Category Archives: Galleries

SB Review: Ways of Seeing, Churchgate Gallery (Porlock)

Paper Works by Toni Davey

Almost a year since they opened and a first gallery exhibition for the Churchgate Gallery in Porlock. I’ve been lucky enough to visit several of their artist events over the last year but I think this is the first exhibition where all of the other work was removed and each artist given their own space. It worked well.

Billed as ” an exhibition of three artists exploring visions of reality and imagination through space, line and materials” the enormous fairytale like structures of Rob Heard were juxtaposed against Toni Davey’s precise laser cut lines with a healthy dose of twee like reality coming from Paul Askew’s black and white paintings taken from his own photography.

I was most taken with Toni Davey’s precise lines, created by laser cuts, creating light and shadow and lifting the two dimensional paper into a third dimension. She appeared to have architectural precision and the works created a calm middle room between the two other styles.

Heard’s fairy tale structures were impressive. I could see them more as a set dressing or permanent installation in a gallery rather than a piece to take home so it was nice to see a local gallery showing things just for the pleasure of showing a piece rather than simply to sell. The structures were taller than me and smelt appealing of modelling wood. They appeared to grow out of what appeared to be driftwood, as if they had been dreamt there rather than created.

Askew’s paintings were evocative to me because many were of London, home to my old life. They made the underground and the sites of London look rather like a black and white film or an old fashion photograph. They too had a slightly fairytale quality and rather gave the impression of a rainy November evening, which is how I fondly remember my time in London, rather as if through rain tinted neon glasses. I enjoyed looking at his images but somehow rather more suited to a greetings card than my wall.

We attended the opening evening of the exhibition which was buzzing. It is a pleasure to have such a lovely gallery so close to where we live and I very much enjoyed the evening. Once again the canapes were excellent, as were the drinks. Well worth a visit if you are in Porlock.

Ways of Seeing: An exhibition of 3 Artists (29 May – 12 June 2011)

Churchgate Gallery

High Street Porlock Somerset TA24 8PT T: 01643 862238
E: W:

Open daily 10.00 – 5.00

*image from Churchgate Gallery


SB Review: Churchgate Gallery, Porlock

On Saturday afternoon Husband and I were invited to the opening launch of the Churchgate Gallery in Porlock. The gallery is, as the name suggests, at the foot of the gate to St Dubricious Church, which has a flat bell tower that legend has it had the top part removed and used for the nearby Culbone Church. The gallery itself is, as one perhaps often expects from galleries, is open and white with interesting light coming down from the old windows.

The art is all for sale and the gallery specialises in local work, both of local artists and local scenes/interests. Foxhunting, wildlife and representations of Exmoor and the seasons were all well represented with some beautiful pieces. I was particularly taken with John Hoar‘s watercolours and Kate Wyatt‘s animal line drawings.

The gallery also features the works of local photographer Neville Stanikk who was at the launch signing his books. The Churchgate Gallery can reproduce any of his photographs from any of his books on either paper or canvas and there are some absolutely beautiful photographs to choose from. Husband and I started to try and choose and just couldn’t.

The food and drink served during the launch was some of the nicest canapes that I have eaten in a long time – mini bruschettas, pate with honey, olive and feta and enormous glasses of Pimms or Millers Gin & Tonic. We didn’t want to leave and could easily have stayed all afternoon sipping drinks and chatting to the other visitors about the art work. In the end we chose a Jonathon Walker print for a present and 2 of the beautiful artists greeting cards. Had I not been off shopping for myself I would have bought some hammered silver earrings by Caroline Lytton and will certainly be returning when I need presents and birthday cards. A beautiful addition to Porlock.

Churchgate Gallery

High Street Porlock Somerset TA24 8PT T: 01643 862238
E: W:

Open daily 10.00 – 6.00 Mon-Sat
11.00 – 5.00 Sun

Images via John Hoar & Kate Wyatt’s websites.