Festival Artists

The Alde Valley Spring Festival works with over 40 artists, including painters, sculptors, print makers, chair makers, photographers, writers, musicians and an iconographer.

Those taking part in the 2018 Festival Exhibition are listed below. We usually have a selection of works by Festival Artists available all year round.

Some are presented in Works for Sale.


More about Exhibiting Artists - In the Farmyard Barns 

 

Aleksandras Aleksejevas 

Aleksandras is showing a selection of elongate female forms in bronze that take inspiration from Etruscan figures. The original bronze head of the Emperor Claudius, now in the British Museum, is presumed to have come from a life-size portrait in bronze of the real man/god. This would have been intended to project the image of the Emperor and the authority of Rome over conquered territory – in this case that of the Celtic Iceni and Trinovantes tribes in what is now Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk. The statue itself is thought to have been imported – on the basis that no bronze foundries are known in England from this time. Whilst some Celtic coinage shows the images of tribal leaders, there are no known carvings or portraits of individuals from Suffolk, Essex or Norfolk that pre-date the head of Claudius. Earlier Celtic / Iron Age, Bronze Age and Neo-lithic figures do exist in bronze or stone – but these are all generic in form. Aleksandras’s beautiful elongate figures in bronze are included in the show to illustrate a connection between Roman and Celtic bronze casting practices to earlier traditions rooted in the Middle East and Central Asia – from which Roman bronze casting practices are thought to have developed.

   
  

   

 Perienne Christian 

I
n choosing works for the Spring Festival Exhibition, the passage of time and the movement of people through the Suffolk landscape – and the interweaving of both of these threads – seemed deeply relevant to the starting point of this year’s Exhibition : the head of Claudius. Perienne Christian’s etchings, drawings and paintings are almost always about a place; but they are often seen through a broad lens that brings in and blends subjects that are real or directly observed and those that are imagined or remembered. The works on show respond to the general theme of figures in the landscape. There is a connection to Roger Hardy’s work, in which his figures have been made with material retrieved from the marshes of the Alde; and also perhaps to some of the landscape drawings of Becker in the Archive Exhibition in which passing figures moving through the fields and lanes with livestock or hand tools appear as fleeting tangles of lines, set against more firmly drawn [and more static] features in the landscape such as hedges and trees. The low-lying nature of the Suffolk’s coastal landscape and the passage of time also seem to seep into Perienne Christian’s work – with the tides along the soft and shifting coastline providing a natural metronome to activity on the land as it plays out over days, weeks, months, years and centuries.
   

   

 Marchela Dimitrova 

It is a great honour to be able to welcome back Marchela Dimitrova. Based between Plovdiv and Sussex, Marchela is a gifted iconographer who works in the Byzantine tradition. We have shown icons written by Marchela in the Spring Festival exhibitions since 2009. Themes over the intervening years have included : the Anglo-Saxon Saints of Suffolk [St Botolph, St Aethelrhyth / St Audrey, St Cedd, St Felix and, curiously, St Fursey from Kerry – who along with his brothers St Foillan and St Ulltan founded a monastery near Great Yarmouth]; Early Irish saints; Female Saints of England; Angels at Easter; Virtues; Archangels; and for 2018, Jesus and Mary, Mother of Christ. Early examples of iconography are thought to have had connections to Roman and Egyptian portraiture. These theories exist alongside another tradition or belief that the earliest iconic forms of Christ came from a cloth that Jesus pressed to his face – giving rise to the tradition of the Mandylion or - Christ made without Human Hands. In the Eastern tradition, icons are written not painted; and the writer of an icon approaches her or his work through prayer and contemplation. In this way the icon has more written into it than the bare pigments, egg tempera, shellac and other natural ingredients that make up its physical presence. Marchela’s work is on display in a quiet mezzanine gallery in one of the barns.
   

