Always of the finest quality, the visual arts programme is another of the Henley Festival’s signature attractions. The extensive lawns welcome fine sculpture from both British and international artists, the gallery spaces showcasing work in widely differing media from artists and mainstream galleries individually selected to appear at the festival.
Born near Johannesburg, South Africa, Alastair had an early interest in marine life, but with an education in balance engineering he set off to Europe to embark on a 22 year career in motor sport, 14 years of which were in Formula One as Lead Mechanic for Benetton, then Race Team Chief Mechanic for the BAR Honda Grand Prix Team. Using carbon fibre and F1 car parts, his sculptures effortlessly combine the parallels between his two passions; celebrating streamlining, speed, agility & the evolution of design.
Based in the Cotswolds, Adam is surrounded by the nature that inspires him. As one of Britain’s leading wildlife sculptors, he has a signature style of simple fluid lines and flowing forms that depict both movement and character, beautifully capturing the essence of his subjects. Working in bronze with rich earthy patinas, Adam’s award-winning work is collected all over the world. “Nature is my passion and my constant distraction.”
Arguably one of the most famous contemporary artists living today, Damien Hirst has without doubt changed the course of contemporary art history. Known for his controversial works encasing animals in formaldehyde, or the human skull cast in platinum and set with 8,601 flawless diamonds, he evokes emotional responses to the work. Whether appreciated for the aesthetic or conceptual values, his work remains one of the most popular ways to invest in art today.
As a prominent member of the YBA’s, Marc Quinn has remained a consistently strong and influential artist since his rise to fame in the 90’s. Known for his work celebrating the beauty of the human body, nature and science, Quinn challenges us to reconsider our stereotypes and assumptions. He uses a broad range of materials, both traditional and progressive, from marble & oil paint, to solid gold and his own blood.
Located in the heart of Fitzrovia, London, Gallery Different presents contemporary painting, sculpture, drawing, print, photography and mixed media from British and international artists. As well as presenting a dynamic schedule of exhibitions and events, Different collaborates with other galleries worldwide to promote and curate exhibitions for its artists.
Paul Bennett’s landscape paintings “are inspired by memory and experience. They are not tied into any specific region or time, instead they seek to represent a symphony of place, weather and season. The result I strive for is a unique and original visual experience that has captured not only the sense of somewhere/sometime, but also the more subtle notion of recollection. Oil paint is the medium that plays a big part in capturing the essence of a faded memory and lends itself nicely to the way I paint. It is applied in this way to give the artwork itself a narrative and history, where the process of its creation can be glimpsed at in places – not dissimilar to the way in which the memory deals with the hazy recollection of a place once visited.”
Having established his name amongst the new breed of shoe designers, Portuguese born Gil started his career studying architecture in London before moving into the fashion industry. After 10 years of experience in this field and a very close relationship with the world of visual arts, Gil has gathered his own personal work and produced his first series of digital prints inspired on iconic fashion objects and people. Taking inspiration from street and pop art and juxtaposing it with fine art, Carvalho creates new and stylish takes on aspirational images in a bold, colourful and almost graphic way.
Andrew Hasler has an instinctive feel for his medium and subject. Painting since a boy, when he concentrated on the native wildlife around him, he is able to faithfully convey the character of his subject whilst at the same time making no compromise on the sculptural form. The shapes and colours that he achieves and the perfect finish are a testament to his meticulous and thorough approach and practice.
Music and pop iconography has always influenced Keith’s work and has been the inspiration behind his unique pieces using found materials such as original vinyl records. Graduating with a BA Hons from Harrow School of Art, his portraits and other pieces are a literal interpretation of Pop Art and have been exhibited alongside iconic artists such as Lichtenstein, Warhol and Peter Blake. Keith has work in private collections in the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Europe.
Otto Schade’s paintings range from abstract and surrealism to urban art. Originally from Chile, the internationally acclaimed artist is rapidly becoming a stalwart on the London street art scene. His fascination for the Surrealists and abstract painting influenced him to turn his creative skills to painting. Schade’s work shows two different styles of painting. One related with the dreams, surreal situations, the other related with the abstract world in which he experiments with layers, creating deepness in spacial representations. He also experiments with collages and graffiti and usually works on canvas, paper, boards or walls.
At first glance Robert Bissell’s style is narrative-based, reminiscent of illustrative children’s books- but on closer inspection there lies a more profound message. Bissell’s message is that we are ultimately part of nature, something we may have forgotten. His work encourages us to reflect on nature, the roads we travel, and the choices we make along the way.
Cacchiarelli’s philosophy is that meaning must be found through other forms than language. Ever the alchemist, he gives form to the imperceptible, recording the primordial energy vibrations in the stainless steel. In order to experience them fully, the viewer must look past the visual symbols of structure and form, aware of something deeper. In this way, the sixth sense will be released to perceive what the other five senses cannot.
