Solstice Catalogue

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The Summer exhibition by fronteer 1

Fronteer Presents...


Contemporary Art Exhibition Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield 21st June—3rd July 2021



Welcome to Solstice, an exhibition of contemporary artwork from artists around the UK, each responding to the first day of summer. These artists were selected following a call for submissions, resulting in a multi-faceted exhibition that takes in themes such as landscape, symbolism, ritual, paganism, the sun, nature and celebration; all delivered by artists of various styles, disciplines and backgrounds. Fronteer began as a freelance arts initiative by Sheffield—based artists Michael Borkowsky and Sharon Borkowsky, who have been delivering creative opportunities in the UK and internationally since 2017. In October 2020 they opened Fronteer Gallery in the Castlegate area of Sheffield. Solstice is open 10am-3pm Tuesdays — Fridays, and 2pm – 7pm Saturdays at Fronteer Gallery from 22nd June—3rd July 2021. Monday 21st June will see the opening evening of Solstice, and will include a performance from live art duo Pink and GrAy.

Entry to the exhibition is free, and everyone is invited. To find out more about Fronteer and our exhibition opportunities, please visit, or find us on Instagram over at @fronteer_art. | @fronteer_art


Kerry Louise Bennett Holiday Acrylic & collage on canvas A storyteller at heart, Sheffield based artist Kerry Louise Bennett is an expressive painter with a passion for colour, texture and pattern. Whether figurative or abstract, her bold paintings have an appealing ‘wonkiness' and a strange musicality that transport and delight. Her work can be seen at, or follow @land_of_the_grey_and_pink on instagram. This painting made in March 2021 was the artist’s response to a winter in lockdown. Abstract in form, the painting remembers summer train journeys to magical Northumberland beaches and captures that feeling of being ‘made glorious’ by the warming touch of a midsummer morning.


Amy Bonsor Solstice Pen on stitched paper Amy Bonsor’s practice centres around fascinations with pattern and repetition. Abstract works are created employing fold and stitch to create tactile pieces which respond sensitively to a range of themes. Delicately drawn details or meticulously selected colours are used to explore transition and changing surfaces. Hand drawn and stitched, ‘Solstice’ is inspired by the transition from light to dark and the mythological personifications of winter and summer: the Holly and Oak Kings. The circular composition and the paper folds reflect both the cyclical nature of the kings’ endless battle and the Earth’s rotation. 5

Sharon Borkowsky Ritual Acrylic on canvas Sharon Borkowsky is a Sheffield based artist making work on themes of death, inspired by history, religion and medicine. As one half of Fronteer, she opened Fronteer Gallery along with her husband Michael Borkowsky in October 2020. This piece of work is inspired by the headdresses worn by Druids and revellers at Stone Henge during Solstice celebrations. Based on ancient headdresses made from the top of deer skulls which are found across Europe, these modern shamanic props are a link to an ancient past.


Amanda Childs Summertime, 2021. Mixed media (acrylic, ink, acrylic marker & graphite) on canvas Amanda Childs is a Canadian abstract artist based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire. Her work is inspired by geography, culture, the concepts of nostalgia & memory, food, and the arts. She applies paint to canvas through abstract techniques: plenty of layers, large brush strokes, colour blending & symbols inhabit her work. This abstract painting represents the summertime season and evokes feelings of warmth, summer and nostalgia for summers past. The use of warm tones, bright colours and bold paint marks reflect a longing for that glorious, carefree summer feeling.


Jez Clegg Psychedelic Summer Photograph Jez first got interested in psychedelic artforms as a teen, and a few years ago took the leap and started practicing the 60's art of liquid light. Working with vintage projectors and coloured oils and water to create projections akin to the lightshows of the rock concerts of that era. Jez used colours of summer to create this piece, the yellows of the sun and corn, the greens of the fields, the swirling blues of the summer skies and the darkness of the black night skies. He uses convex glass's to squash the oils and water before capturing on camera.


