New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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16 to 17 October 2021
We are delighted to announce that we have selected Linda Miller Embroideries as our Festival of Crafts winner.
For the past 28 years Linda has been making one-off, framed and unframed machine embroideries using an industrial Bernina 950 sewing machine and her work is exhibited throughout the UK, Europe and the USA. She has pieces held in the Southern Arts collection and within the permanent textile and dress collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Our team loves Linda's skill of making and the playful work that she creates.
Thanks to Farnham Maltings for asking us to select a maker. The winner will receive a solo exhibition at New Ashgate in autumn 2022.
12 March 2021
Rising Stars is a curated, national platform to foster and champion new talent, early career makers, students and graduates from BA and MA crafts, design and applied arts programmes across the UK. Rising Stars offers new makers a first step into the market place, through a curated, selling exhibition. It is also an exciting collector opportunity for those wishing to support and collect work by future stars.
The programme will consist of the Rising Stars exhibition that enables new makers to access the market place and collectors; three free to attend professional development events with Crafts Council, the Design Trust and Making Goode, including knowledge transfer on topics such as pricing guidance, advice on marketing and how to gain and manage new connections, and a catalogue to act as a promotional tool for the selected makers. The 2021 focus will be on supporting new makers in the post COVID-19 market place.
Following an open call, 20 makers of exceptional talent were selected. They are Deborah Beck, Alice Burnhope, Alessandra Centorbi, Hari Gordon, Jo Harrison-Hall, Katie Iacovou, Qiang Li, Janet Lines, Chloe McCarrick, Jayden Newman, Mark Newman, Marged Owain, Porter + Trundle, Laura Quinn, Irene Roca Moracia, Bronte Simpson-Little, Sydney Alts, Paul Wheeler, Jean White and Jessie White.
We are delighted to announce that Porter + Trundle is selected as the winner of the Rising Stars 2021 Award.
Porter + Trundle was set up in 2019 by British artists Sarah Emily Porter and James Trundle after discovering a shared interest in material manipulation. From their South London workshop, they create playful, sculptural works that remind us to be both bold and daring. Using traditional techniques, they manipulate materials into ambiguous forms that are unconstrained by the expectations associated with the material. The application of colour obscures the craftsmanship invested, further simplifying the forms to allow them to drift into pure abstraction. Occupying the space between fine art and design, the functional and the dysfunctional, their work exhibits the perfect fusion of colour, form, and craftsmanship with a meticulous attention to detail. Their body of work gives agency to the collector to rearrange the work creating their own unique colour combinations and forms. As a dynamic and constantly evolving dialogue, this work is never fully resolved. It is in an eternal conversation that only grows in its richness and complexity the more it is manipulated.
Porter + Trundle will receive a solo exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery in 2022 and a small grant for their professional development.
The winner and makers were selected by a panel of judges; Dan Goode (Making Goode), Dr Outi Remes (New Ashgate Gallery), Sharon Ting (University for the Creative Arts, Textiles) and Debra Allman (UCA, Jewellery, Ceramics & Glass).
Dr Outi Remes says: We loved the way Porter + Trundle explores the boundaries between fine art and functional objects, considering ideas about the structure of play and playfulness in craft as well as the rules and conventions that bound us.
Sharon Ting says: We were impressed by the striking form, strong colour and innovative use of materials by Porter + Trundle.
Janet Lines and Jessie White are named as the runners up.
Rising Stars 2021 is organised by New Ashgate Gallery in partnership with the University for the Creative Arts and Dan Goode of Making Goode. It is supported by Billmeir Charitable Trust.
2 December 2020
We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Best Art Gallery & Shop 2020 - Surrey Award by the Southern Enterprise Awards.
Now in its fourth year, the SME Southern Enterprise programme continues to recognise SMEs of all sizes across the region who are endeavouring to bettering business in their respective industries. The South is a region known for its competitive edge and its unyielding innovative spirit - long considered a trendsetting space in the UK that others seek to keep pace with. Its with this context in mind that we present this year's edition of the Southern Enterprise programme, which - as always - looks to recognise the very best of British business.
SME News prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition.
To learn more about the award and to gain insight into the working practices of the best of the best, please visit the SME News: SME News.
