Open Spaces, Secret Places

Nick Kelly, Liz Shedden
  • Opens: 21 July 2021
  • Closes: 2 August 2021
  • Where: Gallery 1

Liz and Nick are brother and sister who grew up in Whitstable. Travel has always been a big part of their lives.  They have never exhibited in a joint exhibition before but here they amalgamate their talents with paintings that complement each other through the common theme of Open Spaces, Secret Places.  They both love the outdoors and beauty of nature to dream, imagine and create.

About Liz:

 Liz studied fashion and textiles in the 80’s and after living in London and the Middle East she returned to Whitstable where for the past 28 years she has been painting and exhibiting her work.  She has established a core following of clients who  have loved her windy seascapes influenced by the Whitstable surroundings.  

 “Looking at my work over the years I have seen how it has developed and changed while I have changed through life experience.  I used to have a quite a pictorial style and of course seascapes, sails and huts almost always came into the equation.  In more recent years I have gone back to my core style where my influences from artists like Patrick Heron, Antoni Tapies and even Jean Michel Basquiat have sneaked in – using script, symbols and pattern from memories.   I’ve realised that the work has become quite physical and I enjoy the challenge of  the large canvas or paper to create free large expression.  This mixed with recollection of travel, childhood and of course our local ever changing landscape, skies and sea gives a never ending source of inspiration. “ 

 You may recognise her from her gallery and shop ‘Betty loves Bryan’ – named after Liz and Nick’s parents.  Her work is developing into a more abstract style and this body of work is part of a series of travel memories she has been working on since 2020.

About Nick:

Nick began painting during his travels, firstly as a teacher in Egypt, and later as a broadcast journalist spending much of his working life in the Gulf. The desert inspired him throughout; the vast emptiness, pale colours and unique light giving him the ideas that he needed to create works on canvas. ‘I’ve always taken a sketchpad with me, even to towns and cities,’ he says. Sitting at a café watching the world go by is a favourite pastime, making little watercolour paintings that can be worked up into something larger back home in the studio. When he returned to his home town of Whitstable after twenty-five years of being on the move he renewed his love of the north Kent coast where, on long walks by the sea, he would continue to sketch, inspired this time by the beauty of the seascape rather than land. The paintings were made up mostly of sea and sky but more recently he has included more figures. ‘Although I enjoyed trying to capture the many moods of the sea and sky and changing seasons along the beach, I felt I needed to include my fellow walkers and those enjoying the experience as much as I did.’ Now his work usually features a lone figure gazing out to sea, a group or even a mass of sunbathers in the summer. The colours change according to the season. In the Winter ramblers are wrapped against a northerly wind. In July and August, the swimmers are as bright as the summer sun. ‘People had said some of the figures are like Lowry’s matchstick men. I wouldn’t compare myself to such a great artist, but I do try to live up to his words – ‘I just paint what I see.’  

Exhibitor Information

Nick Kelly
Liz Shedden