Sussex Watercolour Society in Chichester

Sussex Watercolour: 'Iris Buds against a Folding Table' by Shirley Trevena
Sussex Watercolour: 'Iris Buds against a Folding Table' by Shirley Trevena

The 40th-anniversary exhibition of the Sussex Watercolour Society will be at Chichester’s  Oxmarket Gallery from September 12-24.

Spokeswoman Sarah Mitchener said: “The society was formed back in 1976 with the idea of creating a regional society of professional standing and of the same calibre as the London societies. The founder members included Charles Knight as president, Francis Russell-Flint as vice-president and Doris Curlew as chairman. The first exhibition was held at the Grange in Rottingdean in June to July 1977, and the catalogue lists, amongst others, such illustrious artists as Ernest Savage, Matt Bruce, Margaret Minnesota, Norman Clark, Peter Iden and Norman Battershill. Ever since then group exhibitions by the members of the Sussex Watercolour Society have been taking place in various venues across East and West Sussex either annually or bi-annually. Fast forward 40 years to 2017. Undoubtedly watercolour painting has changed but the elected membership is no less interesting.

“Among the current membership who will be showing at the Oxmarket exhibition are artists who are also members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and of the Royal West of England Academy.

“All of the elected membership are professional artists working in various fields throughout East and West Sussex. Alongside gaining recognition for regional, national and international art awards, members of the SWS are also teaching, studying, designing or writing about art or using their talent to raise awareness for charitable campaigns. All have been exhibited either locally, nationally or internationally.”

Sarah added: “The society was originally set up to encourage new and experimental work within the range of water-based media as well as the more traditional of the English Watercolour School creating varied and interesting exhibitions. This year’s exhibition continues and expands on this tradition including an eclectic mix of contemporary and traditional paintings from representational to abstract styles completed in various waterbased and mixed media. The exhibition will have paintings to suit all tastes!

“There will be 20 members of the Society exhibiting during the Oxmarket Gallery exhibition.

“Shirley Trevena is undoubtedly the best known artist in the Sussex Watercolour Society with awards too numerous to list. As a member and former council member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, she exhibits annually at the Mall Galleries, and, for the second time, was awarded this year the prestigious Winsor and Newton award for Best Group of Paintings. These will also be shown at The Oxmarket Gallery. She has been invited all over the world to exhibit and speak and last year exhibited as one of the invited top-20 foreign Watercolour Master Artists of the World in the International Watercolour Exhibition in China.”

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