New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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We curate a programme of 25 annual exhibitions and events, working in partnership with local and national organisations. Visit us to view free exhibitions in the Pavilion, Balcony and Maker in Focus Galleries & enjoy the affordable Craft Collection, perfect for unique gifts.
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16 December 2020 to 16 December 2021
Visit us to see the Farnham Sculpture, the new public art commission in Waggon Yard, celebrating the World Craft Town Farnham.
Proposals were invited in 2019 for a public sculpture that is inspired by the heritage and tradition of crafts in Farnham 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 craft institutions and makers. The sculpture aims to enhance the public knowledge and understanding of the heritage while bringing pleasure to the community and visitors alike.
In early 2020, 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.
The Farnham Sculpture celebrates the oak tree - something which was abundant in the area while also links to the history and heritage of Farnham. It is fabricated from steel, bronze and oak and the bronze acorn was first modelled in clay. Imagery refers to the oak forests that surrounded Farnham.
The project involved working with local schools and the community in the design for a sense of shared ownership with the local community in the final artwork. There are 19 designs and messages in the Farnham Sculpture that were provided by local children and the schools in either the Zoom sessions with David Mayne or the Draw a Sculpture competition. This includes two prize winners which are carved into the surface of the oak.
David Mayne is a sculptor of national repute who produces work for galleries, public spaces and the domestic environment. His artwork has been commissioned throughout 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.
The Farnham Sculpture is supported by Arts Council England and the related events are supported by the Farnham Town Council and South Street Trust.
We would like to thank Arts Council England, Farnham Town Council, 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 (public art consultant) and Dr Outi Remes (New Ashgate Gallery). Also, many thanks to our craft town partners and the local community and schools for their interest and taking actively part in the project.
Click for further information and how to book for the community events
24 April to 31 July 2021
Due to popularity, the artwork is now availble until 31 July.
The London Glassblowing studio has nurtured and produced some of the world's leading glass artists and continues to do so to this day. The exhibition presents sculpture by four of its star glass artists:
Artist, pioneer, mentor, Peter Layton is one of the founding fathers of British studio glass. He discovered the art while teaching ceramics in the US in the 1960s, and has played a major part in elevating glass from an industrial medium to a highly collectable art form. Most importantly, he gave it a home in the UK.
Peter started with a small glass studio in the Highlands of Scotland while relying on pottery to ensure a living. However, the big city called, as did glass - it needed more dedicated champions. In 1976 he opened the first London Glassblowing Workshop in an old towage works on the Thames at Rotherhithe and later on moved to Bermondsey.
Peter takes inspiration from his environment, natural or manmade: a stone wall on a snowy day, the London skyline, or works by great painters. From a mere detail, a flash of a Klimt orange or a slick of oil on the Thames, he creates painterly works with a masterly use of colour. Throughout his career, he has been courted by major art institutions, commercial buyers and private collectors. His work is held in various museums in the UK, Europe and America, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK.
Bruce Marks' Birds have attracted an avid and enthusiastic public following. Bruce has achieved deceptively simple abstract forms, which allude to bird shapes. He says: I am a long-time admirer of the sculptor Brancusi. I envy his ability to capture the essence of his subject, creating a purity of form with minimal detail, whilst projecting profound presence. Bruce's response has been to strip back his forms to achieve an exquisite simplicity retaining a definite bird-like quality.
Laura McKinley's fascination for glass as a creative medium stems from its capacity to constantly alter her initial thoughts and expectations. The spontaneity of the hot material demands instant visual judgments that give rise to shifts in her ideas. These allow her to make tangible her explorations of volume, scale and the random interplay of forms. Serendipity and the unexpected often point the way to the next starting point for making. An element of her inspiration is the Italian technique Incalmo. This involves the hot joining of two separately blown glass bubbles of different colour to form one piece, the join then becoming invisible. Once cold, the fluidity of these objects is interrupted by cutting to expose voids which enable the viewer to see both the internal and exterior spaces. The varying thickness of glass and polished angled surfaces create ever-changing effects of light and shadow, a characteristic that is exploited to create an environment of illusion. Laura's work is an invitation to engage with the tranquil beauty of the incidental.
Vezzini & Chen's work is defined by the artful marriage of hand carved ceramics and blown glass. The collections tread a fine line between functional and conceptual, with the design duo creating sculptural hand crafted lighting, glassware, interior accessories and installation pieces.
1 May to 31 July 2021
The Summer Craft Collection presents a range of unique, local craft that you won't find anywhere else. Treat yourself to something new for you or your home or buy gifts for your loved ones. Pop in, browse and shop away from the crowds. You'll be supporting a local gallery and small creative artist businesses if you do, as well as finding something special.
