Ebb and Flow: Studio Cennen’s 9th Open Studio Exhibition
With the summer holidays now drawing to a nostalgic end having enticed people of all ages to the coast, it is wholly appropriate that the 9th Open Studio Exhibition for Studio Cennen, a gallery in the small bustling town of Llandeilo, is featuring the sea.
‘When coming up with a title for this exhibition,’ curator and owner Brigid Loizou explains, ‘I wanted something that suggested beach, sea, surf without using the words so I could work in a deeper narrative….within a couple of text exchanges with Surf Artist Ben Cook we landed on ‘Ebb and Flow’ which got the big thumbs up’.
Each of Brigid’s exhibitions feature an array of new and diverse artists and makers from around Wales and beyond, and this is no exception.
Running from 31st August until 25th September, her impressive curation includes printmaking, assemblages, sculpture, ceramics, painting and surf art.
The artists brought together for this exhibition share a common interest in using the beach, the surf and the sea as their endless inspiration. The materials, or ‘treasures’ as they may call them, can be natural or man-made, and longevity and sustainability are at the forefront of their ethos.
Through reusing, repurposing and repairing, the artists remain loyal to their commitment and consideration of the sea. It feeds their creativity. Respect for nature’s beauty is paramount.
The list of Ebb and Flow featured artists is a varied and exciting ensemble.
Charlotte Baxter is a printmaker from Aberystwyth who is ‘drawn to the natural world; exploring its rhythms and cycles in her work’.
Duncan Schlee creates cabinets of curiosity which have been ‘inspired by a career in archaeology, a fascination with museums, taxidermy and the natural history illustrations of Adolph Millot’.
Ceramicist Jane Flint wishes for her work, such as ‘Florence the sea lion’, to ‘look like it has been unearthed or discovered in an old attic or junk shop’.
Garry Purchase is a design maker from Slapton in Devon who reuses sail and surf bag materials to create beautiful bags.
Caroline Brogdon creates sustainable jewellery from surfite – layers of surplus resin left over from glazing custom-made surfboards.
Arwel Micah uses the concepts of landscapes, journeys, memories and identities within his work.
Devon surf artist Ben Cook ‘attempts to offer a fresh perspective through the eyes of a surfer, by referencing beach culture and the material aesthetics associated with a contemporary surfing lifestyle’.
Phew, what a list indeed.
One that highlights the importance of working with the natural world in a sustainable way and so important in the Climate Emergency. And this list is not exhaustive.
There are plenty of other artists who are providing paintings, ceramics and jewellery to the gallery, which itself is a piece of art and worth a visit for its own bricks and mortar merits.
Studio Cennen’s home is a beautifully restored twentieth century boiler house of the former creamery in Ffairfach, Llandeilo. Originally established online in June 2020, it moved into this physical space in April 2021.
Now with a contemporary black and white frontage and bright and airy interior, the studio still boasts many of its original charms including the red bricked iconic chimney standing proudly on the banks of the Afon Cennen which curves by, mirroring the relaxed and welcoming feel of the gallery.
Sea of beauty
For each exhibition, Brigid expertly and lovingly curates the space with a critical artistic eye.
You can tell she has spent a thirty-year fashion career working in London and Italy. She is also a warm host, providing insightful knowledge and delicious real coffee or loose-leaf tea.
‘Visiting the gallery will continue to be by appointment’, she says, her blue-green eyes bright with enthusiasm, ‘but I will add an “Open” sign on the door when I am at the gallery. You will be welcome to pop in if I am there’.
For more information and to book your one-hour private view of Ebb and Flow, please visit studiocennen.com, email [email protected], call 07891 486478, or visit @studiocennen on Instagram or Facebook, and immerse yourself in a sea of beauty.
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