H-Art Festival 2013 – Herefordshire Open Exhibition


Welcome back to the last part of Hereford Art Festival 2013 reviews!  We had such a great time writing about the artists that presented their works at Herefordshire Open Exhibition, and we hope that you will enjoy our selection.

If you have missed our previous entries, do not despair. We have them all archived properly and links are posted below for your convenience.  Just a reminder – The Call of the Wild was dedicated to Love Zimbabwe and the art of Karl Hamilton -Cox. Part two took us to back alleyways where we had a chance to discover places that are normally closed for the public: The secret gardens of Apple Store Gallery and Fired Earth in-store exposition.

Part 1: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/h-art-festival-2013-the-call-of-the-wild/

Part2: https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/h-art-festival-2013-apple-store-gallery-and-fired-earth-exhibitions/

h.Art Herefordshire Open Exhibition leaflet - front
h.Art Herefordshire Open Exhibition leaflet – front
h.Art Herefordshire Open Exhibition leaflet - back
h.Art Herefordshire Open Exhibition leaflet – back

Today’s entry is a comeback to the mainstream. Herefordshire Open Gallery and Herefordshire Young Open Exhibition (which we sadly had to miss this year) are the two main events for H.Art Festival. Organized in the same heart of Hereford City, both of them draw huge crowds of visitors on their opening nights and remain popular through out their duration. We concentrated on Herefordshire Open Exhibition as it offered the best selection for our needs: younger artists were exhibiting next to well established local creators and international stars.
We tried to present sculptors, painters, mixed media artists and abstract painters – each reader can find something of interest for themselves.

Some artists had a chance to show their works twice: at the Herefordshire Open Exhibition and again at their own studios or homes (usually called venues). The full list of all venues opened during h.Art festival 2013 can be found in PDF folder below. Each place has a link to the official site, short description and one selected work that represents a solo artist or a group:

Click to access guide_2013.pdf

Enjoy our picks and do not forget to write to us to tell us what do you think!
You can reach us at rdabrowicz”yahoo.com. No spam please and thank you!

And now, Ladies and Gents, we are proud to present Vanadian Avenue Guide to the best art and artists of h.Art 2013! Enjoy!!


Julian Meredith – Woodcut prints
Official website:
More information: http://www.northhousegallery.co.uk/art-exhibition/artist/julian-meredith/bee-eel-elm-tree-extinction/

You know what they say – size matters, especially in art.  Julian Meredith is one of those artists, who can steal an entire exhibition with just a single piece of his work, and he did exactly that at Herefordshire Open Exhibition.  Julian knows how to work with big formats – sometimes hundreds of feet long and the final effects are simply breathtaking. Born in 1952, Mr Meredith has a long and very successful career in arts: he received  at least 30 prestigious awards, held multiple solo exhibitions and participated in group art displays on several continents. His works can be found in almost all important museums and private galleries in the UK and abroad.

Julian is fascinated by history, fossils, stones and natural prints of animals that inhabited the Earth million of years ago. His artworks feature mostly fish (eels, whales, tunas), but also birds, otters, deers and insects. He portrays an unique relationship between species and their environments. His favorite medium are wood cut prints colored by hand with oil and ink. Mr Meredith loves working outside of his studio as well: he is known to create enormous artwork in sand, snow or grass.  We were amazed how detailed his artworks are.  The picture you can seen below shows “Bluefin (Tuna)” one of his delicate prints made on rice paper. Every line, every bone or scale is clearly visible. The viewer has a feeling like his is watching the fish through the lens of a microscope – we are full of awe as we didn’t know such surgical precision in printmaking is even possible!

Mr Meredith’s daughter commented her father’s work with those excellent words: “My father lives in a world where wood becomes water which flows into fish which fall eaten to the bone crushed by stone into lime that lives as a whale formed in a field in a sea full of grass where water once ran.” We think no other comment is truly necessary.

Bluefin (Tuna), wood cut print by Julian Meredith was priced at £6,000 (framed) and £5,00 (unframed)
Bluefin (Tuna), wood cut print by Julian Meredith was priced at £6,000 (framed) and £5,00 (unframed)
Elmigration -wood cut print by Julian Meredith
Elmigration – wood cut print by Julian Meredith

Wendy Houghton – Porcelain paper-clay
Official website:
More information: https://www.facebook.com/wendyceramics

If you haven’t heard about porcelain paper-clay, don’t you worry, you are not the only one!  Rita and Mal has covered hundreds of art exhibitions and spoke to many artists, but we have never came across such medium in our art related  journeys before. Wikipedia to the rescue – by definition, paper clay is any clay body to which processed cellulose fiber (paper being the most common) has been added. Wendy Houghton uses porcelain paper clay to make the most delicate and elaborate ceramics sculptures we had a chance to see this year.

