AOH artist Emma de Polnay tells us about their new Luminate exhibition


Hi Emma,  Can you tell us what made you decide to take part in the AOH Winter festival?
I actually exhibited in the May AOH festival back in 2014 – Tony Mills & Friends, Kemptown trail and we won bronze (or 3rd) for best open house. Life, the universe and everything happened in between and, as for so many, lockdown really shook up my art practice and made me commit to finding ways and means to create and sell art around my day job. I’ve been looking for an AOH to join since the beginning of the year, I’ve registered as a guest artist, but as I’ve not yet found one to join, I decided to create my own this year!

Spring 2022 led me to exhibiting at the Dynamite Art Fair in Brixton, where I met James, Frances and Maxine. We all hit it off immediately, so when the Dynamite Gallery space become available for pop-up hire, we jumped at the chance to create a group show and register for the winter AOH.

Please note: Frances and James are also exhibiting at Studio 106

Claire Richards: I Got’cha Steaks

Can you tell us about some of the work that visitors will be able to see?
We have all taken the Luminate theme on board, and will be offering up our paintings, photographs, assemblage and prints to light up the winter darkness – sometimes literally! It’s been a very challenging period for the whole planet and even if you aren’t religious, the winter solstice is a time for reflection, magic, delight and celebration.

Emma de Polnay: Messenger

Emma de Polnay’s – mixed-media paintings, are inspired by the natural and mythical worlds, and by her passion for dynamic mark making. Messenger (1m x 1m mixed media on canvas) – is an abstract winged force of golden light and power, a messenger, a protector – but also a judge flying in from far away to see how we are taking care of our precious planet.

James Cowland – Dynamite Art Fair 

James Cowland fine artist and oil painter, will be exhibiting a collection of original paintings and prints. His work is representational with simplified composition. He chooses intuitive subject matter, fed through the act of painting and introspection. It results in quiet enigmatic symbolism rooted within seemingly disconnected bodies of work.

Frances Anderson: Cicada Over

Frances Anderson will be exhibiting a collection of her original watercolours and prints, hand-finished with gold leaf that fuse her fascination with entomology and iconography.

Maxine Allan: by the Light of the Silvery Moon

Maxine Allan will be exhibiting a collection of her mixed media collages and assemblage. She sees them as modern fossils, of trophies from the past, married with irony and humour. “My work is a vestige, a trace or remnant of something that is disappearing or no longer exists”

  Claire Richards: Photo Booth

Claire RichardsClaire and I go back a long way. I used to be her assistant set decorator on a number of feature films including ‘The Theory of Everything’ and ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’ It is a rare and wonderful thing to get Claire away from a film set these days, so we’re delighted she’s joining us to display her beautiful framed photos of some of the extraordinary environments her film work drops her into.

James Cowland: Eigengrau

What are you most looking forward to in taking part in the AOH festival?
The face-to-face art event experience – there’s nothing like it! Creatives work tirelessly to bring their work to life across digital plartforms and that’s obviously been compounded by ‘Covid-buying and selling’, but for the viewer to see our mark-making, textures and colours in the flesh – and be able to connect directly with the artist (and vice versa) – that is where the magic truly happens!

Maxine Allan: Rising Signs

Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
We will be open Saturday 3rd – Sunday 18th December (closed Mondays).
Take a look at our Luminate Press Release for more info and all our links

Frances Anderson: Cicada Gold

Visit Luminate 
13 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EQ