Cranbrook Art Show exhibitor Amanda Chalmers is representing Great Britain at the WTG playing tennis in - singles, doubles and mixed doubles this month in Malaga. She was born with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), but has always displayed a tenacious determination to enjoy life. Even when little, in spite of various hospital stays and countless medications and physio, she was still able to have fun. This is an extract of a presentation she gave recently to encourage people to sign up as transplant donors.
I grew up, learning more and more about the affects of my condition and the many possible outcomes I may experience later in life, but I never truly considered that some of the worst ones, may actually happen. I was determined to enjoy the “now”. It was a few years into uni that my health took a turn for the worst, and over a period of 2 years my health dramatically declined. I had to give up playing hockey, which I loved and leave my degree course before I had finished it. I became reliant on oxygen 24/7, I carried round an oxygen tank whenever I went out, but this didn’t deter me from trying to live as normally as possible. I still saw my friends. And it’s not often that you see a person on oxygen in a nightclub. Even if I was too weak to dance, I could still experience life!
As I deteriorated, I lost a lot of weight, and eventually had to be fed through a tube in my stomach to help me gain the necessary calories to survive. The name of the tube was called a button, so I decided to call mine Jenson.
Having realised my own lungs had deteriorated beyond the help of antibiotics and extra oxygen, I was put down for needing a double lung transplant. Needing a transplant was something that I knew could happen at some point, but I never thought I would need one at the age of 24. A transplant would never be a cure for me, as I still have Cystic Fibrosis now, but I don’t carry it in my lungs.
There is a national shortage of donated organs. This means that you have to wait for an organ that you need so desperately and so many people unfortunately do not get the chance. I was one of the lucky ones and was only on the list for 4 months before I got my call saying there was a matching donor. Many people ask if I was scared or nervous before I went down for surgery, but the answer is that I was excited. I was about to have the chance at getting a new lease of life. I knew that if I didn’t get the transplant, I wouldn’t be here today. But I also knew that I only had the chance to survive, because someone else had died.
On 29th September 2012, I had the life-saving surgery and received two new lungs from my donor. It changed my life completely. My mother once told me that I was like a donkey with a carrot, as long as I had something to aim for, I would keep on going. After transplant the aims started off as being very small, like getting out of bed and walking unaided. I’ve always liked a challenge and I no longer had an excuse. I could breathe, and I could run and I wanted to push against my odds to see what I could now achieve.
I wanted to raise awareness of CF and organ donation and run in memory of my donor. So, along with some friends, I signed up to run the Brighton marathon in 2014. Training was hard, and I got a chest infection a couple of months before the day so my training took a bit of a dive, but I stuck to it, and after a very slow and painful 6 hours and 55 minutes, I crossed over the finish line and raised a massive £13,000.
After the marathon I wanted a new “carrot” - one of my surgeons was organising a trip to Ecuador to mountain climb. After months of hoping to be selected I made the cut and along with 12 other transplantees, a surgeon, a nurse and camera crew, we reached an Andean summit of 5350.
After Ecuador I celebrated my three year Lungiversary by completing a 13 mile cross-country obstacle course! For me, these challenges seem to be physical ones, perhaps because I have been through the process of losing control of myself physically. Challenges vary for everyone, whether they be little or big, or physical, or academic, everyone is different, as are the reason behind the challenge. In 2016 I competed in the British Transplant Games, eventing in tennis, a 3k run, 800m run and 100m relay, managing a silver in tennis and in the 800m.
From this, I was selected to represent Great Britain in the World Transplant Games taking place in Spain this month. For now, that is my “carrot” – to do the best that I can, for me and for my donor.
Amanda now lives in Brighton and is a designer and maker of contemporary
To sign up for organ donation, go to www. organdonation.nhs.uk
About World Transplant Games. http://wtgmalaga2017.com/en/
The Cranbrook Art Show committee are delighted to announce the introduction of a community award to this year’s Art Show. The Award will be made to a promising art student from the local area who will be given the chance to exhibit at the show alongside professional artists. The scheme will be open to local students of sixth form age who are studying art and will be made at the discretion of the committee.