It takes years of practice and a lot of skills to use paper-clay. There is no single, universal recipe how to prepare this medium. Each artist composes his or her own mixture and works with it. If you’d like to give it a go, do not pester others to ask how they did it. The best way is to try it yourself, by trial and error. Porcelain paper-clay art is not for people who give up easily. Wendy has been perfecting her art for nearly 30 years but the works are worth all the pain, sweat and tears. Mrs Houghton says she is fascinated by the fragility, delicateness and vulnerability of the surrounding world and tries to add those qualities to her sculptures. One artwork named “Nest I” has been voted as one of the most popular pieces of art at Herefordshire Open Exhibition by the visiting public – and rightly so!

Nest I by Wendy Houghton (on the left) with another artwork in the background - priced at £450
Nest I by Wendy Houghton (on the left) with another artwork in the background – priced at £450

Will Carr – steel sculptures
Official website:
More information: https://www.facebook.com/willcarrsculptures

Will Carr is one of the youngest abstract and figurative sculpture makers from Herefordshire. He was raised on a farm and since the early age, was drawn to  technical and practical skills. He taught himself to weld old machinery parts  and by accident discovered his passion for creating and sculpting. Will has extraordinarily imagination that allows him to picture the final product before the work begins. He doesn’t need to sketch the concept or divide his time on separate parts.  His unusual vision and skills allow him to easily finish an entire sculpture in one take – something very rare for an artist that is at the beginning of his artistic path.

2013 proved to be an excellent year for Mr Carr. He has exhibited his works all over the county and won the prestigious Hereford Young Artist Bursary Award. Please keep your eyes open for Will – we will hear a lot about him in the nearest future!

Turkey Tail Fungus by Will Carr - wood and steel sculpture
Turkey Tail Fungus by Will Carr – wood and steel sculpture

Helen Crawford – Embroidery and textiles
Official website:
More information: http://h-art.herefordshire.gov.uk/hartvisithart2013/harteast/helen,-gilbert-and-rebecca-crawford,-rachel-padley-and-paul-shepherd-%281%29.aspx

H-art festival has always been a very important event  for us. We love discovering new trends, meeting talented people and looking at the beautiful pieces of arts. This year’s edition is double special as we not only had a chance to learn from the artists themselves by watching them at work, but also because we discovered Helen Crawford. Helen, a well established artist in Herefordshire, lives in small village of Bromesberrow near Ledbury. She specializes in embroidery, textiles and mixed media creating artworks so unique that they can only be called a true masterpieces. We know, we shouldn’t have our favorites, but Helen’s artworks are mesmerizing. Talking to the curators of Herefordshire Open Exhibitions, we were told that Helen has been taking part in H-art for about six years now and each year her artworks are well received by the critics and public. Rita thinks that last year, she must have been completely blind as she cannot find any other rational explanation how she managed to miss Mrs Crawford’s artworks. Helen holds a degree in Stitched Textiles from Gloucester College of Art and Technology and completed two City and Guilds Courses in Embroidery (Part 1 and Part 2). She is inspired by woodlands and wild landscapes surrounding Malvern Hills, music and poetry.

As  a member of Rubicon artist group , this is how she describes her own works: “My silk paper seascapes and landscapes are created from hand dyed silk fibers, which give me a rich palette for washes of color. Composition and content are integrated during the construction and subsequent enrichment of the surface with machine stitch and mixed media”.

Helen’s artworks were displayed in Venue 75 along with works of Gilbert and Rebecca Crawford, Rachel Padley and Paul Shepherd. We are not sure if Helen is related to Gilbert and Rebecca, but if she is, then the artistic talent runs in the entire Crawford family!
If you’d like to see Gilbert’s furniture and Rebecca’s hand made jewellery and artworks, please click on the links below:

Gilbert Crawford: http://www.herefordcraftguild.org.uk/#/gilbert-crawford/4549142865
Rebecca Crawford: http://www.myspacefruit.com/

Golden light by Helen Crawford - silk paper, mixed media and stitch
Golden light by Helen Crawford – silk paper, mixed media and stitch
Detailed picture of Golden Light from Helen's official website.
Detailed picture of Golden Light from Helen’s official website.

Véronique Avon – French artist in the UK!
Official website:
More information: http://www.atelierveronique.co.uk/index2.htm

What can happen if you take a French artist, move her to British country side, give her “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint Exupéry’ and a lot of  free time? The answer to this question is surprisingly easy: she will start painting!  Avon has been born and raised in Provence and moved to Herefordshire over 20 years ago. She still misses the sunshine, flowers and cicadas of France but is mesmerized by  black and white village trail, picturesque river Wye and the lovely landscape.

