Material Girls. Clay. Craft. Camera
This exhibition sees Alice Mara’s clay buildings that come to life with photographic decoration; Lulu Willis’ creations inspired by people’s cast offs and Cathy Verney’s photography inspired by colour, light and texture.
Alice has spent her career developing the relationship between form, function and decoration, and has an insatiable appetite for new challenges. She experimented with printing methods before perfecting the art of realising photography in three dimensions, a complex and painstaking process.
Her previous work features the architecture of London, Brighton, Worthing and Eastbourne, capturing the colour, culture and character of these places. Her ceramic pieces offer a narrative of the lives led in these towns which, through the subtle use of symbolism, hint at the emotional backdrop of the residents.
Alice views the hallmarks of a ‘great work of art’ as being well made, functional and conveying a message or aesthetic that provokes a pleasant reaction. The loss of her father from her family life has informed Alice’s latest work in bespoke ceramic houses, which she hopes will help crystallise other people’s precious memories of family and home.
“There is something so wonderful in watching the enjoyment of my clients as we prepare a ceramic home in secret, especially for their loved one.”
When she is not busy working in her studio, Alice loves to travel, and finds inspiration in foreign architecture and urban patterns. She is also a seasoned stand-up comedian – and not the only one with a degree in Ceramics (Johnny Vegas has one too). It’s no surprise that Alice’s clients always walk away with a smile on their face.
Lulu spends a huge amount of time looking around charity shops and second hand emporiums, looking for quirky items to use on mirrors, old pictures, or to produce ghostly images peering through.
Lulu recently started making simple mechanical automata, something she loves and which gives animation to the pieces. She also likes using recycled doll parts for quirky brooches, pendants and earrings.
“During lockdown, my ‘go to’ programme was Grayson Perry’s Art Club. I submitted a piece in series two on the subject of work- I am a full-time carer for my son. The piece was called ‘Warrior Carer’ and included details of how unpaid carers and people with disabilities are treated and disregarded by society. We were lucky enough to be chosen and were included in the series exhibition at Bristol Museum. I met Grayson himself when the crew came to my house to film us for the programme – how amazing was that!”
Lulu’s artist name was chosen following a period of poor mental health. Having always been creative, but recently started using art and making as a form of therapy.
“It is now my passion and keeps me (relatively) sane!”
Growing up in Belgium, Cathy Verney met a tile designer who created vibrant tiles influenced by nature. This experience always stuck with her and influenced Cathy’s love of all things arty and crafty.
It wasn’t until she and her husband, Mike, moved to Ferring in 2011 that her photography took off in the form of postcards and calendars. This developed into a wide range of original photographic wall art on aluminium, acrylic, canvas and wood, including a range of gifts for the home in the form of textiles and lampshades. A love of colour, light and texture is evident in Cathy’s work.
Cathy has enjoyed being a part of Worthing Artists Open Houses, turning her outbuilding into a gallery (Blueview Art Studio) to host her own Open House events from 2017, collaborating with artists ever since. Her gifts have varied over the years, providing an eclectic range that is offered “from Ferring with love”.
“Crafting is a hobby of mine, from felting and painting to sewing, embroidery and mosaics. I am planning to start creating pieces for the studio.”
Tuesday – Sunday (Closed Mondays) // 10.00 – 17.00