Inspired By Nature: Pleasley Art Explorers (10th Mar - 1st Apr 2017)

Derbyshire art group Pleasley Art Explorers are returning to Bridlington for a second exhibition at Gallery Forty-Nine. The group meet regularly at Pleasley's village hall, the Verney Institute, to experiment with ideas and techniques in a variety of media.

The Pleasley Art Explorers originally participated in art courses at Bolsover Adult Education Centre through the Limestone Journeys project. As this project came to a close, the group searched for other opportunities, but found that many were too restrictive in their approach. Keen to carry on “doing their own thing”, they decided to hire the Verney Institute each week to exchange ideas and develop their own visions of the natural world around them - hence this exhibition's title, 'Inspired by Nature'.

Group member Fiona Edwards, a former resident of Bridlington, thought that Gallery Forty-Nine would be an ideal venue for Pleasley Art Explorers to showcase their work and encouraged this second exhibition. 'Inspired by Nature' includes paintings, prints and mixed media pieces, plus woodcarvings by guest artist Alan Wilson.

Fiona Edwards trained in Textiles at Edinburgh College of Art and lived for twenty-four years in Bridlington, owning a guest house during this time. Despite a hectic lifestyle, she kept her interest in art alive in precious spare moments. Much of Fiona’s work is of an abstract and thought-provoking nature.

Jackie Dyson is a retired primary school teacher who has always been interested in all areas of art and textiles but never had the time to develop this hobby. After kick-starting her basic skills with local art classes, she decided to combine her love of walking in Sherwood Forest, with its ancient oak trees and varied animals, with a growing interest in printing on fabric. Jackie has used this woodland landscape as inspiration for a series of mixed media prints.

Val Gamble, a retired teacher of art in secondary schools, spent many years encouraging others to be creative but found little time to devote to her own work. Each year she designs and leads a team to make the local Well Dressing, a Derbyshire tradition of immense skill and beauty. Val has a particular interest in shape and colour and has chosen to interpret aspects of nature using watercolours and dyes from tissue paper and pens.

Michelle Scott, originally from Cornwall, arrived in Bolsover via Mersyside. After leading a busy life, she eventually found time to take up an interest in Arts and Crafts at the local Adult Education Centre. Michelle draws her inspiration from the natural world. She works with a crafts emphasis and loves trying out new methods.

Hayley Hallowes is a relative newcomer to the group. She is enjoying the challenge of getting to grips with different media and growing in confidence to produce her own work.

This year, Marcia Wilson, a member of the original Bolsover Group, has joined the group following two years at Chesterfield College of Art. Originally a midwife, Marcia is now able to explore her passion for art through the creative use of mixed media and fabrics.