Art in the heart of town

Nick Archer's oil on canvas titled "Beached"

Last Saturday, March 24, Rye Art Gallery in the High Street opened two new exhibitions with the Rye Society of Artists (RSA) exhibition upstairs to the right in Galleries 4 and 5; and, as usual at previews, there was a varied group of visitors and locals from the surrounding area as well as some artists to talk to.

Four original etchings by Davida Smith

RSA was established in 1951 and currently includes 40 members, all working within a 15-mile radius of Rye. The show includes photography, sculpture, ceramics, prints and multimedia art (some of which sold quickly and vanished, like the ceramic, below left). To find out more, email: or phone 01797 222 433.

RSA’s Steve Duffy’s ceramic “Around me”
“Common Ground” artist Anny Evason

Gallery 3 (at the back on the ground floor) offered four interesting new artists and their exhibition is called “Common Ground” as the four artists (Anny Evason, Denise Franklin, Sally Cole and Sarah Palmer) felt that the title aptly described their collective ethos.
Sarah said: “Though we work independently there is much which we share. The paintings show that each focuses within their own perspective on landscape, threading in elements of geology, history,nature, poetry and more.”
Their studios are in one building at the edge of Fairlight Country Park, near Hastings, which allows them unplanned get-togethers to exchange ideas and informally discuss their work.

Denise Franklin’s “The bend in the river”

Anny says: “It doesn’t necessarily matter if the viewer doesn’t get the references… the fact that they are there… the work is completed by the act of viewing.”
Denise says: “I try to walk in the landscape every day and hope that the rhythm of walking and the generated rhythm of thinking become a part of my drawings.”
Sally says: “I make repeated visits throughout the year to the same location, allowing my ideas to develop through the changing seasons.”
Sarah says: “I tend to create work in a series influenced by what I have remembered, experienced or seen.”
Denise and Sarah will be leading two two-day workshops, taking people outside to walk, talk and draw along the nearby river Rother. The first is on April 15 and 22 between 11am-5pm, and the second is on April 29 and May 6, 11am-5pm. Each two-day course costs £140. To find out more or to book a date or phone 07760 230119. Both exhibitions continue till April 22.

Photos: Heidi Foster


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