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Adventures with Sarah Jane Brown, Jennifer Pearce

(June 01, 2017)

Adventures with Sarah Jane Brown


   Sarah Jane Brown
Sarah Jane Brown

 Preview: Creating Space, Joanna Field Gallery, Milford Haven
runs 2-29 June

Review: Be bold for change,
Off the Wall Contemporary Art Gallery, Llandaf
 


Sarah Jane Brown - Turning inwards 30x60 cm
Turning inwards, Sarah Jane Brown
oil on canvas, 30 x 60 cm
Image © Sarah Jane Brown

Sarah Jane Brown will present a solo exhibition Creating Space in the Joanna Field Gallery, based at The Torch Theatre in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. The professional theatre venue and arts complex was established in 1977 and is one of only three building-based producing theatres in Wales; alongside Sherman Cymru, Cardiff and Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Flintshire. Along with the gallery, the Torch also houses a café and a state of the art 3D digital cinema.
 

Sarah Jane Brown - Invigorate, oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm
Sarah Jane Brown, Invigorate
oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm
Image © Sarah Jane Brown
 

Sarah Jane featured in Off the Wall Contemporary Art Gallery, Llandaf's show, which I caught just before its close in March. The exhibition showcased over 30 women artists as part of International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on 8 March.

The Old Probate Registry, in which Off the Wall have their gallery space, was built in 1857; a strong example of Victorian design. Its architect John Prichard is buried in the graveyard of nearby Llandaf Cathedral, which he restored. This secular building is solid and built for purpose, so not an obvious choice for a gallery for contemporary art. However, once over the threshold and through the portcullis you turn right into two high ceilinged well-lit spaces with a very warm welcome. The main exhibition space houses the current exhibition, with sculpture, ceramics and framed works.

Sarah Jane Brown - Emerging oil on canvas_50x50cm
Sarah Jane Brown, Emerging
oil on canvas, 50 x 50 cm
Image © Sarah Jane Brown

The style of the work is varied and prices start at around the £70 mark leading up to close to £2k. The gallery welcomes browsers as well as those new to collecting, aiming to offer truly affordable art at any time of year. It is therefore a place to visit regularly and a real option for landmark birthday, anniversary or unique wedding gift shopping.

Featured artists include self-taught talents, such as Janine Wing, whose striking work is colourful, and magnetic in its pull on your attention.

Janine Wing, sunflower, collage mixed media on board 41 x 51 cm
Janine Wing, Sunflower
Be bold for change exhibition at Off the Wall
mixed media collage on board, 41 x 51 cm

Corrie Chiswell is one of the gallery's stable of artists. She often shows work that is like a cold hyper-real Vermeer, but here we are treated to a colourful exuberance of red dress and flesh, in her Girl with Fan. Chiswell was Winner in painting, Welsh Artist of the Year 2009.

Corrie Chiswell, Thinking of Diego, oil on canvas 46 x 46 cm
Corrie Chiswell, Thinking of Diego
Be bold for change exhibition at Off the Wall
oil on canvas, 46 x 46 cm

Born in the Netherlands, Jacqueline Alkema studied in Cardiff and has made a huge impact on the Welsh art scene. She is a Trustee of the Women's Arts Association Wales, a member of The Welsh Group and of the Contemporary Art Society of Wales. I was lucky enough to help hang her exhibition My Mother’s Sewing Box at Arcade Art in 2011. Her work is always so rich and personal, both visually and thematically. A bargain piece of hers was included in the Be bold for change show, a portrait of a woman and an internal feeling, Oldie Goldie’s karaoke series.

Jacqualine Alkema, The dancer, oil in acid free paper 36 x 44.5
Jacqualine Alkema, The dancer,
Be bold for change exhibition at Off the Wall
oil in acid free paper, 36 x 44.5 cm

Sara Jane's inclusion in Off the Wall's Be bold for change show follows a solo exhibition there in November 2016; My Peninsularity. Brown has exhibited with the Royal Society of Marine Artists at their annual show at the Mall Galleries, London. They held a special exhibition at Tenby Museum and Art Gallery in 2016 and I can vouch that their work is of an exceedingly high standard. They are currently open to submissions until June, so if you know of an artist working in seascape, maritime or marine scenes why not encourage them to try?

