Claire Barnett oil painting of a swirling sea

East Devon District Council's public art gallery, THG, presents the anniversary exhibition featuring the work of the South West Academy of Fine & Applied Arts


THG kicks off 2020 by presenting an exceptional selection of work from the South West Academy of Fine & Applied Arts (SWAc) and an exciting programme of workshops and events.

The exhibition marks the start of the Academy’s 20th anniversary year and will feature work in a diverse range of media including paintings, sculpture, prints and photography.

To accompany the exhibition THG will introduce inspiring art activities from a new 3 week acrylics course to a comic book workshop for younger artists.

Exhibiting for the first time will be new members including Sue Luxton, Judith Jones and Claire Barnett. The exhibition will also showcase the work of SWAc’s well-established artists such as Ray Balkwill, Alan Cotton, Phil Creek, Jo Dixon, June Arnold and Wendy McBride.

One of the new members, Claire Barnett, is a Dorset-based artist noted for her expressive, abstract paintings and her deeply personal interpretations of land, sea and the natural world. Claire has exhibited widely, most notably at The Royal Academy and The Royal West of England Academy. 

Claire explained about her style,

My brushwork is expressive. The paint is applied liberally and then lashed and scored in gestural marks to evoke a raw beauty. 

Another new member, introduced this year, is photographer Judith Jones. Judith will be exhibiting one of her ‘twilight’ series of photographs titled ‘The Little Changing Hut’.

Judith commented,

My twilight images examine the dialectic between the outside and inside and with the conflicts of private and public spaces. The images explore concepts of exclusion and isolation, fear and uncertainty.

“The ‘blue hour’ of twilight takes us through the transition between day and night with an uncanny sense of unease.

South West Academy’s Chair of Trustees, Robert Mountjoy said,

The South West Academy is delighted to return to the Thelma Hulbert Gallery for its Winter Exhibition in this our 20th year.

The bright yet intimate gallery is perfect for the presentation of our work and the Academicians will be supporting the exhibition with a series of talks and workshops.

South West Academy Exhibition (11 January – 8 February 2020). Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm.

Accompanying events and workshops:

24, 31 Jan, 7 Feb (3 week course) 4.30-6.30pm, Experimental and expressive acrylics with SWAc artist Phil Creek £60 (£55 THG Friends) including materials

28 Jan, 11am- 3pm, Wet on Wet Watercolour Workshop with SWAc artist Vin Jelly £20 (£18 THG Friends) 

30 January, 1.30-3.00pm Early years workshop. Drop in for a fun creative session for babies and toddlers. Free.

1 Feb 10.30 – 12.30 or 1.30 – 3.30 Comic Book workshops with SWAc artist Jed Falby. £10 (£8 THG Friends) Ages 11+ yrs

Limited places, please book via Visit for more details