5 November 2020
The New Ashgate Gallery was delighted to take part in a recent research study focusing on local crafts sector by the Crafts Study Centre, the University for the Creative Arts. The industry report shows an evolving and growing sector, with the power to help communities thrive.
The report considers how and why crafts have evolved and grown in the 21st century - the growth of online sales, the changing profile of consumers, the varying circumstances of makers, and why consumption is growing. The report is focused on Farnham and its surrounding area, the Surrey Hills, which has become known, nationally and internationally, as a centre for craft. Research was carried out in early 2020 as the pandemic started to take hold and considers its short- and long-term impact.
Farnham - named a World Craft City in August this year - has established a reputation for the quality of its community of makers. Funded by UK Research and Innovation Strategic Priorities Fund, the report is a snapshot of a place deeply rooted in making and creativity. It examines the potential of craft in the coming decade, and acknowledges the challenges faced by makers and businesses, especially as they look for ways to survive through, and beyond, the pandemic. Craft can bring employment and revenue, help fill empty retail units and enhance community cohesion.
The report reveals the impressive size of the existing craft-based economy - £50 million a year in Farnham alone - echoing the national trend for rapid growth in the craft sector in the first two decades of the 21st century (from £883 million in 2006 to £3 billion in 2019 according to Crafts Council data).
A mixed picture of makers emerges:
- Over a third (35%) were able to make a living entirely from craft, with 40% having to generate additional income with other craft-related activities, compared with 21% who worked in other sectors to supplement their income.
- The disparate channels that exist between makers and consumers mean many have had to add digital design and marketing skills to their cvs.
- The number of consumers shopping online went from 49% in 2008 to 87% in 2020, with online craft purchases going from 5% in 2006 to 33% in 2020.
- However nearly a third (32%) of all makers still don't have a website and the report strongly advocates that extra support is given to help craft professionals more effectively connect with their markets.
- The demographics are changing with younger consumers buying more, though spending less per item than before - 31.6 million people in the UK are now craft consumers with an estimated 24.6 million objects purchased in 2020 at an average price of £124.
- UK makers are also increasingly finding an international market for their work.
Read the report in full
17 August 2020
We are delighted to announce the winners of the Draw a Sculpture competition. They are:
Up to 8 years old - "Acorn Shoot" by Archie from Potters Gate Primary
9 - 14 years old - "Oak Tree" by Isabelle from William Cobbett Primary
All drawings were assessed by David Mayne, the winner of the new Farnham Sculpture public art commission. There is one winner in each category (up to 8 years and 9-14-year olds). The winning drawings will be cut out of steel. These and ten runner ups will be displayed in the New Ashgate Gallery, simultaneously to the installation of the Farnham Sculpture in Waggon Yard.
David says: "I picked these two because of the design quality and the fact that they will work in the silhouette format of the miniature. There are also a few designs that I will be able to use on either the oak column or cast iron floor plates."
The competition was open to all children up to 14 years of age, living or attending a school or a nursery in the Farnham postcode area.
We would like to thank all children who took part in the competition.
The Farnham Sculpture is part of the Craft Town project, supported by the Arts Council England. The Sculptural Imagination is a community crafts project by the New Ashgate Gallery, supported by the Farnham South Street Trust. David Mayne is a sculptor of national repute who produces work for galleries, public spaces and the domestic environment.
18 June 2020
We are delighted to announce that Farnham is the first town in England and only the third region in Europe to be given 'World Craft City' status.
Farnham is the first region in England and the third in Europe to be given 'World Craft City' status. Other European holders of the designation include the Outer Hebrides for Harris tweed and the Danish island of Bornholm, famous for its glass production and pottery using locally worked clay.
The World Crafts Council welcomes Farnham to the network of world craft cities which is a contribution to the UNESCO Creative Cities programme. Only 36 other regions and cities across the globe have been awarded Craft City status.
Known for its Georgian streets, historic buildings and craft heritage, with easy access to the rural North Downs Way, Farnham is a historic market town nestled in the rolling Surrey Hills with a population of 40,000. Farnham's application to the World Crafts Council was shortlisted in February this year and a jury including Marion Poortvliet (Crafts Council Nederland) and Rosy Greenlees (Chair World Crafts Council) paid an on-site visit to the town. The jury had a full itinerary visiting a unique collection of craft organisations and huge variety of makers in the town.