   


 

Laurence Edwards 

Laurence Edward’s sculptures, like the tides, come and go. In 2016, he left the life-size A Thousand Tides in the mud at Butley Creek; in 2017 he left Leaf Man Rising on dry land at White House Farm – it stands adjacent to a grove of ancient oaks. Now, in 2018, others have appeared in the barns to temporarily fill the local gap left by the removal of the head of Claudius from the Upper Alde. But what has returned this year, for the 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition, is unlike anything else we have ever shown by Laurence – in terms of scale and presence. To welcome the works to the farm and for the Spring Festival, we have had to reach out beyond the Threshing Barn into an old Dutch Barn. Nowhere else was big enough. Clad in tin as a secure machinery store, the repaired steel-framed Dutch Barn has become the temporary home for an extraordinary collection of new heads by Laurence. The largest, in plaster, stands at almost 7ft tall. It is a maquette for a 30ft figure that Laurence is currently working on – to be placed at an as yet undisclosed location in the Suffolk landscape. It is joined by two smaller, but equally monumental, bronze heads. These each stand approximately 4ft tall. They are joined by a collection of new smaller heads and torsos in bronze, including a new limited edition version of Claudius made by Laurence for this year’s Spring Festival Exhibition

Note : SPECIAL OFFER - ‘Claudius 2018’ by Laurence Edwards. A limited edition of 25 bronze heads is only available from The 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition. £ 1,750 + VAT each. Signed plaster editions are also available from the Festival Shop for £165 inc VAT.

For all orders / more information : enquiries@aldevalleyspringfestival.co.uk 

   

   

 George Farrow Hawkins 

A past recipient of a Drawing Residency at White House Farm and and The Fidelity Cranbrook Residency Award for Painting in Cumbria, George Farrow Hawkins is a gifted draughtsman. He is showing four new drawings in the 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition.
   

   
 Tobias Ford 

Tobias Ford creates figurative sculptures of the human form in steel, often ‘drawing’ with the metal whilst it is kept liquid by welding equipment. This approach to sculpting in metal allows him greater freedom and immediacy than can be found in the more complex bronze casting process – certainly in terms of process and often also in the character of the final work. For the 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition, he has been invited to show small studies of the human figure in motion; figures braced against weights or structures; the torso of a dancer; and a magnificent winged figure set in the fields in front of the farmhouse and barns.
   

   

 Jason Gathorne-Hardy 

Originally self-taught as an artist, Jason Gathorne-Hardy attended Maggi Hambling’s life classed in Morley College between 1995 and 1998. After returning to Suffolk in 2001, he continued the practice of life drawing whilst visiting markets and auctions, dairies, fish stalls and livestock farms - initially in Suffolk, but later also in Wales, Cumbria, Scotland and Ireland. His life drawing takes inspiration from the work of Harry Becker. Examples of drawings from the coast and Campsea Ashe Market are included in the show.
   

   

 Jelly Green 

Jelly Green is most recently known for her magnificent paintings in oils and watercolours of trees and forests in the UK and the tropics – most notably her canopy paintings from Brazil. But portraits in oils and life drawings have also been a prominent part of her practice for the past few years whilst attending the Royal Drawing School and Maggi Hambling’s life classes at Morley College. The Spring Festival Exhibition presents a previously unexhibited aspect of her practice as an artist : a selection of life drawings, sketches and formal portraits, both painted and drawn. Some of the portraits are from formal sittings during life classes. Others have been painted from sketches made whilst travelling. They are on show in the farm’s Old Threshing Barn alongside paintings, monotypes and portraits in bronze by her teacher Maggi Hambling.
   

   

 Maggi Hambling 

It is the greatest honour to be able to welcome Maggi Hambling’s work back to the farm. A large new self-portrait forms the centre-piece of the Spring Festival Exhibition in the Old Threshing Barn. Presented on the walls to either side are a monotypes from The Jemma Series and a selection of works in bronze. These include some of her earliest bronze sculptures alongside portraits in bronze of Stephen Fry and Max Wall; and a more recent addition – a bronze entitled Trump.
   

   
 

Jennifer Hall 

With a workspace at Butley Mills Studios near Orford, Jennifer Hall was awarded a year long Woodland Residency at White House Farm in 2017. This focused on three small patches of deciduous woodland at White House Farm : an acre of post-medieval nuttery called the Nutgrove; a ridge of veteran sweet chestnuts, oak and sycamore called Rookyard Belt; and part-planted, part-wild arc of standard oaks, willow, hazel, sycamore, birch, hawthorn, holly, ash coppice, maple, sweet chestnut and hornbeam called Back House Pond Covert. Early experiments in casting fallen leaves and mushrooms from the woodland floor have led to the creation of three bronze heads – the result of burn-out casts of original works made with leaves gathered from the woods. These are shown alongside a selection of drawings, some made with ink prepared from smooth oak galls.

