Review of Making your Mark – Riverside Barn Arts Centre 14-25 June 2023

Hello everyone.

Thank you very much for inviting me to review your show at the Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre. It made for a lovely sunny Sunday morning visit and it was a great opportunity to catch up with your world and see a collection of your work in a gallery setting.

You have a very eclectic mix of styles and your curiosity and experimentation are clearly on show. I was fascinated to see how each of you have made work drawing inspiration from many different sources. Poetry, landscape, the environment are just a few and what is clearly an exploration in technique and how materials mix together all make for a vibrant and interesting show. Traditional craft and more contemporary methods sit together very well and the use of recycled materials, natural processes and objects found in nature shows a fearless curiosity.

I was struck by the diverse sources of inspiration that ranged from a simple doodle to Neolithic petroglyphs taking in hymns, morse code, woodland spirits, the occult and dance along the way. Sometimes it’s just the fascination of how materials can mix and come together to create interesting interactions. Whatever the inspiration it is clear that you are a group of passionate artists who love to create.

I was also really interested to see what happened when you worked together on the Black and White project with Hilary Kimber. I love the spirit of play that comes about when you give up ownership of an artwork and it always provokes interesting collaborations with surprising results. The finished piece is an echo of all your handwriting which the monochrome palette shows to great effect.

I wasn’t familiar with the venue before my visit so it was great to see a vibrant hub within the local community with bright and well-lit exhibition space. The artworks were presented really well and the overall show had a very professional look. Personally I would have liked to see artists statements alongside the work instead of separate in a book. They give a lot more scope for artists to explain their thoughts and processes and help visitors to engage with the work.

An enjoyable visit and a lovely show – look forward to seeing what you do next!

Kas Williams MA

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