Monday, May 23, 2016

Arts and Crafts at the RHS Chelsea Show 2016

The artists - painters, printmakers, carvers, sculptors etc - exhibiting at Chelsea this week - in THE show in the Royal Horticultural Society's calendar are detailed below.

Various fairs - besides art fairs - are used by a lot of artists to develop connections with art collectors as well as sell their artwork and the various ways in which it can be reproduced. If you've thought of using a non-art fair or major event to market your art, you can get a pretty good idea of the type of artist who shows at such events by reviewing the artists listed below.

Links to their websites are embedded in their names.

Carvers and Sculptors

This is very obviously a show which is very popular with sculptors who I guess will be endeavouring to attract the attention of those with large gardens in need of a statement piece!
  • Martin Cook - carves stone for memorials (best known for the Bali Bombings memorial on Horseguards) and gardens. He's also made the The Shard Garden with Gary Breeze for the late publisher Felix Dennis.This year he's exhibiting one of the main attractions in the 'Fresh' category - called "The Antithesis of Sarcophagi Garden".
a representation of a world turned inside out; a garden inside a sculpture; desolation verses life; civilisation versus nature. 
Iris Torus by David Harber
The Iris Torus....inspired by the reflective facets of a cut diamond and the play between positive and negative and solid and void. The end result is dramatic, with the fragmented, laser-cut mirrored surface emulating the iris of an eye
  • Hesmondhalgh Sculpture - Brendan Hesmondhalgh is a Yorkshire based animal sculptor who works primarily in clay, wax and bronze.
  • Robert James Workshop Ltd - produces Literary Bronze Garden Sculptures
  • Eleanor Lakelin - Eleanor Lakelin uses a lathe and carving tools to make vessels and sculptural forms in wood.
The provenance of materials is of particular importance to Eleanor and she likes to share the story behind each piece of work. In order to create ethical and sustainable work, she has made it her challenge to only use wood from trees felled in South London or elsewhere in the British Isles.
  • Christopher Lisney Sculpture - He lives and works in Gloucestershire and describes himself as an artist blacksmith. He has specialised in garden sculpture since 1999 and likes making original, quirky, large scale sculptural metalwork. A regular exhibitor at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
  • Hamish Mackie Sculpture - Sculpting since 1996 with work in public and private collections around the world. He specialises in sculpting and casting movement in wildlife in bronze. Also works on commission and has a prestigious client list
“Observing animals in their own environment is essential to understanding the subject’s physical and instinctive traits. For example, the disposition of a captive predator is very different from that of a predator the wild.”
  • Nicholas Moreton - a working sculptor since 1986, based in Northamptonshire. His stand will incorporate a carving studio plus finished works
  • James Parker Sculpture - a Scottish artist who started making sculptures in 2007. Worked initially with slate using drywall process and now works predominantly with slate or glass but also produces mixed media works. Exhibiting sculpture suitable for gardens
  • Michael Speller - contemporary bronze sculpture. Started a second career as a sculptor after being successful in business - which in turn started with studies at Chelsea School of Art 1996 – 2000. Work in collections all over the world and some prestigious commissions.
  • Stonebalancing - Adrian Grey is an exponent of the art of stonebalancing and he also sells prints of his stonebalancing efforts which are susceptible to change when the tide comes in!
  • Kinetic Seed Sculpture by David Watkinson
      Straysparks Creative Metalwork
      - creating handforged metal sculptures. Shortlisted for best new product design at RHS Chelsea flower show 2011/2013/2015
    • Jan Sweeny - produces wildlife sculptures in bronze
    • Paul Vanstone and Coombe Sculpture Garden - Original sculptures by a prizewinning sculptor exhibited in a garden setting.
    • Edward Waites and Gladwell & Patterson - a sculpture garden of works by Edward Waite who specialises in animals and wildlife
    • David Watkinson - Kinetic and Static sculture - I rather like the idea of a sculptor who looks to natural forms and how they move to create a stimulus for sculpture. I rather like his sycamore seed kinetic sculpture which uses ball bearings so it can move easily in the wind.

    Painters and Printmakers

    I'm always surprised not to see more people who paint gardens for a living. They do exist and this is where I'd expect to find them - but not apparently in abundance this year.

    More popular are artists who use flowers and plants as the central theme of their artwork.

    Oil paintings by Linda Alexander 
    (as seen at the annual exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists 2016)
    • Linda Alexander - Botanical oil paintings. Linda is a member of both the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Society of Botanical Artists and exhibits on a regular basis at both shows.
    • Ian Bowles Wildlife Artist - a full-time professional artist for over 30 years painting wildlife and birds in watercolour and also sculpting in bronze
    • Sarah Caswell - paints flowers on unpainted linen. She's exhibiting a tondo of magnolias at this year's show. She also reproductions of her paintings on various products.
    • Susan Entwhistle - an ex textile designer who now uses acrylics and pointillism to paint gardens, woodlands and landscapes. She was commissioned to paint the Chelsea Flower Show garden "The Monaco Garden" for HSH Prince Albert of Monaco in 2011.
    • Batik by Jane Hickman - Has been painting using batik since 1986. Creates a number of products based on paintings of plants and flowers.
    Large Prints based on Batik Paintings by Jane Hickman
    • Jaci Hogan - produces large scale acrylic paintings on canvas and then reproduces the images on various domestic products
    • Bryan Poole RE is a New Zealand printmaker now living in the UK who has been a regular exhibitor at Chelsea in the past. His copperplate etchings of botanical subjects are much admired and much collected.  His work is in a number of prestigious collections.
    Bryan Poole at the 2008 RHS Chelsea Show
    • Amanda Ross - makes art from pressed plants. She uses textile inks, fabrics, paper, and plants from her pressed collection of horticultural cuttings to produce her artwork. She also scans individual plants into a library of images and then uses these to create digital collages which become limited edition prints.
    • Nel Whatmore - an artist who has been big business in licensing her art for a long time


    Textile Artists

    It's always interesting to see artists who create art out of textiles.
    • Alison Holt - a contemporary a UK contemporary textile artist specialising in freehand machine embroidery. I've seen Alison's work over a number of years and have always been impressed.
    • Anna Ray - an artist influenced by plants  and working with embroidery, textiles and texture

    Glass Art

    • Carrie Anne Funnell - a designer and maker for the last 16 years, creating kiln formed glass designed to transform an environment.


    There are surprisingly few galleries at the show.

    I think I spotted everybody - but if I missed anybody do give me a shout by leaving a comment!


    1. You forgot the major installation of felted poppies by fibre artists, Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight in association with Landscape designer Phillip Johnson. Here is a link to their wordpress site that mentions the 5000 poppies and the idea behind their creation.

    2. How wonderful! I would love to attend an exhibition of botanical-inspired art! It would be great inspiration for the green thumb I have. I adore the paintings on display as well.


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