Many of you will know that I escaped the big smoke with my family to live in Somerset just over eight years ago and have been toing and froing to London for our shows ever since. It was love at first sight when I saw The Old Mill, a watermill conversion, just outside Ilminster in South Somerset and I knew it had the potential to become not only a wonderful family home but also a great place to showcase our portfolio of contemporary art and design, and so the seeds of our forthcoming show in Somerset were born, during that very first viewing.
Since my move, Juliana and I have added a number of artists from the South West to our portfolio including, painters Angela Charles, Simon Ledson, Catherine Knight, Susanna Lisle, Kate Noble and Gina Parr and sculptors Claire Loder and Sandra James. These artists will feature their work in our first Somerset show at The Old Mill, a show that has been especially curated as part of the Somerset Art Weeks Festival in October. Also featuring in the show will be work by Tony Beaver and Gill Rocca, sculpture by Matthew Chambers, Rowena Brown and Pia Wustenberg, ceramics by Alice Mara, Daniel Reynolds, Ali Miller, Richard Brendon, Mizuyo Yamashita and Sophie Cook and furniture and textiles by Sam Edkins, Becky Oldfield and Mineheart.
Cavaliero Finn at The Old Mill will be open during the Somerset Art Weeks Festival from Saturday October 3rd until Friday 16th of October from 11-6.00pm at weekends and 10-3.00pm Monday to Friday. The home gallery can be found at: The Old Mill, Bere Mills Lane, Sea, Ilminster, Somerset TA190SE.
If you are based in the South West or fancy a weekend trip away, we’d love to see you during the course of the show.
It is hoped that Cavaliero Finn will curate at least one show a year in Somerset with a view to growing the business in the region in line with demand.
Spotlight on Five Somerset Artists
On initial sighting, Sandra’s beautiful white and black, curved sculptures appear to be smooth, elegant structures with neat white edges and black, seemingly endless centres. Yet, behind each calming, unconfrontational plaster form, is a unfinished, jarringly gritty surface made of builder’s sharp sand. The sculptures tell the story of human interaction and experience. Sandra explores the fragility of relationships between people in her works; on the surface everything may appear ordered and under control, but dig a little deeper and you will see that there is turmoil, anguish and uncertainty.
Sandra graduated with a first from the University of the West of England in Bristol this summer. Last month Juliana and I worked with Somerset Art Works, the organisers of the Somerset Art Weeks Festival, to select Sandra’s work from a number of entries for the Creative Pathway Bursary Award. Sandra will be showing a series of sculptures, paintings and prints at the exhibition. This is Sandra’s first show with Cavaliero Finn, we hope it will be the first of many.
Painter Angela is very much inspired by her surroundings and from her travels in and around the South West; a certain object or place and its imagined history, a happening or view point which takes her by surprise.
Working on spray-primed aluminum and wooden boards, which allow for every texture to be her own, Angela builds up layers of sanded-down acrylic. The layers are often wiped away forcefully with cloths or her fists and pierced with marks made by pencils or dentist tools. Through areas of calm and yet moments of frantic mark making, the resulting paintings reveal her sense of awe at the South West coast.
Angela lives in Somerset and studied Fine Art Textiles at Goldsmiths. She regularly exhibits her work in the UK.
Susanna’s paintings explore her love affair with colour and geometric pattern. To Susanna, patterns whether geometric or natural lead the eye in a complex rhythm of entanglement and endlessness. She uses colour to evoke the playfulness, sumptuousness and beauty of the natural world in her part abstract, part figurative works.
The decorative field in contemporary Western art, and the work of those artists who appropriate non-western elements also feature in her work. The paintings of Philip Taaffe, Beatriz Milhazes and Christine Streuli are important influences as their work ranges across geometry, traditional ornament and pattern which Susanna brings to life in a contemporary context.
Many studies in watercolour and gouache precede the oil paintings which often become works in their own right.
Susanna was born in Leeds, Yorkshire and studied painting at Goldsmiths College of Art, London. She currently lives in Somerset and recently completed her MA at Bath Spa College of Art and is the Chairperson for the Bath Society of Artists.
Kate’s recent paintings, the Goya inspired series called “My Last Duchess’ were done in response to Wilhelm Sasnal’s Stubbs paintings which she saw at Sadie Coles in January 2015. Kate wanted to explore the palette which Goya used – nine separate colours: white and blacks, with yellow ochre, cobalt blue and vermillion, and blacks varied by introducing alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue. The influence of Sasnal’s work is clear as Kate strives for a purity of brush strokes, and clarity of line, a ‘one stroke’ to describe the turn of a face for example. This became almost an obsession for Kate during this body of work.
Kate completed her Masters at Bath Spa University in 2013. Prior to that she studied at the Ruskin School of Fine Art (MA Oxon).
Simon Ledson is well known for his stunning timescape paintings of the Somerset Levels. His latest mixed media works take a fresh, colourful turn for the artist, inspired by his recent placement with artist Naomi Frears at the St Ives School of Painting. Simon’s new works originate from his past; from memories, places and experiences. In them he explores fundamental questions about our place in nature and nature’s place in us and the ambiguous boundary between relationships, nature and culture.
We hope you have enjoyed this sneak preview of some of the works we’ll have in store for you in Somerset. We look forward to seeing you at the show.
Debra & Juliana