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Bishop's Stortford and Stansted artists shine at the Harlow Open 2023 exhibition





A Bishop's Stortford husband and wife are just two of the town's artists exhibiting at the Harlow Open 2023 exhibition.

Adrian and Gunta Andrews are among 145 other creatives with 202 works at the show, which runs until March 11.

The pieces were selected by independent judges Kate Mason, Irena Posner and Damilola Lemomu. The exhibition has been curated by Elaine Tribley.

Gunta Andrews with her political piece (62057133)
Gunta Andrews with her political piece (62057133)

Gunta, 57, is showing in Harlow for the first time and uses textiles to tell stories.

Angry Yet? was created from vintage threads which were hand-embroidered onto linen with appliqué and took around a month to complete.

She explained: "It was based on some graffiti I'd seen which resonated with me. The world is a mess on so many levels – global warming, wars, attacks on people owing to gender, race, religion, UK politics, the unacceptable and ever-growing gap between the rich and the poor, and the lack of accountability, to mention just a few. How bad do things have to get before people get angry enough to take to the streets and start a revolution?"

Adrian Andrews with his two entries featuring Terry Hall (62057129)
Adrian Andrews with his two entries featuring Terry Hall (62057129)

She last exhibited at Katie Bradshaw's Art-Up, at what is now the Indie's office in Palmers Lane, last summer.

Adrian, who works in pharmaceuticals, creates stunning lino prints of musical icons in his spare time.

The 53-year-old's Harlow exhibits, Terry Hall (1979) and Terry Hall (2019), are a tribute to The Specials frontman who died in December.

They took around six hours to create especially for the show and are his second success at the Harlow Open. He has also exhibited at Sobell House in Oxford.

Toni Frostick (62057237)
Toni Frostick (62057237)

Like Gunta, Toni Frostick is a member of the Stortford Creatives collective.

The 38-year-old, who is an administrator and volunteer co-ordinator at the Gibberd Gallery and communications co-ordinator at the New Apton Centre in Bishop's Stortford, had two pieces accepted.

Waiting is a portrait in charcoal, a medium she mastered during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was also selected for exhibition at the Mall Galleries.

The Stars Inn by Toni Frostick (62057241)
The Stars Inn by Toni Frostick (62057241)

The Stars Inn, a work in soft pastel, is part of Toni's Shoreditch series, which earned her a reserve place for Sky Arts Landscape Artist 2021.

She has just completed a masters degree in arts policy and management with a distinction and has a blog called Artist, Academic and Working Class.

Sandrine Auriol with her work, Waiting in Brixton, top left
Sandrine Auriol with her work, Waiting in Brixton, top left

Sandrine Auriol, also a member of the Stortford Creatives, is a 43-year-old optical engineer who used photoplate lithography to create her piece, Waiting in Brixton.

She said: "My son and I were sitting at McDonald's in Brixton and I just liked the atmosphere of the place. The lady in the print is actually a model from Draw Brighton."

Sandrine is an amateur printmaker working at the Curwen Studio and specialises in working with linos and photoplate lithography.

You Are Not Alone by Nicola Anthony (62057152)
You Are Not Alone by Nicola Anthony (62057152)

Her first exhibition last year was at the Curwen Print Study Centre in Haverhill.

Sculptor Nicola Anthony is exhibiting two pieces created in her Bishop's Stortford studio.

It is her first Harlow show, but she was recently appointed as artist-in-residence for the UK Government at the UK Pavilion in Dubai and is currently making a series of sculptures to share the experiences and voices of people from Ukraine over the past year.

Nicola Anthony with Non Fungible Destinies (62057163)
Nicola Anthony with Non Fungible Destinies (62057163)

One of her most noteworthy sculptures was commissioned for Steven Spielberg's Shoah Foundation, featuring the story of a Holocaust survivor.

The Stortford Creatives member's choices for Harlow were You Are Not Alone 2022, fashioned from stainless steel, and Non Fungible Destinies 2021.

