of the frame has a map showing specifically the location of that tree as well as the location of all the other trees in the series.
James Dougall is a multi-award winning silversmith whose innovative approach bridges the gap between C21st design sensibilities and the traditional craft techniques he uses to produce his work.
Unafraid to take risks, he seamlessly utilises other materials with silver to extra- ordinary effect; leather, wood, glass, fish skin, even brick and marble are employed to create a unique synthesis and design vocabulary.
Each piece is the cumulative outcome of a long process of engagement which the designer hopes will add to the rich canon that is the silversmith's art.
Kathryn Acton is a printmaker specializing in screenprints and reduction linoprints. She takes inspiration from nature, British landscapes and places she has visited in Western USA, China, Greece and elsewhere and likes to abstract shapes and colours to create her distinctive prints.
Kathryn taught for many years and during her teaching career discovered with her students the joys and unexpected and surprising results of the printing process.
Maria's early creative training and work was in graphic design, this was a time when the industry was changing from drawing boards to computers. As her work became more computer based she realised she missed using her hands and making things, that realisation led her to ceramics and eventually an MA in ceramic design at Bath Spa University. Since graduating she has exhibited nationally and internationally and now works from her studio in Bath.
Her work as a graphic designer is a major influence - the precision she learned when creating artwork on a drawing board combined with the organic nature of clay is the basis of her work in clay. Line has always been important, from a small child watching her father, a structural engineer, draw perfect black lines on his technical drawings to her own as a graphic designer in producing artwork for print. Now she attempts to create equally perfect lines in 3 dimensions around a form - it's an exploration into finding the balance between spontaneity and control and the relationship between the geometric and the organic. Her interest and current use of colour came from her time on the MA course at Bath Spa. She had previously worked with rigidly geometric forms and a limited palette of white, grey and blue, but as her work became more organic in form her interest in colour developed. Each piece and group of work is a making journey which encompasses elements of chance and control and examines connections between form, line and colour.
She is quite experimental in her process and likes to explore different ways of making, constantly seeking new and better ways to achieve her ideas. She mainly hand builds and at the moment she makes cylinders, a geometric form, which she then cuts, slices, re-joins and shapes to create forms which are more organic. It is the process of working in this way and seeing the form emerge that holds her attention - it is important to her that this is a slow process giving her the opportunity to assess and make changes to shape and line as the piece develops. She use colour to divide and segment the surfaces - once bisque fired the pieces are masked and sprayed with vitreous slips, each colour having a separate firing.
Watercolour painting is a perfect medium for capturing the energy and the drama of the landscape, I love its vibrancy and fluidity. Whilst it is extremely challenging, it is completely addictive as no other medium offers the same degree of spontaneity. Most of my work is inspired by memories, music and the elements of the landscape.'
Although Rod has painted since childhood, he switched to being a full time artist in 2010 after a long career in design. He now divides his time between Bath and Woodstock motivated by the contrast between city life and the Oxfordshire countryside. He has work in collections in UK, Germany and New York and exhibits regularly.