Before heading to the Art Expo on Saturday, I finally took the opportunity to visit a gallery about which I have heard several positive reports over the past few months. The Francis Perry Gallery on Susan's Road is now just over one year old, having celebrated its first anniversary in October. Owned by Jill Francis and Philip Perry, it is a friendly place - almost cosy with its current array of Christmassy wares - and not at all intimidating! Jill told me that their aim was to create a 'destination shop', somewhere people would feel comfortable popping in to just browse and chat.
The Gallery showcases all kinds of items from greetings cards to large paintings, ceramics, jewellery, glass and sculpture. They actively support local artists from Sussex and Kent, including some based in Eastbourne: I saw a number of works by Sonya Tatham, including the beautiful 'Honesty', and a large painting by Corina Stupu Thomas called 'Breakout'. Several mixed media seascapes by Leila Godden are to the left as you enter the Gallery and dotted around are fantasy works by a new young artist, Victoria Brook, who the Gallery are very proud to be supporting. I found her paintings to be evocative of the Philip Pullman 'His Dark Materials' books which I recently listened on audio, and I particularly loved her picture entitled 'The Library' which I think is Gormenghast-y.
Jeweller Jill Perry is getting into the seasonal spirit by making Christmas cards. Ranging from bright traditional red colours to an elegant black & gold one, the cards are all unique and are very reasonably priced. For house decor, there are also delightful glass crib tea light holders which have been made by Jeannette Willingale and, in jewellery, the Gallery has the most beautiful and delicate robin pendant from Hastings jeweller Joy Funnell.
I think I may well be able to tick off a few items on my Christmas gift list here and the Gallery will certainly become one of my favourite haunts for birthday ideas in the coming year!
Francis Perry Gallery, Mon-Sat 10:00-17:00.