Art in the Orchard

Fowle Hall Features is an arts event set in a small Kent orchard near Paddock Wood. It has run for 3 years now and is organised by a group of London based artists bringing their creativity in its various forms to a rural audience.

FHF III stage

This year they brought a number of Kent based artists into the mix to give it more of a local flavour. The aim of the event is to create a culture that values the space and time where artists can share openly and make new connections.

Friends

Within the show there were a variety of themes and common threads between the visual artists; broadly speaking an interest in different aspects of spirituality (or identity) which seemed to act as a gelling agent between everyone involved –  including the musicians, poets and visitors during the preview evening.

Preview

As we discussed our work during the organised critiques, I noticed recurring themes emerged as driving concerns behind our work, such as personal narrative, memory (collective and personal) memorial and honour, loss and renewal. I found this to be enriching; especially to learn from artists working in different mediums from myself, where there was a confluence of ideas as well as a diversity of approaches. I think the success was in the combination of sensitive selection by the organisers and the already existing friendships which were being nurtured.

Some work on display

What impacted me the most in terms of the progression of my own work was the idea of honour which was apparent in a couple of the artists work, for example:

Niki's work

Kent based artist Niki Campbell built an installation consisting of plaster cast mangos adorned with photographs of her mother who lived in India before coming to settle in the UK in the 60s. The mangos were placed under an apple tree which took on dual functionality; a surrogate for the mango tree in her Mother’s Indian garden and a memorial to her Mother’s dream of the rural-Idyll lifestyle envisaged for the future before her arrival in England. London life turned out differently.

Artists’ websites:

http://www.niki-campbell.co.uk
http://www.lc-art.co.uk/
http://www.re-title.com/artists/reem-shaheen.asp

Preview acts

Copyright © 2009 Jonathan Bentall

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One Comment

  1. Jenny
    Posted July 23, 2009 at 15:12 | Permalink

    Thanks for the link. I was glad of the chance to ask you in person about your work on display and am glad that you talked us through some of it. On arrival, you may recall that I was intrigued by the stones – you mention this installation by Niki Campbell above. At the time I wondered what it signified. Now I understand and find that really touching.

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