We admire Véronique for her well – defined style and for not being afraid to experiment. Her works are very colorful and beautifully designed – each painting has many layers, specific mood and a leading theme. Did we mentioned that she gives her paintings a long titles?  They are in fact haikus – our favourite is “Angels of the past, Of far away memories, Gardeners of the souls…” which you can see below on a picture.  Outside of painting, Mrs Avon is interested in medieval illustrations, stained glass window art and making prints and hand made cards.

Véronique Avon's fantastic work entitled "Angels of the past, Of far away moments, Gardeners of the souls..."  - oil on canvas
Véronique Avon’s fantastic work entitled “Angels of the past, Of far away moments, Gardeners of the souls…” – oil on canvas

Anita Louise Davies – geometric and expressionist  abstract art
Official website: http://anitalouisedavies.wordpress.com
More information: http://ciderhouseartists.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/anita-louise-davies-questioning-geometric-and-expressionist-abstract/

Anita Louise Davies is  an abstract artist specializing in geometric and expressionist forms.  There are not many artists out there who create such specific artworks and we have to admit, Mrs Davies is doing an excellent job. Her work entitled “Collateral Damage: On Face of it” has been made with aid cotton bandage, painted cards and safety pins and gained a lot of attention from the public. Anita exhibited two works at Herefordshire Open Exhibition and participated in collective display at The Cider House, Lodge Farm Barns in Canon Pyon  with Miranda Goudge, Caroline Holt-Wilson, Liz Morison and Dani Sangway (Venue number 9 as Cider House Artists).

Collateral Damage: On the face of it by Anita Louise Davies. Cotton bandage, acrylic paint  - not for sale
Collateral Damage: On the face of it by Anita Louise Davies. Cotton bandage, acrylic paint – not for sale
Professional picture taken by the artist. There are 16 small canvases on board
Professional picture taken by the artist. There are 16 small canvases on board

Anita took several detailed pictures for her blog and they can be seen here:

Simon Meiklejohn – kinetic art
Official website: http://www.simic.uk.com/
More information:

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy – said Hamlet to Horatio. Yes there are things in this world of art that Rita and Mal hasn’t heard of  yet. Well, we are learning fast! Another surprise after porcelain paper-clay, is the kinetic art.  Some of you might be really surprised that we just recently learned of its existence, especially when first kinetic sculptures were produced at the beginning of 20th century.  However, please note that we never studied art and everything we know comes from self studies and discoveries, exactly like this one. When we come across something new, we tend to research the topic, until we have a good understanding of it.

Simon Meiklejohn is a very well known kinetic sculptor living and creating in Hereford.  He studied fine art sculpture at Teesside University in Middlesbrough, UK and in Cleveland, USA.  He is also a certified mechanical engineer on both sides of the Big Pond. His works combine the best of both worlds: the precision of engineering and the beauty of art. His skills are unquestionable and Simon’s sculptures can be seen in many prestigious museums and galleries including Riverside Museum in Glasgow, the Royal Institute of Art in London, The Sea Henge exhibition in Kings Lynn, The Kelvingrove Museum & Art gallery in Glasgow.

Steel kinetic sculpture "Fleeting moment" by Simon Meiklejohn in motion
Steel kinetic sculpture “Fleeting moment” by Simon Meiklejohn in motion
Fleeting Moment in motion again
Fleeting Moment in motion again
Fleeting moment in motion for the third time
Fleeting moment in motion for the third time

Simon is the owner of engineering/artistic company named Form and Function and is open for commission work.
You can visit his business site here: http://www.form-and-function.co.uk/
Or visit his official YouTube channel to see the kinetic art in motion: http://www.youtube.com/user/simeiklejohn

For the H.Art, Simon contributed several sculptures: three were displayed at Herefordshire Open Exhibitions and others were displayed at Venues 65 and 113.

John Meiklejohn sculpture entitled "I''ll give you all you ever wanted (But if you want too much, I might go off you a bit)"
John Meiklejohn sculpture entitled “I”ll give you all you ever wanted (But if you want too much, I might go off you a bit)”
Simon Meiklejohn sculpture entitled "Of my own making"
Simon Meiklejohn sculpture entitled “Of my own making”


As last year, we would like to award some artists with Honorable mentions on our blog. We have chosen 4 creators that deserve to be watch closely. We loved their artwork and if our intuition is correct, they going to be huge in the next few years.

