Christmas fair at Chichester's Oxmarket Gallery

Building on last year’s success, Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery expands its  popular Christmas fair from two weeks to three this year.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 9:47 am
Eleanor McKnight

Running from December 3 to 22 from 10.30am to 4.30pm and open on Mondays (when the gallery is normally closed), the fair will bring together a wide range of artists, offering visitors the chance to buy paintings, photographs, prints, textiles, ceramics, glass and jewellery by Chichester area artists.

Artists include : Julian Edwards, Enrika Walker, Vince Lavender, Frances Knight, Rosie Blake, Sam Etherington, Laura Marrinan, David Peduzzi, Stanley Port, Nigel Ingram, Katrin Eagle, Jane Robinson, Caroline Bonar, Samantha Dewar-English, Moira Cooper, Lydia Foster, Andrew Bailey, Kim Tattersall, Nancy Goodens, Kathryn Seal, Elizabeth Miles, Gordon Ferrie, Kamala Rao, Melanie Russell, Gael Emmett, Liz Cahillane, Dot Lawrie and Marjoire Paniccia.

Gallery director Helen Monckton said: “We trialled the idea last year, and it was such a success that we decided to expand it this year.

“We have got more than 25 exhibitors who will be showing throughout the gallery, unique items which they will be offering as Christmas presents.

“They are artists who are regular exhibitors at the gallery that we thought we would bring together at Christmas. It is a collection of our loyal exhibitors that exhibit throughout the year. We wanted to give them the opportunity to be involved with the gallery at Christmas.”

Late night opening will be on Thursday, December 19 (until 8pm) when there will be mince pies and mulled wine.

It all comes at the end of an excellent year for the Oxmarket Gallery which has seen it increase footfall and also play a key role in the Festival of Chichester.

Importantly, the gallery is also booking strongly for the next couple of years.

“It is also going very well.”

This year’s Christmas fair will coincide with a display of work by Eleanor McKnight, Georgia Hart and Fiona Lygo (December 3-22).

Eleanor explains: “I contacted two other local artists to ask if they would like to share the space. I loved their work and thought we would complement each other.

“This will be our first group exhibition. I normally sell privately, commission based or attend art fairs. It is very exciting. We love the space, the area and dealing with the Gallery has been supportive, professional and friendly. I like to explore new areas so my work can be seen in various parts of the UK as I have been exhibiting in London and mostly doing art fairs there so this coming year it’s all about concentrating on the surrounding counties.

“I was born in Ireland but moved to live in France, London, Hong Kong and eventually brought up my family in the Turks and Caicos Islands. I had studied art to A level as it was always a passion but took a different path for many years.

“As they needed me a little less I got my brushes out one day having been inspired by a trip to South America. It was as simple as that. I applied under the persuasion of a friend to exhibit at The Country life Magazine Fair in London. Selling a few paintings gave me the confidence to continue.

“It is truly an awakening, giving me so much pleasure and satisfaction. I bring my travel and life experiences into my work and each piece demonstrates the naturalistic beauty of ocean and countryside, and my hope is to invoke a feeling of escape encapsulating all that is simple but dramatic.

“I create atmospheric abstracts and semi abstract paintings using mostly oils and acrylics. Using colour and light I like to bring my interpretation of my surroundings on to the canvas to bring a radiance to any room.

“Meeting people and discussing how art can bring a huge level of satisfaction and joy is part of my job. A painting can literally change the aesthetic of one’s surroundings in a heart beat.”