Chichester's ARTEL artists show their skills at the Oxmarket

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Fragment is the title of the summer show from Chichester’s ARTEL artists at the Oxmarket Gallery, off East Street, Chichester, running from Tuesday, July 30 to Sunday, August 11 (10am to 4.30pm; closed Mondays; free admission).

Artist and spokeswoman Caroline Pearce-Higgins said: “ARTEL members are a diverse group of artist centred on Chichester who come together to exhibit at least once a year in Chichester and support each other’s creative development through information exchanges, workshops and other events which included a pop-up shop in 2015.

“ARTEL was founded some 20 years ago with strong links to the University of Chichester. Almost half of the current exhibitors studied fine art there. Each year we choose a challenging theme to encourage the development of new ideas and new work, whatever our materials and techniques. This year we are presenting our own personal interpretations of the word fragment.”

Taking part this year are Aldobranti, performance (live art); Maureen Brigden, sculptor; Sehila Craft, artist; Polly Dutton, artist; Sue England, painter/ printmaker; Jo Gibson, painter/printmaker; Jackie Knee, artist; Peter Moseley, photographer/printmaker; Linda Neville, mixed-media artist Caroline Pearce-Higgins, ceramics; Deborah Richards, painter/printmaker; Catharine Somerville, painter; Michelle Watson, artist; and Bridget Woods, artist, author.

Caroline said: “Aldobranti’s work as a researcher and artist focuses on the often uncomfortable relationship between Self and Other.

“This year he has built maquettes, a new technique, to create images to illustrate a book on the fragile experience of the artist outside the metropolitan art world.

“Maureen Brigden is exhibiting a powerful fragment of a sculptural head in ceramic. Sculpture that has been damaged by the passage of time or by political conflict is a recurring theme in her work.

“This year, Sehila Craft translates a fragment of one of her paintings which shows her characteristic love of form and colour into a new medium: woven tapestry, a new skill she is learning on the tapestry weaving course at West Dean College.

“Polly Dutton is a ‘what if?’ kind of artist. While artist in residence at Parham House and Gardens, she developed a new way of making monoprints using fragments of flowers and foliage in the grounds. The results are small, fragile, ethereal landscapes which she feels represent all of nature

“Sue England is constantly inspired by the West Sussex landscape and coastal environment in which she lives. This year she has taken a vertical ‘slice’ of an earlier painting and developed it to give the viewer the impression of a glimpse, or fragment rather than the more usual wide perspective.

“The silk scarf on which Jo Gibson’s work is based belonged to her mother. For Jo, it conjures her up and is a token that brings fragments of memory, restoring her presence. Jo’s work combines painting and print making.

“Jackie Knee has fun making sculptures and automata from metal, wood and bits and pieces’

“This year she has created a pigeon (in wood) who is the subject of a short comic strip. She hopes the bird will look the same throughout and not too fragmented!”

“Peter Moseley is an experienced photographer and printmaker specialising in 19th century techniques, including photogravure. He aims to convey the humanity and life experience of his many older subjects through portrayal of their skins and fragments of their bodies, and also to monumentalise them.

“Linda Neville has considered the nature of loss when bonds are broken by death and has created works that unite her with her lost beloved. She has made drawing of fragments of her collection of Doulton pottery and of his butterfly collection, torn the paper to leave ragged edges conveying the scarring of severance and created moving collages of these combined images.”

As for Caroline, she is interested in the relationship of the broken part to the whole. She made small clay fragments which seemed to need to belong so combined them in miniature dolmen-like structures. Another fragment echoes a self-sufficient beach finding of seaweed and pebble while the Voice sculpture fragment stands for the whole.

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