We would like to welcome origami artist Caroline Preston, new to the gallery this year. Caroline produces stunningly delicate and colourful framed origami pieces, a technique she learnt in Japan. Caroline speaks a little Japanese too and she embellishes a lot of her work with her own poetry, a wonderful fusion of East and West. By coincidence, Caroline, who lives in North Devon, also happened to study at the same art school in Northampton where I went. Our paths didn't cross, however, my attendance was in the days of 'black and white', shall we say.
Last week we also popped over to see Margaret Johnson to select some of her stunning and ever-popular glassware. We are expecting some lovely new pieces soon and just as well, we don't have much left, especially after the Christmas rush. Margaret's technique involving straw silk fibre and precious metal foils to create bowls, glass panels and other decorative art forms for interiors was also honed in Japan and her work, especially her shoals of fish, exudes the essence of the far east but with a distinctly Cornish flavour.
On Wednesday we took a commission for one of Clive Maddison's wire tree sculptures which first came into the gallery late last year but have proved to be extremely sought after and have travelled as far as Milan, St. Petersburg and Stuttgart. This commission is only going to Barnstaple however, but that's still exotic isn't it?
Although Devon artist Clive has never been to Japan, as far as I know, his wire tree sculptures are heavily influenced by the Japanese art of Bonsai. His sense of precision and attention to detail would be admired by many a master from the land of the rising sun.
So, for someone like me whose travelling exploits have only taken me as far east as Lowestoft this is truly a cultural experience to savour. There really is only one thing I can say to that...
Below, examples of the work by Caroline Preston, Margaret Johnson and Clive Maddison which can be viewed at West Gallery from 21st of March and will be available on this website very soon... watch this space!