Seal of approval

Round & About


Main image: Sleeping like a Weddell by Ralf Schneider Highly Commended 2019, Black and White. Left: Canopy hangout by Carlos Pérez Naval, Spain Highly Commended 2019, Young Wildlife Photographers: 11-14 years old . Middle: Lucky break by Jason Bantle, Canada Highly Commended 2019, Urban Wildlife. Right: The climbing dead by Frank Deschandol Highly Commended 2019, Plants and Fungi

The world-renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, will open at The Base on Friday, 7th February.

“It’s a delight and privilege to bring this exhibition to The Base,” says Corn Exchange Newbury director Grant Brisland. “The previous instalment launched the building [last February] and was enjoyed by over 3,500 people. As we individually and collectively take steps to reduce our impact on the environment, these pictures remind us what we’re aiming to protect for future generations.”

This year’s 100 award-winning images have embarked on an international tour that will allow them to be seen by over a million people. Catch the exhibition at The Base from this month until April.

More info

There are also special events such as Relaxed Days (20th Feb & 8th Apr), a Clay Animals workshop on 22nd February and a Cartoon Animal Drawing workshop on 1st March. Visit the website or call 0845 5218 218.

UCA photography

Karen Neville


Photo in image: From the series La Frontera © Harriet Brookes

Students from the University for the Creative Arts are showcasing some of their work in the latest exhibition at The Lightbox. 

UCA in Farnham has a reputation for educating some of the most innovative photographers of the time and the exhibition will offer visitors an opportunity to explore their work.

The students have captured a variety of themes in their photography to explore contemporary issues, some of which are deeply personal.

Among those whose work is on show include documentary photographer Harriet Brookes whose project La Frontera examines the problems faced by people in Gibraltar during the Brexit negotiations.

Using a series of black and white portraits, Sian Hayden’s photography engages with the uncanny and the male gaze while Neve Marinou explores issues surrounding harassment and the Me Too movement.

UCA Farnham MFA Photography Show is on at The Lightbox, Woking, until 2nd February. Entry to the exhibition is free.

More info

SWT photography exhibition

Round & About


Surrey Wildlife Trust puts winners’ work on display

There are just a few days left to view the winning entries in the Wild Surrey Art & Photography Competition.

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Surrey Wildlife Trust is exhibiting the work at Guildford House Gallery until Sunday, 16th June.

The over-18 winner of the art category is artist and art tutor Charlotte Baker from Woking, with Midnight Prince. “Foxes are really mischievous creatures but I think they are so majestic. I wanted to capture that royalty in this piece. I’m really overwhelmed to win.”

The over-18 winner of the photography category is Matthew Nunn, Farnham, with Swan, Frensham Pond. “I went for a walk around Frensham Ponds and grabbed my camera as I wanted to capture the drip shot. I set the shutter to freeze the drip and was absolutely thrilled I got exactly what I wanted.  Winning the competition has inspired me to go forward with my photography – all thanks to Surrey Wildlife Trust.”

The under-18 winner of the art category is Isabelle Saunders, 13, a pupil from Manor House School with Bluebell Badger. “I love bluebells and badgers and I painted them from my imagination. I was surprised to win because I didn’t even realise there would be winners.  But I’m so pleased because I’ve loved art since I was little.”

The under-18 winner of the photography category is Caitlin Ruddock with Butterfly Crossing.

Highly commended are:

Art, over 18 – Shannon Van Lier, Tawny Owl; Alexandra Oldham, Thoughtful Things; Paula Boyd Barrett, Striding Out; Katie Bree Art, Round Leaved Sundew; Emma Bloomfield, The Elusive Kingfisher; Imogen Hartridge, The Conservation Pond, Ashtead; Lisa Benson, My Stag Hill

Photography, over 18 – Alan Seymour, Inquistive Brock; Amanda Cook, Morning Has Broken

Art, under 18 – Alicia Manrique, Bee Aware; Ash Morgan, Scaly Sojourner; Margarita Harff, The Incredible Insect

The exhibition features 80 works showing an appreciation of Surrey’s wildlife.

For more information about this and the work of Surrey Wildlife Trust visit Surrey Wildlife Trust

SWT photography exhibition

Round & About


Be inspired to protect nature by the photographs on display at the Wild Surrey Art & Photography Exhibition.

The exhibition which opens tomorrow (25th May) is part of Surrey Wildlife Trust’s celebration of its 60th anniversary and captures the appreciation and love for the county’s wildlife as well as highlighting its vulnerability and the need to protect it.

The exhibition in Guildford House Gallery, at the top of High Street is free and open to all to come and celebrate Surrey’s amazing nature inspired artworks between 10am and 4.45pm every day. This year Wild Surrey is sponsored by Chessington World of Adventures Resort’s Chessington Conservation Fund.