We are delighted present a new collection of ceramics by Lindy Barletta, Peter Beard, Rose Dickinson, Alice Funge, Ingrid Saag and Bridget Timoney and jewellery by Olivia Barthe, Emma Lavery and Lisa Mortimer. Other makers include Jennifer Shellard, the textile designer, and Helen Brown, Charlotte Cornish, Gavin Dobson and Shirley Watson for limited edition prints.
31 July to 18 September 2021
Paul Nelson started to think about a series of paintings broadly relating to William Cobbett's book 'Rural Rides' about 10 years ago. Paul explores Cobbett's description of his rides through Farnham and on to Winchester, making numerous references to the geology and soil types of the region for this defined agricultural practices in the 19th Century Britain. Paul's series of 'Rural Rides' explores the 'terroir' (to coin a term from the wine world) of that landscape: the colours and textures of the rural landscape. Paul uses the quiet reflections in water, the texture of natural forms and the drama of a sunlit landscape to create a 'theatre' of observation.
Paul returned to the theme of landscape two years ago following visits to Scotland. He is fascinated by the character and environment of rivers. Topography and 'place' is important but it is only equal to his role as translator and poet.
Paul's work has clear roots in British Romantic landscape painting by artists such as Turner, Samuel Palmer, Holman Hunt and Helen Allingham. Latterly he has been enjoying the work European Classical and Baroque artists, particularly Nicolas Poussin and his 'Landscape with a Man Killed by a Snake' that inspired the painting 'Looking towards Frensham Great Pond'. In this unexpected relationship, the viewer sees the ambiguity of the fallen trees in the dappled sunlight in a kind of natural 'theatre' that lasts as long as it takes for the clouds to pass. In Paul's work, an artist controls the foundations of a painting but the painting takes on its own identity - it is this compelling dialogue that keeps Paul painting.
31 July to 18 September 2021
Paula Reason's quilted sculptural installation is a portrait of her father's room at a scale of 1:5. It is an investigation into how the personalities become embedded into our surrounding in the selection of artefacts that the artist and her father use and how they take comfort from this. Paula's quilting technique figuratively wraps her father in his familiar surroundings when he was in hospital.
Paula's experience as an architect forms the foundations for her artistic practice. She works with textiles and paint. The specific qualities of this medium provides an almost unlimited way to explore and express the relationships that we have with the built environment.
Paula's bespoke work was featured in Collect 2020 with a large sculptural silk panels provided an insight into the relationship that three established craftspeople have with their studio spaces.
Paula accepts commissions for small to large-scale site-specific artwork for the home, commercial spaces and museum and gallery exhibits.
31 July to 18 September 2021
Our summer exhibition brings together two artists who are inspired by rich colour and geometric patterns, lines and rhythms. Their work is an outstanding example of traditional techniques that are combined with contemporary design style.
Christina Taylor-Smith combines line and colour to evoke aspects and rhythms found both in nature and man-made structures. The richness and depth of colour combined with the beautiful embossing gives the work an interesting surface. The focus is on the essence of things with an awareness of the fragile and transient quality of a moment in time. The lines are interconnecting, easily broken, lost and found. The built-up of consecutive lines acquire a density and rhythm which can be fragile, flowing or appear like the layers in strata. In her most recent work, Christina has started to incorporate metal leaf to emphasise the preciousness of nature in its jewel- like quality. This adds yet another dimension in the way light plays and is reflected on the surface of the work.
Jacqueline James is an award-winning weaver who specialises in making individually designed hand dyed and woven rugs and wall hangings for distinctive interiors. Inspiration for new designs comes from everywhere, but she is particularly inspired by the colours and patterns found in nature, landscapes and architecture.
As a rug weaver Jacqueline is part of the International Weaving Community; thus, it continues an important heritage craft tradition. Her work is found in public and private collections in the UK and USA. Each weaving is exclusively made in Jacqueline's York studio using British rug wool, cotton and linen.
7 August to 6 November 2021
The Autumn Craft Collection presents a range of unique, local craft that you won't find anywhere else. Treat yourself to something new for you or your home or buy gifts for your loved ones. Pop in, browse and shop away from the crowds. You'll be supporting a local gallery and small creative artist businesses if you do, as well as finding something special.
We are delighted present:
Ceramics by Jenny Amon, Tamsin Arrowsmith-Brown, Clare Conrad, Adèle Goulty, John Pollex and Silvia K Ceramics.
Jewellery by Karolina Baines, Maike Browning, Christine Johnson, Qiang Li and Olivia Woodhouse.
