insideKENT Magazine Issue 61 - April 2017 - Page 38

ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

ART GALLERY FINDS A NEW HOME IN KENT

THIS EASTER BANK HOLIDAY WILL SEE AN ARTISTIC COUPLE OPEN THE DOORS TO THEIR VICTORIAN TOWNHOUSE AS THE VENUE FOR AN ATMOSPHERIC EXHIBITION OF CONTEMPORARY ARTWORKS .
Alongside their own work husband and wife team , Stuart Devoil and Kirsty McHattie , will also be showcasing the work of a collection of other hand-picked artists , as Kirsty explains : “ The exhibition is designed to offer an offbeat take on the traditional gallery environment and visitors will no doubt experience a sense of unreality as they browse the work on offer , knowing they ’ re in a real home .”
The show , titled ( Absence of ) Remarkable Geography , brings together a collection of artworks chosen for their relation to interconnected themes of architecture , landscape , memory and dream .
Stuart says : “ We ’ re seeking to create an atmosphere where everything is familiar , if slightly skewed or off balance . There are definite elements of comfort mixed together with notions of subconscious and , while we want visitors to feel at home in our home , we also want them to feel a sense of curiosity and a need to explore .”
Kirsty and Stuart are familiar to the concept of allowing complete strangers access to their home , having hosted gallery exhibitions across the water from Kent in their previous Essex home .
Kirsty takes up the story : “ Stu and I co-founded an arts group in Leigh-on-Sea in 2011 . We operated a retail gallery , as well as a working artists ’ studio and produced a programme of exhibitions , both for ourselves and for commercial and public sector clients . We wanted to do something entirely different , and hit on the idea of opening our home as a gallery .”
“ The first show was nerve wracking ! We had no idea how visitors would respond , but they loved it . From there , we hosted exhibitions in other private residencies , curating themes in balance with the interiors and atmosphere of each very individual home .”
The couple are keen that this first show in Kent will be the springboard for continuing the concept across the county .
The work on offer ranges from painting and drawing to ceramics and objet d ’ art , and represents a collective dialogue , with each piece being carefully chosen for its relationship to the collection as a whole .
Stuart says : “ The collection has come together in a very natural , organic way and moving to Kent has enabled us to connect with some very talented artists whose work combines parallels to our own aesthetic with their own originality and freshness .”
With the opportunity to purchase work and meet the artists , a visit to this intriguing exhibition is a must for anyone with an interest in contemporary art this Easter weekend .
( Absence of ) Remarkable Geography runs from Friday 14th to Monday 17th April at 2 South Terrace , High Street , Farningham , Kent DA4 0DF . The gallery is open each day between 10am and 4pm .
For more details , contact Kirsty McHattie on 07903 011890
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