Community News

The Abbey School opens its Gallery doors to art lovers

It’s not long now until the long-awaited Whiteknights Studio Trail floods Reading with a wave of wonderful artwork during the weekend of Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 June and all visitors are welcome. The Abbey School is honoured to host not only one of the points on the trail, but also three artists from among our own ranks! James Suret (Gallery Manager and Art Technician) and Wendy Hodges (Art Teacher at The Abbey) will be exhibiting their work in The Gallery as part of the Trail, along with the work of the School’s first ever Visual Artist in Residence, Janet Curley Cannon.

The Trail consists of 21 venues across the Reading University area, featuring 40 Artists. Their work includes painting, photography, drawing, basketmaking, ceramics and jewellery. Liz Harvey, Director of Art, said: “We are very excited about opening The Gallery to the public during the Whiteknights Studio Trail. It is a lovely opportunity for us to enjoy the artwork created by our Artist in Residence in collaboration with our School community. It is particularly pleasing that two of our staff members have been selected to exhibit in this year's trail and we hope the School and wider community will enjoy seeing and discussing their work as well.”

James has loved Art from an early age. “For me, Art is a communication tool. It gives me a voice that I can use to communicate ideas that are important to me. I believe in the Arts being incredibly important to everybody because they provide the freedom of expression that you don’t always get with speech.” He is very much looking forward to exhibiting his own pieces in The Gallery for the Whiteknights Studio Trail. James is excited to present a mixture of print, digital and textiles works, and can’t wait for people to have a look at what he’s been working on. “I want to communicate my passion to anyone who wants to pop along.”

Wendy’s love of textiles led her to set up her own business, after studying at Winchester School of Art. Companies and fashion designers around the world, including Ralph Lauren, Romeo Gigli and Marc Jacobs, bought her knitted textile designs. Pattern, texture, surfaces and colour fascinate Wendy. She finds inspiration in her surroundings and seeks out the beauty of natural forms wherever she travels. She has experimented with painting and drawing on mixed media surfaces and has created hand-finished etchings for her latest collection of artwork - Ammonites.

The sculpture that Janet has been working on in collaboration with The Abbey School pupils will be on show in The Gallery for all who come along to admire, along with some of her other works. It will be a wonderful way to finish her time as the School’s Visual Artist in Residence. Janet is a mixed media artist with over 20 years of experience. Her works always reflect current affairs and social issues. The piece she is producing with the pupils is based on the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

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