Varvara Neiman Exhibition and Event

Round & About

Art Exhibition

Elgiva Theatre hosts an exhibition and a “meet the artist” event in March

A solo exhibition featuring local artist Varvara Neiman began at the Elgiva Theatre in Chesham on Saturday and will run until the 1st April.  Power Of Colour In Light is open to the public from 10.30 am – 3.00 pm daily, except Sundays. There is no cost to enter during these times.

Varvara obtained her MA in Fine Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in St Petersburg in 1996. Subsequently she worked in several local theatres specialising costume and set design.

Following a move to the UK in 1999 Varvara concentrated on her career as a professional artist, staging exhibitions in Suffolk, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and London. She now has a studio in Beaconsfield and is a member of both the Bucks Art Society and “HP9”, a group of local artists.

Varvara is also an art educator and teaches for artsmart School of Art and Buckinghamshire Adult Learning. She is currently teaching Life Drawing and her key subjects also include Portraiture, Water Colour, Oils and Acrylics.

At this solo exhibition Varvara is showing two of her favourite subjects, Portraiture and Landscape.

“I have always drawn people from a very early age and am passionate about creating a character either from life or from photos when undertaking commissions,” she says. “These can be celebratory surprises or simply commemorative. My favourite portrait artist is Rembrandt from whom I am always learning that a portrait of a person is all about their eyes which are a mirror of their soul.”

Varvara is very enthusiastic about painting en Plein Air and passionate about Cezanne’s famous quote: “Painting from nature is not copying the object; it is realizing one’s sensation…”

“For me whether it is a watercolour technique or painting in oils or acrylics it is about the power of light reflecting in a prism of a kaleidoscope of colours,” she says.

Varvara will also be showcasing her watercolour technique on Saturday 16th March when the is a chance to meet the artist at the Elgiva. The event starts at 1pm, and will explore Varvara’s artistic journey and inspiration and she will discuss her work in depth.

Trail blazers!

Liz Nicholls

Art Exhibition

You can admire Surrey Sculpture Society’s talents at Savill Garden thanks to the Art in the Garden exhibition from 21st September until 1st November.

Marrying the vibrant colours of autumn with an equal variety of sculpture, this exhibition has become an annual event at The Savill Garden, one of Britain’s finest ornamental gardens.

Its 35 acres of gardens are perfectly sited within the boundaries of Windsor Great Park at Englefield.

This year, Art in the Garden Exhibition features 45 artists exhibiting more than 60 sculptures, all set off perfectly by the garden’s stunning seasonal highlights.

Visitors can expect the traditional and the experimental, from moving and thought-provoking to dainty and bold pieces, on a journey of discovery and enjoyment.

Surrey Sculpture Society chairman says: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the team at The Savill Garden to stage what has become an annual highlight in our calendar. It would be hard to improve on the gardens themselves, however, yet again the team have devised a new and intriguing trail allowing the sculptures and landscape to complement each other beautifully. We are thrilled to be able to showcase our artists’ work to the public in such a prestigious and welcoming venue.”

The society’s trail designer Dawn Conn adds: “I’ve been privileged to design this curated event that prides itself on showcasing and selling unique sculptural pieces in this beautiful outdoor setting. I’m excited to present the huge diversity of materials and mediums used in the sculptures: from stone to bronze, jesmonite to glass, mosaic to metals, rubber to resin, along with an increased focus on sustainability using more reclaimed timber, upcycled metal and recycled bronze.

Visitors can expect the traditional and the experimental, from moving and thought-provoking to dainty and bold pieces, on a journey of discovery and enjoyment.

Find out more

The Savill Garden is at Wick Lane, Englefield Green, TW20 0UU. Admission to the sculpture exhibition is included in entrance to The Savill Garden. For further info visit

and follow @WindsorGreatPark on Facebook, @WindsorGtPark on Twitter and @windsorgreatpark on Instagram.

Also visit, follow @SurreySculptureSociety on Facebook and @surreysculpturesociety on Instagram.

Makers & shakers!

