We were delighted to host Mayor of High Wycombe Cllr Annie Baughan, and the Mayor of Bracknell Forest Cllr Ash Merry to meet for a coffee and to enjoy Jan Gaska’s solo exhibition Returning with a New Approach at the Atrium and Balcony Gallery.
Gaska was a Printmaker in Residence at South Hill Park between 2004 and 2006. In 2010 he became interested in the immediacy of oil paint, finding it an accommodating medium to work with. Gaska found direct observation an organic approach to painting which displayed the honesty and freshness he was seeking. He has continually built on his understanding of observational painting and drawing to include portraiture. Gaska’s exhibition Returning with a New Approach runs until February 2022.
Cllr Annie Baughan, Mayor of High Wycombe said ‘Having known and been friends with Jan for probably 40 years now, I’ve always admired his artwork and I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled to see it in such a beautiful location, a gorgeous arts centre, and introduce a new friend and colleague to it. We’ve had a wonderful day, a brilliant meeting of lots of ideas hatched and it’s just been a fantastic time, so thank you South Hill Park.’
Cllr Annie Baughan and Cllr Ash Merry also enjoyed a guided tour with curator Loucia Manopoulou, finding out more about the other exhibitions at the arts centre. Specifically, they explored the interactive installation Invisible by Basia Gorska, South Hill Park’s printmaking tutor, in the Mirror Gallery which challenges our perception and invites us to look at things in a different light. Following this, they admired the Arts and Crafts Bringing Us Together at the Wilde Community Gallery which showcases local visual and performing artists’ works. This creative project began in the first lockdown, with an aim to bring the community together and keep morals high.
Ash Merry, Mayor of Bracknell Forest said ‘It was lovely to be at South Hill Park and to meet Annie. This has been a really fantastic day meeting Jan and seeing how art can actually strengthen communities. Annie and I are going away with lots of good ideas for the Mayors to work together to promote community engagement with South Hill Park and we hope to see you in the New Year with something rather special’.