Councillor Pat Evans, Mayor of Farnham says: Farnham has a powerful reputation for craft education as well as nurturing and promoting the careers of some very talented makers. Our fantastic arts and crafts venues have enabled craft to be embedded into our everyday life. I am thrilled that Farnham has been awarded World Craft City status and for the opportunities this presents for both the visitor economy and the next generation of makers.
Farnham can trace its roots in craft back to the Bronze Age and during the visit the jurors heard about the clay traditions; the wool heritage; wheel-wrights and the National Craft Collection.
The town's creative landscape includes the Farnham Maltings, with a thriving craft festivals programme, The University of Creative Arts, with a school of craft; the International Textiles Research Centre run by Professor Lesley Millar MBE; the internationally renowned Crafts Study Centre, celebrating its 50th year, run by Professor Simon Olding; The New Ashgate Gallery, one of the leading contemporary arts galleries; Farnham Pottery, founded by Absolom Harris in 1873, which has the oldest wood fired kiln in Europe; and a wide range of community-led activities that take place throughout the year.
The final decision was made by a majority vote from the WCC Board using the recommendation from the Panel that visited Farnham.
The judges commentated on the "strong sense of community in Farnham Their perception was of a town full of makers and making at all levels, across all craft forms and in a huge range of spaces (many hidden from public view).
The craft community demonstrated that although the town is informed by its past and a respect for its traditions, it is very much looking towards the future and embracing new technologies and ways of working.
Rosy Greenlees, President of the World Crafts Council said: I am absolutely delighted that Farnham was successful in its bid to secure World Crafts Council Craft City status. The craft city network is 50 strong and is clear evidence of how making skills are being used across the globe to sustain small businesses and communities and contribute to tourism and a sense of place..."
Councillor John Ward, Leader of Waverley Borough Council said: As Farnham evolves, the historic value of craft will become one of the key elements of the local economy. Waverley Borough Council will be working closely with Farnham Town Council and Surrey County Council to strengthen Farnham's role as a place of creativity and innovation.
Background about the World Crafts Council:
The award is given by the World Crafts Council which was established in 1964 as a non-profit membership organisation. It was set up to promote an international interest in crafts and encourage contact between the craftspeople of different countries. Its memberships are active in Europe, Asia, North America, Latin America and Africa. The WCC has awarded a network of creative craft cities worldwide. This was in response to the growing awareness of the contribution of local authorities, craftspeople and communities to cultural, economic and social development. For more info www.wccinternational.org
6 March 2020
Exhibition: 7 March to 18 April 2020
Rising Stars is 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.
We are delighted to announce that Niamh Duddy (Silversmithing, Goldsmithing and Jewellery, the University for the Creative Arts, Rochester, 2019) has been awarded the prestigious Rising Stars 2020 award. Niamh feels making is a way of exploring her world, and developing understanding, meaning, and a creative voice. This approach allows her to challenge perceptions and develop new approaches to making, which lead to reflection upon existing norms.
Niamh investigates how jewellery is worn by exploring alternatives to the conventional methods of attachment and wearability. As a maker she is intrigued by the relationship that jewellery shares with the body; unlike any other art form jewellery is worn, and it occupies an intimate space that is unique to each individual wearer. The complicated language of jewellery involves adornment, sentimentality and tradition. Niamh has begun to investigate how we wear jewellery and has become intrigued about how it is almost a subconscious act: the wearer can either wear the pieces loose or participate with the piece to showcase its full form. Creating pieces that require the wearer to stop and think breaks the normal subconscious act and starts to get the wearer to think about the objects that they want to adorn their body with.
Niamh receives £500 for professional development and a solo exhibition at New Ashgate. Niamh is from Derry, Northern Ireland and based in Kent.
