Visual Arts Reviews

2018 ART EXHIBITION - Burbage Art Group

On Saturday morning, July 21, I visited the Art Exhibition at the Burbage Institute. The art created by the Burbage Art Group was displayed. I counted 18 people in the room at 11.30.

The Burbage Art Group meets once a week. Each member is free to work on their own projects but they have a leader who gives them guidance as they work and inspiration and confidence to tackle new themes and different mediums.

It was a joy to view this exhibition. There is much talent in evidence in the vicinity and much hard work has taken place to create the exhibition.

There were many themes. The bird paintings first caught my eye and when I saw a lapwing and curlew in water colour I thought about their habitat in the fields and moorland close by. A brightly coloured kingfisher, a goshawk in flight and a swallow painted in acrylic are all birds seen not far away.

I love the fluidity of water colours as could be seen in several paintings, especially several flower paintings and a trout work.

Animals were well represented. I thought the texture of the hare paintings was extremely good and a leaping horse depicted speed convincingly.

In keeping with images found locally there were some local landscapes, for example paintings of Longnor, Pavilion Gardens and Solomon’s Temple.

I think artists can learn much and develop their skills from copying great art. There were good copies of Vermeer and Waterhouse.

The Burbage Art Group sponsors children from the Community School and this year two pupils were sponsored and had their excellent work displayed. Their work depicting musical performances and work representing natural forms was particularly appealing to me.

To keep young children interested a written quiz was provided.

I am sure visitors would be grateful for the artists and organisers for this exhibition.

Roger Horvath

3 OF US GOING SOMEWHERE... - Brown, Elliott & Brown

This show gives us a look at some of the recent work by three local artists – Adrienne Brown, Norman Elliott and Langley Brown. As the title says, there are 3 of them going somewhere, but in different, diverging directions. For Fringe regulars these are familiar names, and they’ve exhibited around the town over the years.

Adrienne Brown’s work was my first stop and she’s produced work in different styles and media, ranging from linocuts, which I really like, to paintings and embroidered photomontages. In case you’re wondering like I was, the latter involves embroidering over a digital image or photograph. This can be used selectively to highlight themes or areas of particular interest within the image. Adrienne’s work often takes the natural world as its subject though not always represented in a natural style.

Norman Elliott’s work is very different - abstraction and bright colours form the basis of his work. Whilst abstract art isn’t always the easiest to appreciate, Norman has produced a variety of pieces in very different styles with nods to different movements with the genre. A small but interesting corner of the artworld of Buxton, and it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Langley Brown’s work is as different again. He has work from a couple themed ideas on offer - Buxton by the Sea and Pinstripe Pigeon series of paintings and drawings. Both display a sense of fun and toying with the ideas of the familiar often juxtaposed with the less so. The Pinstripe Pigeon pieces are ideas, sketches and finished pieces produced as album covers for a band. I always find it interesting to see how ideas take shape from the first glimmer of an idea to the finished article, and there’s clearly a sense of humour at play here. Buxton by the Sea might be the future if global warming takes hold . . . but worry not, it will take a while to reach the way Buxton may look in Langley’s work. It is a series of working sketches, finished pieces and somethings in between, but for all that sense of being unfinished, it doesn’t detract from the work. There are lots of nice touches already, familiar landmarks etc, and more are planned for the near future. Loved it.

You’ll be pleased to know that prints and greetings cards from each of the artists are on sale and that refreshments are also available. If you are a regular or new to the Fringe, then mark this down as a show to see. You’ll have to be quick as Sunday 21st is the last day!

Ian Parker Heath

BUXTON PHOTO CHALLENGE 2018 - Chapel Camera Club

Feeling a little out of my depth as I joined the Challenge, I was soon welcomed and put at ease - I’m a “point-and-shoot” photographer and suspected to be in the company of those taking a photographic hobby very seriously.

Lynne and her team from Chapel Camera Club made it more fun by telling me the rules in Mission Impossible style: “Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to provide six images on six topics in six hours!” A few more rules followed.

With an invitation like that, the gathered group of “happy-snappers” and fun-folk with bigger lenses headed off around Buxton searching for images to capture the given themes: Pattern, Wet, Together, Out of Place, Noisy and Behind the Scenes.

Some useful tips and an introductory badge helped me come up with a good ideas and, within a few minutes I’m snapping away at a pile of rubber ducks due to be used later in the day for the Buxton Lions Great Duck Race - creating patterns!

With a camera card of six photos, I submitted my entry and await what the judges make of them in terms of their creativity, originality, spontaneity and inventiveness. I hold out great hopes for my rubber duck multi-portrait.