Liz Nicholls

Art Exhibition

Local businesswomen Libby Witney & Chloe Blair tell us more about the RenARTgades Modern Makers Fair – the next one is Saturday 3rd September!

Libby & Chloe wanted to bring more attention to the amazing local makers and encourage people to shop small whenever they can.

They knew each other from going to markets with their individual businesses. Chloe, whose business is Peaches and Tea, is a polymer clay artist who makes jewellery, accessories, DIY kits and teaches workshops at various local locations. Bright and colourful earrings, focusing on bold shapes and designs are Chloe’s speciality.

I never have a plan of what I want to make, I just start making and follow the journey

She says: “I just make whatever makes me happy, what colours I’m drawn to at the time and go with the flow! I want to make things that make people happy – both the person wearing them and the people who notice them! I want to make art for your ears, I never have a plan of what I want to make, I just start making and follow the journey.” Everything is handmade in her Newbury studio and even her small children have shown an interest in clay, the colours, and the need for quality cookie cutters…

Libby is the owner of Magpie and the Mob, an online colourful shop of awesome things for your home and life, all 100% made and designed by independent UK makers. She also runs workshops with The Ugly Duckling Pottery Cafe where you can learn how to paint different styles of lettering on your pottery. The idea for Magpie and the Mob began during the 2021 lockdown, while Libby was teaching art remotely to her secondary school students. “I made it my mission to try and support all these makers who bring me such joy online, by buying from them and spreading the word in a time where physical markets weren’t allowed. When my husband said to me that I didn’t have the space or money to keep doing this, I turned it into a business! And it became Magpie and the Mob!”

RenARTgades attracted more than 700 visitors to their last event, with stall-holders saying it’s just what Newbury needs.

If we don't support local businesses, they disappear

We ask Libby (LW) & Chloe (CB) to share their love for local…

Q. What do you love about this area?
CB: “The people! There are so many people who appreciate the tiny businesses we showcase and understand the importance of shopping small to keep these brilliant businesses running.”

LW: “We’ve both lived here all our lives, we went to school here and grew up here. I love being this close to the canal and lovely places to walk, as well as some amazing local business where you will find me spending a lot of my time!”

Q. Why should we all support local?
LW: “People are always saying we need more independents but if we don’t support local businesses, they disappear. It’s so difficult for small businesses at the moment with the increasing prices, let alone having to compete with large companies, there are far too many billionaires in the world that don’t need our money!”

CB: “We have more bills and taxes to pay than Elon Musk! Your money to him is a drop in the insanely deep pond, to small businesses it’s dinner for tonight and fuel there and back to get the weekly shop – they need it and vastly appreciate it more than the bigger brands!”

Some countries around the world have even started prescribing creative activities to help people with their mental health

Q. Do you think we all need more colour and creativity in our lives?
Both: “YES! Every single person has the ability to be creative, you just need to find your outlet. There are so many benefits to getting creative, some countries around the world have even started prescribing creative activities to help people with their mental health. The world can be so grey and miserable.”

Find out more

The next RenARTgades fairs at The Globe Garden, Newbury, RG14 5HB, are on Saturday, 3rd September, 29th October (a Halloween special), 19th November (Christmas lights switch-on) and Friday, 16th December (evening Christmas fair + live music).

Wallingford Art Club

Round & About

Art Exhibition

With the dark nights here, Wallingford Art Club’s November demonstration evening is very appropriate.

Melanie Cambridge’s demonstration on 19th November (7.30pm) titled Capturing Night Scenes uses oils and will offer some invaluable hints and tips.
A future date to put in your diary is the club’s Christmas Exhibition on 30th November and 1st December which coincides with Wallingford Christmas Festival and the Santa Dash.

This is always great fun and a chance to buy original art for presents, or treat yourself, all at reasonable prices. The venue will be in the centre of town, so look out for our posters and notices in November. The exhibition will be open 10am to 5pm Saturday and 10am to 4.30pm on Sunday.
IN addition to all the extra events, Tuesday morning fee paying tutored classes continue and these are proving very popular, the afternoon classes have finished for now but will start again with a new tutor in December/January, more details to follow.