* Jennifer Hall’s Woodland Residency studio will be open at the farm each weekend during the Spring Festival – see Open Studios. A bronze oak leaf cast by Jennifer was part of the First Prize for the 2017 Resurgence Eco-Poetry Prize – awarded to the poet Seán Hewitt.

   

   
 

Roger Hardy 

Roger Hardy’s work for the Spring Festival Exhibition includes new wall-mounted constructions and free-standing sculptures from the Time & Tide series. These are made from materials gathered from the boatyards and mudflats of the Alde Estuary 10-15 miles downstream of White House Farm [the River Alde forms the eastern boundary of the farm, drifting past as a small and at times very slow-flowing inland river]. The sculptures are carved from pieces of wood that Roger gathers from the estuary’s shoreline upstream of Aldeburgh. Abstract but figurative in their form, they feel reminiscent of pilgrims and travellers. The promontory of Iken and St Botolph’s church are a mile or so upstream of the mudflats from which the artist collects his raw materials. St Botolph [or Botwulf] was one of the early Anglo-Saxon evangelists, supposedly founding a monastery at ‘Ikanho’ in the 7th Century. Over the past few months Roger has been experimenting with the figures. This has involved taking some back to the river. Once there, he takes imprints and plaster casts of them in the mud at low tide. He then works on the new plaster versions to create both free-standing forms and wall-mounted reliefs. Again, there is a resonance with the soft Suffolk landscape itself – its shifting presence, the movement of people and the passage of time; but, as with the head of Claudius and Laurence Edwards’ work A Thousand Tides, there is the additional reality of work both coming in and out of the landscape. The landscape is yielding up works of art - as much as it offers up crops of wheat and barley, or rye and oil seed rape. With Roger’s abstracted but figurative sculptures, there is a strong resonance with the archaeology of the Anglo-Saxon period – in particular with burials at Snape above the River Alde and at Sutton Hoo above the River Deben. This thread is further amplified by a recent excursion into bronze. As Anthony Horowitz kindly wrote in the foreword for the catalogue of a solo show at the farm last year:

" .. there’s another aspect to his work that also appeals to me. Somehow, in a way that is hard to define, it is intensely Suffolk-based by which I mean that it couldn’t have originated anywhere else. These silent watchmen did after all begin their new life when they were released from the mud of the River Alde. Roger, who was born in Melton and has lived his entire life in Suffolk apart from a ten year stint as a graphic designer in London, agrees. The playful quality of his earlier work may have gone but it has been replaced by something that is much deeper and more reflective. I would even call it poetic. For although “Time and Tide” may have been created with “minimal intervention”, just as a haiku only contains three lines, it has both the substance and the resonance which are surely the test of all true art.’

   

   
 

Craig Hudson 

Craig Hudson’s work was the subject of a large Solo Show New and Recent Works at the farm in 2015. His bronzes are raw and often visceral – and because of that, they often touch on what it means to be alive. As the writer and critic Jonathan P Watts wrote in the foreword for the 2015 catalogue:

‘Hudson’s sculptures, concerned with the split between people’s interior emotional, psychological and bodily being and their exterior presentation, explore a fascinating space between being human, all too human, and the options for being human.’

His work frequently takes the figure to the brink of abstraction – and sometimes beyond. But to see the outward from as being disturbed or altered is to miss the true reason for his work – and its true power : the represention of inner or inward feelings on to the outward or outward-facing form. They are bold, often extraordinary, and sometimes challenging to behold. But the rawness is then brought back down to earth with titles that punctuate or pierce the seriousness of their subject matter. The bronzes in the Spring Festival Exhibition includes a series of new heads and a new figure The Spectator. These follow on from The Tourist and Fantasy Land, first shown at the farm in autumn 2017

   

   

 

Tessa Newcomb 

Tessa’s paintings have been part of the Spring Festival Exhibitions since the first Easter Retreat Exhibition, held in 2003 in a small cottage next to All Saints’ Church in Great Glemham. Each year she has explored a different aspect of life on the farm or in the surrounding Suffolk countryside. For the 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition, she is showing paintings which feature figures in the landscape. Some are of makers at the farm during Workshop Residencies and Open Studios. Others focus on the local, rolling landscape in which runners or walkers or cyclists can be glimpsed in the distance : a view of contemporary rural Suffolk, in which fewer people are working on the land; but many more are passing through on a walk along footpath or a bike ride or jog along a green lane.

