New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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1 March 2019
Rising Stars s a platform for some of the most exciting new crafts by emerging makers in crafts, design and applied arts - this year, the exhibition is bigger and stronger than ever, following a record number of applications. The participants are graduating students, recent graduates or at a pivotal moment in their early career due to changed circumstances.
We are delighted to announce that Mitch Pilkington has won the 2019 Rising Stars Award. Mitch is at a pivotal moment in her career. She studied Ceramics at Falmouth School of Art and Lowestoft School of Art obtaining and HND in Ceramic Design. After college, she started a family and looked after her children, one of them autistic. Only recently, Mitch has returned to her creative practice and, in 2019, she was selected for the Crafts Council's prestigious Hothouse programme for new talent.
Mitch's ceramics are inspired by the natural forms of her coastal finds, both at home in North Devon and on her travels. Her stoneware vessels hark back to the dry, worn spirals of old conch shells collected on Caribbean beaches. Mitch uses grogged stoneware and porcelain clays, often coloured with body stains and surface treatments of slips and oxides, to enhance the natural sculptural qualities of the work. She employs techniques such as coiling, pinching and slabs and creates a haptic quality that invokes a sense of calm, serenity and connection. Mitch is based in South Molton.
Mitch will receive a solo exhibition at New Ashgate, career support and a grant towards her professional development. The Rising Stars programme also includes free events of professional development, open to all artists.
Jeweller Catherine Rua (2017 Jewellery Design and Manufacturing, The British Academy of Jewellery) was selected as the runner up. Catherine handcrafts each piece using traditional goldsmithing skills and is committed to creating pieces with unique design and craftsmanship. Through her Times Series collection, she explores the fluidity of time, and it's passing, through bold lines and forms that signify movement, dynamism and direction - inviting wearers to reflect on the nature and passing of time.
The other 28 shortlisted makers are: Angelina Jane, Arra Textiles, Louise Bell, Georgia Buck, Holly Burton, Eve Campbell, Jenny Chan, Sara Chyan, Kim Colebrook, Mihaela Coman, Natalie Eagle, Tamir Erlich, Alice Funge, Alysa Freeman, Susanna Gogarty, Iona Hall, Qiang Li, Marek Lí, Sam Lucas, Ruth Martindale, Bekky May, Annette Mills, Poppy Norton, Benjamin Pearey, Nastassia Ramazankhani, Kyle Ramsey, Jinya Zhao and Marissa Ziesing.
The judges consisted of a panel of craft professionals and were Rebecca Skeels, University for the Creative Arts, Gemma Curtis, the Farnham Maltings and Dr Outi Remes, New Ashgate Gallery.
Dr Outi Remes says:
We have had a fantastic response to Mitch's work by our visitors - the timeless, elegant shapes and beautiful colour tones are second to none. Mitch's work is uplifting.
Rebecca Skeels says:
Catherine Rua has presented excellent quality of work in every single piece and working hard at her business: a good collection that can be separate but also work together.
At the same time, the gallery hosts a new exhibition, Carnival by Emily Jane Bruce. Emma Jane won the Rising Stars award in 2018. It is a weirdly wonderful celebration of all things fantastical, bringing to life characters and creatures from the secret world of the circus and bygone showman's era.
12 October 2018
We are delighted to announce that Catherine Warren has won the Surrey Artist of the Year 2018 competition. Catherine will receive an award of £1,000, a solo exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery and a complementary Winner's Stand at the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair.
In September, the Surrey Artist of the Year exhibition opened to the public showcasing work by the 15 shortlisted artists: Ruta Brown, Nicky Chubb, Grace Ellen, Niki Hearnshaw, Diana Jane, Denise Jaques, Susie Lidstone, Jule Mallett, Liane Matthews, Janine Rees, Joe Szabo, Jane Silk, Jean Tolkovsky, Catherine Warren and Stephanie Wright.
The winner was announced on 12 October 2018 after four weeks of public voting. We received 484 votes in total. The top three artists from the public vote were then put to a panel of judges to decide the overall winner. This year's judges were Rebecca Skeels; postgraduate subject leader in the School of Crafts & Design, UCA, Alistair Burtenshaw; director of Watts Gallery and Robert Moore; Trustee at Patricia Baines Trust.
