Sussex ArtBeat

Art on show in Brighton & Hove and Sussex

Seas and Swimmers – exhibition of paintings by Russell Honeyman at Ground Coffee, Hove – Photo Review

Ground Coffee at Hove got crowded at the private view of Russell Honeyman‘s exhibition of paintings, 12 September 2014. The cafe was a good venue for an art exhibition and guests seemed to enjoy the evening both socially and artistically, being enchanted by Honeyman’s seas and swimmers. Among other guests the show was visited by local artists Judi Thomas, Stuart Graham-Hyde, Alan Ramsay, Jamie McCartney, Amby Kirkpatrick and Antonia Redding as well as some art collectors. Here’s the photo review of the evening.

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‘Seas and swimmers’ – mainly acrylic paintings varying in scale from little white cliffs’ impressions to the large ‘Big Swim’ (6 x 4.5 ft) – are focused on one’s body connection with the surrounding environment. Looking at the artwork we experience it in a few dimensions: within a painting as well as artist’s connection to his environment.

Looking at suspended bodies of divers in ‘Azure Dive’, ‘Shark Diver’, ‘Turquoise Swim’ we feel the sensation of being in water – being carried and touched by water. We experience the play between physicality – sensual touch of water on the body, the body movement and its effort of going through water’s resistance – and ethereality: the body becomes weightless, floating in a space with no gravity. Both are achieved by artist’s sensitivity to colour and light and beautifully expressed in an impressionistic style of painting which enables us to sensually experience the captured moment.

Artist’s connection to his environment is reflected by the places he chooses to paint: Mozambique channel seascapes relating to artist’s youth and growing up in Africa and white cliffs impressions painted between Brighton Marina and Rottingdean – his present surroundings.

With the ‘Shark Diver’ our attention is also caught by artist’s engagement with wider environmental issues – campaign against killing the sharks and protecting oceans’ natural environment. Here we are intrigued not only by the floating body but also by human relation to animals. The widespread assumption of danger and hostility between humans and sharks is turned into peaceful and respectful relation and shows we are all part of the same environment and we can co-exist in it in a friendly way.  (50% of the sale of this painting will go to South African Lesley Rochat’s campaign against killing sharks).

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Russell Honeyman with one of his paintings ‘Azure Dive’

Surprisingly we found out that just for the evening the cafe’s basement turned into one more showroom where we could see Russell’s former artworks and it becomes yet another journey for us – into his artistic evolution. Oil paintings and pastel drawings, beautifully painted in a more academic style, focus on a human figure as well. Delicate figures and nudes and strongly expressive self-portraits are aimed to represent our human essence as such through a pose, bodily and facial expressions. Here we are thrown into more contemplative atmosphere, enhanced by the basement’s interior – its colour and light.

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Guests who shared their impressions of the exhibited paintings were talking about the sense of freshness, warmth and spaciousness they experienced by looking at them, which shows that the artist’s aim to capture the moment and reach the viewer’s sensitivity has been well achieved and yet another connection has been born – between the artist and the audience.

101_2080Cards with Russell Honeyman’s paintings reproductions appeared to be very popular as well and you can still purchase them at The Cafe during the exhibition.

The show continues until 3 October 2014.

Ground Hove
84 Church Rd
01273 724 709

Mon-Sat 8-5  Sun 9-5

Here’s a link to a map for Ground Coffee House Hove

For more info about the show visit

For more info about the artist check

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