Open to the public Nov 16th to 17th 2024 Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall at Stratford-upon-Avon Town Hall CV37 6EF

Light in our eyes



Yesterday I returned from Northern Cyprus distilling orange blossom, and the same day travelled up to the Ardnamurchan Peninsular in the Scottish highlands and I was struck by the change in light.


In Cyprus the light was so bright and sharp that I needed to shield my eyes as it reflected off the sand coloured low buildings and light coloured marbled mosques with their call to prayer towers searing into the powder blue skies. Everything felt warm to the touch; even the orange blossoms were reflexing their petals to soak up the heat.


The land was dry, the colours in the markets were vivid and the landscape by turns lush flower meadows of red poppies and yellow daisies, opulent green fields of wheat just touched with yellow as they ripen, golden sand colours of both the beaches and mountain tops and omnipresent hot scent from the local thyme known as kekic.


By comparison the light in Ardnamurchan was grey, the clouds low and heavy with rain and the land shades of browned bracken, frosted black heather stalks, straw coloured grasses and birch trees with the touch of shimmering deep chestnut to the new growth.


By the Burn wild garlic, white anemone’s and primroses throw into the mix a splash of greens and palest yellows. The sharp yellow of the daffodils punctuate the muted Burnside with nodding trumpets, acclaiming the rise of Spring.


Loch Sunart ebbs and flows in hues of steel grey and slate blue, with only the white tips of the waves offering any lightness to the palette – the beauty is in the mesmeric movement of the waves and the horizon lost betwixt the two greys.


Light is everything, too strong and it bleaches out colours and textures, too little and it flattens the vista, leaving only teasing spikes of colour.


So for this year at Contemporary Arts Fair Discover:Gather:Give lighting will be my priority for the exhibitors and visitors, utilising the long large windows, wide opening doorways, crystal chandeliers, opulent gilded mirrors and extra lights on the display boards.


Light will bring the exhibition dancing to life.