New Ashgate Gallery champions the best of contemporary art and craft providing an unparalleled resource in Farnham, Surrey and beyond
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Eliza Southwood is an award-winning printmaker, painter and illustrator originally from London but currently based in Northern Spain. She has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad. Eliza has been drawing and painting since she was old enough to pick up a paintbrush.
Having spent her childhood in the remote region of Asturias in Spain, Eliza travelled to Italy, where she worked with horses, and then to Scotland, where she studied Architecture at the Mackintosh School of Art in Glasgow. Postgraduate studies followed in London, but after several years in architectural practice, she decided to change career and dedicate herself to making art full time.
Eliza's speciality is silk screen printing, but she also works in linocut, mixed media, watercolour, acrylic, pen and charcoal . As a keen fan of cycling, much of her work is cycling-themed, but other sources of inspiration are cityscapes, sports and people.
4 years ago she moved to Spain, returning to the same remote area she grew up in, and since then has taken inspiration from the surrounding landscapes and rural local activities, whilst continuing with the themes that interest her.
The name of show is a reflection on what it means to be outside, especially after so many were trapped indoors during the restrictions of the pandemic. It is about sports, movement, and simply taking joy in the environment around us.
Eliza's work is displayed with sculptures and miniatures by David Mayne, the creator of the Farnham Sculpture outside the gallery. David's much loved indoor sculptures depict popular activities such as cycling and woodland walks.
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. He now lives in Holmfirth near areas of stunning woodland and wild and beautiful hills and moorland. 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, Mayne 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.
In 2020, David won the competition for the Craft Town Public Art commission in Waggon Yard, outside the New Ashgate Gallery. 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 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 obtained during community engagement sessions.