Monday, 10 September 2012

Hailsham Festival Art Exhibition

by Dino Mazzoli
We found ourselves with some time to spare on Saturday afternoon so took a wander into Hailsham for the opening day of the Arts Festival. We caught a few songs from the Memphis Flyers set in the High Street and it was uplifting to be able to hear their music as far along as Gallery North, my destination for a quick dash around before the bus arrived! The array of art on show in shop fronts around the town centre is inspiring and adds a great a sense of spirit and community to the area. I was shocked by quite how many units would otherwise be depressingly abandoned.

The exhibition is subtitled 'Celebrating the creativity of Hailsham and beyond!' The ground floor has two rooms showing a retrospective of the work of Italian-born artist, Dino Mazzoli. One of the paintings in the second room was exhibited at the Royal Academy and the works are certainly striking all together, but not quite to my taste.
Friends Clump by David Higgs

Upstairs are works by several artists, four of which particularly caught my eye. As I went up the stairs, paintings from the Colours series by Vicki Disney leapt out (not literally, that would be spooky). The work is vibrant and wonderfully visually textured. The room ahead and to the right has a selection of botanical art including different fruits by Ruth Bodkin, My favourite of hers is of blackberries. Back across the landing will lead you to a fabulously detailed drawing entitled Old Stone Steps which is by John Amos. He has also contributed paintings and the light effect for the acrylic work Snow Light is so beautiful. My fourth pick is David Higgs for whom you will need to return as if about to go back downstairs but turn right first. Higgs has several large landscape photographs exhibited, including iconic local scenes such as Meanders, which is of Cuckmere, and Long Man's Old Man, which is the Long Man of Wilmington. I loved an atmospheric woodland print entitled Friends Clump.
Gallery North, Sat 8th Sep to Sat 27th Oct.
Tues - Sat, 10:00 - 16:00.
Free admission.

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