‘Father and Daughter’ exhibition showcasing work of two Chichester artists launched at Oxmarket

The mayor, Jan Hodes, Jane Cox, and the mayoress at the exhibition launch
The mayor, Jan Hodes, Jane Cox, and the mayoress at the exhibition launch

The mayor of Chichester, cllr Martyn Bell, opened The Oxmarket Gallery’s new exhibition at a launch event last night.

‘Father and Daughter’, which will be open until November 18, showcases the work of two artists and educationalists. Five years ago, the work of Clarence Whaite (1895-1978) and his daughter Gillian Whaite (1934-2012) was rediscovered by Chichester resident Jan Hodges. Organised and curated by Jan,‘Father and Daughter’ is the first retrospective of the work of the two artists - who both studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and lived in London before moving to Chichester - for 39 years.

Opening 'Father and Daughter' at The Oxmarket Gallery

Opening 'Father and Daughter' at The Oxmarket Gallery

The exhibition showcases a wide variety of work by the artists, who both worked in a variety of mediums and styles. Impressionistic works capturing rural and city locations sit alongside delicate watercolours of still life scenes, while paintings for fabric designs hang from the walls and display cabinets demonstrate the tools and prints of woodblock work.

Art historian Jan addressed the crowd at the show opening: “Thank you to The Oxmarket Gallery, which is a charity, for allowing us to put this exhibition on, and thank you to Gillian’s solicitors, the OwenKenny Partnership, for their support, as well as the University of Chichester, and particularly the staff at The Oxmarket Gallery. Thank you also to Jane Cox, for agreeing to be here tonight.”

Opening the exhibition alongside cllr Bell was ceramist Jane Cox, master of the Art Worker’s Guild, who has family connections to the Whaites. Jane’s father, Oliver Cox, an eminent architect and planner, was taught by Clarence whilst a pupil at Mill Hill School in London. Commenting on the exhibition, Jane said: “It is interesting that some works have been framed and some have been hung as they are - the unframed paintings have the feel of being brought straight from the artist’s easel.”

Cllr Bell said: “As chairman of this gallery, I’m delighted that Jan chose us as a venue. I’m so proud that two Chichester artists have produced such work, and we hope to see the community coming together to support this exhibition over the next two weeks. We’ve already had two Orchard Avenue residents kindly lending their own work by the Whaites to this exhibition.”

The mayor is pictured with Jan, Jane, and the mayoress, as they stand alongside his favourite painting by Clarence Whaite - Spring Morning, Hampstead, which was painted around 1931. He commented: “I find the composition in this painting interesting - how the houses seem to stack down the canvas. The colours are also lovely.”

The Oxmarket Gallery, which is located at St Andrew’s Court off East Street, is open every day apart from Monday from 10am to 4.30pm for visitors to enjoy ‘Father and Daughter’. Jan, who is researching the two artists for her PhD at the University of Chichester, has also produced an illustrated commemorative brochure which is on sale during the exhibition.

To find out more, or to communicate information about the Whaites, follow @WhaiteArt on Twitter, or contact jhodges1@stu.chi.ac.uk.