Dutka’s main focus is the detailed exploration of space through patterned geometrical figures. His ‘Citadel’ series at Hay Hill Gallery is characterised by the unusual addition of patterns of miniature fish, energetically swimming beneath strong graphics which might otherwise appear static. He follows an exacting method to give his pieces their element of realism: After the initial sketches, he physically constructs his imagined figures in three dimensions, using these models to observe light and shadow.
Mainly concerned with spatial awareness, Nikolova’s paintings tackle problems of creating the illusion of depth on a two-dimensional support. Beginning with bleach and liquid media, she creates marks across un-primed canvas. A layering and cropping process follows, with films of paint successively laid over the surface. Ultimately the works are highly layered, transparent and glossy, giving the impression of multiple dimensions.
The Egyptian born sculptor Sam Shendi creates colourful abstractions of the human figure, subtly hinting at the complexity of human interactions. Referencing the art of minimalism, he simplifies design elements by focusing in on the chosen medium of steel, aluminium and paint. Some of these forms seem deceptively simple, but often include qualities of metaphor or elements of a spiritual transcendence.
Reminiscent of drawings from the pages of classical literature, Rachel Ann Stevenson’s fragile-boned beings are encased in airless bell-jars. Vulnerable as miniature circus entertainers, they might be kept under lock and key for a cruel fairy queen. Delicate as insects in jam-jars, these bottled Victorian fairies are both protected and imprisoned by the domed glass. This artist pulls these birdlike characters straight from a dream- and your sleeping mind is the strange nest laid out on the pillow.
Anne Tanner says ‘Nature, life and music are the essence of my life. I’m an optimistic person and see life as an exciting challenge. Viewers often comment on the different images they see in my paintings and this is so interesting to hear.’
Henley Festival welcomes back partners from Reading’s Ever Culture company presenting contemporary art by leading Chinese artists. Working in many media both traditional and cutting edge, the work presented gives a snap shot of Chinese work now being seen across the globe and gives an insight to the creativity of modern day China.
Isabella Liu is a leading jewellery designer and multi-award winning artist based in London. Her background in jewellery design along with her education in fine art and fashion design, allows her to combine a range of artistic disciplines and apply them to her work. She has worked in arts and jewellery industry with various international renowned art galleries and jewellery companies, including Debut Contemporary, Babette Wasserman, Fei Liu Fine Jewellery. Her works have won 5 awards from The Goldsmiths' Craftsmanship & Design Awards 2015
Shao Chen is a renowned professional artist; he has devoted himself to the painting of Beijing Hutong for 25 years, where he was born and raised. The grey quadrangle courtyards are filled with tranquillity and passions. The lively, vivid and alternative decorations with sharp contrast make him feel a strong music element, either the rhythm of gentle beauty or the ups and downs of movements. Old houses have recorded the vicissitudes of history and provided infinite materials for painters.
Ke Yang is a professional ceramics fine art artist. His work draws from and responds to visual idioms found throughout nature environment. Visual languages flow from culture to culture and through time. He specialised in high temperature colour tinting techniques on ceramics, with the theme of snow scenery view and traditional Chinese Buddhism.
A storyteller, artist, illustrator, muralist and narrator, I specialise in creating unique mural artworks. My work is very much focused on narration; I like to think of myself as a character or a storyteller when I am drawing, and enjoy engaging in the process of bringing illustration design into creative spaces. I have produced wall illustrations for exhibitions, restaurants/bars/cafes, living spaces and charities.
Ian Edwards’ works express creativity, insights and truth; the purpose of each piece is to capture the pinnacle moments of life’s journey. At the cornerstone of the artist’s works is the endeavour of the human spirit. The series expresses Edwards life’s beckoning; through reflecting the need of each individual to find their life’s calling, using “inspirational sculptures which resonate with that which is at the human core”.
My Life in Art launched in 2005 as an exhibition space for new graduates to show alongside more established names. Since then the gallery has evolved to embrace a programme of curatorial projects, pop-up exhibitions and art fairs. The gallery’s first Henley Festival show will present work by Miguel Vallinas Prieto, Brigitte Williams, David A Smith and Wendy Marvel/Mark Rosen. Along the way the gallery has built a reputation as a dealership, consistently offering the right advice to our clients and placing work in key private and corporate collections throughout the world.
Following proudly in the footsteps of Jukebox, the 2009 installation by Stewart Collins and Lara Harding, the Thames Gallery opens its metaphorical doors to Stands Up – a series of specially crafted visual jokes. Did you hear the one about…?
Julie Adlard has an intuitive use of colour and uses it to create work that gives an emotional response to a place; her harbor scenes create a feeling of homecoming and have a certain nostalgia. She creates relationships between elements of the painting including colours, lines, textures, fluid paint and strong edge mark making.
