Gallery News

Tess Ainley Gallery introduces new artist

Press Release 2nd August, 2017

Maria Pavledis is one of the latest artists to be introduced to Tess Ainley Gallery in Holt, Norfolk. Maria is an artist and printmaker, who works with the dreamlike world of fairy tale and narrative; including its darker and uncanny elements. Starting from a very strong commitment to drawing, she develops images using a mixture of traditional and non traditional methods, including etching, drypoint, monoprint and smoke drawing; which she uses to explore new ways of mark making and expression. Maria is interested in the qualities of fragility and destruction, both in nature and in the printmaking process itself. Recent work has also included moving light installation, using old analogue equipment, creating the sense of being inside a story space.

Maria originally studied painting at Norwich School of Art and then continued to an MA in printmaking at Camberwell College of Art. She has exhibited widely and is a member of the London Organisation of Original Printmakers and Print to The People in Norwich. She lives in North Norfolk.

Tess Ainley Gallery opened in November 2016. It is an independent, contemporary gallery, where Tess also makes her own work. The gallery is currently showing the work of several artists who work in mixed media, paint, ceramics, jewellery, photography and furniture. Tess has had a very busy first season, including working on several private commissions and is also currently participating in Cley 17: 6  July - 6 August.


‘Little Barn Owl’ Maria Pavledis 27.5 cm x 27.5 cm Limited Edition Etching


New prints by Mel Sheridan

August 2017

A new delivery of original work and giclee prints by London born artist, Mel Sheridan, have just arrived at the gallery. Mel is also currently producing an exciting new body of work, especially for the gallery, that will be arriving in the early Autumn.

Mel is an artist and teacher who lives and works in Cornwall. She is a member of St Ives Society of Artists and has shown and sold her work across the UK and abroad. She paints stories and emotional memories of her life. Mel works intuitively, the paintings tending to reveal themselves to her. Narrative, humour and atmosphere play a large part of explaining the situation.


‘Sab’ Giclee Prints 21 cm x 27 cm and 30 cm x 40 cm


Latest body of work by Karen Stamper

August, 2017

A new delivery of work by Cambridge artist and tutor, Karen Stamper, has just arrived at the gallery this month.

Karen's work has the overall sense of a painting but as you look closely, you will see that it is skilfully built up, using layers of found papers, tissue and acrylic paint. She sees the beauty in simple scraps, ripped edges, accidental marks and worn surfaces.

Karen says ‘collage is the idea; it is liberating and leads me in new directions. Increasingly there is a strong abstract element but there are recognisable parts that draw the viewer in; snippets of lettering, worn surfaces, architecture, tiled walls, decorative motifs, textures and colours, that allow the viewer to use their imagination too.'

Evening Catch is from a visit to Whitby Harbour, watching the fishing boats return.

Susan and Nancy are based on Karen's sketching trips to Harwich; to the boatyard there. Karen says 'I feel very peaceful among the old fishing boats when they are 'on the hard' ready for winter refit.'

Days Like This 2 brings back memories of family holidays for Karen, on the East coast of Yorkshire. She says ‘sunburnt and sandy at the end of the day, we would have fish and chips on the harbour wall - that seemed so tall when we were small.'


'Evening Catch' Karen Stamper  91 cm x 61 cm Mixed Media on Board


Tess Ainley Gallery introduces new artist

Press Release, 3rd July 2017

Tracey Ross is the latest artist to be introduced to Tess Ainley Gallery in Holt, Norfolk. Tracey is a contemporary artist based in North Norfolk, where she spends lots of time walking along the coastline with her sketchbook, drawing the seasonal changes. It is a place where she feels a connection; a sense of presence. She paints to capture the beauty of Creation along the North Norfolk coast, with its creeks, skies and expansive beaches; it has become, for her, an exciting spiritual journey on canvas. She finds that painting in an abstract style, using mixed media, acrylics and oils, enables her paintings to reveal a deeper mystery. Rapidly drawing her feelings of a place through mark making, is key to her recalling the energy she senses, when sketching the fleeting and ethereal light. Tracey delights in capturing the seasonal elements along the coast; whether it be the fiery hues of a blazing sunset or how the misty sea frets together, with the clarity of light, on a bright, breezy day.

Tracey studied textile design and went on to complete a Visual Studies degree at Norwich University of the Arts. She is a member of the Norwich 20 Group and regularly participates in the annual Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios. She was shortlisted for the National Open Art Competition 2015, was finalist for the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) 2016 and the Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) at the Mall Galleries 2016-2017. Her work is held in private collections both in the UK and abroad.

Tess Ainley Gallery opened in November 2016. It is an independent, contemporary gallery, where Tess also makes her own and private commissioned work. ‘I have had an overwhelmingly good response since opening’ she says, ’people are intrigued by the combination of mixed media work, finding it original and refreshingly different’. Tess is currently showing the work of several artists who work in mixed media, ceramics, jewellery, photography and furniture. She is currently participating in Cley 17 6  July - 6 August and is also taking part in the Holt Fringe Festival, 22 - 30 July.


'Flood of Light' Tracey Ross 53 x 53cm Mixed Media on Canvas


Tess Ainley exhibits at Cley 17 Exhibition, Cley next the Sea

July 2017

Tess has been selected as one of the artists to exhibit at 'Cley 17' this year, inside the beautiful St. Margaret’s Church, in Cley next the Sea. This year’s theme is ‘Connectivity’ and in response, Tess has produced 100 small, unframed, mixed media works on paper, entitled '100 Prayers’.

