Eclectic and Excellent Art

By Beatrice Philpotts, Haselemere Herald

The biggest ever AppArt exhibition got off to a flying start following its official opening at Prior’s Field School, Godalming, with a record number of sales on the first day.

One of the largest art shows in south-east England and now in its 20th year, the popular annual exhibition mounted by Grayswood couple Evelyn and Gwyn Phillips is held in association with Surrey Sculpture Society.

Back at Prior’s Field after a successful first there last year the 2015 extravaganza features more than 430 exhibits in a wide range of media by professional and talented amateur artists in the Arts and Crafts main school hall, and more than 120 exhibits along the Rose Garden trail by Surrey Sculpture Society members.

Star turn this year, and new to AppArt, is popular British artist and illustrator Jamel Akib, who displays his versatility and immediacy in three eye-catching oil portraits detailing a a colourful bird caught in flight, as well as yachtsmen in action buffeted by high winds on a choppy sea in his oil painting Grind.

Fellow high-profile artist and illustrator Victor Ambrus displays his fluency of touch in his retro-portrait Spare the Rod of a seated teacher holding a cane. Dashed of in pastel, it captures his black gowned-sitter in a few well chosen strokes heightened with touches of red and white.

Also eye catching is an equally effortless-seeming and well judged table-top still life in pastels by his wife Glenys Ambrus, still life with tulips, a light and airy celebration of ripe fruit, fine porcelain, glowing flowers and patterned textiles.

More minimalist but equally striking, is Roger Pearce’s chunky still life in oils of an earthenware pitcher and fresh green apples and special mention should also go to Dominique Salm for her delightful watercolour of three Rubbernecking ostriches, and to Rosa Sepple for her richly coloured mixed-media paintings of quirky goings-on in dream like interiors.

Prior’s Field A-level students are also given a chance to shine and Chloe Hu more than holds her own with a powerful acrylic painting Make Over dominated by a mask like face.

Vibrant free-blown glass works by Adam Aaronson stand out , both indoors and out on the sculpture trail, where he is showing two plinth-mounted works from his Landscape Cloud series which capture the fleeting movement of light and shade beautifully.

Indoors small sculptures by Jean Tovolsky and Averil Marks also catch the eye as do Andrew Broughton-Tomkin’s ascending fighter pilot-style angel sporting shade, made from fired clay and gold leaf, Mark Swan’s naked Walking man heading for a dive, in bronze and gold patina and Jonathan Hateley’s teetering column of garden snails in bronze.

Outside, a glittering aluminium unicorn by Carlos Dare commands the approach to the sculpture trail, which also features a sleek and skilful bronze resin sculpture by Ev Meynell of two semi-entwined and abstracted balletic nymphs, Carol Orwins’s pare of muscular leaping hares in bronze and iron resin and Gilbert Whyman’s splendid Guy Fawkes on a bicycle, ingeniously composed from scrap metal.

Fighter Pilot by Andrew Broughton-Tomkins

Eastern Bluebird by Jamel Akib

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