The short-listed artists include adults and children, amateur and professional, from all over Surrey who have captured serenity and joy in a glowing sunrise or mysterious moonlit landscape. Others have captured a glimpse of a tender character in a hedgehog, fox, butterfly or bee. Like the wildlife and habitats in Surrey, there is a great celebration of colour and diversity of style and media, from printmaking to watercolour, ink and digital artwork.

A more thought provoking side to this exhibition depicts an awkwardness of nature around urban life, a discomfort to see foxes eating from bins, swans nesting around litter, scenes of urban life and nature decaying together.  There is a butterfly settled in the middle of a road, common toads clinging on to survival as they mate on a doorstep, plastic waste in rivers choking otters and fly tipping on nature reserves.

Charlotte Magowan, director of people engagement for Surrey Wildlife Trust, said: “We are so looking forward to seeing the wining artwork up in the exhibition. The high quality of artwork really celebrates the beauty of Surrey’s nature and wildlife.
“The narrative of the exhibition shows how precious and yet precarious Surrey’s nature can be. We hope as many people as possible will come and feel inspired to protect it.”

Wild Surrey’s top £500 prize winners will be announced on Saturday at the special celebratory opening night. Local artist Celia Lewis and photographer Richard Peters will be among the judges.

Can you go wild for 30 days?

Take the challenge and find out

For more information about the exhibition which runs until 16th June, visit Surrey Wildlife Trust

Photo credit: Amy Lewis

DownRight Amazing

Round & About


As it’s World Down Syndrome Day this month (Thursday, 21st March), we’re celebrating a positive campaign this month to raise awareness and funds for a very special charity.

Teddy is a smart, funny, wonderful little boy who puts a smile on the face of everyone he meets. “He’s exactly the way he should be and we wouldn’t change him for the world,” says his proud mum Emily Reay, “but it would be nice if the world would change for him…”

Teddy (pictured) is one of 21 poster stars who, along with their families, are helping raise awareness about Down’s Syndrome (DS). Photographer Magdalena Sztechman, whose sister has Down’s Syndrome, grew up in Poland where she attended regular educational therapy groups and workshops. She wanted to create a positive picture of diversity and similar sense of community here in the UK. Last spring she photographed a sweet little girl called Cara who happens to have Down’s Syndrome and the reaction was hugely positive. “I felt inspired to raise awareness and decided I wanted to do another photo session this year,” explains Magdalena. “This cause is very close to my heart.”

With the help Sparkles, a small, parent-led support charity that offers speech and language therapy and more, 22 willing families got in touch. The resulting images of her subjects will be celebrated on social media daily from 1st March.

“People with Down’s Syndrome can achieve much more than most people can even imagine,” adds Magdalena. “The key is early intervention and extra, well-timed support. It is very important for me to ensure my own daughters understand diversity, the importance of inclusion and that they are naturally open-minded.”

Teddy’s mum Emily is delighted her son is helping to challenge outdated and negative perceptions about Down’s Syndrome. “I didn’t need a test or a doctor to tell me [that he had Down’s Syndrome],” adds Emily of his birth. “I wasn’t sure what this was going to mean for us, but he’s taken my hand and led the way. Don’t be afraid, don’t say sorry, don’t doubt him, don’t treat him differently. Only he can determine what he can and cannot do, my job is to simply provide the love and support to help him achieve his goals. The sky’s the limit.”

Sparkles was started in 1999 by a small group of parents of children with DS who wanted to be able to offer their children more speech therapy than was available through the NHS. To find out more and donate please visit
Also visit

● Join the social media campaign @randamag will be supporting – #DownRightAmazing

Line & light: Art show

Round & About


From Saturday 9th to Sunday 24th March, enjoy an exhibition of photographs, ceramics and life drawings presented by Gaby Guz and Rob Farrands.

Line and Light is the product of a wintertime collaboration between two artists using three media. It is their first joint exhibition. Rob is a photographer who lives in Oxford and Gaby, an alumna of St John’s, is a ceramicist and artist.

Gaby uses line and light to capture the fleeting poses she likes to draw. Her concerns are to convey the essence and emotion of a subject in the brief time that a dynamic pose allows. Her ceramic vessels are largely monochromatic, with bold black and grey lines spreading across egg-shell like pale surfaces.

Rob’s photographs honour the soft, reduced light of the winter solstice. He has shot directly into the light (often including the sun) and dealt with the resulting technical challenges to produce work with strong monochrome tones. His compositions are intended to arouse both a memory of winter’s darkness and the promise of the coming spring.

Rob’s photographs are all taken in Oxford mostly along the banks of the Thames between Iffley and Sandford. He has previously exhibited at the John Radcliffe Hospital in 2016/17 and also in Art Weeks. Gaby’s raku ceramics are monochrome and provide a perfect complement to Rob’s black and white photographs.

The exhibition is at The Barn Gallery, Kendrew Quad, St John’s College, St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3JP. Opening times are 12-5pm weekdays and 11am-6pm Saturdays and Sundays.

Visit and to see more about Gaby and Rod!