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Bishop's Stortford optician Ashwell and Barrie giving free space for artists and photographers to display their works



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An optician in Bishop's Stortford is continuing to offer artists and photographers a place to hang out... their work!

ArtWall is a visionary community project founded by Simon Harris, principal optometrist at Ashwell and Barrie in North Street.

While galleries often charge to display work and also take a commission of sales, the concept of ArtWall is to provide a free exhibition space for amateur and professional artists and photographers to display their work.

North Street optician Ashwell and Barrie is the home of ArtWall
North Street optician Ashwell and Barrie is the home of ArtWall

An exhibitor can display up to 12 pieces – depending on size – for a month on the Ashwell and Barrie ArtWall. They will also be posted on the ArtWall Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

It is the only space locally to offer this opportunity and is open to anyone. The only limitations are that the work can be displayed using the installed hanging system (so only 2D pieces) and must be suitable for a family audience (no violent, political or inappropriate material).

The artist for December is Nick Dittrich, a member of Bishop's Stortford Art Society.

ArtWall's featured December artist Nick Dittrich
ArtWall's featured December artist Nick Dittrich

He uses a variety of mediums – acrylic and oil paint, charcoal, graphite, pastels and chalks – or anything else that comes to hand, such as objets trouvés, recycled advertising posters and old books.

Nick considers the canvas to be a part of the artwork and not just the substrate, so often manipulates the canvas by stitching it together, cutting or ripping it, sanding or adding a spot varnishing, also embedding or inserting objects through the canvas surface to create an extra dimension.

If you would like to display your artwork at ArtWall, email contact.artwalluk@gmail.com or pop in to Ashwell and Barrie at 34-36 North Street (CM23 2LW).

'154', acrylic, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'154', acrylic, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'All Our Lies', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich
'All Our Lies', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich
'Desire Beyond Reason', acrylic, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'Desire Beyond Reason', acrylic, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'Life Lesson #1', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'Life Lesson #1', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'not in my gaze (but in my head)', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich
'not in my gaze (but in my head)', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich
'Tchotchke', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'Tchotchke', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, by Nick Dittrich
'Torn from the streets', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich
'Torn from the streets', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich
'Wait, it will reveal itself', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich
'Wait, it will reveal itself', mixed media, 20cm x 20cm, £90, by Nick Dittrich


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