Catherine Warren takes inspiration from landscapes and nature, from close to her home in Farnham to the Devon and Cornwall coast and beyond. She says: 'I enjoy capturing something of the atmosphere and moment, in mainly abstract form.' She is particularly drawn to colour, light and design and tries to produce paintings with energy, freedom and movement through thoughtful and confident gestural mark making. Catherine works mainly in acrylics, incorporating mixed media such as collage, chalk pastels and charcoal.
Catherine Warren's work, primarily acrylic and mixed media on canvas, are abstract in style but take inspiration from the landscape. Her fascination with light, colour and contrast bring a freedom and depth to her work. I look forward to returning to her work in the future and to following her development as an artist.' - Alistair Burtenshaw, Director, Watts Gallery.
Judge Rebecca Skeels commented on the 'amazing quality of all the exhibitors and such diversity. The skills of the Susie Lidstone, the pushing of process and materials of Niki Hearnshaw made them very worthy runners up.'
Thank you to our partners Surrey Arts, Patricia Baines Trust, Contemporary Art Fairs and Surrey Life Magazine and to all the artists for making this year's competition and exhibition so successful.
The Surrey Artist of the Year competition is a partnership between the New Ashgate and the Surrey Artists Open Studios to celebrate the wealth of creative talent in Surrey.
The exhibition continues until 3 November (Tue-Sat 10am-5pm). Admission is free.
27 to 28 October 2018
We are delighted to announce that we have selected Madeleine Jude as the New Ashgate Gallery Craft Prize winner at the Festival of Crafts, Farnham Maltings, 27-28 October 2018. We are looking forward to working with Madeleine and a new showcase for 2019.
As a textile designer and handweaver Madeleine is best known for her beautifully soft lambswool throws, cushions and home textiles which are woven using complex block weave drafting techniques. Her designs are strongly influenced by Scandinavian weaving traditions, and her colour aesthetic has much in common with the beautiful and naturalistic colour palette of early 20th century Swedish women rug weavers.
The Prize celebrates excellence and artistic merit in craftsmanship, as exhibited at the festival is organised in partnership with the Farnham Maltings. The New Ashgate Gallery would like to thank Camilla Dingee, the curator, and Gemma Curtis, Craft Programme Coordinator, Farnham Maltings.
9 July 2018
We are delighted to announce that the Surrey Artist of the Year Competition will include the following artists from across the county:
Ruta Brown, Nicky Chubb, Grace Ellen, Niki Hearnshaw, Diana Jane, Denise Jaques, Susie Lidstone, Jule Mallett, Liane Matthews, Janine Rees, Joe Szabo, Jane Silk, Jean Tolkovsky, Catherine Warren, Stephanie Wright.
The New Ashgate Gallery invites members of the public to come and vote for their favorite Surrey artist.
Private view: Friday 14 September, 6-8pm
Exhibition: Saturday 15 September - 3 November
Award ceremony (the 2018 winner): Friday 12 October, 6.30-7.15pm
The Surrey Artist of the Year competition is a partnership between the New Ashgate Gallery and the Surrey Artists Open Studios to celebrate the wealth of creative talent in Surrey. Starting in 2009; this aspirational exhibition offers a collective of local quality arts and craft as voted for by the public during the hugely popular open studio season. The top scoring artists come together for a programme of events. There is a wide variety of artworks on show, all offering different materials and techniques: ceramics, glass, jewellery, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
During the exhibition, members of the public are encouraged to vote for an artist; the artist with the most votes from public and judging panel is named Surrey Artist of the Year 2018. The winner receives a bursary of £1,000 and a solo show. This year the winning artist is also gifted a stand at Contemporary Art Fair's annual show at Sandown Park Racecourse.
