Summer – Celebrating 5 years!

selection of artworks from summer exhibition

For our anniversary exhibition ‘Summer’ we have selected a fine range of works from a number of artists – some gallery regulars, some occasional exhibitors, new, emerging artists and artists who were part of the very first exhibition five years ago.

We are delighted to welcome back Annette Rolston who was with us at the very start.  Her intricate linocuts incorporating animals, figures, landscape and pattern are always a feast for the eyes.  She is an experienced printmaker and printmaking tutor, working in Diss, Norfolk.


Carol Pask’s beautifully elegant sculptural ceramics have graced the plinths in the gallery for a while now.  They are always very popular and find new homes quickly.  Her work evolves as a response to the beauty and fragility of the natural world.  She is an expert in smoke and pit firing techniques, seeking a balance between the controlled structure of the work and the chaos of the firing.


For the first time, we are so pleased to introduce the sculptural vessels of John Mallett.  Working primarily in metal, he is exploring the possibilities of combining and finding harmony between modern technologies, such as computer design and 3d printing, and the art of traditional bronze casting.  This body of work references the history of ornamental vessels, such as Chinese ritual bronzes and aspects of Japanese culture, such as Kintsugi – the art of repairing broken ceramics with precious metals.


Also on show are a number of pieces from gallery regulars, a range of limited edition prints and as always our gallery shop is well stocked with cards, ceramics, jewellery and books.

Art & Framing Industry Awards 2019 – Winner!

Presentation of award and winners logo

The Awards

The Fine Art Trade Guild, which we are members of, hold an annual International Art and Framing Industry Awards weekend.  The awards are for businesses right across our industry from framing suppliers and manufacturers to individual artists and framers.  There are framing competitions that include Best Mount Design and the Guild Framing Challenge.  Framers like me are encouraged to pull out all the stops for their competition entries.  The design must be ambitious, creative, well thought out, meet the entry criteria and be perfectly executed.

I decided to enter this year for the first time, the Best Mount Design: Hand Cut competition.  All entrants were given the same image of an iconic Charles Rennie Mackintosh chair to design and create a mount for.

In March, I was delighted to receive the news that I had been selected as a finalist in the competition along with three other outstanding entries.  Then, at the awards dinner, it was so exciting to hear my name announced as the winner that I couldn’t help utter a little shriek of astonishment and delight!  Nick Murphy from the category sponsor ColourMount,  Slater Harrison,  a leading UK mountboard manufacturer presented me with my award.

winners of the art & framing industry awards 2019 with their handmade glass plates
International Art & Framing Industry Awards Winners 2019

Background to the Design

When the Fine Art Trade Guild announced that the subject for this year’s mount design award was to be the image of a Charles Rennie Mackintosh chair to celebrate 150 year’s since his birth, I knew I had to enter.  I have been a fan of Mackintosh design since my teens when studying art & design at school.  As a family we had strong connections in Scotland.  We lived there when we were young and visited often.  My brother & I were both born close to Glasgow.

I fondly remember searching out the Mackintosh buildings and iconic sites with my Mum in 1990 when Glasgow was the European City of Culture.  I even dreamt at that time of attending Glasgow School of Art, one of Mackintosh’s most famous buildings.  Ultimately, that wasn’t where I studied for my degree, but a fondness for that building remained.  I was devastated to see it destroyed by fire for the second time in June 2018.

The Design

Mount design for image of iconic Charles Rennie Mackintosh chair
Best Mount Design: Hand Cut 2019, winning entry by Heather Green GCF (APF)

My mount design is a triple mount with cut out details within a channel in the second mount that reveal rich coloured velvet squares to reflect the upholstery of the chair.  The uppermost mount combines an oval and straight cut combination with a debossed line to echo the curves in the back of the chair.  The overall design is intended to be reminiscent of the Mackintosh style by incorporating a combination of stylised, organic curved elements with straight lines and geometric shapes.  As in all good mount design, the colours used are intended to enhance and complement the image.

The mount was entirely cut with hand operated equipment as defined in the entry criteria for the category.  A seperate category for CMC (computerised mount cutter) designs was introduced this year.


At the end of the evening, they announced the subjects for the 2020 framing competitions.  They are ‘Street Art’ for the Mount Design and ‘Back to the 1980’s’ for the Guild Framing Challenge.  So, thinking caps on!


Kate Heiss

Prints by Kate Heiss

Our featured artist Kate Heiss is a contemporary printmaker inspired by her love of nature, especially the flowers and  birds of the landscapes of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.  Her small limited edition prints are dynamic, bold and illustrative in vibrant fresh colours.

Kate studied at the Royal College of Art graduating with an MA in Textile Design in 1997. She then worked as a textile designer across a wide range of fashion brands before setting up her own printmaking studio in 2011.

She works in a variety of printmaking techniques including linocut, screenprint and collage. Often her works combine more than one technique making her collection of handmade prints truly unique. All of her work is handmade in her studios in Ashwell, Hertfordshire and Thornham, Norfolk.

Kate has been showing her work with us for two years now and we are delighted to have a fabulous selection of her work available to buy online and in the gallery.  For pieces that are available online please go to Kate Heiss Prints

Christmas at West Barn 2018

We are delighted to  welcome new artist Carole Ann Grace to our gallery with her vibrant abstracted Norfolk landscape paintings.  Her work is a response to landscape, memory, a sense of place.  Emotion is expressed in colour and gestural mark-making.  Working largely with acrylic on canvas her work is bold, colourful and exciting.

The show opened on 16th November and continues until the end of January 2019.  We will be open as usual over the festive period, only closing for 25th, 26th December and 1st, 2nd January.

We also have new work from a number of gallery regulars including linocuts from Kate Heiss, sculpture by Carol Pask, ceramics by Rob Wheeler and new Limited Edition Prints of work by Joe Ramm and Nicky Litchfield. In our well-stocked gallery shop you will find a fabulous range of cards, Christmas cards, advent calendars, jewellery, textiles, art books and gifts.

limited edition print by Joe Ramm
limited edition print by Joe Ramm