There’s a beautiful old church in Bramber that dates back to the 11th century and sits next to the ruins of Bramber Castle. This is where the Summer Exhibition is usually held; where glasses of orange juice and homemade cakes are sold, and where within the stone walls that have seen so much, Steyning Arts members display their work.
COVID-19 has turned all that on its head and booted us straight into the 21st century with an online-only exhibition that will take place over the Bank Holiday weekend. I am lucky enough to have had some paintings selected, all of them the product of COVID as lockdown affected every part of the painting module I have been doing as part of my degree. Ever tried to paint a ‘landscape outdoors’ when outdoors is a foreign country suddenly? Or find a person other than yourself to be your model for figures? Luckily, the university has been as accommodating as you would expect and while I got very fed up of the sight of my own face in a mirror or a selfie, I was able to use some of the many photos I’ve taken of this beautiful place over the years.
The pieces that may appear in the exhibition include two of those landscapes and four rather contemporary paintings that made use of protective packaging, brown paper, cardboard, and string.
There is also a video but while the invitation said something about ‘you in your studio’, I’ve chosen one I made around a piece of art that spent several weeks outside collecting hedgehog footprints (and poo!), snail trails, and bits of windblown garden debris. It’s called ‘Made by Wildlife’.