   

   

 

Callum Stannard 

Callum Stannard is also based at Butley Mills Studios – together with Craig Hudson, Jennifer Hall and Tobias Ford. In 2016/17 he completed a portrait bust of Craig. This piece – and an introduction to Callum’s work by Craig Hudson - was another prompt for this year’s Spring Festival Exhibition. Making a living as a portrait artist can be challenging. Arguably, this challenge begins to rise higher if one commits to working with bronze as one’s chosen medium for portrait commissions. This is partly due to the cost of raw materials, but also to the complexity of the casting process that takes a clay original to a finished, patinated, polished bronze. 

   

 
NOTE : One aim of this year’s Spring Festival Exhibition is to celebrate and promote the work of all the artists who are taking part – but in particular those who are just starting their careers as portrait artists working in bronze. If you would like to find out more about commissioning a portrait or work by Callum Stannard or other artists in the Exhibition, please contact : enquiries@aldevalleyspringfestival.co.uk

 

   

 

Gideon Summerfield 

Gideon Summerfield is a recent alumni of the Royal Drawing School in London. He has been invited to show a selection of reportage drawings that he made whilst visiting camps at Calais. The presence of people on the move, seeking safety or new lives, is as relevant in Suffolk and in Britain today – perhaps more so now than for several decades. This simple reality asks of us to know how we should react ; and what action we can or should take personally. For people to be on the move, in small numbers or, at times of threat or peril, in large numbers, is nothing new. The head of Claudius, the traces of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon history in the modern Suffolk landscape, the remains of Viking trade and Norman castles and churches all stand as testimony to this. But we need to know how to react now; and to take action – along routes illuminated by a sense of compassion. All of Gideon Summerfield’s drawings are for sale and at his request 100% of the proceeds from sales will be passed back to him to give to charities supporting refugees arriving in the United Kingdom who need help.

   

   

 Eva Terzoni 

Eva Terzoni is studying for the Sculpture Diploma at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London and works part time at Laurence Edwards’ new foundry in Halesworth. Three of her works in bronze have been selected for the 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition as contemporary examples of classical bronze sculpture. Her practice is also beginning to include larger abstracted and figurative bronzes. She works on commissions, including portraits in bronze, plaster and terracotta. She has also studied with Aleksandras Aleksejevas.
 

Historic Works in the Exhibition :


 

Harry Becker and Feliks Topolski 

In terms of works on paper, board or canvas, the 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition examines the pure practices of portraiture and life drawing in the studio; and then broadens this to include the practice of drawing and painting from life in general – be it whilst travelling or observing people at work in the landscape. With the passing of time, drawings from life in the outer world can also become woven into our sense of place and our history if, as with Gideon Summerfield’s drawings from Calais, the artist chooses to place himself or herself at key moments in time. Equally, an artist’s work may gain historical importance more passively – for example, if their work comes to represent an important moment or period in history. When this happens, their work can become a part of our cultural heritage and our shared memory

In Suffolk, the artist Harry Becker was working at a time [1900 – 1928] when the combustion engine was still largely absent from the countryside. Farmyards and farmland were populated by men and women at work; and by much larger numbers of livestock than we see today – except perhaps for pigs on the sandy land of coastal Suffolk. Renowned at the time for his etchings and lithographs, Becker was also an extraordinary draughtsman – a musician, almost. His drawings display immense freedom with line and bridge the gap between portraiture and more generalised studies of the figure in outer world. A collection of drawings, etchings and lithographs are included in the Spring Festival Exhibition.

