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‘Five by Five’ – 5 artists talk about their work

Thursday 18th May 2023 Towner Eastbourne Devonshire Park College Road Eastbourne BN21 4JJ

Our very popular May event featured 5 members rising to the challenge of sharing their work in a strictly timed Pecha Kucha-style presentation. We heard from Loupe Cooper, Adrian Chappell, Kitty Oakley, Kathleen King, and Gary Edwards. None of the group had previously shown their work at BMN and between them, they represented a variety of practices including, ceramics, painting, photography, and textiles. Kathleen King @kathleenkingtextiles My work is an exploration, a representation, and sometimes a provocation.

In the process of ‘making’ I mine deeper levels of my human experience, which I aim to share in an unmitigated way, side-stepping the distancing and dulling effect of daily speak, probing and sometimes prodding my consciousness and that of the viewer. Rather than to amplify rage or join violent confrontation, I seek to protest gently, in the craftivist spirit. My tools are thread, needles, and more recently, looms. Textiles are an intrinsic part of our lives, of our myths, metaphors, and cultures. They are at the heart of all my work.

Kathleen King 'Labyrinth' (100x 100 cm, newspaper, acrylic, silk)

Loupe Cooper @8loupe8

I am a visual artist and writer, mainly of poetry. The two aspects are essential to each other, my visual work often being loaded with meaning. After a degree in Art I taught in London, until my interest in Japan took me East in the 1990s. The three years I spent in Yokohama and Tokyo have profoundly influenced my art and my own personal outlook. Whilst in Yokohama I immersed myself in a community of artists and Butoh dance performers. This began a dialogue between East and West, which I find still playing itself out in my work today.

Loupe Cooper 'Dead Leaves' (water colour)

Adrian Chappell @curiouscurators Adrian originally fine art trained in the UK and Italy, his professional career has spanned primary, secondary, adult, and higher education and local government. He worked for the Arts Council and later, at London Metropolitan University, he created the Arts Learning Partnership and led a pan European vocational training project in Berlin, Istanbul, and London. Adrian’s current ‘work-in-progress’ is based on his lockdown novel An Honourable Betrayal, a political thriller set in Yemen, France, and Niger. His work presents a layered approach to image-making – foreground/ background; past in the present – palimpsests in which images are combined to create new meanings.

Adrian Chappell 'Silver Birches in Tate Modern’s Gardens' (50x40cms collage and digital print)

Kitty Oakley

During my childhood in the 50s/60s, I learnt to watch people carefully so I could work out how dangerous they were likely to be. Since then, I’ve drawn people most days, often imagining their thoughts, and hoping they are peculiar. Childhood comics, films and TV programmes still inspire me. I studied illustration at Brighton Uni and at Anglia Ruskin in Cambridge, where I was an associate lecturer. I’m now a printmaker, painter, and maker of zines.

 Kitty Oakley 'Real good-looking guy'  ( handmade screenprint)

Gary Edwards

Gary studied ceramics at Central School, London in the mid-70s. Tutors there included Gordon Baldwin, Dan Arbeid, and Gillian Lowndes. After graduating he set up his first studio in a mill in Macclesfield and went on to complete two successful year-long residencies at Carmel College, Wallingford, and Battersea Arts Centre. He quit making ceramics in 1982. Fast forward 34 years and he resumed working with clay at summer school in 2016. Since then, he has continued to develop a style and range of work which, while often referencing his early pieces, continues to absorb new influences.


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