Sunday, 20 May 2018

Coast and Field

It is not a pre-requisite for exhibitions to include the word 'Coast' in their title, but given the proximity of the gallery to the coast and the fundamental connection between our part of Norfolk and the sea, it is definitely becoming a habit.

Our next exhibition does, with Coast and Field which opens in the gallery on Friday 1st June at 6pm, and features the vibrant paintings of local (very local) artists Kevin and Ann-Marie Ryan.

At their last exhibition with us three years ago,  I referred to how best to write about successful artists on their return for further exhibitions. As I noted then ”The biographical details remain the same and in most cases the style and approach are a development of what has gone before, and which underpins their reputation  – which, of course, is why they have been invited back”  This still holds true, and amongst our regular returnees, Ann-Marie and Kevin Ryan have seen consistent success over the last 16 years.

At the heart of all their work are their distinctive palettes embuing their perception of the underlying earthforms of the Norfolk scene with a warmth that strikes a chord with many who appreciate the distinctive character of the area.  Their paintings are not normal for Norfolk.  Vibrant, rich and sometimes dark colours are not what most associate with the county and yet they are very much in tune with it.

For those who are familiar with their work, this latest collection builds on their considerable reputation.  For those who are less familiar – come and see – for almost inevitably, the limitations of reproduction tell only part of the story.

COAST AND FIELD - Ann-Marie and Kevin Ryan, June 1st to 23rd

Monday, 16 April 2018

Fragile Coast

In the two years since her last exhibition at Burnham Grapevine, Mari French has emerged as one of Norfolk’s fastest rising stars on the national art scene.

The roots of Mari French’s paintings lie in her deep-seated love and affinity with landscape and weather. Born in Manchester she grew up close to the brooding presence of the Pennine hills and then spent 15 years living on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Her early paintings from this time reflect the locale - powerful, at times moody and always evocative. Moving to live in Norfolk, her sources of inspiration and the resulting paintings changed - the colours brighter, and the mood less intense - but still capturing the elemental forces of these wild landscapes.

Her work is constantly evolving, with experimentation employing paint, ink, collage and oil pastel. The most recent paintings reflect a greater confidence, employing bigger brushes and bolder gestures, the work freer and more expressive but still evoking the interaction of wind, rain, and light.

Having been a selected artist in the 2014 Sunday Times Watercolour Competition her work has most recently been selected for the Royal Watercolour Society 2018 Contemporary Exhibition. Always fascinating to look at on first sight, Mari’s paintings reveal more about themselves and ourselves as time passes. 

The exhibition includes over 20 works with prices starting from £400 and continues until 5th May