Illustrative Life Exhibition Preview

26/04/2013 @ 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Foxlowe Arts Centre
The Foxlowe
Market Place, Leek, Staffordshire ST13 6AD
Free Entry
Chris Thompson
01538 386112

This latest exhibition at the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek brings together five popular and distinctive artists. The Exhibiton preview is on Friday the 26th April 6.30pm-8.30pm and the exhibition runs from the 27th April to the 9th June.

The Arts Centre cafe is open 7 days a week 10am-4pm, the gallery is open Wednesday – Saturday 10am – 4pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm.

Angela Smyth Illustrative Life

Angela Smyth


Angela Smyth

Angela styles herself as a painter of fun, life-affirming, poignant, often quirky & sometimes downright rude pictures. Lover of people & animals, watcher from cafe windows, interpreter of the every day, fan of the gentle smile and the knowing wink. Imaginer of things that aren’t usually there, but quite possibly could be.

Angela started painting seriously in the summer of 2007. It all started when she supplied a local cafe with some paintings, after the owner had spotted some of her work at a local printers. The cafe owner took 10 of Angela’s picture and sold them within a week and so it went on & grew from there to the point now where she has paintings in galleries around the UK and pictures hanging around the world and was a cover star of Artist & Illustrator Magazine in 2011.

Julia Jowett

“…the woman who was as small as a pepper pot was queen of all the crows in the forest…” Alf Proysen

Julia’s illustrative practice explores the importance of storytelling and imagination. She draws with wire, pencil and stitch; intricately working dense areas of traditional embroidery and needlepoint stitches into metal gauzes and figuratively manipulated wire lines. Julia combines hand embroidered wire work with observational drawing and screen printing techniques onto fabric and paper grounds to create contemporary art pieces. Drawing on folk tales, childhood stories and surreal imaginings, her harness instinctive feelings and traditional craft processes to create considered folkloric narratives that intrigue.

Rod Shone

Rod Shone studied graphic Design. Illustration and Printmaking at
St Martin’s School of Art. He chose to become a photographer working as a freelance for design and advertising agencies and also magazines. He also worked for many clients in the music business, but as he puts it ‘when the telephone calls became less frequent I decided to paint’. Even as a photographer he drew regularly and maintained his interest in painting and it seemed a natural step. “I have been looking closely at ‘things’ for nearly 35 years” he says. He believes that subject matter can be the everyday, with this in mind he started painting his collie dog Blackjack. These paintings were shown in a successful exhibition in London in 2009 titled ‘One Man and his Dog’. Since then he has taken part in two successful group shows, one in London and one in Stevenage and has also completed several commissions.

Sadly Rod’s collie died just over a year ago and although his spirit still persists in some of recent paintings, gradually other subjects are beginning to emerge. His outline memory can be imagined in some of the fox paintings.The paintings nearly all originate in drawings or at least in real events that are then drawn. Often a sketchbook drawing will suggest itself as a subject immediately it is done, other subjects are left to be returned to at a later date. The paintings are all done in acrylic on canvas or board.

Chris Thompson

Originally wanting to become a sailor he was dissuaded in this career path by the unrecorded last words of his great great Uncle who had driven a rather large ship into a lump of atlantic ice sometime before the 1920’s. Although Thompson didn’t captain the pottery industry he made sure he was on the first lifeboat when it was sinking rowing a course to the School of Art at Leek College subsequently gaining a BA (hons) in Design:Crafts at Staffordshire University under the tutorage of Grayson and Cleverly.

After lending Spike Milligan his Wellington boots (as the late comedian had turned up on a conservation project in his slippers) Thompson thought about a career in education and after passing his PGCE at Manchester Metropolitan University in Art, Craft and Design (secondary) he went onto teach at High School. He now divides his time between his design company Warmigloo and teaching.

Thompsons work has appeared in varies books, exhibitions, leaflets, calendars, cards and TV. He would also like to claim fame for creating the children’s series the Clangers but alas he can’t as he didn’t, but he did create the ever popular Fantastical Birds each with their own story made from recycled materials and he is exhibiting these along with some of his pencil and pen sketches from his new work ‘84.4 Leagues from the Sea’.

Sarah Jane Brown

Sarah takes her inspiration from scenes and architecture that she has encountered on her travels to create beautiful miniature scenes using driftwood and metals with a regard to a simple narrative.
Sarah upcycles driftwood, metal and newspaper. Her delicate small sculptures start with the driftwood which forms the landscape and onto this she adds houses and trees soldered together from metal and wire. Newspaper foliaged trees appear in her tiny scenes of homes and plots. An interest in scale and proportion is evident as tall trees overshadow diminutive houses and stretched washing lines span the space between distant trees.
Each piece of driftwood is selected for its particular shape and feel and the unpredictability of her material means that each piece is unique but clearly recognisable as her work. Sarah is also well known for her animals knitted out of wire.