Art and the park

© Barbara Sampson© Barbara Sampson

The Artists' Eye is an exhibition presenting the diverse work of 18 local artists, each displaying their love of Wanstead Park. The show's curator, Barbara Sampson, introduces some of the pieces on show.

This Autumn has brought together many talented local artists for an exhibition at The Temple in Wanstead Park. It opened last month – coinciding with the London Open House Weekend – and continues until Sunday 30 October. All of the work on display has been inspired by Wanstead Park.

Local jewellery designer Sarie Miell has dipped tiny acorns and twigs in silver to create 'precious keepsakes' and uses antique lace textures, inspired by the history of Wanstead House and its 18th century opulence created by the wealth from the East India Company. Reference to the East India Company can also be seen in the kinetic work by Kathy Taylor and the inspiration for work by Frances Cowper Holzhausen. Based on chintz, the fabrics imported from the Coromandel area of East India by the East India Company, Frances's concept of reworking a contemporary version using chestnut, hazel and oak has been developed into her paintings.

Two artists have used leaves as their inspiration for the exhibition. Andrew Gray's striking photograph of leaves has been used as the exhibition poster. The beautiful watercolour 'Leaves 3' by Charlotte Holzhausen shines like a gem from the paper. Colin Seabrook aims to release the inner beauty of wood from the trees for all to enjoy in his creation of wooden bowls made from Epping Forest trees.

Lisa Atkin, a stained glass and 3D artist who works from a studio in Valentines Mansion, will be showing her very striking stained glass 'Green man'.

The Grotto – an 18th century folly, the ruins of which still stand by the ornamental waters in the park – has provided the inspiration for one of my own paintings. In this world of water and mystery all is not quite what it seems. More mystery evokes a past era on the printed ceramic tiles by Louise Moore. By contrast, the oil pastel work by Billie Figg – a member of Essex Art Club – captures the reality of the ever changing beauty of Wanstead Park. The park's seasonal colour and texture is reflected in the textile work by Lizzie Houghton.

One of the most dramatic exhibits in the show is the enormous ceramic and mosaic dragonfly by Sarah Partridge. The size is not arbitrary, but reflects the size of the dragonfly's prehistoric ancestry.

Printmaker Alison Bernal is exhibiting hanging scrolls inspired by walks through Wanstead Park at different times of the year. 'Snow' and 'Below' were selected from a series of prints made by allowing people to walk across an inked plate, the random imagery was then manipulated and arranged to produce the complete scrolls. Alison will also be exhibiting aquatint, etching and embossed prints investigating cloud formations.

The exhibition will also include traditional watercolour landscapes and oil paintings that give a sense of place and space, open skies, birds and unexpected pathways.

This eclectic collection of work will be of great interest and an inspiration to all ages.

© Elizabeth Mansi© Lisa Atkin© Frances Cowper Holzhausen

The Artists' Eye is open from 12 noon to 5pm until Sunday 2 October and then from 10 am to 3pm from Saturday 8 until Sunday 30 October (weekends only) at The Temple, Wanstead Park, E11 2TL. Admission is free. Disabled parking is available with access through Warren Road. For more details call 020 8529 7090 or 020 8989 9996


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