Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

Nick Snelling-Headland

Nick Snelling, Headland, oil on wood

A natural slice of  life

HOT has previously reviewed the gallery in the empty shop in Bexhill-on-Sea town centre, however, with a changing raft of artists from the De La Warr Pavilion’s Artist critique group in the Twelve by Six show,  HOT reporter, Lauris Morgan-Griffiths, thought it well worth a revisit to see their last show.

The shows have featured twelve different artists over the last six weeks showing varied visual arts – photography, sculpture, painting and installation.  Some have been calm and relaxed, others mischievous and boisterous.  This last show inclines more to the meditative and tender nature of life.

Nick Snelling-Swim 5

Nick Snelling, Swim 5

The first thing I noticed was  Nick Snelling’s silent sea film at the far end of the shop.  Snelling swims with an under water video camera,  filming the water, the sea, the waves,  the sky, the land  and, in this film, the underbelly of Hastings pier. His interest is in how the various elements interact, when sea water distorts the image in the lens.  It was filmed in one take late one afternoon in April 2012 and is beautifully hypnotic as Snelling bobs and swims in the the sea; the water sweeps over him and the pier structure emerges and merges with the sea and sky.  Snelling being in the sea – and of it – makes a  singular, simple and privileged experience.

Jim Roseveare abraxas grossulariata L. Magpie Moth GEOMETRIDAE Lepidoptera

Jim Roseveare abraxas grossulariata L. Magpie Moth GEOMETRIDAE Lepidoptera

Alongside that, Jim Roseveare‘s work is also about the natural world, the cycle of life.  A moth is shown on a computer screen. Is it alive or dead?  Is anything happening? And then you notice a flutter of its wing, and then, ever so gently, the moth disintegrates and reinegrates back to its being.  A disturbing but tender film entitled, Making the Most of Death.

Jim Roseveare-Acer pseudoplatanus L. Sycamore ACRERACEA (2007)

Jim Roseveare, Acer pseudoplatanus L. Sycamore ACRERACEA (2007)

His other piece is after a year’s residency  at The Florence Trust in London, where he took a diseased Sycamore for his art project. He first painted it a vibrant green, showing its main trunk, the main avenues of its life force and then, in his role as a tree surgeon, he cut it down and cut it up. He meticulously labelled each part and, after photographing them, Roseveare laid them out in regimental lines, parts of the trunk, the branches to the twigs.  It reminds me of  old fashioned, botanical illustrations, but looking at them as a whole and individually, some painted green, some mossy green and others  natural wood,  I saw the tree in a different way, the big beast brought down to its smaller parts. Is  the living tree more than a sum of its parts?  And each bit having its own role in the whole.
Life and death, the cycle of life.


Tracy Jones

Tracy Jones

And after that Tracy Jones calm cup of tea and cake is welcoming and makes me smile.  Jones is interested in the intersection between drawing and technology.  The  cup of tea with tea leaves settled at the bottom of the frame and the cake with a slice out of it and byte sized crumbs coded at the bottom of the frame.


Altogether, a fascinating, thought provoking exhibition;  one to spend time in, meditate, let it wash over you. Definitely food for thought.


And then at about 4.30, as I left the exhibition walking to the station, I came across another exhibition.  This was of starlings collecting, swooping, murmering over the centre of Bexhill.  Magnificent.  At least I reckoned they were starlings, because that is what starlings do, but I thought they would have migrated by now.  Another pause for thought of natural phenomena.

Twelve by Six continues  at Traditional Art Gallery, 1b Western Road, Bexhill-on-Sea until Saturday, 12 January, 2013 at 5 pm




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Posted 13:05 Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013 In: Arts News

Also in: Arts News

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