Monday, 28 November 2016

First time in Fleetville



the gallery entrance inside the Fleetville Vintage Emporium
© Teresa Newham

Last week I made my first visit to Gallery 32, a new art collective which has been set up in the roofspace of the Fleetville Vintage Emporium by resident local artist Debbie Knight.  I'm one of the artists within the collective, and I was keen to see what was going on!


top of the stairs 1: art on the staircase
© Teresa Newham

Just climbing the staircase is a treat, as every inch of space has been utilised for contemporary art.  From the landing, the visitor gets a tantalising glimpse of even more:


top of the stairs 2: peeking into the gallery
© Teresa Newham

Once inside, there is a wonderful range of pieces large and small: canvases, framed items, glass and ceramics - something to entrance every art lover and suit the pocket of those who come to buy.


smaller works on the gallery shelves
© Teresa Newham

The gallery is a welcoming space with a distinct 'studio feel': there are canvases stacked against the walls at floor level, the odd browser, and vintage boxes used to display greetings cards. I found my two pieces on a cleverly-positioned gridwall which provides even more hanging space:


my work (alongside others) with the studio in the background
© Teresa Newham

Art lovers are welcome to take a look in Debbie's studio if one the artists is there - she had been working on this large canvas when I did my shift, and each of us will be taking the opportunity to make our own art when we are covering for her:


visitors are welcome to the studio if somebody's there!
© Teresa Newham

Of course, I couldn't resist taking a look round the emporium itself.  All sorts of different items are displayed, from books to clothes to furniture and ornaments:


the ground floor 1: some stalls in the Fleetville Vintage Emporium
© Teresa Newham

This stallholder had laid out their display to resemble a living room; there was a new delight round every corner.  So I'm sure I'll be coming away with something every time I do a stint at the gallery!


the ground floor 2: my favourite vintage stall
© Teresa Newham

Artists showing work at the Gallery32 collective currently include: Sandy Andrews, Sandra Berti, Jannah Britt-Green, Anne Hignell, Elspeth Keith, Debbie Knight, Judith Moule, Teresa Newham, Clive Patterson, Opal Seabrook, Graham Saunders, Morag Saunders, Linda Smith.  If you are a participating artist and would like your name displayed here, please let me know.  The Fleetville Vintage Emporium is open daily from 10am - 5.30 pm (Sundays and Bank Holidays 5pm) behind the site of the former Emporium premises at 221 Hatfield Road, St Albans AL1 4TB. 






Monday, 14 November 2016

Drawing in the dark - flamenco in Madrid


anticipation at Cafetin La Quimera
© Teresa Newham
Something must have got lost in translation, because we arrived too early. Would we mind visiting the bar across the road for half an hour?  As it turned out, we didn't mind at all; as complimentary plates of shrimp, patatas bravas, olives and potato salad arrived with our drinks, some of our group were tempted to spend the evening at the bar and not bother with the flamenco. . .

it starts with the song . . .
© Teresa Newham
Just as well we did go back to Cafetin La Quimera, however, because we were in for a treat.  The place was packed - mainly with locals, which was a good sign - and our table for sixteen was ranged along one wall.  Drinks, bread and olive oil were handed round, along with the best Spanish omelette of our trip.  Time for the show!

the dancing gets under way . . .
© Teresa Newham
Flamenco originates from the song, not the guitar or the dance:  so there was singing and clapping before the first dancer got to his feet.  As I don't eat meat I was ignoring the breaded chicken on the table but in any case I was too busy watching and listening to eat, taking the odd photo without missing anything that was going on.

. . . the atmosphere is intense . . .
© Teresa Newham
I was seated in a dark corner, and the rest of the party were now tucking into a meat stew, so I had the chance to make a couple of quick sketches. I drew the first two dancers with extra arms because their positions kept changing - resulting in the sort of thing that's referred to as 'lively' at life drawing classes!

.. . . and so are the performances!
© Teresa Newham
When the third dancer took the stage, he moved so quickly that I had to put the sketchbook down.  There was always the second half of the show for the opportunity to do some more sketches, I thought.  Meanwhile, it was time for some paella during the interval.  And at some point, I recall, there was a wonderful vegetable stew . . .

drawings made in the dark . . .
© Teresa Newham

I'd love to show you some photos and sketches of the rest of the evening.  But there aren't any, because I became completely engrossed in what was happening on stage. Sometimes it's better to be in the moment than to be recording it!

. . . and coloured up when I got home
© Teresa Newham