Figuratively Speaking

Susan Steele, Helen Petit, John Weston & Neil Anderson


26 April - 4 May 2016
closed Sunday

Private View: Tuesday 26 April, 6 - 8 pm
Please contact us if you would like an invitation to this event


Helen Petit

John Weston

Neil Anderson

Sue Steele

This exhibition presents four diverse responses to the challenging subject of the human form.

Sue Steele, John Weston, Helen Petit and Neil Anderson have taken the life model as the basis for their work, in the tradition of artists throughout the centuries. From a common starting point they have pursued their own directions in a wide range of media. Their work is innovative and varied, from Sue's large dramatic drawings to John's intimate oils, and from Helen's subtle portraits to Neil's sculptures and bold charcoal drawings. Formal figure drawing allows the artist to make a series of studies in a relatively short time. These can stand alone or can inspire more formal studio pieces, and both are represented in this exhibition. Harbour House life-drawing sessions have been running very successfully for a number of years and have inspired all four of these artists. The discipline and scope of working from the live model is still very much alive and relevant in 2016.

“I am always inspired by the models, both male and female. The aim is not so much to produce a finished work of art; it is the process which is important, limbering up with short poses and producing lots of unfinished work in charcoal. For me it's the drawing equivalent of going to the gym, keeping the coordination of eye, hand and brain working well and fit to draw. I have always drawn and painted the human figure since I was a student.”
Helen Petit

Neil Anderson’s pictures and sculptures reflect the dichotomy of physical and emotional strength, touching on an inner vulnerability that is often masked by a strong outer façade. His work has been described as ‘melding classicism with modernism’ and sculptures are available as limited editions in both bronze and bronze resin.

Susan Steele’s work mostly encompasses mixed media based on a response to her immediate surroundings. All work is firmly rooted in drawing and observation, which is then taken into more abstract and experimental fields.

John Weston enjoys painting the figure from life, and regularly attends the Friday life drawing sessions at Harbour House. He finds the discipline useful as an end in itself, as well as a source of inspiration for his paintings which incorporate natural and man-made local landscapes. The qualities of fast-drying oils allow him to paint quickly and spontaneously, overlaying glazes and opaque layers.