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Most of us have, or have had, 'day jobs' to help pay the rent. Whilst we go into those local businesses and no doubt 'give our all' to to whatever we're employed to do (bringing all those transferable skills from our art practice- creativity, practicality, problem solving, visualising...) there is part of the 'artist brain' that never switches off. Perhaps you are a magpie, collecting bits of waste material to take away and make into something amazing; perhaps you have an eye for the beauty of engineering, the elegance of the machines you use; perhaps it's words, or plans and diagrams that you notice; or a fascinating building where you work; or the interesting faces or stories of the people you encounter every day... What is your personal, 'artist's eye' relationship with business in Harlow, and could it give rise to an artistic outcome?

We want to hear you ideas and discuss a potential open commission, for work for display in the Gibberd Gallery or in a local business in November 2016. This will be part of a larger project coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the birth of fibre optic communications with the work of Charles Kao in Harlow. The project and exhibition will celebrate the history of innovation in the town, looking at local people's relationships with technology, creativity and enterprise and exploring how productive partnerships can be formed between business, education and the arts . A range of residencies and partnership initiatives are currently being planned for 2016; alongside this we want to make sure there are opportunities for local artists to have their ideas embedded and their work showcased.

If you wish to find out more about being involved, please attend an informal meeting on Saturday 21st November from 10.30am - 11.30am at the Gibberd Gallery or send us an email.

Harlow Open 16

Harlow Open 16 is an established exhibition that showcases and encourages the talent of Harlow and those who have lived, worked and studied locally. All the exhibits have been judged to have merit in their technique, subject and imagination. Come to see a variety of works bright, soulful, thoughtful and distinctive.

This year we have have on display 91 artworks by over 60 artists all of which are unique and of a high standard. There is a list to help you explore the exhibition with many of the artworks are for sale.

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Prizes have been awarded and are as follows;

1st Prize - Jane Stobart for 'Selecting the bell case' 

2nd Prize - Fiona Bennett and Mike Coombs for 'On the Line'

3rd Prize - Matt Soloman for 'Contruct 0 - 10'

Comended Artists

Jackie Chakravarti for 'View from the train'

John Sellings for 'Nude'

Angela Tribe for 'Goalie'



Talk by Robert Priseman 'Being a Painter in 21st Century Britain'

Saturday 20th February 11am - 2pm


This talk will cover networking, creating opportunities and my own personal experience of how one survives and thrives in the weird world of British Art. I will also talk a bit about our group 'Contemporary British Painting' and how we are now transforming that into an Art Foundation. A Q&A will follow where you can ask questions and discuss the subjects of the talk.
Booking essential please call 01279 446404 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

:Xenotopia is a concept and exhibition relating to the manifestation of architecture though the medium and expanded field of printed matter.


:Xenotopia is a group exhibition that explores ‘out-of-place places’, particularly strange, fictitious architecture, and ‘xenospaces’, imagined, meta-geographic locations that exist only theoretically, ethereally or subconsciously. ‘Xenotopia’ is a term coined by British travel writer Robert McFarlane to describe an uncanny landscape. Xeno is the Greek word for ‘other’, or that which is ‘different in origin’, while topia is the suffix deployed by Thomas Moore in the title of his celebrated 1516 book, Utopia – a work of political philosophy manifested through the depiction of a fictionalized island society.

Through the expanded medium of print, each of the 14 internationally prominent artists showing in :Xenotopia offer their own unique explorations and visualisations of similarly fictional but redolent places of psycho-geographic ambiguity or putative architectural paradise. The works, which display a range of, often, tangential, anachronistic or merely tenuous connections and approaches to the printmaking medium, marry unfamiliar and idealised elements in a kind of flux where the alien meets the quotidian and the recognizable becomes unknown.

Curated by artist Louise Clarke, :Xenotopia is partly inspired by post-war British architectural modernism and utopian social planning as embodied in ‘new towns’ such as Harlow, where the Gibberd Gallery is located. Housed within the town’s Civic Centre, the gallery, which opened in 1984, is the work of visionary Harlow architect Sir Frederick Gibberd and is run by the Harlow Art Trust, who are also responsible for installing and maintaining the town’s abundance of sculpture and other public art.