David Bachmann is a plein air landscape painter. He works directly from nature, interacting with his subject matter and experiencing the subtle changes of light and weather, and capturing the harmony that can exist between man and nature. This method of working, requires a rapid execution and results in a freshness apparent in the paintings.
Herme Bellido´s prints cross the border of printmaking by developing them to a level of painting. Sometimes she builds them up to a short numbered edition, or creates unique pieces impossible to reproduce identically as they are the result of many elaborated layers of complex colours.
Helen Boden considers the structure of plants, buildings and garments of clothing. In 2008 she set up Bodenpress printmaking studio, teaching courses on screen-printing, collagraph, copper etchng, drypoint, reduction linocut and photopolymer etching. She has taught at colleges and been an editioner- printing etchings and collagraphs to a high standard.
Robin Eckardt was born on the Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico before she moved to the United Kingdom at the age of 10. She has said that her ‘vibrant childhood strongly influenced my outlook on the world, particularly in my depiction of colour and texture’. She completed her BA in Fine Art at Bath Spa University in 2003. Her paintings are in private collections in Russia, Canada and the USA, and she has exhibited throughout the United Kingdom as well as New York, Paris, Dublin, and Amsterdam.
The Henley Festival will be the first opportunity to view this new body of sculpture where Allan Henderson’s explorations of space and light, as captured on the water’s surface, are embodied in a series of beautiful, pared down minimalist forms. Watery reflections dance up into the space bringing the watery realities into interior environments.
Charlotte Martin explores her escape from her artistically structured and confining world. Her present search is for the balance of chaos and structure, as well as a need for looking through “frames within frames”. She uses nature and urban settings as filters; exploring relationships between highly controlled and less controlled visual elements so to generate formal collisions, surprises and tensions emulating from bright and stimulating colours.
Gerard Sexton’s trademark use of colours and amorphous style is inspired by his love of nature, postmodern artists and the elaborate detail of Arabic art and the Renaissance use of colour. Gerard’s silk scarves are made in the UK and sold as limited editions using the highest quality materials and are hand-finished.
Mette Høj is a Danish jewellery designer, living in Windsor, where she works with natural and semi-precious materials. Høj’s unique and contemporary designs follow the sleek minimal aesthetics associated with Danish design – with a twist of exotic elegance. Her inspiration comes from travelling all over the world, sourcing unique and rare stones – the rough and windblown nature of Scandinavia, vintage flee market finds, glamorous bygone eras, such as the twenties flapper and the seventies boho as well as colonial Far East.
Bishopsland is an internationally recognised, post graduate residential course, a bridge between university and professional life as a silversmith or jeweller. There is equal concentration on silversmithing skills and the professional skills needed to be able to work successfully as a self-employed maker and this integrated approach makes the course unique. Over 180 jewellers and silversmiths have passed through Bishopsland with over 60% still in the industry today.
Dorothy Brook’s passion for dance and music triggers the ideas for her two and three-dimensional work. Her training as a graphic designer influences her art as she presents abstracted human forms in harmonious ways, creating a balance between movement and stillness, whilst playing with line and negative space as well as the shape and form of the body itself.
Her work is bronze. Her style is figurative. To portray an essence of the human character through the medium of clay and bronze- be it soulfulness, beauty, energy- is her enduring quest. Producing seemingly airborne art is the challenge she sets herself through her dance and athletic pieces. She has work in private collections across the world.
Dick Budden has made sculptures since a small child; from model aeroplanes to television and film sets in the 1960s, Dick has always enjoyed working with wood and polystyrene. Making props for Monty Python, Spike Milligan and Kenny Everett, plus blockbusters Sleepy Hollow and Phantom of the Opera, his work is a must-see.
Dido Crosby is pursuing a lifetime’s interest in animals with a fascination for form and function, with a series of full size cast iron farm animals at Acton Court, a four dog’s head water spout fountain in Rotterdam and a bronze gazelle in a sculpture park in Liguria, Italy.
I turn and turn again to the human figure for its drama, its narrative content and endless capacity for expressing the spiritual in line and form. Ideas for my sculptures arrive from many avenues, including Mythology, history, religion, music, which all evolve around the sacred feminine. The medium of cast bronze allows me to produce striking contrasts between smoothly sculpted forms and rough textured surfaces, areas of patination and polished bronze.
Sebastian grew up and spent his early teenage years in Singapore. When he was seventeen, he moved with his family to New Zealand, which gave him the opportunity to further his rugby career by playing for Auckland Province and Grammar Old Boys RFC. When he was twenty-one, he returned to the UK, carrying on his passion for rugby playing and began working for his uncle as a mould maker, later, the manager of his prestigious sculpture gallery in London’s Belgravia. In 1999, Sebastian moved to the Lake District to begin his own sculpture company. He currently lives in Henley-on-Thames