Tess says 'Through prayer we connect with each other, whether through intercession for people we do not know or praying directly with a person. This connectedness dissolves barriers and binds us together. In the segregated and divided world in which we live, prayer provides an acceptable means of interaction and provides opportunity for acceptance, relationship building and peace'.

'100 Prayers' is about finding time out of our busy lives to take a moment to pause and reflect ... to connect, mend, heal and repair.

Cley 17 starts on 6th July and continues until 6th August. St Margaret’s Church is open every day from 10am-5.30pm. The Private View is on Wednesday 5th July from 6-8pm. The exhibition is spread over several venues in Cley and is one not to miss.



New series of work by Tamlin Lundberg

June 2017

‘Lost and Found’ follows the success of Tamlin's last two collections and is now her third series of work for the gallery. This latest series is inspired by the book “Landmarks” by Robert Macfarlane. He identifies how many local vernacular words, which describe specific details in nature, are dying out through lack of use. Language is an integral part of Tamlin's work. She says 'it binds us to each other and allows us to express our connection to the natural world'.

For example, in Norfolk the word ‘kane’ describes a stretch of shallow water left between an outer sandbank and the beach, which warms in the sun and is lovely to swim in. Anyone who lives in Norfolk will recognise this feature and the work is an attempt to help preserve some of this language. On the backs of the pots are more regular definitions or clues to their meaning and some have seed imagery which symbolises a re-sowing.


Arrival of new work by Karen Stamper

May 2017

Three new larger works have arrived at the gallery this month, to complement the rest of her collection.

Karen's colourful, energetic, exciting collage paintings are based on her travels, cities and the urban shoreline. Her bold and joyful collages may look like paintings but if you look closely, you will see they are skilfully built up using layers of found papers, tissue and acrylic paint. She sees the beauty in simple scraps and ripped edges, accidental marks and worn surfaces.

Karen aims to capture the memory of a place and the sense of human presence, echoing the passing of time. This is a controlled, yet intuitive, direct approach, that allows her a huge amount of freedom to interpret her travel sketches in a lively and original way.


New Work by Marion Stuart

May 2017

Marion is a ceramicist working on art principles in clay.  She is the founder of StudioDo ceramic art and education in Norwich and curator of Cley 17.

A new delivery of Marion’s work has arrived this month, of bottles and houses, to add to her already beautiful collection.

Her Lottabottle text is seen in reverse like the notebook of da Vinci. Marion’s words come from a book called 'Dartmoor Omnibus,' a series of stories by Eden Philpotts, which she has worked in and from for twenty years; selecting words unconsciously, which create a sense of poetry. They appear illegible and legible on the forms she uses. Gold is used to highlight defects, cracks and edges of deliberate broken and mended works. It references the wabi sabi Japanese principle and also the technique of kinsugi; mending ceramics with gold. The form is a response from a collection of antique bottles and castaway items.

Marion’s Tickytocky houses are a selection of individual houses which have been imprinted with ceramic ink using a method known as silk screening. Marion says 'It’s like I’m sending them a home from my space to their space – like the pieces are returning home to their new owners. I love architecture and I love temporary houses – like houses next to rivers and tidal houses on stilts. The writing on the houses is slightly obscured and each one is different. I then glaze them to make the wording stand out. You can peer inside them,' she says. 'The delicate pieces seem warm and inviting yet absent, with each one missing its roof. It’s part of the fragility of a home that’s there, but not quite there.'

Tess Ainley participates in Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios 27 May - 11 June 2017

Press Release,  Sat 15th April, 2017

Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios offers a host of opportunities to view, buy and commission fabulous pieces of local, handmade art and craft and to learn more about the creative process.

This year, Tess will be exhibiting her work inside her art gallery, in Holt, which she opened in November last year.

Tess' work is already proving very popular. Customers are finding her range of mixed media work refreshingly different and she has already had a number of private commissions.  The gallery also shows the work of several artists who engage in paint, collage, ceramics, mixed media, jewellery, photography and furniture.

The gallery will be open every day throughout Open Studios from 10.00-5.00pm, except Sundays. Tess is having a Private View on Friday 26th May from 5.00-7.00pm with Pimms and nibbles. Everyone is welcome and the event is free to attend. Tess will also be doing 2 late night Fridays, for those who are not able to make it during the day (2nd & 9th June) until 7pm and on Saturday 10th June, her last day, Tess is offering 10% off any piece of her artwork.

Feel free to pop into the gallery and see Tess' works in progress. Tess is No 124 in the Norfolk & Norwich Open Studios guide which is now widely available in locations across Norfolk and also inside the gallery. 

Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios is organised by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, as an organisation in partnership with Norfolk artists and in association with Wex Photographic

New series of work by Tamlin Lundberg

March 2017

'Sea of Bottles' is the latest series of ceramic work to be introduced to Tess Ainley Gallery. This body of work, by Tamlin Lundberg, follows the huge success of her original 'Flint and Chalk Series'

Tamlin is a local artist, based in Norwich, currently working in ceramics and drawing. Each of her handmade pieces are created in response to her surroundings and experiences in the natural world. Through walking the landscape, collecting objects and stories, fragments and memories, Tamlin attempts to capture traces of these small exchanges with the environment.

This series is based around walks along the North Norfolk coast, responding to the physicality of landscape, the geology, the North Sea and the weather. Tamlin says 'Bottles and jars are used to preserve and store and as human beings, we also retain and absorb, both a sense of place and an essence of our experience. These accumulations shape our identity.'