A special exhibition showcasing the best works by national and local artists inspired by the Basingstoke Canal is currently running at The Lightbox gallery in Chobham Road, Woking between Tuesday 22nd February and Sunday 6th March.
The exhibition forms part of the Basingstoke Canal Society’s fundraising campaign to replace its ageing canal community trip boat with a new solar-electric cruise boat including the installation of charging points along the canal to secure an eco-friendly future for the waterway.
All of the artworks are also available to buy through auction. You can view and bid for pieces by clicking here.
Professional artist Ian Mowforth was visiting friends in Woking when they went for a walk along the Basingstoke Canal and the subject of raising funds for the project to replace Kitty came up.
“Before Covid, I had been taking part in an exhibition which proved quite successful, raising £36,000 for Great Dixter House and Gardens in Sussex,” he says. “So I suggested that doing the same might generate a bit of interest and be a good way to raise funds for the Basingstoke Canal Society. That was about 18 months ago and, now, here we are!”
From Yorkshire, Ian now has a studio in Wimbledon, enjoying travelling to places that inspire his paintings of landscapes. Fascinated by light and colour, Ian often paints landscapes, and enjoys studying and trying to capture the way light plays on a scene, reflections in water, trees and similar.
For our exhibition Ian painted ‘Woking Blizzard’, a canal snowscene using oil on canvas, which he hopes will raise some money to support our project to replace Kitty with a more sustainable and eco-friendly canal trip boat.
He said of his painting: “I always try to take something ordinary and make it extraordinary, and I think every artist invests something of themselves into their work which makes it entirely different to, say, taking a photograph.
An artist his entire life, Alan’s bold graffiti-inspired style catches the eye from afar. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 23 years old and this informs much of his work.
He was the subject of a double Academy Award-winning documentary in 2007, called ‘My Name is Alan and I paint Pictures’, about his career in New York as a plein air artist.
A mostly self-taught painter, Alan says: “I am an Outsider Artist. I have got schizophrenia and I suffer from auditory and visual hallucinations. For most of the last year I have been working on a hand-painted book that describes in detail the hallucinations that I see and hear.”
Alan has submitted one of his favourite subjects for paintings to our exhibition – a pub street scene! It is available at auction for a guide price of £700.
Diana is painfully aware of the wildlife and nature we stand to lose through climate change, pesticides, herbicides and pollution (to name a few) and so she is keen to help the Basingstoke Canal Society replace the diesel-powered Kitty with a more sustainable electric boat.
She says: “The canal travels through some beautiful countryside. It is kept clean by Basingstoke Canal Society volunteers, you see the healthy fish in the clear water just outside The Lightbox and it is a great place for waterfowl and other birds, such as the herons seen sitting in the trees or flying (and fishing) along the canal. Walking or running along the canal path is not only great exercise, it is quiet and, thanks to the trees lining it, the air feels fresh and clean. Sailing up or down the canal in an eco-friendly Kitty ll will surely evoke a similarly good feeling and, no doubt, help the society to keep up its good work.”
Carla Scarano D’Antonio
Based in Chobham, Carla uses a variety of media, from oil painting to tempera, watercolours, acrylics and mixed media. She says: “The Basingstoke canal near Woking is an eco-friendly landscape that merges town and nature, human and vegetation. The water reflects the trees as well as the buildings creating an interesting variety of colours and shapes.
This vision inspired me to use different approaches that are mainly figurative but are also loose and allow a personal interpretation. The Basingstoke Canal is a place of leisure and beauty where people meet and recapture a precious contact with the environment that I tried to express in my paintings.”
Liz has been painting and drawing all her life. After an early career as a scientific assistant at the Natural History Museum in London and raising a family she qualified as an Adult Education lecturer and taught drawing, watercolours and mixed media for 25 years in Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire.
She retired in 2003 to concentrate on her own work, freelance teaching, and a busy schedule demonstrating to Art Societies throughout the country and teaching on painting holidays.
Liz has also demonstrated for a number of leading Art Material companies. She has exhibited widely in many galleries and in London at both Mall Galleries (The Pastel Society, The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, The Society of Women Artists) and Westminster Galleries. Her work has been reproduced as prints and greeting cards by many organisations and she has won a number of prestigious awards.
