Suffolk retains its ability to inspire

131st Annual Open Exhibition, Ipswich Art Society at The Robert Cross Hall, Corn Exchange, Ipswich until 23rd May 2008At an exhibition of work by Suffolk artists you expect to see a fair number of familiar locations and the members of the Ipswich Art Society do not disappoint as they have obviously been combing Suffolk for their inspiration.

131st Annual Open Exhibition, Ipswich Art Society at The Robert Cross Hall, Corn Exchange, Ipswich until 23rd May 2008

At an exhibition of work by Suffolk artists you expect to see a fair number of familiar locations and the members of the Ipswich Art Society do not disappoint as they have obviously been combing Suffolk for their inspiration.

Visitors can spot Slaughden, Felixstowe, and Iken amongst others, and anyone who has driven past the Ipswich waterfront, will be drawn to the four detailed charcoal and chalk drawings of the building work underway there. Construction at Cranfield Mill, Ipswich 2.11.07 by Valerie Irwin, alongside those drawn in December 2007 and February 2008 is a good example of an artist chronicling the history of the town.

The exhibition features everything from an oil painting of a wind turbine silhouetted against a blue sky crossed (Wind Turbine and Vapour Trail by Mark Beesley), to wall mounted painted copper fish swimming in front of driftwood. (Shoal of Fish I and II by Pamela Marshall) However, with over one hundred items, most of which are for sale, the majority of exhibits are two dimensional.


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Acrylics, pastels, textiles, watercolours … all media is represented in the exhibition but it is worth particularly looking out for the Andy Warhol-style linocut, 'Jude' Black on White & Primaries by Patrick Constantine and a collage, The Ghost of Kirstie McBride, by Tricia Newell, of a woman in a browns and oranges, looking as though it came straight from the Pre-Raphaelite school of art.

Humour is to be found in White Surgical Stockings, an acrylic painting by Hazel Theobald, although whether the poor hospital patient, viewed from the end of his bed, would find it amusing is another matter.

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If I had to pick a favourite it would be Farmers' Market by Andrew Thistlethwaite. The stall holder stands behind her mushrooms and tomatoes looking at us with such a rueful expression on her face - is she wishing she was at a football match at Portman Road rather than a Suffolk village hall?

Rachel Sloane

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