David Carlisle


Such talent, such imagination, vision and sense of perspective! I felt so lucky and privileged to be able to review this stunning exhibition of the work of local students at Buxton Community school, which in my opinion, rivalled those seen in the Tate Galleries and other well-known artistic venues.

The collection featured many different topics, from the abstract and landscapes, to some lifelike portraits, animals and buildings, the latter offering challenges of perspective and, of course, all depicting aspects of the students’ own chosen styles and choice of media.

Each student had their own sketchbook, where ideas for the completed works were described, together with a written summary of the materials, photos or abstract ideas demonstrated, the final artwork being hung on the wall above.

This was where the awesome challenge of absorbing the ideas and media, proved an almost impossible task. They ranged from true life portraits, urban landscapes, zoo animals and abstracts, plus three-dimensional impressions of rock formations and some fun clay little monsters produced by the younger students.

Their tutor Michael told me that he had broken his back in a motorcycle accident about six months ago. He now appears fully recovered and had obtained the actual scans of his backbone and other parts of his anatomy. These provided not only a learning topic about actual body parts, but the students also produced their own interpretations of these. The final part of this exhibition was entitled “The human art condition”, providing not only a lesson in art but also exploring the subject of anatomy.

Some of the paintings were huge, about 3x4 meters in diameter. They covered different materials, from the familiar watercolours, oils and pastels, to three-dimensional acrylic textures, silks, tissue paper, coloured pencils and dry point plus acid utilization, to name but a few.

The exhibition ranges from young experimental works produced at the start of the secondary school year to mature art from pre-university students, who are waiting for the evaluation of their work during the “A” level exams. After that, there will be selections of students’ work available to buy.

I was amazed at the quality, diverse choice of subjects and their design and interpretation. I recommend this exhibition to not only knowledgeable artists, but also festival goers who recognize quality when they see it.

Thank you to all the students whose work is displayed at the Community School today. Buxton people have every reason to be proud of them. Well done!

Jackie Corrigan

THE GREAT DOME ART FAIR - Peak District Artisans

This is the now the 11th Great Dome showcase of the self-run, self-funded Peak District Artisans and they most certainly don’t let down their strapline of, “Individual creativity, collective excellence.” Achieving both these things and more, they are indeed creative – and in so many diverse ways. Collectively, they present an excellent and spectacular art extravaganza – and all this in the iconic setting of the Great Dome building. Hard to say what more one could ask for, long may it continue; it deserves strong support from the local community and visitors. The Earl of Burlington is the group’s President and an established photographer in his own right. Peak District Artisans are thrilled he felt able to take over the role from his grandmother, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, who had led the group with enthusiasm and interest for 15 years.

The PDA fine artists and designer-makers are probably as local as Peak District housing prices allow them to be and their proximity to this beautiful area inspires their work in so many ways. Some are directly inspired to capture the scenery: through pastel work using self-produced crayons (Sandra Orme); digitally-produced landscape representations (Jill Ray); narrative art (Ingrid Karlsson); almost photographic-looking watercolours (Roger Allen); well-framed oils and mixed media (Sarah Morley); bright and boldly captured farm animals (Lynne Wilkinson); striking collage work (Giles Davies) and vivid views of local life (Rob Wilson and Sue Prince). The local feel of this exhibition is a real feature and no better represented than by Rob Wilson’s donation of one of his works to a local charity as fund-raising gesture.

Others are inspired to works less related to locality but nonetheless excellent: intricate handmade jewellery - stoneware pottery with designer-glazed decoration - wood carvings – glass – silver – textiles – handmade paper with beautifully crafted handwriting – ceramic clocks….the list goes on … it’s a cornucopia of delights. None of these are to be missed and any mentioned above are simply the reviewer’s choice in a short visit - there’s more, lots more – in fact, there are no less than 57 artists to choose from! And, even more, there are two days of workshops here, given by the artists themselves.

This exhibition represents the finest in rural and urban creativity at its diverse best; it really is not to be missed. Reception at the door is pleasant and very helpful. There is a café and a bar to keep you refreshed. And …it’s free entry!!

Jim Marriott


Buxton Museum was founded in 1893, so this excellent summer exhibition celebrates its 125 years and 90 years in the current building. The exhibition, which is one of the highlights of the Fringe calendar, displays the work of artists and little seen objects, many from outside the Peak District. Some are from far-flung countries, collected and donated for the information and admiration of us, the Buxton people, and also for visitors of our lovely Spa town.

Local resident, Oliver Westwood, who is 97 years old, has been involved with the museum for most of his life and, during the exhibition preview, spoke of his recollections of the changes to the museum over the last seven decades. He was also involved in the creation of further fascinating exhibitions which are located on the first floor of the magnificent building, namely the “Wonders of the Peak” and “The Annual Derbyshire Open” art exhibition. The Museum is supported by Derbyshire County Council and has also received financial donations from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Bingham Trust and others.

