Organisers of Isfield Festival of Talent. From the left are: Roger Cooter, chairman Peter Rigby, Peter Holmes, Mike Fordom, and Adele Scantlebury.

Professional artists join those starting out at Isfield exhibition

The work of artists and makers from professionals to those starting out is exhibited at Isfield Festival of Talent.

It includes everything from painting through drawing to sculpture, silversmithing, stone carving and willow weaving.

And 28 out of the 30 artists taking part live in the village.


Just a few of the people attending a preview of Isfield Festival of Talent at the village hall last night.

A preview was held last night and the festival will run in the village hall for the next three days, from 11am-6pm today and tomorrow but closing at 4pm on Sunday.

Festival chairman Peter Rigby said the idea was to embrace the work of everyone from the professional to somebody starting out, making sure the works sit well together.

One of those taking part is sculptor and ceramicist Nigel Hunter. He has brought along three sculptures, two in Portland stone and one in Kilkenny limestone.


Nigel Hunter with two of his sculptures. Meander, left, was inspired by Cuckmere Haven.

He  moved to Isfield in November after a teaching career of 40 years in West London and says he is enjoying waking up to bird song rather than aeroplanes.

One of his sculptures, Meander is inspired by Cuckmere Haven.

Tommy Merryfield, who was once commissioned to paint Prince Charles and was filmed by the BBC sketching him at a 40th birthday party, has two works in the exhibition.

One is Large Lewes, a “handcrafted hybrid print” from an original much bigger painting.


Tommy Merryfield with his handcrafted hybrid print, Large Lewes.

It was inspired as he sat on the bridge one day watching people go by and thinking to himself: “There must be more to life than this.” One section depicts the surface being peeled back to look underneath.

All his work is personal, featuring family and friends. This one includes his son Tom, daughters Lauren and Jo and their friend Emily, and even his solicitor.

Lisa Hamilton has brought along her jewellery crafted in silver and gold. She enjoys creating bespoke pieces for people who like her style.


Lisa Hamilton with her silver and gold jewellery.

She is pleased to be taking part in the exhibition and says the standard of work “is amazing, really wonderful, such a diverse selection”.

There’s much more to see at the exbibition with the photographs below giving just a hint at the variety of work on show.


An oak bench by Tom McWatts and willow work by A. O’Sullivan.


I Go Missing in my Sleep, by Stuart Bass.


Ceramic vases by S. Hunter.


Big Bird by Annie McManus.


Soil Cycle, a wood cut print by Adele Scantlebury.

• Isfield Festival of Talent – which was opened last night by the chairman of Lewes District Council, Stephen Gauntlett – is part of Artwave, an open, inclusive and popular annual festival of artists and makers from Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven, and surrounding villages.

• The preview evening was organised to enable Friends of Isfield Village Hall, who raise funds for regular maintenance costs of the hall, to view the exhibition privately and to meet the artists and makers exhibiting.

See also:

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