The scheme has been devised and sponsored by Dulwich Prep School, Cranbrook. Headmaster Mr Paul David commented ‘The Cranbrook Art Show has always been a highlight in the town’s calendar, and I am delighted that Dulwich Prep School is able to provide a platform for a young student to showcase their art to a wide audience.’
Held every November in the Vestry Hall, the Cranbrook Art Show showcases a range of artists both local and further afield. Over the last 23 years the Cranbrook Art Show has developed into one of the most popular art events in the South East. The artwork is carefully selected from a wealth ofprofessional artists and the result is a fascinating and eclectic mixture encompassing painting, sculpture, art ceramics, jewellery, and textile art. The show raises the profile of local artists and crafts people and is focused on the Christmas market with a terrific variety of affordable art.
To submit to the Dulwich Prep Community Art Award 2017 click on the button below (deadline 5 July 2017)
George Morgan - 2014 Cranbrook Art Show Young Bursary Award
We had such FUN at CAS 2016 - our artists were great company and made the Show a wonderful success, thanks to you all!
Here are some magic moments and a few of their lovely comments:-
“The show was a joy from start to finish. I met some lovely, talented and inspiring people and was honoured to be exhibiting alongside such enormous talent. The running of the show was flawless and you were all so kind and helpful.”
“I was amazed by the footfall and delighted by the positive feedback I received”
“The atmosphere in the Vestry Hall was something special”
“Cranbrook is my favourite show, always incredibly well organised and yet very relaxed and friendly too”
“Most importantly I met some really lovely people, and it was all down to your hard work putting on an impeccably run show. I really appreciate the time and effort that went into it and was so proud to be a part of it.”
As we near the closing date for 2015 applications the Committee begin to consider how we will select this year's show and what advice we may give to the exhibiting artists. We use our experience of our audience, what sold well in previous years and our experiences in other exhibitions.
So when this timely advice dropped into our mail box from Cranbrook Art Show supporter Bev Saunders of Edge Bespoke Picture Framers in Hythe, we decided to share it with you:
Present and Frame to increase sales of your artwork
This guide will help to give you the best opportunity for sales success during exhibition. It’s simple common sense “do’s and don’ts” about framing and exhibiting your artwork. Framing can easily be the most expensive part of mounting your show, and whilst costs can be reduced by using very inexpensive frames, remember they will look inexpensive and they will reduce the value of your work. Unless you're considering an alternative kind of presentation, budget to spend a reasonable sum on mounting and framing your work, it will pay you back in sales.
A good picture framer draws from a host of specialist skills to present your work and impress your clients. It is likely they will be asking themselves all kinds of questions such as “What do I get for my money? How good does it look? Will I get good value for money?” But often they are after something that will enhance their life, boast their achievements or add that little something to their interior, so we need to enhance your artwork to give it the best possible chance of selling. Well designed and executed picture framing will excite, inspire and reassure your client that they have chosen well, the easier you make this process the more confident your client will be in making their purchase.
Well-presented artwork is the result of experience and understanding fundamental design principles such as balance, proportion, visual weight, colour, contrast, value, shape and form; not to mention an understanding of cultural influences and trends in a number of disciplines such as, architecture, interior and even fabric design. Artwork and framing are inextricably linked to constantly changing trends and framers have to be aware of past and current inspirations, products and disciplines that are closely related to picture framing. It’s this experience that provides the confidence that result in your clients walking away having made a purchase.
Think about your favourite artwork, hopefully you can’t remember how it’s been framed. Should you be bothered? As a picture framer I would be if the frame was more memorable than the work, because the frame should merely be the window into the world you have created on the “canvas” putting your artwork “centre stage”. In the words of William Bailey "The design, must effect a transition from the existing physical location, usually a wall in a room or a gallery, into the illusionistic realm of the painting. This should occur graciously and imperceptibly. The frame should also prepare the eye and mind of the viewer to accept and embrace the domain of the painting on its own terms." In other words the presentation and the frame mediate between the viewer and the artwork drawing the gaze to the subject.