There is art from China, a large collection from the Lomas family and a portrait of a magnificent cat, from Dove Holes. Some limestone 350 million years old is also represented. Local supporters include the Turner family of Ferodo and the Lomases. There are also several valuable Lowry paintings among others. The works of budding young artists are represented in the form of paintings and ceramics and there is an interesting collection of some four pieces of silver donated by former Wimbledon tennis players.

In my opinion, one of the highlights of the exhibition is a beautiful, large collage created entirely of butterfly wings. However, each of the wonderful exhibits has its own individual merit and I must congratulate the museum curator, Ross Westwood and her team of advisors on selecting this most interesting, valuable and amazing display of objects.

The museum is situated halfway up Terrace Road, between Spring Gardens and the Market Place. Further information can be found on the website:

Jackie Corrigan


I have to say right off the bat, I liked this exhibition. From the venue to the music it ticked all the boxes I took with me, and that’s something that doesn’t usually happen.

Whilst going to art galleries and museums to see art is ‘ok’, it’s always good to try something a little out of the ordinary and here’s where the first box was ticked – the artists home, and the cellar to boot. I had five children with me and they all thought it was cool!

The exhibition is actually the work of two artists and their work is shown in two separate areas. Upstairs, in the less cool room according to the kids, is work by Hugo Edwardes. Now, if you’ve ever leafed through an encyclopaedia, not Wikipedia, but an old-fashioned printed one of a certain age, you may recognise the source and style of the images you’ll see. Juxtaposition is what sprang to mind, but you can make your own mind up. There is also a chance to leaf through pages from source material used by the artist. The kids loved it, and I was surprised that my youngest knew the names of some of the, well that’s giving the game away.

Downstairs in the cellar is some of the work of CJ Robinson, and it has more of a multimedia style and content (more boxes ticked), with a good helping of ambient sounds (oh, another one ticked!), and a handy guide to some of the background of both shows. There are three sections to the exhibition, each has a different focus – words, sounds and music. There are nods to and influences from Glass, Eno, NIN, FSOL and Burroughs in his work and you should take the time to simply sit and absorb the work.

Do go and see/hear this if any of the above ticks your boxes. Do go and see this if it doesn’t as I think we need to support our Fringe in all its glory! I for one will be going back for another immersion.

Ian Parker Heath

NATURE'S PATTERNS - High Peak Artists

Having just completed my A-level textiles, I completely understand the intricacy and detail required to combine nature with the complex world of art!

I was initially intrigued by the description of the exhibition and the idea of local artists and craftspeople from the High Peak Artists' group tackling the vast subject of nature's patterns using a variety of different materials including painting, ceramics, photography, textiles and jewellery.

On my way to the exhibition, it felt very fitting to go through the Pavilion Gardens conservatory, which immediately ties in to the theme of patterns found in nature and expressed in art. As a volunteer at the Green Man Gallery, I am a big advocate of local artists and as I made my way round the exhibition I noticed how each artist displayed great passion and talent.

The Art Cafe felt spacious with quiet relaxing music in the background. The first thing that caught my eye was the use of colour. Each piece was displayed with a description of the materials used, how the art related to the theme, and the price. I enjoyed how each artist had taken creative inspiration from nature, and how intricate each work was. The standard of the exhibition was very high. Emma Sidwell's The Architect was bright and powerful with space and galaxies juxtaposed again beautiful figures, all created in pencil and watercolour. Jill Kerr's Mistlethrush, using linocut printing, made for some beautifully eye-catching pieces. The fantastic patterns of nature contained within the framed art continued through to a glass cabinet containing scarves, jewellery, ceramics and Hannah Dodd's delightful hand-felted birds. There were further patterns in nature to be found on the left hand wall, including Joyce Prime's Flora and Fauna, with a beautiful hare made with hand-pressed flowers and leaves.

The exhibition continues to the 2nd of September, each day 10:30am-4pm, so do take the opportunity to have a wander through the Pavilion Gardens conservatory and up the spiral staircase to this beautiful exhibition in the Art Cafe, while grabbing a drink with a friend and soaking in the atmosphere of nature's captivating patterns.

Alice Featherstone

INTO ABSTRACTION - The Louise Jannetta Gallery & Studio

Louise Jannetta is an artist who does not stand still and her stimulating latest exhibition showcases some of the work she has been doing recently while studying for a Fine Art BA at Manchester Metropolitan University.