Kevin Devonport Solstice Oil on Canvas board Kevin Devonport is a self-taught, Award Winning Artist based at Assembly House Studios in Leeds. Despite not holding any artistic qualifications he does hold a First Class honours BSc in Sociology that can be seen to influence much of his work, particularly in his favoured genre of still life. Kevin Devonport has painted a number of still life images that express the meanings that people attach to material artefacts. The word 'Solstice' is created from a combination of Latin: this being Sol (Sun) and Sistere (To stand still) which is represented through the objects in this painting.


Alexandra Ghimisi Between Land and Sky Acrylic As a contemporary landscape artist Alexandra Ghimisi is inspired by the beauty of nature. In addition to representing or replicating its obvious beauty, she opts to create these depictions to study and explore various aesthetic elements, like light, colour, and texture. Alexandra also uses scenes of nature to tell a story, illustrate an idea, or conceptualise a metaphor. 'Between Land and Sky' is a celebration of light revealed in a rich and vibrant acrylic paint. Alexandra Ghimisi uses her personal visual language of fresh and direct brush marks to describe the beauty of nature. She uses vivid colours to excite the imagination, allowing viewers to explore their own experiences and dreams of the wide outdoors.


Margaret Hall Egyptian Temple Gouache Margaret is a self -taught artist. Her work is bold and colourful and she is presently exploring abstraction. She shows her work frequently in galleries in Yorkshire. Margaret belongs to the Northern Fringe Gallery group and the Rotherham Open Arts Renaissance (Roar). She exhibited solo at Skelmanthorpe Gallery in January 2020. This gouache painting focuses on the heat reflecting back from the stone temple. In this abstract approach, the edges and the colours are manipulated, emphasizing some and fading others. The final touch is the huge sun, like the Sun God Ra, striking down the row of columns at the summer solstice. 11

Molly Harman Litha Giclee Print of Illustration Molly Harman is an artist living in Yorkshire, who graduated from Cambridge School of Art in 2020 with a degree in illustration. Her current work focuses mostly on the natural and surreal, and she combines traditional painting and drawing techniques along with digital means to create this imagery. This character-driven piece represents different symbols of the summer solstice. Inspired by the festival’s focus on harvesting and fulfilment, it aims to playfully reflect how various elements in nature are joined and celebrated; led by the sun. 12

Catherine Higham In Between Suns 1 Acrylic and oil on board Higham began to observe the sky at sunrise and sunset each day during December 2020. This repetitive practice provided moments of peace and solitude, and the connection to the universe when watching the sun gave her a sense of perspective whilst in the midst of a global pandemic. She relished the discipline of researching the timing of the sun’s movement; it has given her a more acute awareness of time and the cycle of day and night. Higham attempted to record the December sky colours in watercolour, with a paper ‘swatch’ representing sunrise and sunset for each day. By actively observing and replicating the colours in paint, the subtle changes in light became a fascination. These 62 swatches have formed a colour palette for Highham’s current paintings. 13

Rhian Kempadoo- Millar Dance & Fight Acrylic, Ink, Collage Rhian has come to painting through a 25 year costume design & carnival background. She addresses themes of mas, the mind and movement in her work drawing inspiration from her Indo- Caribbean - European heritage. Her work often features folkloric characters reimagined as modern-day archetypes in society and politics. ‘Dance & Fight’ reflects the opposing energies of creativity and conflict. We often strive to find the space in between individuality and conformity.


Tony Kemplen Summer Solstice 2011 Photograph Tony Kemplen is an artist based in Sheffield UK, he works in various media and has been experimenting with photographic techniques for many years. Previous exhibited art projects include large scale installation works, video and artist's books. He is part of the artists' collective utk, which was founded in 1997. A solargraph made using a pinhole camera made from a VHS video box. This was mounted on a solar powered turntable and exposed for several hours on the summer solstice in 2011. The original paper negative has been scanned and converted to a positive image. 15

Diane King Summer Solstice the Dusk Oil paint, Gold Leaf, Ink, Charcoal. (Mixed media) The natural voices of the landscape inspire Diane, often referring to her work as her breath in the landscape. The inspiration for her work can be found in both the wild, and the transient atmosphere of the landscape. She is motivated and inspired in challenging herself to convey the movement, boundaries, scars, time and remembered impressions of place. Deep, rich, dusky colours signify the closing of the summer solstice across the evening sky. The gold leaf celebrates the return of light and the suns white light awakening of our spirits beneath the darker earth colours. Concluding as the sun passes overhead at the Tropic of Cancer and disappears into the dusk sky on this the longest day of the year.


