A record number of artists entered the 2018 annual Open Selected Exhibition at Middleton Cheney’s Heseltine Gallery – almost doubling the previous year’s intake and attracting a capacity audience to the launch event.
Following the success of this colourful annual show, the gallery team got in touch with Your Letterbox to thank us for our sponsorship – culminating in the feature we carried in our January issue – which boosted both the number and quality of entries.
Eighty-six artists, from a 30mile radius of this key regional community art space, entered the show, compared with 44 entrants in 2017.
Lady Anne Heseltine, wife to co-founder Lord Michael Heseltine, presented the awards to the two category winners – 33-year-old Diana Davydova, of Bicester, whose Mountain Ash oil on canvas painting triumphed in the ‘2D’ category, sponsored by Banbury’s J S Fine Art, and 18-year-old Culworth student Tom Koster, whose bronze Double Twist sculpture won the the 3D category.
Event administrator, Sue Carverhill, said: “We were overwhelmed by the variety and quality of the entries. Feedback was exceptionally positive, our visitor numbers hit another record and many works sold. It was a perfect finale to our 2017-18 season.” Now the Heseltine Gallery team are gearing up for a busy new season, kicking off with an unusual portrait show (16-29 September), called Siblings Cannot Agree, that promises to attract both families and art students.
When Cally Trench came across a pair of pencil portraits she and brother Nick drew of each other, over 45 years ago, the chance discovery became the catalyst for an imaginative and intriguing exhibition by these two contrasting artists, opening at Middleton Cheney’s Heseltine Gallery this month.
The Siblings Cannot Agree show aims to attract wide appeal by offering a tantalising touchstone for our perceptions of family and how we see each other. Working together for the second time, Cally Trench and Nick Trench have compiled a range of portraits and self-portraits of themselves spanning five decades – full faces, isolated features, hands and feet!
Says Cally: “The work reveals a seldom-acknowledged phenomenon: that siblings can have a shared background, family and upbringing and yet end up with very different outlooks, visions and ways of doing things – as demonstrated vividly by our contrasting artistic approaches, ideas and techniques.” Cally’s formats include diptychs, triptychs, collections of ‘Feet’ and ‘Hand’ drawings and time-lapse films. Meanwhile, Nick’s approach is entirely different: “I explore figures in different environments or treat them in different ways. Sometimes the figure may disappear entirely – perhaps it merges into surroundings or disappears behind them.
“It’s exciting to show in the Heseltine Gallery, on the site of a large art-focused school where students will get a chance to look at our work, from different periods of two artists’ lives. Hopefully, this will inspire discussion about what ‘portrait painting’ can, or might, mean for young people – the socalled ‘selfie generation’.”
Siblings Cannot Agree, with FREE entry, runs 11am to 3pm, 17-29 September (inclusive) 2018. The Opening Event is on Sunday 16 September, 3-6pm. The Closing Event is on Saturday 29 September, 11am to 3pm, with a guided tour of the work, led by the artists, plus readings by both artists from their own writings.
Work is for sale. For further information or to become a Friend contact friendsofheseltinegallery@ gmail.com or see FriendsoftheHeseltineGallery on Facebook.
The Heseltine Gallery, Chenderit School, Archery Road, Middleton Cheney, OX17 2QR.
As word gets around about the quality and interest of its programme, the Heseltine Gallery is seeking local business support for the 2018-19 season and beyond. Corporate sponsors can get involved in many ways, from supporting an exhibition or artist’s award to a tailored sponsorship package enjoying private views, artist meetings and other benefits. Located on the intersecting borders of four counties and on the Chenderit School campus, the Heseltine Gallery showcases the work of local and regional artists and craftspeople, as well as student achievements. The gallery is run by volunteers and supported by a membership scheme – ‘The Friends of the Heseltine Gallery’. To find out about corporate sponsorship please contact Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org