North Wall reopening: An exhibition of painting and textiles


North Wall reopening and the exhibition of new painting and textiles

The North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford’s Summertown is reopening and from 29 September, will welcome visitors to the gallery for their autumn exhibition programme.

The first exhibition, Contemplation: Snow Into Water, is a celebration of nature and its calming effect on the mind, curated by Jenny Blyth in which artists Chloe Fremantle (painting), and Cassandra Wall (textiles) contemplate beauty in nature expressed through patterning.

Chloe Fremantle, Memento Mori in Blue, Acrylic on canvas, 137cm x 130cm.
Chloe Fremantle, Memento Mori in Blue, Acrylic on canvas, 137cm x 130cm.

Chloe Fremantle’s practice is rooted in figuration, in the pure essence and beauty of nature that manifests as abstraction, a dialectic of markmaking. Paring back from the detail of her subject, she has created her own hieroglyphic language of symbols and shapes that reflect the world around her.

In recent years her work has marked a return to figuration in terms of subject, with urban and rural vistas infused with an alphabet that she has developed over years. Essentially as one’s eye unravels the patterns and marks within Fremantle’s compositions, so the mind is free to explore and interpret.

Cassandra Wall, Dungeness: Summer & Winter (Derek Jarman's Prospect Cottage)
Cassandra Wall, Dungeness: Summer & Winter (Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage), Cotton and Silk, 100cm x 100cm.

Cassandra Wall has been working with textiles since childhood. All her compositions such as Heather Hills are initiated sur le motif capturing the spirit of the landscape – the crests of purple heather-clad hills with backdrafts of golden-green mosses.

Her quilts, each created over months, present as contemporary textile paintings floating in tray frames, unglazed.

Initially, she creates collages in torn papers, precursors and hints of the patterns and tessellations to come. Transposing her ‘sketches’ to cloth, involves sourcing vintage and hand-coloured fabrics that she tones with tea, matching her swatches against her chosen subjects en plein air.

Once her patterning is decided upon, the tessellation begins and her textile paintings are stitched.

Contemplation: Snow into Water runs at the North Wall from 29 September to 10 October 2020. Entry is free.

Cassandra Wall, Snow Falling Into Water
Cassandra Wall, Snow Falling Into Water

The North Wall Gallery is open from Monday to Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm, and from 12:00pm to 4:00pm on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.

There will be open evenings on 03 and 10 October from 5:00pm to 8:00pm accompanied by a glass of wine and a bite-size talk from curator Jenny Blyth.

North Wall is reopening gradually and it’ll be a while before they can host a full-scale programme of theatre, comedy and music. However, they do have some exciting live events happening over the next few weeks like the award-winning comedy night, Jericho Comedy Live, on 26 September.

Further upcoming exhibitions at The North Wall this autumn will include Society of Wood Engravers’ Centenary Exhibition, and photographer Philippa James: 100 Women of Oxford, part of the Photo Oxford festival.

For more information and to book tickets for the evening openings, visit North Wall’s website at thenorthwall.com

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