Julie Massie Orange Edges with Yellow Ceramics After many years of teaching art in schools and with her passion for ceramics Julie Massie embarked on a MA Ceramics at UCA Farnham, which she completed in 2016. Since then she has been busy making and exhibiting her artwork and well as teaching her popular pottery workshops. Julie Massie takes inspiration for her ceramics from the fragile coastline where she lives in Dorset. Orange Edges with Yellow represents the warm sunny days by the sea. Her work also explores the senses: especially touch, sight, and sound - she creates pieces of art that people desire to touch as they wonder what it will feel like. 17

Philip McCumskey Summer's Exuberance acrylic on canvas Having been a writer, actor and theatre director before establishing his own video production company in Johannesburg, Phil knew he had a creative streak. "I only discovered painting a few years ago and my learning curve is steep but fascinating. I've fallen in love.” Phil has been invited to share his work in several online exhibitions and is currently busy with his Red series. After an extended lock-down, Philip McCumskey felt that the brightly coloured flowers and blossoming trees in his neighbourhood, brought a spring to his step and this was the inspiration for his painting "Summer's Exuberance". 18

Graham Moon Procrastination Before the Dawn Photographic print Burntmoon discovered a passion for photography as a teenager and it has remained a natural creative outlet ever since. Originally a film & darkroom photographer, the transition to digital was a natural one allowing for more scope for experimentation and artistic development. Faceless girl awaits, with open arms for the dawn to bring her her sanity. She waits; the photographer waits; for a normality to descend, for a cure to dissipate his pain, for his minds mist to lift and the darkness be broken by the first glint of light as the dawn warms with its gentle healing.


Ethan Moss Quiet Pencils and digital painting Ethan Moss is a Manchester based interdisciplinary performance artist. His works explore gender, identity and related stereotypes. His works prioritize an authentic voice and unapologetic queerness. ‘Quiet’ is a digital painting combined with pencils. A self portrait of a lonely summer evening. 20

Thomas Joseph Neal In the Light of the Trees IV Acrylic paint on canvas Thomas is a Sheffield-based artist that is motivated to improve his practice by exploring different techniques and material. As an artist, he is interested in capturing his surroundings and the impression they leave on him, and thus, his art has primarily focussed on painting landscapes. This piece is inspired by scenes in the Peak District and nature’s peaceful silence that induces tranquillity that contrasts remarkably with the business of day-to-day life. Thomas has used stylistic vertical brushstrokes to carry the viewer's eye up the painting, from the roots to the sky without distraction.


Uura Niemi-Junkola Summer Solstice Watercolour Uura Niemi-Junkola is a Sheffield based artist originally from Finland. She is an intuitive artist who likes to use a lot of water during the painting process as it creates an unpredictable element to the paintings. Uura draws inspiration from nature, situations, dreams, imagination and the painting process itself. This vibrant semi-abstract work was inspired by a walk on a hill during a midsummers evening. The approaching bright red sunset over a ruin creates a sense of atmospheric drama. The use of vibrant contrasting colours, sweeping lines and the flowing medium add to the mystical quality of the work.


Pink and grAy Sun Circle Performance Pink and grAy (Sylvia Causer and Andrea Freeman) are a Live Art/Performance Art Duo based in the North of England. We met whilst studying for M.A. Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University and have worked together professionally since 2014. We describe ourselves as two mature women doing daft things seeking to explore deep social issues often through humour. ‘Sun Circle’ references Ra, the Egyptian sun god, bringing light to the world, with the hawk symbolising his flight across the sky. He is a symbol of goodness and truth. We express being open to the sun, welcoming the sun, and thanking the sun.


