Photos by Kevin Ralph
‘Home is a Feeling’ was set in one room at the Alexander Centre on 13th and 14th November. Organised by Kent Creative, it was presented as an exhibition intended to show how important art and design are in our homes. Works by 30 local artists and makers (furniture makers, painters, ceramicists, sculptors …) were displayed in-situ, in the context of a living space.
An additional goal of the exhibition was to facilitate communications between artists and visitors in an inviting environment. “I'm sure that it made every visitor think about the link between made items and the maker/designer” said one visitor. “Beautiful items were presented beautifully and with the artists, craftspeople on site to explain and answer any questions.” The concept clearly worked through the visitors’ mind: “It felt warm and cosy viewing everything in a home environment”.
Firstly, the paintings stood out over other exhibits. Chris Blunkell’s “Ocean Park”, a large painting displayed on its own on one wall made quite a statement. On both sides of the fireplace, two paintings by Charles Williams “Boy with a mouse” and “Romanticism and Enlightenment”, reminders of sumptuous family portraits hanging in stately homes. Abstract paintings by Zel Hunt and Monica Callaghan came as an elegant complement to their neighbouring figurative works. There were also prints and watercolours. In fact, mixing different styles of art is a good way to liven up a space.
The fireplace was filled with light coming from a lamp, giving a feeling of warmth. In front of it, two superb armchairs by Simon Jewell, complete with upholstery by Alex Law. The mantlepiece displayed a number of vases, ceramic pieces and sculptures.
On the floor by the fireplace, deliberately placed in a corner as if protecting himself from the outside world, the sculpture of an emaciated character was sitting: “Mr Pandemic”, made by artist Maggie Osborn.
A wooden table made by Barry Feldman was set with Jenny Duff’s table mats and Cherry Tewfik’s dishes, teapot and mugs.
The side tables and shelves that Barry Feldman also showed, had handbound notebooks on, greeting cards, wooden bowls and books too.
The craftsmanship shown in some pieces was remarkable, especially in the wooden boxes made by Simon Jewell. Exquisite pieces of work.
Although ‘Home is a Feeling’ didn’t show the full extent of artists’ works - but then not many shows do – it certainly showed that art and design contribute enormously in making a home what it should be: warm, inviting, fun and beautiful.