A Long Way from Home

A new exhibition ‘A Long Way From Home’ has recently opened in the Heritage Room.

The exhibition has only been seen before in Leek for a short while in 2004 after the collaboration between Borderland Voices and the Polish Community, who came to England after the Second World War and settled at the disused army camp at Blackshaw Moor.

A series of in-depth interviews from survivors of prison and labour camps together with heart-rending refugee journeys were recorded and transcribed culminating in the publication of an accompanying book.

Sadly most of the interviewees have now died but it is hoped the exhibition will be a reminder of the bravery and stoicism of the Polish people who travelled so far from their own country and of interest to the new generation of Polish people who have settled in Leek and the Moorlands.

Café Art – Philip Johnson

Staffordshire born artist Philip Johnson enjoyed drawing and painting anything and everything from a very young age.

He studied illustration and portraiture at The Birmingham College of Art and later worked as an illustrator for The Open University.

However he soon discovered that producing artwork every day, where time was an ever present factor, it eventually became a chore and he ultimately stopped drawing and painting for pleasure.

Philip eventually decided to leave the art world and spent 18 years bringing up his young family and running his own business working in the building trade.

At the age of 40 he sold his business and studied for a Bachelor of Education Degree at the MMU.

Subsequently he took up teaching and taught in Stafford for 16 years. Following a move to Cheshire he taught part time in the Crewe area for a further 7 years.

Now retired and after a 40 year break from his artwork, Philip finally feels able to devote quality time to developing his painting and drawing skills once again.

Philip still draws and paints anything and everything but feels that the human face is often especially alluring. His work is heavily influenced by his experience as an illustrator and he often listens to classical music while drawing or painting at home in his studio.

He works in many different media, from pencils and pastels to oils and acrylics. However his choice of media is primarily dictated by the image he is creating. As he sees them all as an extension of drawing swapping between them is not a big issue.

However Philip says that if he had to choose one medium it would probably be pencil because when working in monochrome he can concentrate entirely on the tonal quality of his work.


HEROES – Westwood 1st School

HEROES : Years 1 to 4 have produced drawings  / collages inspired by learning about heroic men and women in recent history.
The following are displayed : Grace Darling,  Florence Nightingale, Mahatma Gandhi and Rosa Parks.

Café Art – Mike Reeves

Mike Reeves’ paintings explore both urban and landscape locations in Staffordshire and Cheshire. His distinctive and expressive works, in acrylic and mixed media, incorporate at times three dimensional projections from the canvas.  

Summer Film Programme

The new film programme starts on Tuesday, 2nd May.

For details see What’s On or pick up a printed programme.  Copies are available in the vestibule at the Foxlowe and elsewhere around town.

Lynne McPeake

Lynne McPeake.    Inveterate sketcher and photographer Lynne has, in recent years, been experimenting with a more atmospheric and impressionistic approach to photography, as illustrated in this exhibition of work , inspired by Nature.



RECYCLING. The current exhibition in the Cafeteria & Cruso room illustrates a breadth of imagination, invention and creativity using scrap/ junk materials.

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Exhibitors  include : Collage and Sculpture –BORDERLAND VOICES
South African Drinks Cans – Remodelled
Papier-mâché — Contemporary
Photographs  Renowned Artists – Reworking everyday objects


New Film Programme for Spring

Spring 2017 programme cover

The new film programme starts on Tuesday, 17th January.  The documentary films start on Wednesday, 1st February.

For details see What’s On or pick up a programme.  Copies are available in the vestibule at the Foxlowe and elsewhere around town.


Gallery – Into the Woods exhibition

Chris Farrow 3

Into the Woods exhibition: Saturday 18 February – Saturday 1 April.

An exciting exhibition by a painter and  a wood turner:

Sue Prince
I am a contemporary British folk artist creating narrative paintings in traditional egg tempera paint (inspired by Swedish folk art); it’s like folk music only paint, in the Peak District National Park.

In a digital world of kittens, I tell stories, responding to current events, celebrating rural life and commenting on our society in a very different way. All over the world folk artists produce an unfiltered view of what matters to human beings; rites of passage, work, food, weather, protest, life and death.

I make my own egg tempera paint, a technique learned in Sweden where I have helped revive this form in its native place. I use egg yolk and a limited palette of natural pigments to make my own paints. I work on herringbone weave, natural linen or stretched cotton canvas with real rabbit skin glue and chalk gesso.

For me, living on my family’s organic farm, this art form is as natural and organic as I can get. I see the world around me and following in ancient footsteps I interpret what I see in the way it’s been done for centuries.

I am running courses through 2017 where you can learn to produce your own folk art painting.

Bonad paintings by Sue Prince

Bonad paintings by Sue Prince

Chris Farrow
I have always loved wood and I have always loved simplicity. Woodturning gives me the opportunity to combine these loves to create simple but beautiful bowls that allow the natural beauty of the wood to stand front & centre. Even the ugliest piece of wood can be coerced into a lovely form that releases the hidden beauty inside. I work mainly with fairly fresh ‘green’ wood sourced almost exclusively from within my local area, much of it from my own garden. Most of the wood I turn is still wet and prone to bending, warping and cracking even as it is turned. For me it is these ‘imperfections’ that are the real beauty, imbuing each piece with its own unique character and personality. My bowls are made to be handled and enjoyed, to be explored by touch as well as by eye. They are made to last and to be enjoyed for many generations.


‘Into the Woods’ runs from 18 February to 1 April at the Foxlowe Gallery, upstairs at the Foxlowe Arts Centre.

Foxlowe Gallery is open Wednesday to Saturday 10am-4pm and the first Sunday of every month (11am-4pm).

A special preview evening takes place on Friday 17 February, 7-9pm, and there will be an opportunity for visitors to meet the artists on later dates.

Meet the Artist
Sue Prince – Sat 4 March, 12-2.30pm
Chris Farrow  – Sat 25 March, 12-2.30pm

St. Edward’s C of E Academy – Mandala Work


St. Edward’s C of E. Academy Middle School Year 7 & 8 work inspired by the MANDALA (A circular figure representing the universe in Hindu & Buddhist symbolism)