Rezwana Sarkar Heathered Hills Acrylic Rezwana is a painter/printmaker, graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in Fine Arts,2004. Her work deals with the transient qualities of nature. They’re mostly abstract/semi abstract landscape paintings and or detailed botanical prints. She likes to experiment and explore with different mediums, such as oils, acrylics, encaustic etc. Living near the Yorkshire moors Rezwana has been spending a lot of time there doing mindful walks. This painting has been inspired by the vibrancy of the colours of the heather filled moors during the summer time and still has the subtlety and the peacefulness about it. 24

Nicky Scott-Francis Sunflower Digital artwork created in Illustrator and Photoshop mounted on canvas Nicky Scott-Francis creates automatic ink and paint artworks on paper, 3D wall art and sculptures. Her abstract, geometric improvisations are free from conscious thought. Conscious decisions only arise once the ink drawing is complete then the colours are selected for painting. To view artworks please visit Nicky Scott-Francis’s first artworks were experimental. A digital symbiotic relationship between Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop computer software and herself. ‘Sunflower’ is a result of combining randomly drawn circular shapes in Illustrator, transformed by applying filters and effects into an unimagined improvised digital geometric, abstract artwork resembling a summer sunflower.


Olga Suchanova 99 Suns Digital Print on Archival Paper Olga Suchanova is a fine art photographer and printmaker based at Thames Side Studios. Olga’s background is in photography, art and science. She takes inspiration from nature, properties of matter and energy; and quantum mysticism, which are translated into the light, colour, pattern, and form using experimental photography, printmaking and painting. Her work questions the concept of space, time, illusion and reality. This work investigates the colour of the sun. Scientists view the sun in wavelengths from radio to gamma rays. Because we see light in the visible spectrum, this creates an interpretation of colour in our minds, but this colour is false. Using eco-friendly photopolymer plate, with no chemical development involved, Olga Suchanova experimented with primary colours and glow in the dark pigment. 99 photo etchings in different colours are combined to create a digital collage.


Charlotte Taylor Mother Nature Metal wire, wooden sticks and clay. Charlotte Taylor is a multi-disciplinary artist, who often uses unusual or absurd elements within the human condition, to provoke conversations about subjects that an audience wouldn’t generally think about in the day to day. She works on impulse and creates with whatever material feels right for her and the subject. The sculpture, Mother Nature, attempts to encapsulate notions of the infamous mythological figure, but instead considers her as an everyday woman. Her body has gradually warped through the ages, portraying a mother who does not adhere to the conventional. The sculpture is left outdoors to allow natural growth.


Diana Terry Summer Oil on canvas Diana Terry's paintings are about the landscape and the interaction with humanity. Research has connected her work with the abuse of the land which has brought about climate change. Her work is becoming more abstract and critically engaged moving away from a representational approach. This oil painting is about the landscape in its most elemental moments. It is a reduction of detail to tell the narrative of heat on a summer’s day. The colourful vibrant textured surfaces resonate with the land evoking the geological memories ingrained in the rocks of the Pennines. 28

Eira Williams Summer at the Henge Acrylic on paper Eira lives and paints in the Hope Valley, Derbyshire. She paints mainly abstracts and landscapes in acrylics and oils, though has a wide range of subject matter. She has exhibited in open exhibitions in the north of England and had a solo show in Stockport Gallery & Museum 5 years ago. This is an abstracted landscape in acrylic on paper of Stonehenge. Stonehenge has been associated with the summer solstice from beyond recorded history and the artist has developed this theme with some accents that make the observer keep changing their viewing point. 29

Susan Wright Climate - The seasons - Solstice Framed Etching printed on Collaged Atlas Pages Susan is an artist/printmaker from Halifax. Her work focuses on artefacts and found objects. and uses a range of printmaking techniques which incorporate marks derived from the objects and elements of the objects themselves. She is a member of several West Yorkshire Printmaking Groups and runs creative printmaking workshops on behalf of The Artworks, Halifax. This print, an etching on old atlas pages shows the effect of seasons on the earth. The damage reflects changes that are happening to the planet through climate change. The summer solstice is indicated on the page, but dates are unclear showing the instability of both the artefact and the solstice.


Special thanks to all the artists involved Cover Image: Jez Clegg ‘Psychedelic Summer’ _____________________________________________ | @fronteer_art | © 2021 Michael Borkowsky and Sharon Borkowsky