The competition is organised by the New Ashgate Gallery in partnership with the Surrey Open Studios. It is supported by the Patricia Baines Trust and Contemporary Art Fairs- Esher, Surrey. The Surrey Life magazine, which has a monthly section dedicated to the local art scene, is the official media partner of the competition. The competition is also delighted to be included in the listings of Farnham Craft Town celebrations.
The season includes workshops and free professional development events to artists - please contact the gallery for information and bookings.
Surrey Artists' Open Studios is a county-wide membership scheme, offering the public direct access to artists and makers during an annual event in June, as well as offering artists a range of other benefits including specialist training and professional development. The scheme is thriving with over 370 members, 274 of whom participated in 162 Open Studios and with about 15,500 visitors during two weeks in June.
8 March 2018
We are thrilled to announce that illustrator and maker Emily Jane Bruce has been chosen as winner of Rising Stars 2018. Emily will receive a £500 professional development award and a solo exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery.
Emily Jane Bruce is a Swansea based illustrator-maker. Emily endlessly strives to look past stagnant norms, and see the beauty that can be found within the uncanny. Her core illustrative skills lend themselves to her practice of soft sculpture design and creation. Emily undoubtedly relishes the chance to bring her drawings to life with the use of aged fabric, faux fur, and her signature sculpture techniques.
As a keen collector of curiosities and antique haberdashery, Emily uses her precious tools to construct her peculiar creatures with loving, delicate-detail.
As crafts students and courses are declining alongside Arts Funding, the knock on effect is that talented students and graduates are being side-lined in favour of established and less risky artists and makers.
The New Ashgate Gallery promotes the importance of a showcase that pushes the boundaries through ambitious work at Rising Stars.
The winner that we have chosen is not conventional has produced thought provoking and conversational work to a high standard and we can't wait to see her solo show next year at the New Ashgate Gallery.
The 3 selectors and judges for the competition were:
Rebecca Skeels - Senior Tutor at UCA Farnham
Gemma Curtis - Crafts Programme Coordinator, the Maltings
Victoria Shearing Interim Director at New Ashgate Gallery
Rising Stars is produced by the New Ashgate Gallery in partnership with the University for the Creative Arts. It is supported by the Billmeir Trust.
We would like to thank UCA and the Billmeir Charitable Trust for their continuing support for the programme.
Come and see the exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery which will be on until 14th April.
20 October 2017
We are delighted to announce that ceramic artist and sculptor Su Jameson has been chosen as Surrey Artist of the Year 2017.
The Surrey Artist of the Year competition is a partnership between the New Ashgate and the Surrey Artists Open Studios to celebrate the wealth of creative talent in Surrey. Starting in 2009; this aspirational exhibition offers a collective of local quality arts and craft as voted for by the public during open studio visits in summer. The top scoring artists come together for a programme of events and the exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery. There is a wide variety of artworks on show, including ceramics, glass, jewellery, textiles, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.
The shortlist consists of Adam Aaronson, Jo Aylwin, Naomi Beevers, Mary Branson, Alex Freeman, Emma Godden, Niki Hearnshaw, Christine Hopkins, Su Jameson, Jule Mallett, Katie Netley, Alison Orchard and Ali Tomlin.
Again, during the exhibition, until 20th October, members of the public were encouraged to vote for an artist. We received 501 votes and 3 artists, Su Jameson, Alison Orchand and Niki Hearnshaw, with the most votes were presented to a panel of judges. The New Ashgate Gallery did not take part in the selection. The 2017 panel of judges consisted of Robert Moore, Patricia Baines Trust, Tinx Newton, Surrey Life and Jane McGibbon, Surrey Artists Open Studios.
Su will receive an award of £1,000, a solo exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery and a complementary Winner's Stand at the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair. She will also be featured at the Surrey Life mgazine.
The exhibition continues until 11 November (Tue-Sat 10am-5pm). Admission is free.
About the winner:
The Liphook based artist Su Jameson makes one-off hand built ceramic sculptures that are mostly figurative in form. Each piece comes from personal experience but she tries to explore ideas that are both particular and universal. The work aims to be thought provoking and invite reinterpretation.
