Current exhibition

Opening the Doors

An exhibition of work by Julienne and Jason Braham

September sees Oriel Bleddfa hosting the Opening the Doors exhibition from Julienne and Jason Braham, two local artists working in paint and clay. They have responded to the changing environments and landscapes, from both a personal and global perspective.

Jason Braham

I first started making pottery when I was appointed to teach it (fortunately for me the advertisement for the post appeared on the wrong page in the paper, only two of us saw it and the other guy didn’t turn up for the interview). The job was to have included teaching sculpture (which I was qualified in) in a studio yet to be built. It was still unbuilt when I left ten years later.

After the successful interview, I went to work with West Marshall, fresh from Harrow College’s celebrated studio pottery course. By the time term started, I was reasonably confident of being a step in front of my students. We built a strong tradition, particularly in throwing, and we built four kilns in a redundant cowshed. I reckon we made the first salt kiln in a school setting.

My own practice grew alongside my teaching and, in summer 1982 I joined the Wobage Farm Pottery Course under Mick Casson and Andrew McGarva. Paradoxically, at the same time, I stopped teaching pottery and moved to run the art department at Harrow School.

For a place to live and work in the school holidays, we bought a cottage with outbuildings in South Herefordshire, replacing that in 2003 with our present home in Radnorshire which has space for the studios we need now we are free of teaching.

In my parents’ house in Dorset we used French and British country pots, and others by Richard Batterham, whose studio was a few miles away. Those things have continued to be my inspiration. Pots for use are the mainstay of my production. The forms are traditional and no more complicated than they need be. I am very happy if a pot looks as if it has been around for years, as long as it looks as fresh as if it’s just been thrown.

For more information and more images visit www.jasonbraham.com or, on Facebook:Far Hall Studios Jason Braham

Julienne Braham

Slowly emerging from the Cocoon of Lockdown, a Metamorphosis has happened .... not just the 987 bad hair days and extra pounds of flab as I’m no butterfly! ….but in my thinking and in my work.

Also, I’m hoping the World itself has changed for the better as our abused planet has had a welcome, healing rest. Will we tread the Earth more lightly and carefully from now on? Who knows?

It’s been a strange time - a huge expanse of space to reflect, to worry, to despair and accept, to feel compassion, grief and gratitude, but for me, never contentment. It’s been challenging and unsettling.

Painting has been the vehicle for expression during these times of conflicting emotions, and a welcome source of comfort . My life to some extent has been paired down and simplified. I’ve been more resourceful and self- sufficient, not least in the creative process: grinding my own earth pigments, making tempera from our duck eggs*, adding ash, clay and sand to my oil paints and recycling canvasses and other painting surfaces. I have used pieces of card, old wooden implements, fingers and rag to apply the paint, along with my good brushes....the worn-out brushes were used for marking rows in the vegetable plot!

Subject matter is never problematic. Living on a farm we are surrounded by beauty: skies, trees, hills and animals. Also, I have sketch books, memories and photos of so many subjects still needing to be painted! The studio interior and view from the window always offer a source of inspiration.

During the first few weeks of lockdown while it was still lent I attended a Zoom “ Icon writing” course, painting the Mother of Sorrows.

Julienne has exhibited in numerous joint shows, including Royal Academy Summer exhibitions, and the RWA. She has regular solo shows in London and the Welsh Marches where she now lives.

Future exhibitions include: Solo show, Owen Mumford Gallery, Chipping Norton, 17 Nov – 14 Dec 2020 Joint show, Found Gallery, Brecon, Late Feb/Mar 2021

“My paintings are essentially celebratory. I aim to seek empathy with the subject and to express the forms, dynamics and “soul” as I perceive them, with an economy of means.”

Living on a farm in Radnorshire, mid-Wales, the subject matter for paintings references the sense of belonging and being part of the surrounding environment. Of particular interest are man’s relationship with soil and animal life, and the subtle transience of seasonal colouring and atmosphere.

Julienne Braham, Far Hall, Dolau, Llandrindod Wells LD1 5TW. Tel: 01597 851 181. Email: julienne@farhallstudios.co.uk