Community News

Art appreciation at The Abbey

Hundreds of people flocked to The Abbey School in Reading, buying artwork produced by staff and the school’s Artist in Residence, during a weekend art event in Reading.

The School was one of 21 venues to feature on this year’s Whiteknights Studio Trail. Art-lovers had the opportunity to wander into artists’ homes and studios and buy unique items.

This year 38 artists took part in the trail, including Wendy Hodges, and James Suret, who are art staff at The Abbey, and also the school’s first visual artist in residence, Janet Curley Cannon.

Over the course of the weekend, visitors along the trail saw a wealth of creative talent, and had the opportunity to take part in activities and see demonstrations.

Art on show included fine art paintings, ceramics, printmaking, jewellery, furniture and photography.

Many of those who visited are stalwarts of the popular art festival, which is now in its 19th year. Some of them commented on how wonderful it was to have The Abbey as a new venue on the Trail and the standard of the work on show here.

James Suret showcased a range of print, digital and textile work. He said: “It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our work, the commendations were gratefully received. I also had many interesting conversations sparked by issues explored through my art, giving me food for thought for future work.”

Wendy Hodges is also a mixed media artist and takes her inspiration from her love of patterns, textures and colours in the natural world. She said: “It's been a long time since I exhibited my work publicly so it was quite daunting initially. However, I had so much positive feedback about my work; it was a pleasure discussing my ideas and techniques with our visitors.”

Current affairs and social issues are an important feature in the work of Janet Curley Cannon. She said: “It was amazing to have so many visitors engage with the themes present in my work. I had conversations throughout the weekend on how visual art can address difficult topics in a way that may allow people to better understand them.”

For more details about the artists and their work visit: www.studiotrail.co.uk

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