Nicholas Toovey visits the Brighton Art Fair

Claire Palastanga's Black Heart Dish

The Brighton Art Fair held its Private View this evening and opens the doors again on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of September. Nicholas Toovey had his usual snoop around the show viewing the contemporary art on offer. Familiar faces from the Contemporary Art Auctions were present and offered some of the highlights of the show. Dan Bennett was showing his amazing work inspired by phosphenes – the intricate swirling patterns that form before the inner eye. Natalie Martin had two wonderful depictions of the West Pier, Brighton on display, whilst Sheila Marlborough’s bright and vivid landscapes leapt from the white background of her stand. It is always a pleasure to have a chat with Eve Shepherd especially when you can admire her fascinating bronze ‘Broken’ in the process. It was also nice to see some ceramics on display, with Contemporary Art Auction regular Claire Palastanga having arguably the most subtle but eye-catching display in the Corn Exchange. A heart-shaped dish similar to the one pictured was truly beautiful in the flesh – unsurprisingly she had already made her first sale by the time Nicholas got to say hello. Sarah Young, Bill Phillip and Frances Doherty made up the other exhibitors that can regularly be found at Toovey’s Contemporary Art Auctions. Other artists that have not participated in the auction before, included Christine Tongue, Claire Bibaud and Gillian Bates, whilst the two printmakers Janet Brooke and Flora McLachlan are well worth seeking out at the 93 stand art fair. For more information visit www.brightonartfair.co.uk.

Open 11, Worthing Art Exhibition & Competition

Worthing Open 11Nicholas Toovey has been selected as one of the three judges for this year’s Open 11 Art Exhibition & Competition at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery. The competition is open to all artists, amateur and professional, who reside in Sussex. Nicholas is delighted to once again be supporting and promoting contemporary art in Sussex.  Entries are invited for the competition until 27th May. Selected work will then be displayed after the launch and prize-giving evening on the 17th June until Saturday 24th September.  The themes for this year’s competition are: ‘Food for Thought’, ‘Celebrations’ and ‘Sport and Fitness’. If you would be interested in participating in the event and would like more information please visit:

http://www.worthingmuseum.co.uk/exhibitions/open11exhibitionandcompetition/

Hung, Drawn & Displayed at Horsham Museum

If you want your visual senses to be numbed by the quality, revived by the beauty and then ripped apart by the drama of some of the images, then you don’t want to miss Hung, Drawn and Displayed at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery. If that wasn’t enough you can have the adrenalin rush of the auction process as you can enjoy the chase of buying your favourite piece on May 28th at Toovey’s Spring Gardens salerooms. In an exhibition featuring the work of sixty artists, including some of the regions most talented contemporary names, the visitor can, in the relaxed atmosphere of Horsham museum, enjoy seeing the contrast of 21st Century art in the relaxed atmosphere of the Causeway’s medieval timber-framed building.

Horsham Museum’s new Art Gallery was launched last year with Artventure, a preview exhibition of Toovey’s Contemporary Art Auction. It proved to be a great success, not only in showcasing work, but also in revealing that there was a desire in Horsham District for such an opportunity.  The success of the show was such that Horsham Museum and Art Gallery were delighted to be able to repeat the opportunity. An opportunity where the public can enjoy spending hours looking at the works hung, drawn and displayed.

The exhibition and sale has been organised by Nicholas Toovey, sourcing emerging and established artists and craftsmen from across the region with an emphasis on the local scene. Nicholas has managed to pull together some amazing works by renowned artists including Chris Kettle whose painting Natura Sola Magistra, will be a talking point for visitors. Along with paintings are various craftsmen, some exhibiting for the first time, each merging the boundary between art and craft. No doubt tying people in to knots over the meaning of art, will be Horsham-based ceramicist Deborah Timperly, whose work Knotted and Hung will cause some debate.

Chris Kettle's oil on canvas 'Natura Sola Magistra'
'Natura Sola Magistra' by Chris Kettle
Deborah Timperley bone china 'Knotted and Hung'
'Knotted and Hung' by Deborah Timperley

The free exhibition Hung, Drawn and Displayed opens on Friday 8 April and runs till 11 May at Horsham Museum & Art Gallery. Two weeks later on 28 May all works displayed will be auctioned at Toovey’s, Washington. A fully-illustrated catalogue with more information on every artist is available from the museum, helping raise funds to enable it to buy contemporary art, preserving the present for the future.

The Brighton Open Press Release

Which magnet will you choose?

Brighton is about to attract its first magnetic art festival. Event organizer and artist Alban Low has over the past two years established smaller exhibitions across the country from Bath to Manchester. With the kind sponsorship of local fine art and antique auctioneers and valuers, Toovey’s, The Brighton Open will be the biggest and most high profile outdoor magnet exhibition undertaken in England (or even the world). In this distinctive exhibition over 200 artists will be participating and 500 magnetic images will be displayed on the seafront of Brighton from May 7th as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival.

The headline artists for this intriguing new event are Chris Kettle, Alban Low, Jane Denman and Natalie Martin. Featured artists are Sarah Young, Gemma Cumming, Amanda Brownridge, Dean Reddick, Stuart Simler, Bryan Benge, Shyama Ruffell, Peter S. Smith, Citizen Skwith and Glyn Walton. But everyone in the city is invited to take part – not just artists, but doodlers, photographers, children, pensioners, schools and whole local communities.

For this show students of the local Varndean School have been invited to participate, keeping the ethos of the Brighton magnet exhibition ‘open’.

Alban says ‘The Brighton Open will conceptually transform the seafront of Brighton into an open-air museum, where viewers are unusually invited to move artworks around and even take their favourite work of art back home with them – for free’. Collectors can then log onto the website address on the magnet to find out more about their new 5cm x 7cm miniature artwork. Visit www.brightonopen.blogspot.com for more information.

Magnetic Exhibition on Brighton Seafront
The Brighton Open Magnet Exhibition