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Feast your eyes on Brighton independent art gallery’s window exhibition

The second lockdown may be underway, but it’s not stopping award-winning gallery, Kellie Miller Arts, from sharing art with Brighton art-lovers, as the Feast exhibition is available to view via the Market Street’s gallery window.

The gallery’s end-of-year show presents a Caravaggio-esque banquet of art on which to feast your eyes, with the window dressed reminiscent of a fine Dutch still-life painting.

“The Dutch Golden age is associated with the Baroque cultural movement, which included artists such as Jan Philip Van Thielen, Pieter Claesz, Willem Claesz. Heda, Jan Davidsz. de Heem and Johannes Vermeer,” artist, curator and gallery owner Kellie Miller explains. “It is a period in Dutch history, spanning the 17th century, which saw the new Republic prosper, give rise to world-leading art and science.”

“The move away from religious subjects opened new opportunities for artists, as they turned to document the wealth of the time. It was depicted by still lifes with collections of withering flowers, animals and decaying fruit; a reminder of the fragility and impermanence of life.”

The styles of these paintings are celebrated in the gallery’s window display. But there is also a dark side to these works. While they endorse the luxury and flamboyant living beneath their painted surfaces, they neglect to acknowledge the colonial origin of the wealth and prosperity.

“By showcasing my artist’s artworks in all of its glory, my message is one of authenticity and accessibility. All can enjoy these beautiful works. And in so doing, we can honour and appreciate that which creativity brings to our lives,” Kellie explains.

On show will be decaying fruit, from renowned ceramicist Remon Jephcott, perfectly mirroring the painted subject matters of the Dutch master’s notion of vanitas, while Alison Coaten’s Madonna and Girl Child brings an echo of religious symbolism. Bird paintings by Helen Phoenix with iconic pomegranates, which have a diverse cultural and religious significance; often a symbol of fertility, power, blood and death, in Persian and Greek mythology, it’s meaning is also beauty and eternal life.

Gallery owner, artist and curator Kellie Miller is showcasing Davide di Taranto’s painting ‘Lucas’, to represent Velázquez’s portrait painting of Juan de Pareja. The picture is the earliest known portrait of a Spanish man of African descent. Despite being the artist’s slave at the time of painting, Juan de Pareja was also an accomplished artist himself.

The display will also be peppered with additional symbolic items and desirable artworks.

In the gallery will be works by Chilean artist, Paulina X Miranda. PXM takes her inspiration from many art forms; literature, poetry, music and historical figures, and hence her works have a rich visual vocabulary, embracing nature and beauty.

“I believe to aspire for harmony and beauty in one’s art is a powerful message, never to be considered frivolous. While life can be dark at times, it is wonderful to look for the light that art can bring.” – Kellie Miller

To add further to the splendour, Kellie Miller Arts will also be displaying a lantern in the gallery window, as part of the Burning the Clocks Lantern Trail (2nd December to 21st December), organised by Same Sky, an award-winning community arts charity. The charity usually lights up the darkest of winter nights in the form of a parade attracting 20,000 people. Due to COVID restrictions, 2020 will see an alternative display of lanterns in 12 selected creative and independent venues, including Kellie Miller Arts Gallery. The gallery’s lantern will be a clock, designed and created by Bec Britain which will hang above the Feast window display.

On show will be sumptuous works by featured artists, including

Remon Jephcott – ceramic sculptural fruit

Helen Phoenix – bird paintings in egg tempera

Paulina X Miranda – regal oil paintings

Alison Coaten – sculptures

Mary Jones – sculptural heads

Davide di Taranto – paintings

Dawn Stacey – paintings

Jessie Mooy – Chagall-like ceramic figurative sculptures

“We will be bringing you this exhibition in all the ways we can, and we are very much looking forward to sharing it with you.”

Find Kellie Miller Arts at 20 Market Street – Monday to Saturday 11-6, Sunday 11-5.

Phone: 01273 329384