After all it’s your work we’re promoting, not the frame. Matisse described the frame as "the most important part of a picture", as a tool for presenting the work, which is why I tend to disagree with one of my favourite Architects Mackay Hugh Baille Scott, who suggests that “It must be our aim to make the picture merge into the wall surface and appear a part of it…….On a wall panelled in dark oak, for instance, dark oak becomes the best material for the picture frame in most cases.” However, he clearly recognised that the frame is a connecting link between the work, its surroundings and the viewer. Sure there is a relationship between picture frames and internal architecture and this can be exploited by a picture framer in a way that isn’t possible using “off the peg” and second-hand frames. Similarly you have the opportunity to experiment with seemingly incongruous juxtapositions of styles and materials to stunning effect.
I hope you will find the following guidelines helpful:
If you are working towards an exhibition the next phase in presenting your work is just as critical and this is where it starts to get gritty, because you are going to be subjecting your work to artistic, public and press scrutiny. It is here that your reputation can be made or broken. Take time to plan how you display your work, how you use space allocated to you. More often than not artists have no influence over their positioning within the exhibition space, nor the size and shape that is made available to them. Become familiar with your space, take or ask for the specific dimensions of your space so you can plan every last detail before delivering the work. Drawing up a plan gives you time to consider and play around with your layout and can even help you determine the type and size of work to produce. The installation process will speed up as a result allowing you time to fine tune, tweak or if necessary, successfully make significant changes. Producing more work than you need provides flexibility.
The design of the display should enhance your body of work. Fill your space taking care not to overcrowd it, the old cliché “less is more” has endured for a reason. We give breathing space to work when it’s framed, allow each piece to occupy its own exhibition space so it can be individually considered. Identify and place the signature piece then counter balance with the remainder of your collection to maintain overall unity. Consider how colour influences which pieces sit together, how each piece relates to the next, balance colour across the collection for a cohesive display.
Discreetly and professionally, display material such as business cards, promotional material, and print runs etc. ensuring written information is well produced, accurate and correctly spelt. Don’t ruin the overall look of your presentation with last minute “add-ons”; consider neat Perspex dispensers which can be easily secured to your display panels, and think about placement during the planning of your space.
So now you feel you are ready to go? You have one last opportunity to ask a fresh pair of eyes to preview your display before opening, and don’t be afraid to remove the weakest piece of work if it doesn’t sit well and is having an adverse effect on the collection, your display will only be as strong as your weakest piece.
Deep breath, shoulders back, big smile, open the doors, and good luck!
Anne-Catherine's painting subjects are those that engaged her in a state of concentrated focus whether it was a vase full of bluebells or the memory of a blustery walk.
Tragically, Anne-Catherine Phillips died suddenly on 2 April 2014 after suffering a stroke, aged 61. She leaves a substantial body of work behind her, finished and unfinished, which remains in the care of her immediate family.
She produced colourful, happy and vibrant paintings mostly in oils on canvas from life and from drawings. Favourite local subjects were the Walled Nursery in Hawkhurst, the beach in Hastings and the landscape around her home in Frittenden. She was also a master at capturing domestic scenes at home. Apart from her studio at home she also rented a second studio in Hastings.
She painted figures, portraits and scenes on her travels in the UK and abroad, in truth there wasn't a subject that she was afraid to tackle.
She spent as much time looking at pictures in Galleries and in books as she did painting. Her list of painters who influenced her work were almost entirely figurative.
More of Anne-Catherine's beautiful work can be seen on her professional website which lives on after her: www.annecatherine-phillips.co.uk
There will be a retrospective of her work next year at St Ronan's School, Water Lane, Hawkhurst, Kent TN18 5DJ
Friday 17th – Sunday 19th July 2015.
This exhibition next year will reflect the full span of her work since the 1970's.
On behalf of the artists taking part in the Cranbrook Art Show the Committee would like to thank the Cranbrook Businesses for their tremendous support for our advertising. This is a small sample - take a look around town