James Tomlinson’s Locals exhibition


An interview with James Tomlinson

What is the exhibition about?

The idea of “Locals” came from my love of birds and of Rye Harbour nature. I began to sketch them when birdwatching during lockdown and was inspired to paint their beauty and individuality. The exhibition at Rye Bank Gallery reflects where I am in my life at present. I’m at the nature reserve every day; I do a circuit and count the bird numbers and see the ever-changing landscape of the reserve. The challenge has been duplicating this into my paintings, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I have recently been inspired by the Scottish colourists with their finer brush strokes and colour and this new work is a conscious move away from my previous exhibition where I used elements of graffiti.

What’s your connection with the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre?

It’s about awareness and what beauty is around us and the damage we are doing. It’s making sure that the next generation know about how to conserve nature and prevent further damage from climate change. I love supporting the discovery centre and wanted to help in any way that I could to raise funds. I assisted by holding sponsored walks and I’ll start doing guided walks from the Globe Inn Marsh again. I continue to do the Guide in the Hide and 20% of proceeds from sales of my paintings will go towards helping to buy equipment for the education department.

What’s the plan for August 21 and the private view?

For the private view, there will be an hour’s walk at 8am around the Rye Nature Reserve with tea and cake back at the discovery centre and then on to Rye Bank Gallery to see the exhibition. On August 19, an electronic catalogue will be sent out to those who may wish to purchase a painting before the exhibition opens.


To receive this catalogue and pre-book your place, please contact Rye Bank Gallery on Rye High Street. Locals will run August 21 – September 22 at Rye Bank Gallery.

Image Credits: Arabella Ansar .

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