Archive for September, 2011

September 30, 2011

Paper Weight – Paper As Media

A new exhibition starts at i2 Art tomorrow that aims to show some of the interesting ways artists use paper as a medium alongside paint, print and found objects.

Paper as we know it today dates back to the Chinese Han Dynasty (105AD) and spread throughout the world, although remaining only an artisan activity until 19th Century industrialisation. Originally intended purely for writing, printing and packing purposes, the wide variety of papers available now have greatly inspired artists into using it as a medium in its own right.

i2 Art explores this fascinating material as used by a number of talented artists, watch out for posts on each artist over the coming weeks.

Stitched and painted on paper with collage

Girl Bending Down - Susan Macarthur


Book Collage - Neil Payne


Suffolk Moonlight - Valerie Armstrong


Autumn - Jess Levine

Private View Saturday 1 october, 2-4pm. Join us for a glass of wine and the chance to meet the artists in our beautiful gallery space.


September 23, 2011

Christophe Gordon-Brown

Born in Kampala, Uganda, in 1952, Christophe Gordon-Brown came to England when he was ten and attended school in South and North Wales. He then moved to Cambridge, where he completed his A levels at the Cambridgeshire College of Arts & Technology. Long fascinated by forms and stones, Gordon-Brown then contemplated training as a sculptor, but decided to opt for a more secure future and trained as a goldsmith. Following his studies at Loughborough College of Art and Design, he went travelling and spent a year working on boats on the Amazon and in hotels and restaurants in Columbia and Peru. Back in England, Gordon-Brown set up a workshop in Loughborough. In 1985, he decided to return to Cambridge and worked as a jewellery designer on Magdalene Street. Ten years later, Gordon-Brown moved to his own premises on Grantchester Street in Newnham.

Shortly after a burglary at his workshop, Gordon-Brown had a chance conversation with an elderly lady who commissioned him to produce an original sculpture. He accepted the challenge and has produced more than seventy sculptures since. The devastating burglary aside, Gordon-Brown has not looked back and has recently won a major competition for a large-scale sculpture for Robinson College, Cambridge.

Further to his work as a goldsmith and sculptor, Christophe also regularly teaches spoon-making in Ireland and runs sculpture workshops alongside an ‘open-access’ use of his studio in Cambridge. He is also an accomplished poet. Christophe Gordon-Brown lives in Cambridge.

September 23, 2011

Mel Fraser

In 2002 Mel Fraser received her first public commission to design a memorial for Comberton Village: entitled ‘Tranquillity’ it was completed and installed in May 2003. Mel has been working alongside service users from Fulbourn Hospital Trust in Cambridge in a project that involves the creation of several carved heads.

A sculpture, ‘Impressions’, containing elements of the heads produced by the service users, will be carved by her and will be installed in 2010. She has also taught at various schools around Cambridge including, Perse, Comberton, Morley, St Paul’s and St Matthew’s and has a number of individual students who join her at her studio and who have now gone on to exhibit their own work at Open Studios.

Mel is always keen to explore new ideas, with her sculpting and also within the spheres of painting and poetry, areas that are new to her but have been crucial to her work as an artist.

Mel has exhibited at: The Architecture Gallery, Christ’s College Cambridge, Langham Fine Art, Hardwick House, Alexandra Palace and Crystal Palace, London, The Great Art Show, Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail, Urchfont Manor, Wiltshire and Sculpture in the Sanctuary in Notts. She is currently showing at The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, Primavera in Cambridge and The Sculpture Park near Farnham, Surrey. She has been an active member of Cambridge Open Studios for over 10 years.

September 15, 2011

Michael Westbrook

Michael Westbrook’s sculptures are created un two conjoined sheds at the end of his garden in the village of Dry Drayton.  Mike says, “The journey to concrete sculpture is long and logical starting with wood carving, though an unsatisfyingly slow process when the ideas keep flowing. A move to ceramics fixed that problem for ten years but the constraints of my kiln kept my work small. The solution was concrete, which is a beautiful medium with no restraints to my flights of imagination. I was trained by an eclectic group of evening classes in all the disciplines above over the last twenty years.”

The artistic content is drawn from things as simple a curving limb, a subtle profile. All can be incorporated into his sculptures’, probably on a subliminal level, known feature’s appear as the steel mesh is twisted and pushed into shape. Once satisfied with the shape, the surface becomes the focus adding incisions or lines to cure blandness and draw the eye. Mike likes his designs to demand attention in the garden, to light dark corners, or enhance blank vistas.

Inspiration is drawn from almost anything visual or just popping into his head at night followed by adapting and refining these ideas seems to work well. He needs a design to draw the eye, have a gentle nature and fine lines. Though no Westbrook trait will appear as repetitive pieces of the same model soon lead to a lack of enthusiasm plus a burning desire to try something new.

September 15, 2011

Justin Hawkes

After leaving the Byam Shaw in 1980 with a distinction in drawing (The Graham Hamilton award) Justin Hawkes trained as a painting conservator with a pupil of Helmut Ruhmann.  As well as the conservation studio Justin has maintained several studios for his own work developing a style that derives from the study of colourfield painting. He has taken a particular interest in classical watercolour techniques.

Titles can be a vexed issue for painters, particularly so if you are not being directly descriptive of one given place. Peter Nolan (Judge Institute) often discourages me from giving paintings titles. He mentions that numbers are used to catalogue compositions by Beethoven and Mozart. Nevertheless I find titles appropriate when I feel confident there is a link with ideas and attitudes the painting may be revealing.’

Currently his studio is in Cambridgshire.

Past Exhibitions:

RBA Annual Mall Gallery, London 2011

Rock, Paper, Scissors. Oeno Gallery Summer Show Ontario Canada Jun to Sep 2010

RBA Annual Mall Gallery, London Mar 2010

RWS Open Bankside Gallery, London Feb 2010

Oeno Gallery Bloomfield Ontario Canada Winter Group Show Feb to Mar 2010

5 paintings in solicitors offices southern England. Commission arranged by Jo Hughes Interiors 2009

Cambridge Gallery’s Winter Show, Whittlesford 2008

Christmas Show, Angela Mellor Gallery, Ely 2008