Celebrating the creative spirit at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery

David. Andrea and their daughter Mims son Joe, subject of a painting
David. Andrea and their daughter Mims son Joe, subject of a painting

Imagine That! offers an exhibition celebrating the creative spirit at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery from September 10-15, open daily 10am to 4.30pm.

Andrea and David Chance will be joined by fellow exhibitors watercolourist Mim McCann, ceramicist Daphne Casdagli, print maker Ann Foster and embroiderer Peter Murphy.

Also exhibiting will be Jane Wentworth Blain, Alison Dickinson and Aidan and Daisy Mason. As Andrea explains, the group is based in her head. From the first time she entered the Oxmarket Gallery she began to imagine. She had a vision of how it might look filled with the inspiring work of a disparate group of her friends. In the year of her 70th birthday, it seemed perfect timing to celebrate the creative spirit. In particular she wanted to see gold shining on the gallery walls, she says.

The idea is simply to share the space with others who have caught the vision and are courageous enough to trust her to make the dream a reality. Initially she invited fellow icon makers.

“Eight of us have links with the Canterbury School of Sacred Art led by Peter Murphy. For some iconography is not their natural discipline; others have studied techniques, history and the religious significance and meaning of icons for many years.”

Andrea, Jane and Alison fall into this latter category. It is their gold leaf alongside Peter’s which will enliven the gallery walls.

“Peter plans to be present on Tuesday, September 10 to give informal demonstrations and talk to visitors and there will be a more formal lecture from him from 1pm-2pm on that day. This is a unique opportunity to encounter an internationally recognised master of this fascinating art, which has captured the imaginations of so many in recent years. We make our own egg tempera paint using a mixture of egg yolk, alcohol, water and finely ground pigments from the earth.

“These range from relatively cheap ochres to eye wateringly expensive gem stones such as lapis lazuli. Then there is the gold leaf which Orthodox Christians call the Uncreated Light of God. As modern science tells us, all gold is the last hurrah of a dying star and was created in stellar explosions long before our earth existed perhaps they are right However this exhibition is a celebration of many and varied creative minds.”

Andrea and David’s daughter Mim McCann and friend Daphne Casdagli are well respected local artists who bring their gifts of sculpture and print making to contrast with the paintings, as does Ann Foster whose background in conservation of historic tapestries is evident in her sensitive embroideries of flowers.

“The immediacy of the water colour diaries and landscape paintings of David Chance capture a moment and transport us to many beloved locations around the country, often under the blue skies so illusive this summer.”

Andrea and David’s grandchildren Aidan and Daisy represent the next generation of artists. At the age of five an icon painted by Daisy was shown at Canterbury Cathedral and seen by about 2,500 visitors.

There will be ongoing informal demonstrations throughout the week and also two musical recitals. On September 14 from 1-2pm Rob McCann will entertain on a variety of harmonicas. On September 15 from 2-3pm classical guitarist Linda Kelsall Barnett will perform.

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