Previous Exhibitions 2022/23

Fircone Painting Group

We are a long-standing (over 30 years) and very friendly group of artists. Our members consist of beginners who just want to ‘have a go’, to the more experienced and accomplished.

We meet on Tuesday mornings at 10.30am in Erdington Methodist Church Hall, Station Road. New members would be made very welcome.

Fircone Painting Group image

Carol, David and Emily White

Carol, Emily and David White RBSA have used acrylic and oil paintings for their exhibition in response to their important chosen theme.

Carol, David and Emily White photo

‘A Precious Place’ – Caring for Our Unique Planet

Sir David Attenborough and many other scientists have frequently warned us about the mounting problems in the natural world; rapidly shrinking biodiversity, the impact of global warming and climate change have become particular challenges.

This exhibition encourages dialogue about these issues and considers if, individually, we may be able to contribute towards a more optimistic future for our planet.

A Precious Place Square Image for Carol, David and Emily White's exhibition

Rachel David

As a child, Rachel received great encouragement of her interest in drawing and painting from her mother and other amateur artist relations. She was able to pursue her interest more intensively after taking early retirement on health grounds from her job as a speech and language therapist. A spinal condition necessitated sitting for long periods, so she undertook a four-year distance learning painting course with the Open College of the Arts which also introduced her to the work of many great artists.

After initially working in watercolour, over the last 30 years, her work has moved away from painting towards more mixed media and textile work. She likes to construct and explore her picture-surfaces through shape, colour and textural design and often ends up with relatively abstract images. She enjoys making hand- and machine-embroidered wall hangings and pictures, paper collages, and painting in gouache. She is mainly inspired by the natural world, words, people, and her anxiety about the state of the world, and hopes that her work conveys her excitement about colour and design.

Rachel is the secretary of the Birmingham Art Circle and president of Sutton Coldfield Society of Artists, and the Sutton Coldfield Art Trail. This year, her work for the Art Trail will be on display at the Boldmere Bistro.

Rachel David Self Portrait
Rachel David image 1 of exhibition
Rachel David image 2 of exhibition

Margaret Fairhead

Ever since I learned to use a sewing machine at the age of 10, I have never been far away from a machine, making all the family’s clothes in the early days. I trained at Solihull and Lichfield Colleges of Art and at Bordesley Teacher Training College. For many years I was Head of Needlecraft at Boldmere School.

Since my retirement I have been able to indulge my passion in developing drawing, painting and design leading to machine stitched final pieces. I am a long-standing member of Jean Draper‘s Design for Stitch Workshops in Lichfield.

The ‘impulse buy’ of a Pfaff Creative Designer machine some years ago led to much experimentation with manipulating the automatic stitches using a variety of threads. This, coupled with exploring both texture and colour, is now paramount in all my work.

Most of my textile pieces are machine embroidered. Design sources have included abstract designs, landscape, sunsets, sand patterns, water reflections and still life using fruits and flowers as inspiration. The current exhibition represents textile art carried out over the past five years.

I am a member of Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, Birmingham Art Circle, Tangent Textiles, Sutton Stitchers, Lichfield and Sutton Arts Societies. I take part in the Sutton Coldfield Art Trail which takes place in June each year. I often give talks and demonstrations to local art and stitching groups.

Margaret Fairhead Photo
Margaret Fairhead's art work 1
Margaret Fairhead's art work 2
Margaret Fairhead's art work 3

Una Smith

I am a mixed media textile artist including paint, silk, scrim and paper. I mostly dye my own fabrics, and embellish them with hand and machine stitch. I like to experiment with all types of art disciplines and keep my mind open to fresh ideas, and try to be spontaneous in my approach.

I have produced several series of work based either on architecture, colour, the female form, landscape, and all things floral. Recently I have been experimenting with eco leaf printing on paper and fabric giving a natural background to embellish with stitch.

Most of my working career has been in finance and management, running the office of our own company before becoming Practice Manager and Fund Holding Manager in a multiple Doctors surgery.

Early retirement has enabled me to concentrate my energies on textile art and design and painting, and I have exhibited widely, across the country, within textile groups.

Relevant textile studies

U.E.I. certificate in Textiles/Embroidery
City and Guilds 1 & 2 (Distinction) Embroidery and Design.
City and Guilds Computer Design.

Una Smith Profile image
Una Smith's Exhibition image 1
Una Smith's Exhibition image 4
Una Smith's Exhibition image 2

Alan Harniess

I rarely go out deliberately to take photos. However, joining the Trinity Photography Group inspired me to be more focussed and I have greatly benefitted from the skills and expertise of fellow members as well as those of the many visiting photographers.

In 2017, I undertook a street portraiture project. I approached people and asked if I could take their picture. This proved to be challenging but very rewarding and some of those images are included in this exhibition. Maryam is one of my favourites and she has since become a nationally renowned photographer, perhaps best known for her images of the South Asian diaspora here in Birmingham and for having been awarded ‘Portrait of Britain’ in 2021.

Most of the images here are the result of street encounters, some lasting for less than 5 minutes, although I explained briefly but clearly the reasons for the photos being taken and exhibited. Hopefully they portray the positive relationships formed between people of different racial origins.

Fundamentally, we are ‘One Family’.

Alan Harniess photo

One Family

Alan Harniess' Exhibition of 'One Family' image 1
Alan Harniess' Exhibition of 'One Family' image 4

Jolanta Bujalska-Axon

Studying Art A level gave me an insight into art, its history and all other forms from artists around the world. My own art at that time focused mainly on nature and flowers. But my interest in photography developed from my early adult years when my grandfather bought me my first SLR, a Canon AT1 in the late 1970’s. I still have that camera. My journey into photography began.

I spent many years using photography to capture memories but also tried to portray what my eyes perceived. I was inspired by scenery, animals, flowers, family relationships and feelings. My children became my main subject matter for their childhood years but gradually I became interested in creating a more ‘artistic’ interpretation through this media. Although it’s been a basic building block of modern communications and an everyday ‘method’ we all use to capture events I, as many photographers, see it as far more than this.

Joining a local photography club four years ago has helped me to develop my passion to an absorbing level but also gives me more opportunity to express my creative ideas. Shirley Photographic Society not only shares members’ skills but also gives support and
friendship with like-minded photographers. I have learnt far more in the last four years than the previous forty!

I aspire to develop my skills as a fine art photographer as well developing my creative skills to produce artistic or impressionist style images. I often look back at various artists from the past and try to emulate their style or feel to my images For example: Rembrandt and the use of light, Van Gogh and his bold brush strokes and dynamic use of colour.

Ultimately I strive to create my own style.

Instagram has been a recent inspiration to me while learning new skills and I have been able to admire images by so many talented photographers. I started my own account in September 2019 and over the last three years have uploaded images on a regular basis. I now have a small gallery of my images.

Name: JolantaB.photographyandcats
Username: jolantaphotosandcats

My passions are flora and fauna, cats, creative image manipulation and more recently, people and portraiture.

This exhibition includes a range of more recent images, some of which will be used in upcoming competitions and external exhibitions.

My inspirations and passions are expressed through my eyes and the lens of the camera.

I hope very much you enjoy my exhibition.

Jolanta_Bujalska-Axon photo
Jolanta Bujalska-Axon installing her exhibition
Jolanta Bujalska-Axon exhibition photo