The artistic magic of the four seasons in Great Dunmow

PUBLISHED: 13:05 17 December 2013 | UPDATED: 13:06 17 December 2013

EXG JAN 14 Art page

EXG JAN 14 Art page


As the harsh winter kicks in, one family-run gallery in Essex is determined to remind us of the beauty of all the seasons, with some local highlights. The Aubrey Art Gallery is run by Jude Walthew, her husband James and his parents, Liz and Steve. Opened in 2010, the gallery is located in the heart of the ancient market town of Great Dunmow, in what used to be the old Royal Mail sorting office.

‘We had been looking for the right space, explains Jude. ‘Liz saw the building and thought it was an ideal space to showcase art. We converted the old sorting office into a lovely, light, open space, although we still get the occasional person coming by to post their parcels.’

Like many galleries, the Aubrey Art Gallery is described by Jude as, ‘a labour of love’, as the whole family has a very keen interest in art.

The Aubrey Art Gallery runs an exciting series of exhibitions throughout the year, as well as displaying the work of the gallery’s regular artists, many of whom are emerging or established artists from across East Anglia.

According to Jude, supporting local artists is a really important part of the gallery’s ethos. ‘That’s where we started, working with local artists,’ she remarks. ‘We support some of the most talented artists in the local area and are very proud to promote local talent. It’s lovely to find local artists and to see them grow in confidence year on year.’

During the month of January the Four Seasons exhibition displays a stunning array of work with a distinctly local feel. Taking visitors on a journey across the seasons, each piece on display offers the chance to recapture moments or evoke memories from spring flowers beginning to bud, to the fall of autumn leaves or barefoot walks across golden sands against the contrast of beautiful landscapes covered in snow.

Among the exhibitors is a collection from Dunmow artist, Tom Deakins, who follows the words of the great John Constable in finding inspiration for his work, ‘I should paint my own places best’. ‘Dunmow and its surroundings have been at the heart of my inspiration for many years and I have returned to subjects that I feel a deep affinity with,’ says Tom.

However, he is not alone in capturing the splendour of the Essex countryside throughout the changing seasons, with Essex artists Graham Webber and Moira Fraser Steele also showing the county at its finest, while Colchester artist, Nat Young, offers a more contemporary view of the English countryside.

Besides pictures and paintings, the Aubrey Art Gallery has a varied collection of pottery and earthenware, jewellery and even wood-turned items including bowls, platters and utensils.

The gallery also offers the opportunity for participants to take part in workshops or attend demonstrations, which are mostly run by local artists and showcase the techniques and materials of a variety of mediums.

So if you find the dark days of January getting you down, why not pop along to the Aubrey Art Gallery and lose yourself among the riches of the seasons and the warm welcome you’ll find there?

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