Keeping the art of gift making ‘Ever Present’ at the Malthouse Gallery, Lyme Regis this Christmas

Sometimes the perennial angst about what gift to give a loved one at this time of year is also accompanied by a concern for wasting money on things that won’t last or aren’t needed. ‘Ever Present’ offers solutions to these seasonal quandaries. Sixteen local artists and craft makers show a wide range of high-quality paintings and handmade items at a range of affordable prices in an effort to encourage visitors to cherish heritage skills and physically experience unique objects. Glass bowls and ceramic vessels, Japanese Shibori textile bags and raku-fired toys, pin hole photography and landscape paintings demonstrate the wide variety of what is on show at the Malthouse Gallery for ten days from late October.

Helen Eastham glass Jane Staniland ceramics Daphne Road textiles  

Helen Eastham, Jane Staniland, Daphne Roach 

Jenny Gracie brings her latest woven baskets made using willow grown in her Devon garden. Weather-worn plastic is rescued from the beach, by Bronwen Gwillim to be worked by hand and combined with recycled silver to make bold, wearable jewellery, inspired by the mud, rocks, and boats she sees from her studio window. ‘People who buy my jewellery are often those that care about the environment and want to wear things that reflect their individuality and love of good design. I love the fact that plastic, which is seen as waste, can become a valued resource, elevated from trash to treasure.’ Similarly, Sam Isaacs creates distinctive lighting solutions by re-purposing components from vintage cars, motorbikes and domestic items.

Making Space to Make Jenny Gracie basketry Bronwen Gwillim recycled plastic jewellery Sam Isaacs Reworked vintage recycled lighting

Making Space to Make, Bronwen Gwillim, Reworked

Curator Alison Shelton Brown is passionate about the promotion of art and craft, keeping it local by supporting makers in the South-West, bringing together a broad range of techniques and materials to inspire the search for the perfect present that will last and be loved. ‘Plein-air paintings are an expression of time and place.’  says acrylic artist Jonathan Mulvaney, ‘To own a local painting is a complete statement that holds out against the ever-homogenising visual world.’ Likewise, Tony Kerins records the Jurassic Coast using watercolour and drawing, specialising in capturing local scenes and their inhabitants. An illustrator of long repute, he designed the book jacket for children’s novel, ‘A Stitch in Time’ by Penelope Lively, which is set in Lyme Regis and has also provided maps and historical reconstructions for the National Trust and local authorities all over England, including Golden Cap. Robin Shelton is returning with new pinhole photographs which celebrate his love of gardens and the local area.

Jonathan Mulvaney acrylic painting Tony Kerins watercolour paintings Robin Shelton pinhole photograhy

Jonathan Mulvaney, Tony Kerins, Robin Shelton

  I am Rachel enamel jewellery Corfe Castle POttery Frances Pollard ceramicsEmme D McGuire photography Female Warrior Army

I am Rachel, Corfe Castle Pottery, Emma McGuire

New to Lyme Regis this year are I am Rachel who makes simple and stylish enamel jewellery, ideal for filling stockings and accessorising party dresses this Christmas. I've known Frances Pollard of Corfe Castle Pottery since we shared studio spaces there over twenty years ago so I'm delighted to have enticed her away to show off new designs of her domestic thrown ware. Emma McGuire arrived in my studio last January and has spent the year so far experimenting with incorporating photography and clay. At the Malthouse she will be showing prints of her Female Warrior Army series.

Jane Colquhoun's exquisite machine embroidered pictures and swimmers were a wonderful hit with visitors inspiring many discussions about textile art last Easter at the Malthouse, so I'm happy to announce that she is back behind her trusty Bernina to create more views from the beach. It's not often Richard Jeffery gets to play with clay these days but I think his ceramic toys will trigger nostalgic memories of Christmas past for many. Bridport maker, Sharon Campbell of Silver and Slate has made some gorgeous oil cloth paintbrush wraps and cases which would make a welcome gift for any artist, along with machine knitted scarves using end of line woollen yarns.

Jane Colquhoun textile art Ricard Jeffery ceramics Silver and Slate textiles

Jane Colquhoun, Richard Jeffery, Silver and Slate

Ever Present opens from Friday 27th October to Sunday 5th November 2023 from 10am to 5pm daily at The Malthouse Gallery, Town Mill Courtyard, Lyme Regis, Dorset DT7 3PU


Taking part:


Alison Shelton Brown – sculptural ceramics.


Bronwen Gwillim – recycled jewellery.


Daphne Roach – textiles.


Emma McGuire - photography.


Frances Pollard – domestic pottery.


Helen Eastham – glass.


I Am Rachel –enamel jewellery.


Jane Colquhoun – textiles.


Jane Staniland – ceramics.


Jenny Gracie (Making Space to Make) – basketry.


Jonathan Mulvaney – painting.


Richard Jeffries – ceramic toys.


Robin Shelton – pin hole photography.


Tony Kerins – painting.


Sam Isaacs (Reworked) – lighting.


Sharon Campbell (Silver and Slate) – textiles.



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