A small selection of drawings by Feliks Topolski is also presented. These provide glimpses of key moments in recent history and are an example, like Gideon Summerfield, of the artist placing himself or herself in situations that at the time are considered ‘newsworthy’. As such, they are historic examples of reportage drawing, in which figures can be part portrait-part generic.

[With thanks to Simon Loftus and Abbott & Holder for releasing works by Harry Becker; and to Abbott & Holder for works by Feliks Topolski].


   

 Harry Becker Archive Exhibition [With thanks to Simon Loftus and Abbott & Holder.]

Harry Becker is arguably one of Britain’s great artists and draughtsmen. Renowned at the start of the last century in both London and Paris for the quality of his lithographs and etchings, he then retreated to Suffolk and spent much of his time drawing and painting from life, catching fleeting images of people and livestock living and working on the land. This was before the widespread advent of engine-driven machinery. His work depicts people working on the fields, in ditches, in woods and in farmyards. It also provides glimpses of Suffolk’s famous trinity of breeds when they were still abundant : the Suffolk Punch, the Suffolk Sheep and the Red Poll cow. The archive exhibition is being held alongside a larger selling exhibition in the main farmyard barns –The Archive Exhibition will include copies of early catalogues, photographs and portraits of Becker’s family, correspondence and works on loan. The Festival Shop is also selling cards and limited edition reproductions of selected works.
 

Photography and Film

 


~ image to follow ~
 

Enri Canaj 

Four photographs by Enri Canaj are on display in the farmyard chapel. [With thanks to Chris Agee and Irish Pages.]

   

   

 Linda Farrow 

A film short about Harry Becker by Linda Farrow and George Farrow Hawkins is being screened at weekends during the Spring Festival in the backyard in Stable Studio 3 as part of a 2018 Workshop Residency. It includes an audio recording of an interviewee who remembered watching Harry Becker at work in East Suffolk.
   

In the Farmhouse

Conservation and farming for wildlife are important aspects of day-to-day farm management at White House Farm – part of Great Glemham Farms partnership. The farm is part of a Higher Level Stewardship scheme with Natural England and is currently exploring some new water management projects with the Environment Agency. Ecological enrichment and skills generation are two key management criteria. Over the past few years a range of changes have been made to help support biodiversity at the farm. These include : thickening hedges; making glades in woodland; excavating ditches and dykes; creating areas of rough grazing; eliminating herbicide / pesticide use on grassland and market gardens; installing bird boxes; and planting new woodland. Each year artists whose work focuses on wildlife are invited to take part in the Spring Festival Exhibition. For 2018, work by two leading local / regional wildlife artists are on show and for sale in the farmhouse Dining Rooms – otherwise known as the farm’s Hedge Quarters.

 


 Meriel Ensom 

Meriel Ensom paints marsh birds and song birds on driftwood. Previously based in Suffolk, Meriel now works from Sussex – but continues to send a large flock of new work to White House Farm in time for the annual Spring Festival Exhibition.
   

   

 Becky Munting 

Becky Munting received a Painting Residency in 2017 to paint hares at Great Glemham Solar Farm. She has been invited to show a new collection of paintings about local wildlife found at the farm and in East Suffolk for the 2018 Spring Festival.


The Suffolk Chair Collection 

   

 

 The Suffolk Chair Collection was founded in 2005/6 to help promote chairmaking traditions in East Suffolk. At the heart of the project is a collection of original 19th and early 20th Century Suffolk Ball Back chairs, with a few Mendlesham chairs. These are held as an archive collection. They are also used as a design reference collection, allowing customers to commission bespoke contemporary Ball Back chairs.
The Alde Valley Spring Festival works with and sells work by seven local contemporary chairmakers : Jim Parsons, Dan Hussey, Dylan Pym, Stewart Goldie-Morrison, Jon Warnes, Otis Luxton and Raymond Hopkins. Chairs by all of these makers are on show and for sale in the 2018 Spring Festival Exhibition.

Jim Parsons, Otis Luxton and Jon Warnes are all taking part in the 2018 Spring Festival Open Studios; and Otis Luxton is also the recipient of a new Mendlesham Chair Residency award.

For more information about chairs for sale and commissioning chairs please contact : enquiries@aldevalleyspringfestival.co.uk 

   

 


 
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