The makers shortlisted for the award are: Darren Ball, Sandy Buchanan, Niamh Duddy, Jack Durling, Fran Fell, Beth Gates, Rhiannon Gwyn, Faye Hall, Abeer Kayani, Joshua Kerley, Antigone Lentzos, Rebecca Oldfield, Archana Pathak, Rebecca Perry, Laura Plant, Irina Prolygina, Jane Sarre, Jane Sedgwick, Ralph Shuttleworth, Hannah Staber, Olivia Taylor, Hermione Thomson, Nikole Tursi, Claire Walton and Katie Watson. They were selected by a panel of craft experts, Dr Outi Remes (New Ashgate Gallery), Sharon Ting (University for the Creative Arts) and Debra Allman (UCA).
Dr Outi Remes says:
Niamh's work is a creative query about the nature of jewellery as an artwork, presenting a dialogue and play between wearability and art object. Niamh's work is jewellery for the age of Instagram selfies without a compromise in a great design and craftsmanship.Textile artist Darren Ball was named the runner up.
7 February 2020
All proposals on display till 29 February 2020, Tue-Sat 10-5, free entry.
Sculpture will be installed, 16 December 2020.
We are delighted to announce that the sculptor David Mayne has won the Craft Town Public Art commission. The sculpture will be located next to a busy car park in the courtyard of the grade II listed building of the New Ashgate Gallery Trust in Waggon Yard and installed in October 2020, during the craft month in Farnham.
Proposals were invited in 2019 for a public sculpture / artwork that is inspired by the heritage and tradition of crafts in Farnham. The artwork will celebrate crafts that have been practised in the area during the Roman period: the district was known as a pottery centre due to its supply of gault clay, oak woodland for fuel and good communication links. Kilns dating as far as AD 100 have been found in the area. Today, Farnham hosts a remarkable number of major institutions and makers who dedicate time, resources and creative energies to sustaining craft as one of the great defining features of place here. The sculpture aims to enhance the public knowledge and understanding of the heritage while also bringing pleasure to the community and visitors alike.
In January, the local community voted to choose from three shortlisted proposals. David Mayne was awarded the Craft Town Public Art Commission. David's Farnham Sculpture received 58% of the public vote.
About David Mayne:
David Mayne is a sculptor of national repute who produces work for galleries, public spaces and the domestic environment. His artwork has been commissioned through-out the country and can be found in town centres, rural locations, public buildings and private homes and gardens. Over the past 30 years. David has developed his work from raw assemblage with found objects to the much more refined pieces he now creates. One thing has remained constant - the use of metal. David started using this material after visiting one of Sheffield's many scrap yards while studying his fine art degree. He was instantly drawn to the colour and texture of discarded steel and the inherent quality it possessed.
David has a lifelong passion with nature and landscape - from early days of climbing and hill walking to mountain biking and fell running. The work he now creates is a response to this landscape and other wilderness environments he has encountered.
When he is not working on exhibitions and private commissions, David continues his practice as a sculptor working in the public realm, creating landmark features for local authorities, visitor centres, large scale PLCs and health trusts. David's clients include Marks and Spencer, Leeds University, Carilion Civil Engineering, Taylor Wimpey, British Waterways and the sustainable transport charity Sustrans.
The artwork consists of two strategically placed sculptures that celebrate the oak tree - something which was abundant in the area while also links to the history and heritage of Farnham. The sculpture will present beautifully crafted objects that work within their surroundings and highlight the materials they are made of.
The sculptures will be fabricated from steel, bronze and oak, after the bronze acorn is first modelled in clay.
The imagery refers to the oak forests that surrounded Farnham as do the columns that they fixed on. The oak contains subtle carvings that include words and relief work; the content will be obtained during community engagement sessions.
The project will involve schools and other members of the community in the design for a sense of shared ownership with the local community in the final artwork. Engagement will include practical workshops, artist's talks and memory sharing sessions that will cover some of the following topics: ancient stone tools discovered in the area, gault clay (first used by the Romans), 18th to the 20th century hop growing and beer making, and the Farnham Pottery and exploration of various craft media.
We would like to thank Arts Council England, the shortlisted artists and our steering group, consisting of Charlotte Hall (Waverley Borough Council), Vikki Leedham (Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden), Sue Farrow (Farnham Public Art Trust), Sarah Carrington Hubbard (freelance public art consultant) and Dr Outi Remes (New Ashgate Gallery). Also, many thanks to our craft town partners and the local community for their interest and voting.
