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Local artists looking forward to displaying works at upcoming exhibition

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Thursday, 31st October 2019, 09:00

‘Something Going on at Kew’, Michael Paul, 2019 ‘Something Going on at Kew’, Michael Paul, 2019

Two local artists are set to host a joint exhibition at the Gardens Gallery in Montpellier.

Andrew Dawes and Michael Paul will be showcasing their work at the seven-day exhibition, entitled ‘Spaces and Faces’.

Michael, a retired architect, and Andrew, a former project manager in the power industry, met and became friends at a painting group around five years ago.

“I’ve always been creative,” said Michael, who has lived in Cheltenham for over 30 years. “During the war years – I’m pretty old! – we used to make our own toys and invent games, drawing came very naturally, and I’ve always sketched, followed by painting.

“I’ve been painting in oils for the last 10 years following an access course that I did at Stroud College. Prior to that I was painting watercolours since I was a child, and produced architectural perspectives during my career as an architect.”

Andrew, who lives in Box near Nailsworth, says his artistic history is very similar.

He said: “I’ve always enjoyed art and I’ve always drawn. When I left school I had to choose between art and engineering, and I chose engineering.

“I’ve always had breaks from drawing but since I retired 15 years ago I’ve enjoyed getting back into it.”

The pair will be displaying around 40 pieces of work that they have painted over the years.

The paintings are oil and acrylic and depict natural settings and urban scenes.

“I enjoy painting landscapes, buildings, boats, people,” said Andrew.

“But for me it’s always about the relationships between subjects and their surroundings. It’s the interaction between objects, or people, and their settings which create the dynamic for me.”

“My favourite subjects involve the interaction between people, particularly the unfinished stories between them,” continued Michael.

“I like to catch my subjects unaware so they are natural and un-posed. Sometimes I will place them in a different environment to make a more interesting composition, sometimes I will combine characters from different settings and make a story between them.

“I like to leave something for the viewer to contribute to the experience of looking at the painting, not everything is explained.”

The exhibition runs from Wednesday 27th November to Tuesday 3rd December.

Entry is free of charge, and both Andrew and Michael are looking forward to having the chance to show their work to the public.

“Exhibiting is very exciting, it’s also a lot of hard work!” said Michael.

“I am proud to see my paintings hung on a gallery wall, it’s a very different experience to seeing them in the studio, it means that I am taking them seriously and am hoping for the same reaction from visitors.”

Andrew added: “I’m looking forward to it, I’ve not done an exhibition in Cheltenham yet.

“It’s a lovely exhibition space and I’m very interested to hear some feedback.”

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