Sarah Jane Brown is lucky enough to live in Pembrokeshire. Her work depicts not just the seascape and landscapes of that area but conveys the affect on the inhabitant of the mood of light and weather. At times sublime, thought provoking, comforting or challenging, her work puts the viewer in nature and the emotional viewpoint of the artist.
 

Sarah Jane Brown, Tomorrow is another day, oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm
Sarah Jane Brown, Tomorrow is another day
oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm
Image © Sarah Jane Brown

My particular favourite of hers in the Be bold for change show was True Purpose, where the sun has broken through the dark clouds on a wet beach on a dull day. It’s a very familiar experience for me having lived in Wales and walked its coast and hills for many years. The shaft of light is a reward that can seem spiritual when you have pluckily endured windswept drizzle and salty spray in dim light for hours.

Creating Space opens at the Joanna Field Gallery on 2 June 2017 with a special Open Evening until 8pm, where there will be the opportunity to meet the artist and discuss her work. This solo exhibition will then run until 29 June.

Worth a journey through space and time, but if you can’t make it to Milford Haven, Sarah Jane Brown’s work is available to view and purchase online - sjbart.co.uk. Sarah Jane Brown currently exhibits at Etcetera Gallery in St Davids, Pembrokeshire, as well as Off The Wall Gallery.

Jennifer Pearce, June 2017

___________

Gallery, Sarah Jane Brown
Images © Sarah Jane Brown

Sarah Jane Brown - Boundless oil on canvas-40x50cm
Boundless
oil on canvas, 40 x 50 cm

Sarah Jane Brown - Opening up, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm
Opening up
oil on canvas, 30 x 40 cm

Sarah Jane Brown - Restraint, oil on canvas board, 20 x 24 cm
Restraint
oil on canvas board, 20 x 24 cm

Sarah Jane Brown - Fire in the heart, oil on canvas 40 x 30 cm
Fire in the heart
oil on canvas, 40 x 30 cm

Sarah Jane Brown's exhibition, Creating Space, runs 2-29 June 2017 at
Joanna Field Gallery

Theatr Torch Theatre
St. Peter's Road
Milford Haven
Pembrokeshire
SA73 2BU
torchtheatre.co.uk

Off the Wall Contemporary Art Gallery
The Old Probate Registry
Cardiff Road
Llandaf
Cardiff
CF5 2DQ
www.galleryoffthewall.com

www.tenbymuseum.org.uk

Jennifer Pearce is the founder of Art Club and can be followed on Twitter

If you liked this, you'll also enjoy:
     Review: Artes Mundi 7, February 2017
     Review: gallery/ten, Debbie Smyth & winter group exhibition, December 2015

     Review: Be More Brando, Thomas Goddard, September 2015
     Review: The Starry Messenger, Bedwyr Williams, June 2015
     Interview with Shani Rhys James, March 2015
     Review: Cardiff Carnival 25th Anniversary Exhibition, March 2015
     Review: The Lumen Prize, December 2014
     Review: To This I Put My Name, Claire Curneen, March 2014
     Review: The Albany Gallery, Cardiff, Christmas Exhibition, December 2013
     Review: Eight and a half Welsh comedians, December 2013
     Review: John Gingell Award at g39, September 2013
     Review: Response, Annie Giles Hobbs, June 2013
     Review: Arcadecardiff, June 2013
     Review: St David's Hall exhibition space - 'Triad' & 'Mount Analogue', January 2013

     Review: St David’s Hall Christmas Exhibition, January 2013
     Taming the Drew? Graffiti as art, September 2012
     Review: Nothing Like Something Happens Anywhere - Chapter Arts Centre, Canton, Cardiff, August 2012
     National Museum of Art, contemporary galleries, March 2012

 

cylchgrawn Cymru Culture magazine
Published by/Cyhoeddwyd gan: Caregos Cyf., 2017

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