Gallery 126, Still Life Exhibition

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While checking the dictionary for the plural of still life, I became distracted by the French translation, “nature morte”, which means literally “dead nature”! This couldn’t be further from the truth with the new exhibition of Still Life artworks by three local artists Steph Clark, Esther Eckley and Lilian Wissink, which opens at Gallery 126 on Friday 26th October at 5pm. Their artworks capture the light, colour and detail of the subject matter of flowers, fruit and objects arranged on to paper and canvas.  Three different styles and colour palettes, resulting in a feast for the eyes. 

I asked each of the artists to introduce themselves and their artwork. Here’s what they had to say …

Steph Clark

As a busy wife, mother, grandma, manager, friend, sister, daughter, I never thought, knew, or imagined that I would experience another fulfilling facet to my life: becoming and being a painter, a full-time painter in my heart – but not yet in my life …

Seven years ago I met my brand new partners: colour, light … and magic pastel sticks; falling in love, we quickly got married, for better and for worse …

As in any marriage, we needed to be friends – to exchange, discuss and grow.

I was so lucky to travel, open my eyes, my ears, and meet other artists; this led me to the other side of the world, not to the moon, but over the moon.

This wonderful artist life makes me happy and joyful every single day. Thanks to pastels and to my artistic life.

Esther Eckley

For this exhibition, I will theme my paintings around fruits and their often overlooked beauty.

My bold and distinctive palette knife style aims to provoke play between light and shadow, hard and soft, as well as rough and smooth.

The aim is to capture the beauty of everyday objects in a simple yet striking way, with lavishing layers of oil paint. I am intrigued with the contrast between the boldness of my painting style and the delicate subject matter at present, and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process and the work that I’m creating.

Lilian Wissink

Heading towards the tail end of my professional life as a psychologist, I wondered what else there was to discover about what I could do. I had always dismissed the idea that I was a creative “type”, but something drew me to begin drawing and then painting. I was a complete novice and things didn’t come naturally, so I embarked on a journey of learning and practice. I also became fascinated about creativity in all the different realms and enjoyed the success of having my book published on the creative process, called The Creative Seed. Whilst I love to paint different subjects, I keep coming back to still life. There is something captivating about the simplicity of our everyday objects that quietly stand in their stillness and always have something to offer … perhaps something that we haven’t appreciated or taken in, but can be revealed through the process of painting. 

By the way, the plural of Still Life is Still Lifes! Please come along to the opening evening and meet the artists, or you can catch the exhibition during normal opening hours until 24th November.

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