Current Exhibition

8th August - 15th September 2019

Paintings by Debbie Ayles.
Ceramics by Michele Connell.

A painterly exploration of the myriad patterns found in architectural landscapes - a fleeting glimpse of life where people spend their day. Complemented by rich imagery on press - moulded ceramic bowls.

Please click any image to view the exhibition slideshow.

Statement by DEBBIE AYLES
I explore the multidimensional identity of architecture by looking at buildings in their surroundings and how they reflect and absorb them, creating a new perception designed to awaken the imagination of a viewer.
Through drawings I deconstruct the environment I have selected, gradually reducing it to shapes and grids that hold it together. I reveal not only the patterns within a subject but also the spaces between objects and architectural forms. I include all the shadows, reflections, sunbursts, clouds, people and other passing and chance elements that have all contributed to the way it looked at that moment in time when I first saw it.
Adding a multicoloured background through layers of water-based paint gives energy, fluidity and atmosphere. The paint is allowed to a certain extent to follow its own loose path on the surface but then is tethered by the more formal painted assembly of shapes that create the landscape of the final layer.
The paintings I create from this analysis explore the relationship between the inside and outside of architecture, landscape and places; the face presented to the world and the life that goes on within, blending and blurring each aspect to create structural harmony. The result is a unique and vibrant interplay of organic and geometric shapes that are at once figurative and abstract.

With the Canary Wharf Group, Debbie produced nine paintings in 2018 that were enlarged and digitally printed on aluminium panels for exhibiting in Crossrail Gardens as part of the London Festival of Architecture. After the event three of them were sited in Colchester Railway Station. Seven panels will be displayed again in the Biennial sculpture exhibition at Marks Hall Estate, Coggeshall, Essex this year. One of the paintings is being used to promote this event. Acrylic and watercolour paintings from which these panels originated will be exhibited in this exhibition, CHROMA CITY.

Michèle went to Guildford School of Art and then to Christchurch Canterbury University for teacher training; as a mature student she followed a part-time ceramics course at Colchester School of Art. She is a Member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and has exhibited several times with them at the Mall Galleries, London. Now retired, she taught art in Inner London secondary schools and later in Colchester schools and the Sixth Form College.
She set up a studio on 1991 and since then has had many solo and group exhibitions in Essex and Suffolk, including the Minories, Digby Gallery and the Gallery at Quay Theatre, Sudbury. She has also exhibited at the Oxo Tower, Southbank. Michèle is a Member of the Colchester Art Society, and has a piece of her work in its permanent collection.
For this exhibition, she has worked with red earthenware and decorated with sgraffito, slip and underglaze oxide colours. She has used rich imagery on each of her press - moulded bowls. Surface decoration is important and natural forms, often from her own garden, are used for inspiration. Michèle also finds the theme of interiors a powerful one: an empty interior, or a single figure in a room is presented, often in juxtaposition with exterior views through an open door or window. This also permits the fusion of past and present, at home and elsewhere. A childhood year spent in Tunisia with its vivid blue skies and Islamic patterns has had a lifelong influence.