Glass by Adam Aaronson, Adam Hussain, Jake Mee and Andrew Sanders & David Wallace.
Limited edition prints by Louise Davies, Susan Eyre, Sonia Rollo and Liz Toole.
Textiles by Claire Armitage, Helen Chatterton, Lesley Frankland, Nook of the North and Pamela Print.
Pippa Ward with her installation at Farnham Town Council
21 August to 6 November 2021
Artist in Residence: 21 August - 18 September 2021
Community workshops - free admission, contact the gallery for details
Exhibition: Two Years On: 25 September - 6 November 2021
We are delighted to invite Pippa Ward for a month long residency that consists of a series of community workshops run by Pippa, using discarded plastics.
Working with Farnham children, families and schools, Pippa will inspire, educate and raise awareness of plastics in our environment, whilst having fun creating a new artwork using plastic tops, bags and drinks cartoons with participants. The residency and the workshops are followed by Pippa's solo exhibition, presenting a new body of artwork and celebrating her time as the Surrey Artist of the Year.
Pippa's work is focused on the environment, with an interest in our use and relationship with single use, found plastics; bags, bottle tops and beach plastic. She looks at man's inevitable impact on nature by using these materials. Pippa works with these ubiquitous and disposable materials and objects that do untold damage to our environment if discarded and used carelessly. Plastic's unimaginably long lifespan, coupled with how casually we, as a society treat it, becomes a perfect metaphor for our almost blind overconsumption of the material.
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. This is when Pippa becomes interested in it.
Pippa acquires plastic by visiting beaches regularly, particularly following a storm. The processes that follow involve gathering, manipulating and arranging of materials - using mindful taxonomy and grouping to create arrangements that, at times, speak of scientific plates and classification, or of marine narratives and environments that Pippa encounters. She looks at the effect man-made and natural materials have on each other, and particularly man's impact on nature. With newly formed awareness of the abundance of plastic in our seas, we now have a love/hate relationship with the substance. We rely on plastic and at times we desire these convenient single use items, even though we know the damage they are causing, and continue to cause. The pieces are found on the beach, can be seen as a 'tidemark' where the sea has deposited minute nurdles, bullet casings, tampon applicators, bottle tops and toys - all plastic. They can be wedged between rocks or blown up into the sand dunes, but they are becoming a part of our earth - literally. These are becoming our future fossils and relics, which, if arranged carefully, can be evocative of coral reefs or seaside settings, sometimes mimicking the natural world at first, beautiful to the eye, before the 'reader' sees what they truly are.
The Surrey Artist of the Year project is supported by Patricia Baines Trust and the workshops programme by Farnham South Street Trust.
25 September to 6 November 2021
Chrissy is a passionate gardener and potter. She works with porcelain making fine detailed lamps, pendants, and tea light holders using botanical pressings from flowers she grows in her garden. The lamp light accentuates the fine detail made by the pressings leaving a 'ghost image' where the light shines through. Chrissy also uses pieces is fine linen, lace, and lava stones. All pieces are made with the freshest of foliage, making each piece unique and capturing the essence of the seasons for reflexion in the darker winter months.
Chrissy was selected as the New Ashgate Gallery winner of the Festival of Crafts, the Farnham Maltings, in October 2020.
25 September to 6 November 2021
Come and vote for your favourite Surrey artist and support the local talent with us.
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. The top scoring artists come together for a programme of events. There is a wide variety of artworks on show, including different materials and techniques such as painting, glass, textiles, ceramics, collage / assemblage book and paper art.
Again, during the exhibition, until 22th October, 12noon, members of the public are encouraged to vote for an artist; and the artist with the most votes from public and judging panel, is named Surrey Artist of the Year 2021 on 22nd at 7pm. The winner receives a bursary of £1,500, a solo show at the New Ashgate Gallery and a complementary Winner's Stand at the Surrey Contemporary Art Fair.
The shortlisted artists in 2021 are: Sophie Artemis, Monique Birley, Sarah Cox, Penny Fleet, Keira Graham, Penny Green, Hilary Jones, Yeside Linney, Alison Orchard, Stephen Pitchforth, Sue Ransley, Louise Rowe, Jo Shepherd, Jessica Stroud, Dawn Thornhill and Jean Tolkovsky.
The season includes workshops for adults, families and artists - please contact us for information.
The competition is organised by New Ashgate Gallery in partnership with the Surrey Open Studios. It is supported by the Patricia Baines Trust and Contemporary Art Fairs. The Surrey Life magazine, which has a monthly section dedicated to the local art scene, is the official media partner of the competition.