Ever Present at The Malthouse Gallery, Lyme Regis

Sometimes the perennial angst about what gift to give a loved one at this time of year is also accompanied by a concern for wasting money on things that won’t last or aren’t needed. ‘Ever Present’ offers solutions to these seasonal quandaries. Sixteen local artists and craft makers show a wide range of high-quality paintings and handmade items at a range of affordable prices in an effort to encourage visitors to cherish heritage skills and physically experience unique objects. Glass bowls and ceramic vessels, Japanese Shibori textile bags and raku-fired toys, pin hole photography and landscape paintings demonstrate the wide variety of what is on show at the Malthouse Gallery for ten days from late October. 

Jenny Gracie brings her latest woven baskets made using willow grown in her Devon garden. Weather-worn plastic is rescued from the beach, by Bronwen Gwillim to be worked by hand and combined with recycled silver to make bold, wearable jewellery, inspired by the mud, rocks, and boats she sees from her studio window. ‘People who buy my jewellery are often those that care about the environment and want to wear things that reflect their individuality and love of good design. I love the fact that plastic, which is seen as waste, can become a valued resource, elevated from trash to treasure.’ Similarly, Sam Isaacs creates distinctive lighting solutions by re-purposing components from vintage cars, motorbikes and domestic items. 

Curator Alison Shelton Brown is passionate about the promotion of art and craft, keeping it local by supporting makers in the South-West, bringing together a broad range of techniques and materials to inspire the search for the perfect present that will last and be loved. ‘Plein-air paintings are an expression of time and place.’  says acrylic artist Jonathan Mulvaney, ‘To own a local painting is a complete statement that holds out against the ever-homogenising visual world.’ Likewise, Tony Kerins records the Jurassic Coast using watercolour and drawing, specialising in capturing local scenes and their inhabitants. An illustrator of long repute, he designed the book jacket for children’s novel, ‘A Stitch in Time’ by Penelope Lively, which is set in Lyme Regis and has also provided maps and historical reconstructions for the National Trust and local authorities all over England, including Golden Cap.

The resort of Lyme Regis is always popular with dogwalkers so Deefer Dog, a new enterprise by Sarah Packer could be of interest to many owners. Having run a successful celebration cake business and tea rooms in Okehampton, she has now turned her attention to creating a range of wholesome treats for beloved canines. The gallery always welcomes pets so bring them along to try some naturally tasty human-grade dog treats made using flour ground by the old Town Mill next door, which also provides self-guided tours for free throughout the year to view the historic milling process.

Ever Present opens from Friday 27th October to Sunday 5th November 2023 from 10am to 5pm daily at The Malthouse Gallery, Town Mill Courtyard, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3PU

Taking part:

Alison Shelton Brown – sculptural ceramics. https://alisonsheltonbrown.art/

Bronwen Gwillim – recycled jewellery. https://bronwengwillim.co.uk/

Daphne Roach – textiles. https://www.daphneroach.com/

Deefer Dogs – animal treats. https://www.facebook.com/people/Deefer-Dog/100087405968613/

Frances Pollard – domestic pottery. https://sandyhillarts.co.uk/artist/frances-pollard/

Helen Eastham – glass. https://www.heleneasthamstudio.co.uk/

I Am Rachel –enamel jewellery. https://iamrachel.co.uk/

Jane Colquhoun – textiles. https://www.janecolquhoun.com/

Jane Staniland – ceramics. https://www.janestaniland.com/

Jenny Gracie (Making Space to Make) – baskets. https://www.makingspacetomake.co.uk/

Jonathan Mulvaney – painting. https://www.instagram.com/mulvaneyjonathan/

Richard Jeffries – ceramic toys. https://theeleventhhour.co.uk/

Robin Shelton – pin hole photography.

Tony Kerins – painting. https://www.tonykerins.com/

Sam Isaacs (Reworked) – lighting. https://www.reworked.co.uk/a-b-o-u-t