Liz has contributed to several books including ‘Watercolour Plus’, ‘The Artists’ Sketchbook’ and ‘Dynamic Acrylics’ and is a regular contributor to ‘The Artist’ magazine. She was elected to The Society of Women Artists in 1993, retiring in January 2022. She is past President of Woking Society of Arts and The Arun Art Society.
Charles Duncan Twigg
Having always painted, whilst working as a nurse, Charles finally became a full-time artist at the age of 55. Being a Yorkshire man, he now lives in Woking with his wife Liz.
He likes the Basingstoke Canal because it predominantly passes through superb woodlands; at the moment he is working on an expansive study of trees and the symbiotic relationship which they have with their surroundings. So the canal area is a much visited area.
Charles’ principal medium is ink, however, watercolor also features in his work output. Recently his maritime sculptures have attracted a lot of attention.
He exhibits regularly in Surrey and is an active member of the Guildford Arts, while also working as an artist with the NHS and runs local art groups. He has a passion for working in the Mental Health arena and as such works with Epsom ‘Love me love my mind’ organisation.
Charles also produces a weekly Blog site “theartofcharlestwigg.blogspot.co.uk“
A freelance graphic designer based in Woking, Surrey, Chris is a proud dad of a nine-year-old girl and, when time allows, a keen cyclist and budding amateur artist.
After graduating from the West Surrey College of Art & Design, he pursued a career in design. Painting took a back seat but it was in the lockdown of 2020 that he felt the need to put paint on canvas again – not looking back since!
He said: “Whether it’s a landscape, abstract or a still life I love the creative process, exploring techniques and developing as an artist. My inspiration comes from nature, music, abstract art to street art, travel and cycle rides into the Surrey Hills. I also make my own wooded ‘floater’ frames.”
Ingrid describes herself as an experimental contemporary artist working from a messy home studio on the Surrey Hants border near Guildford!
She is an Exhibiting member of Guildford Art Society, Village Artists and West Surrey Artists and has exhibited in London and the South with The Royal Watercolour Society at The Bankside Gallery, The Gosport Open and frequently at Denbies Art Gallery, Dorking.
She said: “I work unconventionally with various media to produce unexpected and unpredictable effects. I rarely use a brush and I’m currently working with the toxic fumes of alcohol ink and isopropyl, although the beautiful translucent effects are worth it!”
Natalie Kalmus Eliasz
Natalie gained a degree in Fine Art at The Art Academy, London. She draws on her experience working in the Early Years sector, which continues to influence themes explored through her practice, both surrounding her own memories of childhood and a wider notion of attachment between people, to memories and our relationship with nature, both on a collective and individual level.
She has run art classes with various community groups and has a strong interest in concepts taken from Play Therapy and Art Therapy, which she uses in her work with people and her own creative practice.
Since leaving Goldsmiths College many years ago, Tinx has experimented in all mediums including paint, photography and print. She also writes about art for Surrey Life magazine.
She previously worked as an Art Buyer in advertising, while taking freelance commissions in photography and illustration on the side. Now, she makes more time for her art. Having loved the spontaneity of watercolour and pen and inks for many years, she is now fascinated by the richness of oils and the intensity of the colours. Heavy skies, rolling landscapes, fresh fish and vegetables continue to bring great joy and exploration.
You can find her painting ‘en plein air’ on the south coast and in the Surrey Hills, or pestering the fishmonger for three lovely sardines for a still life.
Tinx is also part of a joint studio group at High Clandon Vineyard in Surrey Open Studios in June 2022.
Thinesh is an award-winning photographer who lives with his family in Brookwood and has been taking photographs for the last 10 years.
He specialises in images of wildlife and has spent hours in hides waiting for that special moment where he can capture a spectacular image.
Two artworks have been submitted to the exhibition on behalf of Reginald George Richard Best.
Reginald was born in Camberley in 1911, but was living in Woking by 1939 and until he died in 1986.
Every artwork is available to buy
Every artwork on display will be available to buy via our bidding website with all proceeds going towards the new, more accessible and sustainable Kitty II.
The exhibition is open from 10:30am-5:00pm weekdays and Saturdays and 11:00am-4:00pm on Sundays.
The Lightbox, Chobham Road
Woking, Surrey, GU21 4AA