Artists come together to look for ‘unity, coherence and positivity’ in Flotsam exhibition

IN a post-pandemic world which is currently at war with itself, we are all looking to find a sense of unity, coherence and positivity amongst the tatters of uncertainty, indecision and division.

‘Flotsam’, a new exhibition taking place at the Town Mill’s Malthouse Gallery in Lyme Regis from July 1 to 7, brings together the work of ten artists and makers as a response to this theme.

Working in a variety of media – ceramics, painting, photography, basketry, textiles, jewellery and metalwork – these creatively diverse people offer their interpretations of the word ‘Flotsam’, how it relates to their respective practices and, in turn, how this can be communicated and expressed.

Josie Purcell turns cyanotypes into delicate paper flowers which historically were floated on water as ceremonial offerings.

Sam Isaacs repurposes salvaged materials, often from the shoreline, to produce unique lighting solutions.

‘Flotsam’ can also be a term directed at people as well as objects, so this exhibition also hints at the notion that people themselves can sometimes feel overlooked, superfluous or washed-up.

However, the artist’s role has always been – in part at least – that of a mouthpiece for the trends and mores of society as a whole; this exhibition therefore offers the viewer a chance to reflect on and resonate with these responses.

All works on show will be for sale at affordable prices and there will be opportunities to meet some of the artists during the private view on Saturday, July 2.

There will also be a series of workshops and demonstrations during the week, giving an insight into their making processes.

Weave your own willow berry basket with Jenny Gracie, or try eco-printing a silk scarf using locally foraged plants with Alison Shelton Brown.

As well as the works of the ten participating artists, there will be a rare chance to see and purchase work by the late master potter Robin Welch, with whom Daniel Richardson, one of the exhibitors, collaborated on a number of occasions. 

 The exhibition will be held at The Malthouse from July 1 to 7, open daily from 10.30am to 6pm, and until 8pm on Saturday, July 2. 

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