22 January 2020
We were delighted to install Pippa Ward's 'Torrent of Abuse' at the entrance of the Farnham Town Council. Pippa won the Surrey Artist of the Year competition in 2019, organised by the New Ashgate Gallery in partnership with the Surrey Open Studios.
Pippa Ward's art is focussed on the environment, with a particular interest in our use and relationship with single use plastics. Pippa looks at man's inevitable impact on nature by using found plastic bags, bottle tops and found beach plastic ... ubiquitous and disposable materials and objects that do untold damage to our environment if discarded and used carelessly. The work with found beach plastic literally shows the interconnection between plastic and the environment. It shows the effect that nature has on the material, and conversely, the effect that plastic has on the environment.
Pippa's artwork initially attracts the viewer with its beauty, and then, on close inspection, it reveals the reality and inherent unpleasantness of the material once it has been discarded. In the words of philosopher Roland Barthes ... the essence of an object has something to do with the way it turns into trash, possibly meaning that once an object has been discarded, and thus absolved of its function, its form becomes brightly visible - out of its original place and freed from its status as a commodity. Once an object is no longer treated in terms of its use-value, the 'thingness' of an item intensifies, and this is when Pippa becomes interested in it.
The Surrey Artists of the Year project is supported by Patricia Baines Trust, Contemporary Art Fairs and the Surrey Life Magazine. We would also like to thank the Farnham Town Council for their support.
25 November 2019
New Ashgate Gallery has reaffirmed its three-year agreement with the University for the Creative Arts. The organisations support emerging artists and makers as well as raising aspirations and inspiring excellence through its partnerships. So, this agreement marks a mutually beneficial arrangement between the two parties, giving talented students an opportunity to flourish, both during and immediately after their degree.
Following on from the success of two former three-year agreements, the first of which was established back in 2010, a new Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the two organisations. This will see them work together on initiatives including research projects, exhibitions, lectures, and crafts and design showcases.
Norma Corkish, Chair of the New Ashgate Gallery Trust, said: This is a great opportunity to work together - partnerships always create something more than working individually. It will also help strengthen our reputation as a Craft Town and build upon our existing partnership, which has now been in place for the last six years.
Colin Holden, Head of Schools for Architecture, Crafts and Design, who organised the event said: It has been a very fruitful and successful understanding and we want to continue with it and develop it as we can - I'm very optimistic about our future.
Professor Bashir Makhoul, Vice-Chancellor of UCA, added: I am proud to be reaffirming this long-standing agreement and are once again pleased to welcome the Ashgate Gallery into the UCA community and I look forward to working together.
The New Ashgate Gallery is dedicated to promoting and championing the best contemporary art and craft in the marketplace and provides an unparalleled resource in Farnham, delivering a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events in the gallery and in the local community.
UCA is the Times and Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2019, and was ranked 13th in the Guardian Good University Guide 2020. UCA are also the only creative specialist university to be featured in the Top 30 across all three of the UK's major league tables.
This renewed partnership between UCA and the New Ashgate Gallery will capitalise upon the strengths of each organisation and provide UCA students with unique opportunities to cultivate and shape their craft.
1 October 2019
The New Ashgate Gallery and the Craft Town steering group are delighted to announce a commission a high quality Public Art piece that will become a permanent part of the craft town, is celebrated by the community and represents the craft town project.
From 1 October 2019, proposals will be invited for an aspirational public sculpture / artwork that is inspired by the heritage and tradition of crafts in Farnham. The artwork will celebrate crafts that have been practised in the area during the Roman period: the district was known as a pottery centre due to its supply of gault clay, oak woodland for fuel and good communication links. Kilns dating as far as AD 100 have been found in the area. Today, Farnham hosts a remarkable number of major institutions and makers who dedicate time, resources and creative energies to sustaining craft as one of the great defining features of place here. The sculpture will enhance the public knowledge and understanding of the heritage while also bringing pleasure to the community and visitors alike. The public will select the winning proposal in early 2020.
The sculpture will be located next to a busy car park in the courtyard of the grade II listed building of the New Ashgate Gallery in Waggon Yard. The site is part of the historic centre of Farnham and the location is freely accessible to the public.
