Exhibitions mark the best of Ip-Art

Edmund Goubert - Fugitive Pieces is at the Town Hall Galleries, Cornhill, Ipswich until August 2. Footprint - Key Arts Exhibition is at St Mary at the Quay Church, Ipswich until July 5.

Edmund Goubert - Fugitive Pieces is at the Town Hall Galleries, Cornhill, Ipswich until August 2. Footprint - Key Arts Exhibition is at St Mary at the Quay Church, Ipswich until July 5. Colour - Mixed Exhibition is at Eyestorm Gallery, 27-29 St Nicholas St, Ipswich until July 13.

Ip- Art 2008 is a fabulous chance to enjoy all Ipswich's cultural delights; and this year it's bigger and better than ever. The Visual Arts are centre stage; with a host of galleries opening shows, and lots of site specific works in the town centre.

At the Town Hall Galleries Edmund Goubert, winner of the Ip-Art Award 2007, presents his first ever solo show Fugitive Pieces; a series of paintings and photographs inspired by some of Ipswich's architectural sites. The Unitarian Church and the Willis Building dominate the show. Goubert's painting style won't please everyone; but it does inspire debate. His large semi-abstract textural painting Willis Unitarian, acrylic and oil on linen, is striking; a surreal marriage of two very different buildings in which the artist appears to be challenging our perceptions and presenting a manipulated and ambiguous vision. Also interesting is Tabernacle, oil and spray paint on linen, which plays with the literary and visual aspects of its subject; its two windows like two contrasting eyes on a stark skin. There are some strong photographs in the show; and a series of rather globular paintings of a window that looks like an old-fashioned upturned lavatory seat. Phallic Window, and Bathers, both oil on linen, lost me somewhat. The glossy catalogue that accompanies the show didn't inform my understanding.

Footprints, a Key Arts Exhibition, at St Mary at the Quay, is staged on more of a shoe-string; but fulfils its ethos to bring challenging and aesthetically interesting work to the community. Frankly, it would have been lovely to have seen a bit more of it in this fabulous space. Wendy Brooke-Smith's large Study For Turning Point, charcoal, acrylic, pastel on paper, is a fabulously energetic, pertinent work that pulls you into its architectural vision, and is complemented by drawings like Valerie Irwin's Building On The Footprint Of The Old Flour Mill, and Beryl Scott's interesting photograph My Print at St Mary at the Quay. I was intrigued by Ben Clarke's acrylic on metal Jailbird,a painting of a rather raunchy tattooed lady in what appears to be an old baking tin, David Jay's oil on plaster Mayan Sun Tower of Babel, and Boris Van Loon's Footprints In the Snow; all of which used media in interesting and novel ways. The impression one gets from all three works is that they are ideas in progress and in approaching this exhibition its good to be aware of this.

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Eyestorm's mixed show Colour is rather more slick; and features work by well known artists Sir Peter Blake, and Sir Terry Frost. There are also contributions from local artist Dale Devereux Barker. Barker's vitreous enamel Bobby Dazzler is stunning, as are his unique sophisticated lithographs and linocuts. The show also includes some Warhol screenprints, reproduced from the original 1967 sets. A bright and vital show with a definite Pop Art flavour.

Sonia Carvill

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