Honorable mention number 1 for 2013 is Andrea McLean.
Official website: http://andrea-mclean.co.uk/cv.html
More information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/mclean-andrea-b-1968
Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrea-McLean/189946051039253

Andrea McLean was born in 1968 in  Denbighshire, Wales. She studied at Falmouth School of Art, the Slade School of Art and the British School at Rome on an Abbey Scholarship in Painting. Her painting “A Contemporary Mappa Mundi’ is on display at the British Library as part of their permanent collection and can be found near the entrance to the map room.  Andrea has been voted as a favorite painter by BBC website viewers for their art project “Your Paintings”.  She lives and works in Ledbury.  For H.art Herefordshire Open Exhibition she donated “Ledbury Dreamscape”.

Andrea McLean's Ledbury Dreamscape, oil on canvas
Andrea McLean’s Ledbury Dreamscape, oil on canvas
Closer look at the Ledbury Dreamscape by  Andrea McLean
Closer look at the Ledbury Dreamscape by
Andrea McLean

Honorable mention number 2:  Jeremy Stiff
Official website: http://www.jemstiff.co.uk/
More information: http://www.axisweb.org/p/jeremystiff

Jeremy Stiff is living in the wilds of the Black Mountains, in South Wales, with his wife Menna Angharad a painter and a  daughter. They are in charge of a large  animal farm, an orchard and a bit of private forest. Outside of taking care of animals and  the nature, Jeremy is also an accomplished sculptor with many solo and group exhibition to his name in the UK and abroad. Mr Stiff holds HND (Higher National Diploma) in Figurative Sculpture and MA degree in Fine Arts from Cardiff Metropolitan University. At Herefordshire Open Exhibition, Jeremy displayed one of his newest sculptures entitled “Essentials”

Plaster sculpture Essentials by Jeremy Stiff being displayed at HOE
Plaster sculpture Essentials by Jeremy Stiff being displayed at HOE
Jeremy Stiff  plaster sculpture called Essentials
Jeremy Stiff plaster sculpture called Essentials

Honorable mention number 3:  Xaviere Hughes
Official website: none yet
More information: http://www.hca.ac.uk/About/Whos-Who/June-2013/Xaviere-Hughes

Xaviere Hughes completed his BA Honours Degree in Fine Art from Edinburgh College of Art, and an MA in Art & Design from Gray’s School of Art before studying for a Post Graduate Certificate of Education with the university of Wales and working in Arts Education. As a teacher at Herefordshire College of Arts, he mentored many young students who achieved national and international fame. In his own art, Xaviere concentrates on mixed media that mixes real life domesticity with careful composition and articulations of detail and colour.

In recent interview, Xaviere described his art with those  words:  “I am concerned with the choices and decisions that a person has the opportunity to make within their lifetime. I am interested in the way in which an ever changing and disposable society such as ours, can influence the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a generation. I am attempting to capture an essence of ‘lifestyle’ media bombardment by manipulating messages and imagery that have been conveyed both through history and via the mass media and mass consumerism. Take it or leave it…the choice is yours.”

Xaviere Hughs political incorrect art entitled "Mother Fucker", mixed media on paper
Xaviere Hughs political incorrect art entitled “Mother Fucker”, mixed media on paper

Honorable mention number 4: Kate Morgan Clare
Official website: http://morgan-clare.com/?page_id=36
More information: http://www.breconwomensfestival.co.uk/section582168_211332.html

Kate Morgan-Clare mixed media sculpture was Rita’s favorite piece of art at the Herefordshire Open Exhibition.  Entitled “The Granny chair”, it was made of delicate paper, beautifully colored and designed by the artist.  Kate lives in The Welsh Marches and currently is studying  for Fine Art Honours Degree at Hereford College of Arts. She has been painting for many years and her works has been exhibited numerous times. She is concerned with human condition, identity and a sense of place and memory.  Her best known work is a series of  mixed media drawings dedicated to children living in the UK during the WWII. Kate spent a lot of time investigating clothes, toys,  old photographs and histories trying to create works imitating real life during difficult time of loss and uncertainty.

Kate Morgan-Clare's Granny chair - mixed media art. Sadly, not for sale.
Kate Morgan-Clare’s Granny chair – mixed media art. Sadly, not for sale.

Wow! A real art overload. We could write on and on and on, and yet we would not be able to describe all  the wonderful artworks and  talented people who made them. If you have  a bit of time, please visit Hereford Library on Broad street, opposite the Cathedral. The art gallery is located on second floor, just upstairs from the library. Herefordshire Open Exhibition can be seen till the end of October. The Gallery is open 5 days a week (except for Mondays and Sundays) between 9 am and 19:00 pm and admission is free.
You can contact the Library by telephone at 01432 383600 or by email: herefordlibrary@herefordshire.gov.uk

Our next blog will be published on Halloween and it going to be dedicated to Doctor Who, so please make sure you stop by to read it!
You know you want to!

Till then,
Rita and Malicia D.

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