Download Commission for Public Art - Artist Brief (A): https://bit.ly/2lOOzQa
Download Site Context for the Public Art Commission (B): https://bit.ly/2m9BbX7
For further information, please contract Outi Remes, tel: 01252 713208. The project is supported by Arts Council England.
18 October 2019
We are delighted to announce that the environmentalist artist Pippa Ward from Brockham has won the Surrey Artist of the Year 2019 competition. Pippa will receive a solo exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery, £1,000, a complementary Winner's Stand at the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair and an editorial focus in the Surrey Life magazine.
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 as voted for by the public during open studio visits. The top scoring 15 artists come together for a programme of events and are Clare Bowen, Orlanda Broom, Jennifer Court, Diana Croft, Clare Edworthy, Penny Fleet, Robyn Horsburgh, Christine Hopkins, David Johns, Will Johns, Julie Noles, Philip Ryland, Penny Webb, Pippa Ward and Abigail Wicking.
The winner was announced on 18 October 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. The judges were Guy Hains, Founder, Farnham Pottery, Deborah James, Co-Director, Contemporary Art Fairs, Robert Moore, Chair, Patricia Baines Trust and Councillor Alan Earwaker, Deputy Mayor of Farnham.
Pippa Ward graduated from Farnham University of the Creative Arts with a first class degree. This experience influenced her to such an extent that her artwork became focused on the environment, with a particular interest in our use and relationship with single use plastics.
Pippa looks at man's inevitable impact on nature by using found plastic bags, bottle tops and found beach plastic ... ubiquitous and disposable materials and objects that do untold damage to our environment if discarded and used carelessly. In the words of philosopher Roland Barthes ... the essence of an object has something to do with the way it turns into trash, possibly meaning that once an object has been discarded, and thus absolved of its function, its form becomes brightly visible - out of its original place and freed from its status as a commodity. Once an object is no longer treated in terms of its use-value, the 'thingness' and 'unwantedness' of an item intensifies and this is when Pippa becomes interested in it.
The runners-up were: Julie Noles, the fused glass artist and Clare Bowen, the painter.
For Julie Noles, art and nature have always been lifelong passions. Living in the Surrey Hills is inspirational. We have a wealth of heathland, woodland and farmland which all make for beautiful landscapes. Julie starts with a thumbnail sketch, then a full-size design and a cutting plan. Glass is cut to size and assembled onto a base of glass. It is fused to form one solid piece. Frit (crushed glass) or painted details are added on subsequent layers and the work can go into the kiln several times. Clare Bowen paints 'en plein air' in all weathers and seasons. Her style is contemporary impressionist and portrays subjects through her love of light and colour. Clare is inspired by being outside in nature and really observing what is there whilst also being challenged and excited to paint against the clock, capturing a moment in time. Clare awarded the Royal Talens Prize in 2017, 2018 and the Artist Collection Award 2017, 2018 through the Artist Magazine. Clare lives in Haslemere, Surrey.
The exhibition continues until 2 November (Tue-Sat, 10-5). Admission is free.
We would like to thank the partners the shortlisted artists, the Surrey Artists Open Studios, the Patricia Baines Trust, Contemporary Art Fairs and the Surrey Life magazine for making the project possible.
27 October 2019
Congratulations to Harriett Grist at CHICKPEA, the New Ashgate Gallery winner at the Festival of Crafts, Farnham Maltings.
We love Harriett's knitted homewares and this fabulous emerging craft talent; CHICKPEA was only launched in 2017. The designs are inspired by stationery compositions such as graph paper and pen lids as well as architecture around Winchester; Harriett's home town. Product names have been taken from street names in Winchester as well as the brand name being close to home, as a mixture of family nicknames (Chicken and Pea).
We are looking forward to showing Harriett's work in the gallery in 2020.
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.
24 July 2019
Congratulations to Felicity, the winner of our 'Repurposed' canvas bag drawing competition and the 6 runner ups!
The winning drawing will now be turned into canvas bags and the winner and the runners up will all receive a small prize. A big thank you to everyone else who sent us their wonderful drawings! We received 74 of them in total and are impressed by the wealth of young talent in Farnham.
Thanks to the South Street Trust for their support and making the project possible.
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.
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.