The body of work shown for the first time at Surrey Artists' Open Studios was conceived during a period of significant change; young people near and far moving on, preparing for life's instabilities, and searching for their place in the world. Some, with guiding parents loosening ties but remaining that all important constant, while others having to go it alone. However, 'family' can take many forms, thus optimistically, partnerships and groups are prevalent in the work.
Alongside the figurative pieces there are vessels, often made as a form of meditation and designed as aesthetic rather than functional objects. Su says:
My present work is to do with family; the various roles within it, the physical and emotional ties and that tricky tightrope we walk between protection and liberation of ourselves and others.
Quotes: judges and New Ashgate Gallery:Artists' Open Studios is a county-wide membership scheme, offering the public direct access to artists and makers during an annual event in June, as well as offering artists a range of other benefits including specialist training and professional development. The scheme is thriving with over 390 members, 250 of whom participated in Open Studios this year and with about 15,000 visitors during two weeks in June. Our partnership with the New Ashgate Gallery provides a highly valued opportunity for artists to work with a contemporary art and craft gallery to develop their practice and promote their work.
Jane McGibbon, Surrey Artists Open Studios Coordinator, Surrey Arts
As always, the standard is very high. It is always exciting to see the work of new artists, and also to see how those familiar to us are developing their work and exploring new methods and directions. Su's work is intriguing. The more one looks, the more one realises there are many layers to each sculpture. Not so much in the actual application, but in the though process and the emotional relevance of each piece.
Tinx Newton, Art Editor, Surrey Life
The standard of arts in Surrey is exceptional, and we are blessed to be in a county of such wonderfully talented artists and makers. The Surrey Artist of the Year competition is an essential part of New Ashgate Gallery's mission as an educational charity. The New Ashgate Gallery Trust is dedicated to promote the best contemporary art and craft and to provide an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond. We raise aspirations and inspire excellence. The exhibition enables us to support and promote emerging and established artists and makers. It also coincides with Farnham's Craft Month and we will be offering public workshops and professional practice seminars to artists.
Dr. Outi Remes, Gallery Director, New Ashgate Gallery.
3 March to 15 April 2017
Rising Stars is a platform to view and collect some of the most exciting new crafts by emerging makers from crafts and applied arts programmes across the UK. This curated, selling exhibition is held at the New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, accompanied by professional development and a £500.00 prize.
We are delighted to announce that Julie Massie has won this prestigious Prize. Julie's art work is inspired by looking and seeing what is around her own environment by the Dorset coast. Her ideas are drawn from direct observation: recorded by photography, drawing or impression and images from memory. She takes inspiration from the simplest things and adapts them to make ceramic wall art.
The Jurassic Coastline has been a constant source of inspiration, engaging with the fragility of the beautiful, interesting and internationally important landscape. Coasts are a product of erosion and without the sea eroding the land we would not have a coastline. The main threat to the continuation of these natural processes is the construction of coastal defences such as sea walls, rock armour and gabions. These engineering structures disrupt the natural coastal processes of erosion and attempt to stabilise the cliffs, promoting vegetation growth which then obscures the geology and fossils. The fragile edges of her work represent the beauty and importance of this eroding landscape by the sea. Julie has also taken inspiration from the edges of waves breaking onto the shore and the different strength of these waves constantly breaking onto the shoreline. These strong and destructive waves are the primary shapers of the coastline and usually occur in the winter when the sea is cold and grey, intermingled with blues. These colours and the fragility of this coast are both reflected within her final outcomes while also exploring the senses, especially touch, sight and sound.
Julie has an MA Ceramics UCA, Farnham (2016) and a BA (Hons) Christ Church College Canterbury (1989)
The makers in this year's shortlist are Evgeniia Balashova, Holly Suzanna Clifford, Matt Davis, Amanda Denison, Joanna Hayward, Alice Heaton, Emily Higham, Isabel Howe, Emma Johnson, Monette Larsen, Danny Lee Design, Karen Lester, Catherine Phillips, Rhian Malin, Julie Massie, Laura Marriott, Tina MacLeod, Lauren Nauman, Loucinda Nims, Suzanne Seed, Troo Studio and Rosie Wesley.
