Autumn 2007 

Art and more artby Peter Kennedy

Gallery goers in Wivenhoe have been experiencing a wondrous profusion of exhibitions in recent weeks.

Helen Lee’s work shown in June at the Over-the-Sofa Gallery was robust and mysterious at the same time.  A month later Annie Bielecka exhibited a selection of smaller works there; lustrous textiles magically transmuted her landscapes and seascapes of Iceland and of Mexico into wondrous realms of gold and silver.  At the private view Martin Newell read his poem "The Whale Road" ... and the day after that Charlotte Bernays was exhibiting her Flight of Birds installation at the Wivenhoe Gallery � this flight of a myriad of tiny birds of ink-stiffened fabric, strung between rods from the shipyards, "is an evocation of our trips into the countryside with Spoke’n’Word".  And in the space opposite, complementing Charlotte ‘s installation, Adrian Moulton had his own exhibition of photographic images, of fantastical locations in high relief, in desaturated tones, atmospheric, dreamlike.

Shifting Imaginations, Everard Longland’s latest exhibition at the Wivenhoe Gallery, 9 June to 5 July, was a treat for the eye and imagination.  An array of beautiful and intriguing works in deep colour � watercolours of startling originality � lined the walls.  Fore and Aft, the exhibition at the University Gallery from 7 to 21 July, celebrated the awarding of an honorary degree by the University of Essex to James Dodds, in recognition of his distinguished contribution to the local community as an artist.  The opening day was enlivened by Newell reading extracts from the "at least five books" that the artist and the poet have published together.  Dodds’ show of new paintings was an impressive collection of vigorous images of boats � he says "I like to see the boat as if there is light coming from inside it" � and of the structure of boats.  "Horn Timbers 2007" is particularly striking: Dodds, taking a detail of the timbers, has used it to make a powerful and concrete pattern.   

Wivenhoe, what a feast you provide for us.  And if I’ve missed some exhibitions that I should not have missed, I’m truly sorry.

Peter Kennedy

Note: This article was first published in Wivenhoe News – Autumn 2007

Note: For other articles written by Peter Kennedy – click here