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New gallery showcases Surrey artists


I’m a bit fanciful when it comes to art. I have these whimsical ideas about filling the walls in my home with eye-catching original artwork – the sort that friends will gush over and talk about after they leave. I know, it’s a tad pretentious. But having recently renovated and redecorated parts of my house, there are some gaping holes on my walls that really are crying out for a bit of coverage.

Sadly, my highfalutin ideas don’t quite match my bank balance. Or so I thought … until I went to the opening of the Village Gallery in the gorgeous village of Walton-on-the-Hill on Saturday. I’m super excited about this little art gallery because it proves that beautiful original art can be both affordable and accessible. Everything is priced between £45 and around £600. But there was a lot at the £150 to £200 mark.

And what’s more, the owners Tony and Sheila Oliver, who also own the gift shop next door, are supporting local Surrey artists.


The gallery is currently exhibiting a collection from eight Surrey-based artists, including Tony and Sheila’s daughter, Tracey Jane Cooper, whose vivid and eye-catching semi-abstract landscapes you may have seen at pop-up art fairs and events throughout Surrey. The spotty flowers, below, are Tracey’s. I particularly love the black and white poppies.


The work of Kirstin Wood is also part of the exhibition. Kirstin paints striking pointillist landscapes and stunning contemporary pet portraits from her studio in Merstham. You may have seen Kirstin’s work if you’ve been paying attention. Kirstin and Tracey Jane co-curate exhibitions through Surrey Art Fairs, which they set up to bring together local artists and to give them an platform to exhibit. (The next Surrey Art Fair exhibition will be at Reigate Festival on July 2, where 20 local artists will show contemporary artworks at affordable prices alongside prints, greeting cards and ceramics.)

Other artists exhibiting at the Village Gallery are Susie West, Patricia May, Lydia Dawson, Jessica Belle Bourg, Leigh Banks and Kate Love of WallsWithLove. The exhibition will change about every six weeks.


Artwork by Susie West

The gallery will also sell individually chosen pieces of furniture, sourced by Tony and Sheila. It’s a lovely space, split into two rooms, and there’s a fabulous mix of art on show.


Leigh Banks, ‘Cilla’, £390


Lydia Dawson, ‘Autumn Tree’, £125


Kate Love of WallsWithLove, ‘Afternoon Nap’, acrylic on reclaimed wood, £170

Mr Muds, be warned, I’ve got my beady eyes on more than one of these beauties!

Village Gallery, 16 Walton Street, Walton-on-the-Hill. Tel: 07711 271170.
Surrey Art Fairs, [email protected]

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