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  • Writer's pictureBen Fearnside

Art, Arrows and Arms

Art isn't all inspiration and alchemy. After the success at Gallery 40 for the Brighton Festival Fringe and a busy, creative summer, all metal painting was suddenly put on hold. There were important practical matters to attend to.

The plastic roofs on the art studio and outbuildings needed replacing: the freezing winters, paint-boiling summers and general damp were getting unmanageable.

It was a difficult job but I was helped by my friends Nick and Jack Tettersall from Mid Sussex Roofing. Great job done.

At last, I have daylight coming in from the roofs into my studios!

I also had some work done on myself. I needed an operation on my shoulder. This was probably caused by RSI from archery. But all that roofing was the final nail, as it were.

The operation went well, thanks to the fantastic NHS surgical team in Haywards Heath. Being forced to rest was a tad pesky as I struggle to sit still for more than five minutes. For six weeks I wasn't allowed to pick up a brush, let alone stretch a canvas!

This did give me time to reflect on my artwork though, the direction it was taking, and the feedback I had received from the May exhibition.

I did my rehab physio dutifully, and by October I was painting again. I'm really enjoying my refurbished studios.

Partly inspired by precarious balancing on the roof, my geometric abstract art has taken a new direction with the 'Falling' series. The glimpses of blue through my skylights may have inspired the colours.

As well as the copper, bronze, brass and iron, I've been experimenting with powdered slate and some heavy oxidizing agents. Work in progress!

I'm looking forward to showing new work in my Metal on Canvas exhibition at Galley 40 for the 2018 Brighton festival.


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