Exhibitions & Events

Herts Open Studios, the Herts Visual Arts Exhibition at Harpenden Public Halls, and more...

Don’t you just love wandering round exhibitions? That feeling of expectation as you enter.  Then perhaps love at first sight with an original painting. Or that eureka moment when you find the perfect gift.  If so, come and see local artists and designer-makers exhibiting a wealth of inspiration at the Art Exhibition & Sale at Harpenden Public Halls on 1st & 2nd September 2012.

Herts Visual Arts Members - who range from professionals to passionate amateurs - will be showcasing their high-calibre, affordable art work. In addition to oils and watercolours you will find sculpture, jewellery, textiles, printmaking, glass, photography and ceramics on sale. Something for everyone !

The event will be stewarded by members, happy to answer any questions visitors may have about the artists, or Herts Visual Arts – Hertfordshire’s largest arts organisation.

Students from Sir John Lawes School will be selling teas, coffees and cakes as part of their programme of fundraising activities towards a 4-week World Challenge in August 2013 (www.world-challenge.co.uk).

Harpenden Public Halls, Southdown Road, Harpenden AL5 1PD
Saturday 10am - 4pm, Sunday 11am - 4pm

The exhibition launches the Herts Open Studios season - this year running from 8th - 30th September. Artists across the county open their studios once again to invite the public to see art in action. It’s a great opportunity to interact with the artists, talk about their work and inspiration and buy or commission work from them.




Colin's Turnery 'THE HIDDEN BEAUTY' exhibition is taking place at The Mill Green Mill and Museum from 15th September to 2nd October 2012.

It will show just what is hidden beneath the bark of trees. The wood that people don't see when walking in the park or along the road. "I always look for the unusual, interesting pieces of timber and like to design showing the wood at its best. Items are of my own design. I mainly use native hardwoods, but will use exotic timbers for some individual artistic pieces."
The Mill at Mill Green is an historic working water mill on the River Lea in a secluded little hamlet between Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City, just off the A414.



The Tentmakers of Old Cairo 29 Aug - 5 Sept 2012The Upstairs Gallery, Berkhamsted

‘Tentmaking’ is the art of making highly intricate hand-stitched appliqued wall hangings in traditional designs. It is a traditional art form from early millennia BC.  The work is called ‘tentmaking’ because, traditionally, this applique ‘quilt work’ was stitched onto canvas and used as the lining of a tent. On the outside a visitor would see just plain white canvas but, stepping inside a large tent, he would be dazzled by the bright, intricate wall hangings as in a palace. These spectacular pieces were used from ancient times as the decorations for the inside of tents for celebrations.

Sadly, the tentmakers’ art is dying - prints now mimic the hand-stitched, needle-turned applique and are so much cheaper that they are replacing the tentmakers’ traditional work at all celebrations in Egypt such as weddings, funerals, street parties, Ramadan eating areas. The number of ‘tentmakers’, who were exclusively men is declining rapidly and instead of hundreds they now number only in their tens. Efforts are being made to preserve their heritage by bringing their work to a wider global audience through exhibitions at major national and international quilt shows.

For the most part, the ‘Tentmakers’ are men. They are based in Khan Al-Kheminiya in Old Cairo. They specialise in hand-stitched, needle-turned applique work, for the most part in cotton, on cotton or canvas. The majority of their designs are geometric, many based on the lotus flower, but others are pictorial (birds are popular) or figurative, and some feature Arabic and Kufic script, appropriate to the event for which they have been made. Although the work is traditional, there is continual innovation in design, particularly by the master craftsmen, who delight in showing their latest masterpieces.

The Upstairs Gallery,
268 High Street (above the Post Office)
Berkhamsted HP4 1AQ

Open Tues-Sat (10am - 4pm) www.upstairsgalleryberkhamsted.co.uk




BEDS, BUCKS & HERTS PRINT SOCIETY EXHIBITION Friday 31 Aug - Sunday 16 Sept 2012

An exciting printmaking exhibition from the BBH Print Society.  Hand pulled prints of all techniques that include linocut, screenprint, collagraph, solarprint, etching and drypoint.

'Snow Drain' by Eve Duncan

'Buckingham Oak', by Diana Ashdown

'Fiesta' by Helen Boden

'Retro Squares' by Michaela Matza

'Hania' by Bernie Grist

'Vulurine Guinea Fowl' by Marian Carter

Obsidian Art, Layby Farm (The Bucks Goat Centre), Old Risborough Road, Stoke Mandeville, Bucks HP22 5XJ

Open daily from 31 Aug to 16 Sept (Mon- Sat 10am - 5pm / Sun Noon - 4pm)

www.obsidianart.co.uk   www.bbhprintsociety.org.uk



Sketchy Zoo Theatre
in the Marquee at Paradise Wildlife Park
Saturday 22nd September 2012 6.30pm
A night of Performance, Art and Animal entertainment including a BBQ and drinks reception for all guests.
Produced and directed by Hercules Fisherman (artist in residence at Paradise Wildlife Park)
This production is themed around ancient mythologies
Sketchy Zoo encourages audience participation by facilitating a setting whereby the audience can paint, draw or photograph throughout with performances, static models burlesque acts and some parts that will include animals from the zoo, primarily ones that have passed the safety checks both for the animals and the people present by the zoo keeper, likely to include mammals like horses and goats, birds and vertebrates. There will be drawing materials and sketch boards made available for anyone interested to take part or others who would like to shoot photographs or record movies.
The Sketchy Zoo is a type of sketchy theatre/cabaret that also features live animals from the Zoo.
There are short pieces from disparate groups of actors, singers, musicians and dances. The overall flavour of the evening is more like a cabaret, naturally with a greater emphasis on the visual aspects of the performances. It is going to be a memorable evening with many entertaining pieces by various artists, musicians and dancers displaying their skill and variety of art forms. They will bring with them even exotic musical instruments and with equally colourful costumes to match. The inclusions of animals in the acts will bring another dimension of authenticity. The performers also become the models often holding short poses to allow the audience make a sketch or a drawing.
The paradise wildlife park has a fantastic collection of animals and is engaged in various wild life preservation, participating artists are very happy to be involved in this project with the main proceeds to be donated to Wildlife Heritage Foundation that funds the operation of The Big Cat Sanctuary and other big cat conservation projects around the World.
Sketchy Zoo also welcomes donations of audience sketches towards the raffle on the evening or for auction at a later date to help raise further funds for the Wildlife Heritage Foundation.
Tickets are priced at £29.99 (Half price £14.99 to Herts Visual Arts Members).  Please contact Hercules Fisherman for further details or visit www.sketchyzoo.com