The Tuesday evening club painting sessions start as usual at 7.30pm. If you would like to paint or draw then go along and join them.

Non members are very welcome to attend these evenings and the demonstrators for a cost of £3. We cover all mediums throughout the year so there is always a subject to tempt you, or perhaps to try something new.

All events apart from the exhibitions are held at Centre 70, Kinecroft, Goldsmith Lane, Wallingford.

More info

Further information can be obtained on the website Wallingford Art Club or call David on 01491 681400.

Presence, Cornerstone

Karen Neville

Art Exhibition

Kate Aries

Four emerging Oxford based artists are showcasing their work in an exhibition at Didcot’s Cornerstone.

Presence is a group exhibition featuring the work of Kate Aries, Manon Franklin-Fraiture, James Lester and Jack Whitney.
Combining drawing, textile, illustration and digital artworks, the artists have created new works that question what is means to exist in the contemporary world, physically, sexually, virtually and digitally.

Visitors will be able to engage with works perceptually and/or physically, encouraging them to also contemplate these questions.
Kate Aries explores perception and illusion through experimentation with the camera, using different techniques to obscure and restrict her body. Kate’s practice focuses not only on embodied experience, but also the manipulated and processed image in our changing society.

James Lester
Jack Whitney
Manon Franklin-Fraiture

Manon Franklin-Fraiture’s quirky illustrations incorporate conversations and questions she overhears and brings them to life, shining a light on how human existence can be in our modern life.
James Lester is a portraiture artist whose work contemplates the shaping of humanity within a modern context. Throughout the duration of the exhibition James will be creating large-scale charcoal murals of an array of celebrity figures, offering visitors the chance to watch the artist in action.

Jack Whitney’s practice challenges normative notions of gender, sexuality and politics, for this exhibition Jack has used embroidery as a way of drawing humorous yet thought provoking images.


Presence runs from today, 6th, until 18th August and is free to attend.

Visit the Cornerstone site for more information about this or any of the other productions on.

Show time

Round & About

Art Exhibition

This month, admire a wealth of creativity thanks to Eynsham artists’ work on show.

Eynsham Arts Group is an all-inclusive, friendly and proactive group for local artists and all those with an appreciation of art. Their summer exhibition opens on Eynsham Carnival Day, this year on Saturday, 7th July.

Artists who make up the group range from beginners to professionals and use a variety of media; oils, acrylics, pen, pencils, photographic prints and watercolours. Julie Sailing-Free and Jenny Bowden of the group say: “We aim to promote painting and drawing locally, while providing a forum for the exhibition of, discussion and promotion of local artists.”

Exhibitions are held four or five times a year in The Bartholomew Rooms in Eynsham Square and the summer exhibition will begin on Saturday, 7th July, from 9am until 5pm. It continues on Sunday, 8th July, from 10am to 4pm; and then from Thursday, 12th July until Sunday, 15th July from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free.

The start of this exhibition coincides with Eynsham Carnival Day when the square will be busy with stalls and Morris Dancers, a shirt race through the village stopping at local pubs along the way, followed by a procession at midday, before the carnival proceeds to the playing field where there will be dog shows, motorcycle displays, a multitude of stalls, Tug-O-War, pig races, a fun fair, live music and much more!

Artwork is varied and of a high quality, reflecting the enormous and diverse talent in Eynsham and surrounding villages and towns. The group also runs an ongoing exhibition at The Swan Hotel in Acre End Street, Eynsham, where members mainly display work representing the village, the Cotswolds and surrounding areas as well as Oxford architecture. No appointment is necessary – open hours are noon until late every day.

“Although many of our artists sell work locally, nationally and internationally,” adds Julie, “many of our members belong to our group for the appreciation of art itself.”

As well as the group’s frequent exhibitions, there are meetings on the last Wednesday of each month at 7.30pm. The speakers are varied and provide talks and/or demonstrations and all visitors are welcome. Guests can turn up and pay a small fee at the door. New members can join any time – visit