New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond

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New Ashgate partners with the Crafts Study Centre for the London Craft Week: Celebrating the Kiln: Meet the Ceramist Arjan van Dal

4 May 2017

New Ashgate partners with the Crafts Study Centre for the London Craft Week: Celebrating the Kiln: Meet the Ceramist Arjan van Dal

Arjan van Dal creates functional ware that through form and austere handling communicates honesty with a luxury touch. It is inspired by the 12-17th Century Jingdhezen monochrome porcelain and modernist design. This is reflected in his form and function. Moreover, the austere life of the monks and priests, which he has observed in person, resonates in his work.

Arjan was taught ceramics by a priest in an old abbey in the Dutch countryside. He spent his weekends there while studying engineering and philosophy. After a career in international governance, he decided to move to ceramics. He now works from his studio in north London.

The event is organised by the Crafts Study Centre ( and New Ashgate Gallery. The CSC and NAG work in partnership with the Crafts Council for Hothouse, the prestigious programme for emerging makers. Arjan participated in the programme in 2016.

Julie Massie (UCA) wins the Rising Stars 2017 competition

3 March to 15 April 2017

Julie Massie (UCA) wins the Rising Stars 2017 competition

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.

Denise Jaques wins Surrey Artist of the Year 2016

21 October 2016

Denise Jaques wins Surrey Artist of the Year 2016

The prize, now in its eight year, celebrates the partnership between New Ashgate Gallery and the Surrey Artists' Open Studios. The competition offers the local public the opportunity to be directly involved with the selection of the Surrey Artist of the Year 2016: gallery visitors were invited to vote for their favourite artist. The panel of judges consisted of Caitlin Heffernan, Visual Artists' Programme Coordinator, Surrey Arts, Robert Moore, the Patricia Baines Charitable Trust and Diana Robert, Tourism Marketing and Development Manager, Guildford Borough Council, Guildford Tourist Information Centre. With their decision and the votes counted, the top three artists were selected.

The judging for Surrey Artist of the Artist was extremely difficult. The standard this year is exceptional, and we are blessed to be in a county of such wonderfully talented artists and makers. The finalists this year were: Adam Aaronson, Hannah Bruce, Christine Hopkins, Denise Jaques, JoJo Rowley, Jule Mallett, Rachel Mulligan and Jim Tucker.

The Surrey Artist of the Year is a combination of first round public voting during the Surrey Artists Open Studios June event. Then the artists with the highest amount of votes are selected for an exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery from 17 September to 5 November. The public and a panel of judges are invited to vote for the overall winner crowned Surrey Artist of the Year. The winner receives a solo show at New Ashgate Gallery in 2017 and bursary of £1,000 to support this exhibition.

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 390 members, 300 of whom participated in Open Studios this year, and with about 16,000 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

The Surrey Artist of the Year competition is an important part of New Ashgate's mission as an educational charity. The New Ashgate Gallery Trust is dedicated to promote and champion the best contemporary art and craft and to provide an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond. 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

Surrey Artist of the Year results:
In first place and winner of solo show at New Ashgate Gallery with supporting £1,000 bursary is Denise Jaques who based in Farnham.

Denise Jaques is an experimental mixed media artist. She uses a wide range of materials including glass, ceramics, metal, wire and found pieces to create beautiful mosaics for the garden, the home and to wear. She is fascinated with the journey of experimentation and excited by the unknown destination. Denise often makes pieces of fused glass which echo her abstract paintings. These are broken into fragments which become the pallet for creating her mosaics, then reassembled along with traditional mosaic tesserae, deconstructed found objects such as old mirrors and furniture to create her contemporary interpretation of mosaics.

Denise says: I am fascinated with the journey of experimentation and excited by the unknown destination. My mosaic artwork has a strong sense of colour, pattern and rhythm and plays with the idea of distorted reflections.

I would like to thank you all for supporting me and my work at the New Ashgate Gallery. I am delighted to be exhibiting my work and to have had the opportunity to run a workshop from the gallery. Winning Surrey Artist of the Year has been the icing on the cake, and I can't wait for the solo show next week. I already have loads of ideas and am excited about the journey ahead.

The judges were also impressed by the work by Jule Mallet and JoJo Rowley Ceramics - the strong runners up in the competition.

All work in the competition can be viewed at:

The competition is supported by the Patricia Baines Trust. Surrey Life magazine, which has a monthly section dedicated to the local art scene, is the official media partner of the competition.

Kids Craft Corner: Come and explore crafts and colouring with us!

8 January 2016

Kids Craft Corner: Come and explore crafts and colouring with us!

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.

Emma-Jane Rule wins the Rising Stars 2016 competition

4 March 2016

Emma-Jane Rule wins the Rising Stars 2016 competition

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.

Emma-Jane's work is aesthetic and sculptural, with a nod towards function. Her creations are unique and bespoke pieces, no two will ever be identical and her hope is to introduce her contemporary silver and metal work as pieces of luxury to brighten the everyday and treasured heirlooms for the future.