The makers in the exhibition were selected following an open call for applications. We received more than 60 applications. The judges were Rebecca Skeels, Post Graduate Subject & Senior Tutor for University of Creative Arts Farnham; Gemma Curtis, Craft Programme Co-ordinator, Farnham Maltings and Dr Outi Remes, Gallery Director, New Ashgate Gallery.
The gallery director Dr Outi Remes says: Rising Stars artists are selected based on their talent and future potential, their quality of work and innovative practice. We are pleased that there was such a high standard of submissions and such a range of practices. Opportunities such as Rising Stars are needed more than ever, as new artists may be considered to be a risky choice in many galleries. We hope that winning this competition will have a significant impact on Julie's career.
Rebecca Skeels says: Julie Massie's work fits all the Rising Stars criteria as well as showing a continued development since the application."
Gemma Curtis noted: "A beautiful demonstration of her highly skilled craft. A coherent and well presented selection of work. Engaging and intriguing, the pieces exploit the fragility of her chosen material and respond to the subject matter with originality and to stunning effect."
Exhibition opens to the public on 4 March and is open until 15 April 2017.
8 January 2016
With special thanks for funding from the Farnham Institute Charity, The New Ashgate Gallery has commissioned a handmade craft table by sculptor Ruth Wheeler, together with art and craft supplies and activities to suit all ages, this is a very welcome additional to the gallery.
The Kids Craft Corner project aims to enable confidence in children at experimenting craft from an early age, with no fear of right or wrong or any expected outcomes putting pressure on their enthusiasm. The Craft Kids Corner is a creative area in the gallery that is compact but contains enough art materials to allow plenty of independent creativity and free exploration of materials, with more stored nearby so that we can rotate regularly.
We believe that it is important for the children to access art materials and to explore, combine and create in any way what they choose as they find out more about their interests and abilities. (Caroline Jackman)
This opportunity will enhance Farnham's reputation as the Craft Town for all ages. This commission has also involved two arts facilitators experienced in working with early years and young people. Janine Woods and Amelia Ginsburg have specially design Craft packs to enable young people to explore and learn about craft materials such as clay, textiles and metals. They have designed and tested activities for ages 4 - 8years, and supplied then in packs from stages 1 - 3, with stage one being the simplest task. Each pack contains a guide sheet, materials and tools. Children are encouraged to work through the pack independently or with a parent.
The New Ashgate Gallery is delighted to have such an asset available at the gallery, as creativity; access to visual arts and crafts, should be encouraged from an early age.
2 September 2016
The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) has reaffirmed its agreement with the New Ashgate Gallery, which will enable UCA students to continue to show and sell their work at the New Ashgate Gallery.
Following the success of a former three year agreement established in 2013, a new Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the two organisations, which will see them work together on initiatives including research projects, exhibitions, lectures, and showcasing crafts and design.
Norma Corkish, Chair of the New Ashgate Gallery Trust, said: We are delighted to, once again, have a Memorandum of Understanding with UCA. Over the last 12 months we have built a strong relationship, which we look forward to building upon over the coming year and, hopefully, years. We value greatly such partnerships - those that strengthen each organisation and at the same time contribute towards Farnham as a Craft Town.
Professor Simon Ofield-Kerr, Vice-Chancellor of UCA, said: Partnerships with local arts organizations are becoming increasingly important to UCA, we work very closely with the Farnham Maltings on our new BA Acting & Performance, have a very longstanding relationship with the Farnham Pottery dating back to 1890 and a younger partnership with Watts Gallery Artists' Village in Guildford. Consequently I am very pleased to re-sign this memorandum with the New Ashgate Gallery, who provide great opportunities for our students and with whom we look forward to exciting future collaborations in this unique Craft Town.
UCA is the second largest provider of creative arts education in Europe and is ranked first for arts in London and the Southeast. This year, UCA was named a top 40 UK university, entering the Guardian University League Table at position 39.
The renewed partnership between UCA and the New Ashgate Gallery will continue to provide students with exciting opportunities, further development and access to new funding sources.