The latter features eight glass bottles "containing fortunes, magic spells, genetic code, blockchain, big data and delicate hopes" cut into peeled paint and suspended in a glass bottle.

Non Fungible Destinies by Nicola Anthony (62057161)
Non Fungible Destinies by Nicola Anthony (62057161)

She said: "This artwork was created post lockdown, as I'd been so fascinated by what questions, curiosities and thoughts were on our minds as a nation, and I wanted to capture them almost like a specimen for future generations, artists, poets and scientists.

"I'd downloaded Google data telling me the most popular searches per day by region, which gives a snapshot into the national psyche. These texts included people's wishes and the mantras we used to get ourselves through tough times.

"Some of this information I turned into block code, a digital language, and for good measure I included some of the human genome for future anthropologists.

Aine Corr with St Chanterelle (62057139)
Aine Corr with St Chanterelle (62057139)

"Having 'Non-Fungible Token' digital artworks on my mind, the title of this piece was a bit of a poke at that concept. As a sculptor, it's impossible to think of my work being digital or intangible."

Aine Corr has a degree in fine art painting from Brighton University and completed a PGCE to teach art and design, going on to work at St Mary's Catholic School in Bishop's Stortford and Forest Hall School in Stansted.

She retrained as a traditional upholsterer and has a workshop at her Stansted home.

St Chanterelle by Aine Corr (62057137)
St Chanterelle by Aine Corr (62057137)

She said: "I'm a painter with an experimental approach. I use a variety of media, including collage, ink, watercolour, spray paint and acrylic.

"My paintings feature saturated hues and bold, intense colour combinations to create a sense of liveliness and humour in my work.

"I have a magpie eye, collecting visual delights, oddities and wonders from historical sources, ecclesiastical art, mythology, decorative pattern, nature and landscape.

Harlow Open (62057135)
Harlow Open (62057135)

"Some of my work is autobiographical, exploring family heritage, identity and a sense of place/home. By making interesting, surprising connections, I'm also examining universal themes: love, loss, legacy, mortality and belief.

Her Harlow piece, St Chanterelle, is part of a triptych called Saints of Natural Science.

Aine, who has previously exhibited as part of the show, said: "Their faces are deliberately generic and stylised in homage to depictions of saints throughout the ages. These women are mysterious and powerful kick-ass heroines. I've named each one St Calendula, St Medusina and St Chanterelle."

Nick Dittrich
Nick Dittrich

Stortford graphic designer and artist Nick Dittrich, 61, is returning to the Gibberd Gallery after the Harlow 20x20 exhibition closed after a few weeks because of Covid-19 restrictions.

All of Our Lies is a collage using old billboard posters and dry transfer lettering.

He said: "This piece is inspired by my career as a graphic designer, where the exclusion of a single letter can dramatically alter the meaning of a sentence. I often use original text in my artworks; this one is a deliberate misuse of the word ‘lives’ as ‘lies’ by wearing away the ‘v’ with sandpaper.

All of Our Lies by Nick Dittrich (62079747)
All of Our Lies by Nick Dittrich (62079747)

"I've created 10 artworks of various sizes using this medium as that was all I had of the original billboard scraps I found. I’d like to do some larger pieces but can’t seem to convince any of the billboard printers to part with any old posters."

Nick has also exhibited at the Holt Festival, Hertford's Courtyard Arts Centre, Hertford Art Trail and Clavering Art Show to name a few.

He said: "I don’t like to label my artworks or myself as just one thing – I like to explore alternative ways of creating art. Let's leave it at that."

To commision Gunta, see Instagram @tired_and_freemotional

For Adrian, see Adrian – Instagram @headonthelino

For Sandrine, see – Instagram @sandrinedrawings

For Nicola, see – Instagram @nicoa_anthony or www.nicolaanthony.co.uk

For Aine, see – Instagram @ainecorrart

For Nick, see - Instagram @endartistuk



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