Using the technique of foldforming alongside other traditional metalworking practices such as hammer forming and hand raising, Emma-Jane's work explores the malleable and intriguing natures of silver and copper. Encouraging folded metal to curve and stretch in a designed direction, using hammers or a rolling mill, is a serendipitous way of working, which creates many opportunities for the metal to evolve and dictate the final form. Overcoming these challenges and learning how metal moves suits her playful and intuitive approach to metalworking. The results are organic and tactile, interesting and precious three-dimensional forms, reflecting the undulating lines and rhythms found in the natural world, which is where Emma-Jane's inspiration is found. Additional surface textures, patinas and burnishing complement and enhance the metal's natural lustre and the hammered textures created during the making process.

Emma-Jane completed her 2015 BA (Hons) in Design Crafts at the De Montfort University.

The shortlisted artists and makers were selected for the exhibition following an open call for applications. The selection panel consisted of Rebecca Skeels, Post Graduate Subject & Senior Tutor for University of Creative Arts Farnham; Caitlin Heffernan, Visual Officer for Surrey Arts and Caroline Jackman, artist and arts manager. The winner was selected by Jean Vacher, the Curator at the Crafts Study Centre, Farnham.

Jean says: "The New Ashgate Gallery/University for the Creative Arts 'Rising Stars' award this year goes to Emma-Jane Rule. Her light-catching, textural and organically-inspired 'Prickles Pods' in silver and copper reflect true craftsmanship and a delight in working with this medium."

The gallery director Dr Outi Remes says: Opportunities such as Rising Stars are needed more than ever, as arts funding is being questioned and art organisations sometimes focus on established names that are less risky than presenting recent graduates or students. We hope that this will have a significant impact on the winner's career. The exhibition also has a related professional development programme that supports all emerging artists and makers - the participants of this exhibition and all regional new talent.

This year's shortlist consists of 18 visual artists and makers, each profiled in our accompanying exhibition catalogue. They are Mike Barrett, Charlotte Biszewski, Aimee Bollu, Emma Buckley, Rachel Butlin, Karen Elizabeth Donovan, Carol Hunt, Tae Yeon Kim, Georgia Lingwood, Joanna Lloyd, Sarah Luxford, Jane Ogden-Swift, Henry Pucknell, Emma-Jane Rule, Emily Stapleton-Jefferis, Mircea Teleaga, Albeiro Rojas Tomedes and Melissa Yarlett.

Craft Town News: Craft Month in October

1 to 31 October 2016

Craft Town News: Craft Month in October

October 2016 sees the fourth year of the market town Farnham, Surrey, celebrating its well-suited status as England's Craft Town. The town's diverse and exciting cultural heritage provides the backdrop to an exciting month-long celebration of events and sees new collaborations taking place between some of the many independent makers and more established organizations with specially curated events to co-inside with their already established programme.

Farnham is home to the University for the Creative Arts, two important museums; the Crafts Study Centre, which is dedicated to research and archiving important crafts artifacts and this October will include an exhibition and talk from eminent photographer Garry Fabian Miller amongst its highlights. The Museum of Farnham preserves and educates about the history of this notable town whilst the Farnham Maltings provides and important community space dedicated to arts and crafts. This year it is celebrating the 20th year of the Festival of Crafts, a curated two day festival showcasing works by a selection of the UK's leading craftspeople and featuring talks and workshops for all to join. New Ashgate Gallery is celebrating its 50th Year at Farnham's Waggon Yard and showcases the finest in contemporary art and crafts alongside creating opportunities for emerging makers and is welcoming the Association of Contemporary Jewellers through their Choice! Exhibition.

In a first for Farnham Craft Month, the UCA and Farnham Maltings are running a collaborative programme over the first two weekends of October. Launching the Craft Month activities on 1 October at UCA, the event offers an opportunity to experience a workshop in glass, textiles or jewellery run by leading creative practitioners. On Saturday 8 October, Farnham Maltings' presents the follow up with lectures and presentations by the same workshop tutors, sharing their expertise and experience in craft and design. Additionally, speaking will be Caroline Jackman representing Crafts Council. The programme is suitable for those who are keen to glean insider knowledge from craft professionals, pursuing craft as a professional practice or wanting to know more about the craft industry.

The roots of craft run deep in Farnham - from its earliest involvement with the pottery industry in the 16th century, through the Victorian era and the establishment of the Farnham Pottery and the founding of Farnham Art School in 1880, to the remarkable number of institutions that exist today which dedicate time, resources and creative energies to sustain craft as one of the great defining features of place in Farnham. During 2015 the Farnham Adult Learning Centre opened its new art and craft studio to further support the thriving crafts community with a range of courses and workshops, underlining the importance of Craft. In addition, independent crafts related business and independent makers have also chosen Farnham as their home and continue to grow and flourish.

We invite you to join the creative community the town is building and celebrate what defines Farnham as England's Craft Town.

For more information about Farnham Craft Town, Craft Month and to find out about how to visit and book onto activities and events please visit:

View the programme here:

New Ashgate Galley renews partnership with University for the Creative Arts

2 September 2016

New Ashgate Galley renews partnership with University for the Creative Arts

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.

New Ashgate Gallery
Waggon Yard
Surrey GU9 7PS
United Kingdom

01252 713208

Charity: 274326
Company: 1324906
VAT registration: 413979331
  • Farnham Craft Town
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