Home Culture Knowsley Kirkby Gallery brings together five talented artists with connections to Knowsley
A montage of five excerpts from paintings with a text header that reads "Five"

Kirkby Gallery brings together five talented artists with connections to Knowsley

by Emily Maguire

The latest exhibition at Kirkby Gallery, ‘Five’, is now open, showcasing five very different fine art painting practices by artists with a connection to Knowsley.

Sophie Elsden, Paul Gatenby, Natalie Gilmore, Tony O’Connell, and Alun Roberts all feature in this unique exhibition giving visitors the opportunity to explore the practice of each artist, their ideas and techniques up close.

Sophie Elsden describes her work as: “A visual description of my surroundings and an expression of myself; a continual development of emotional self-portraits capturing particular moments. I find when working with paint, I connect with the flexibility of the material.”

Paul Gatenby says: “Urban Sketching led me to painting cityscapes, and I tend to be drawn to the forgotten corners with a poetic sense of tragedy. My other main subject is people, especially the nude, which I treat like a portrait; I want to portray a real personality.”

Natalie Gilmore describes her process and how she mainly works in acrylic: “Taking advantage of how quickly it dries and building up layers of paint and individual dots and dashes. Instead of standing back and admiring the landscape, I’ve focused on small areas – the shapes, colours, textures.

Tony O’Connell says: “I think my work has often been about grief or loss and how to process it. I’ve tried to reclaim and reimagine subjects we’ve all seen as part of art history for centuries, combining modern and ancient images and techniques.”

Alun Roberts works in acrylic and oils and says of his work: “I am massively inspired by the effect that light has on a subject, whether that is natural or man-made light. It is important to me to try to capture a mood in a painting, and each one takes me on my own little journey.”

In addition to the main exhibition there is a secondary exhibition in the entrance to the gallery by artist Roger Owen. Roger works mainly in oils, but also uses watercolours and occasionally coloured pencils. He said “Completing a drawing or painting can sometimes be frustrating, but in my mind, there is little that can equal the satisfaction that is felt when you finish with something that just might be worthy of being hung up on a wall somewhere.”

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: This promises to be a really exciting exhibition, one where visitors can get up close to a whole range of styles and techniques. It will be another fantastic opportunity for local school children to attend and broaden their experiences of art and artists. Kirkby Gallery has a fantastic year ahead as we celebrate Knowsley at 50 and this exhibition is a fantastic way to kick things off!

Visit the gallery at The Kirkby Centre, Norwich Way, Kirkby, L32 8XY.

The exhibition is open Monday – Friday 10am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm) and Saturday 10am – 1pm (last entry 12.30pm) from 22 January – 30 March 2024.

Contact galleries@knowsley.gov.uk for more information.