It is a particular joy to meet the artist in her studio, a busy space which doubles up as her gallery and allows visitors to appreciate her newest artwork as well as playful pieces of experimentation and older pieces such as her beautifully tangled trees. Interestingly the latter read rather differently once you have seen them in the context of her abstracts.

Her most recent, highly textured abstracts are unashamedly big and bright - she says she has enjoyed not using 'tasteful' colours but experimenting with lime greens and pinks, reds and purples or zingy combinations of reds and blues. Contradictions abound - Myths in Translation is both vibrant and strangely peaceful while Circumlocution investigates confusion and convoluted routes whilst also leading the viewer's eye through it in a surprisingly coherent fashion.

The show-stopper in the room is Disturbance in the Force, a three-dimensional work that bursts out of its gilded frame in a riot of brightly-coloured paper collages. As arresting in a different way is Under Toad, a work that draws on the artist's background in upholstery to present what looked to me like a canvas that had gone into the operating theatre with all its taut sinews suddenly exposed.

The three-dimensional nature of much of the work adds to the excitement. A hand made out of air dry clay is veined with rust. It grips a jam jar from which is suspended a clay man whose copper skeleton has left him with verdigris 'bruising'. The whole adds up to one of those disturbing pieces that lodge in your mind.

There are write-ups on the walls revealing some of the artist's inspirations including the oppression of women, science fiction, human pain, cultural norms and much more but it is probably more rewarding to let the works speak to you directly and of course to talk to Louise herself who is a generous and fascinating host.

Stephanie Billen


So, the 2018 Fringe is here, and I’ve started with a visit to my favourite Buxton gallery. I always look forward to new arts shows on the Fringe and I wasn’t disappointed here. There’s a range of styles, themes and subjects in the show, all simply linked by the colour purple. You can’t miss the overall theme of purple as you are led to the gallery by a trail of purple ribbons and footprints from two directions and then upstairs to the show itself.

Many of the works are by local artists well-known to regular visitors to the gallery, and this is a great showcase for the local arts scene. As I said, there are distinctive styles and subjects to tempt you. I really liked the way they easily sit together with jarring the senses. Loved the book – go see it for yourself! If you’re thinking this is an adult only show – don’t! There is a thoughtful work by Isla Elford which should really grab the younger visitor’s attention, so don’t let them miss out on it! Given the prominence of the centenary celebrations of the Suffragette Movement it is no surprise that there are a couple of works which reference this.

Luckily, I managed to have a talk with the gallery manager about the show, and how it came in being. I was impressed that the show grew without being forced into being, that they felt compelled to in/exclude anything and that being out in the garden at midnight taking pictures was all in a day’s work!

If you want to see what local artists are up to, do go along as you can also peek into the workspaces of the residents while you are there. Don’t miss out!

Ian Parker Heath

THE DERBYSHIRE OPEN 2018 - Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

The four judges faced a daunting task in this year’s art exhibition. They selected 110 exhibits from the 252 works of art submitted. Of these, 31 were from young people under 21! I congratulate the judges on their ability to select such a variety of topics and media and also the artists for their talented depictions of the varied and fascinating aspects of the beautiful county of Derbyshire. These range from abstract collages to recognisable impressions of scenery and buildings, plus the local fun and games with topics including “Morris Men” and “Royal Shrovetide Football”.

The chosen works were very colourful and varied. There was a central display of three-dimensional sculptures, one of which, a bronze model of a bird in flight entitled “King of Derbyshire” by Jamie Hargreaves, won the Derbyshire County Council Young Artist Award.

A variety of media has been used, ranging from the bright colours of acrylic paint to soft pencil sketches, and with some works featuring an inventive mix of several different materials.

I asked a young boy who was inspecting the displays which was his favourite. Without hesitation, he replied: "the ice cream one!" He had good taste, as “Ice Cream in Matlock Bath” was selected for a Derbyshire County Council Award.

However, the painting beside that one has won the prestigious Derbyshire Trophy - it is an evocative portrayal in watercolour entitled “Nocturne, St Mary’s Gate, Derby by Ross Sallaway.

Many other amazing works of art received “Certificates” or were shown as “Commended”, but each and every one of the works on display are exceptional. I hope they will inspire visitors to explore Derbyshire and see our county with fresh eyes by remembering the artists' dramatic portrayal of the magnificent scenery, colourful customs and flora and fauna that surround us and are displayed in this amazing exhibition.

I recommend all visitors who come to Buxton during our July festival to include a visit to our museum. There they will see, among other historical exhibitions, the amazing “Derbyshire Open”, which is on display until 31st August 2018. It’s free entry and I assure them that they will be in for an unforgettable treat.

Jackie Corrigan