Artists: Emily Allchurch, Amba Sayal-Bennett, Berenika Boberska, Pablo Bronstein, Rachel Clewlow, Noémie Goudal, Sarah Anne Johnson, Katherine Jones, Catriona Leahy, Theo Miller, Paul Noble, Grayson Perry, David Price and Jenny Wiener


Saturday Openings:

Family workshop Saturday November 21st 11am - 2pm Open to public

12pm - 2pm: Free, drop-in workshop for all ages and families to participate in together. Led by digital artist Alex Bearne, you will be tutored in creating your own digital masterpiece using iPad technology, taking inspiration from the works in :Xenotopia and Harlow’s architecture. The finished images will be projected into the gallery space.

Family workshop Saturday December 12, 11am - 2pm Open to public

12pm - 2pm: Artist Ellen Love will be running an imaginative practical workshop for families to experiment in creating mono-prints with unique textual effects. Explore the :Xenotopia exhibition and create your own unique print of an alien environment using everyday objects. This is a free drop-in workshop for everyone. 


Curator Walk and Talk:

Thursday November 26th

6.30pm - 7.30pm: Free.

To book a place, please contact the gallery.

Hannah Stageman and Cara Jean Flynn  Lisa Temple-Cox and David Watkins  Janette Lazell and Jon Lewis  RichTea Projects souvenir

In early 2015, ENAS awarded eight artists opportunities which included commissions, a residency and a socially engaged project in addition to four experimental display opportunities in collaboration with Firstsite. This exhibition showcases the outcomes of each new project alongside selected works from previous exhibitions and other ENAS funded opportunities.


Above images in this order

Hannah Stageman, Cuckoo Farm Studios and Cara Jean Flynn, ENAS member

Lisa Temple-Cox, Cuckoo Farm Studios and David Watkins, TAP

Jon Lewis, Parndon Mill and Janette Lazell, Cuckoo Farm Studios

Elaine Tribley, The Hive and Amanda Westbury, Gatehouse Arts


Flynn and Stageman have been awarded a residency in Epping Forest, and working with Loughton Arts Centre in Lopping Hall, will be conducting action research into enclosures and the impact of the forest on the spirit of local people and vice versa. Through drawing, installation, public engagement and performance, the artists are highlighting the successes and challenges in conserving the area.

Collaborators RichTea Projects (Tribley and Westbury) are also influenced by place and identity, particularly ‘the visitor versus the native’. They are performing a series of participatory public interventions, performing guided tours and creating ‘souvenirs’ which celebrate towns in Essex.

Temple-Cox and Watkins’ research centres on networks - both on and offline - through immersion, mapping and modelling. A range of media and techniques are employed to record the artists’ dialogues and findings through their own form of sensory ethnography.

Lazell and Lewis bring together their experience in working with light-sensitive and light-responsive materials.  Inspired by photography, 'Cloud' is a large scale, site responsive and immersive installation made out of glass and forged mild steel.



3rd October - Saturday Opening and Events 

Gallery open 11am - 2pm

Meet the artists 11am - 12pm

Free Childrens Workshop 12pm - 2pm 

Wood, Stone, Steel and Paint

Angela Godfrey and Alan Burgess

27th July - 11th September


The sculptures Angela is showing, made throughout her long career, demonstrate how she integrates into the sculptural whole her observation of natural forms and her choice of relevant text. In addition, she is showing models, drawings and photographs of her numerous site-specific commissions and some of the originals from which castings were made.

Alan’s recent paintings and drawings reflect recurrent themes in his work: the play of light to reveal form, the use of colour both as descriptive and expressive and the celebration of the essential qualities of the chosen medium. Multiple works allow a fuller description of the subject. The increasing fascination with trees arises from both their visual qualities and an appreciation of their mechanisms for growth and survival.

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Angela Godfrey - About the art that I make

I have been fortunate in the number of sculptures I have been commissioned to make throughout my career, many of which have been from architects, always for a specific site and often with a specific function. My first commission came soon after I finished my degree at Newcastle and was for an altar for a new church in St Albans and my most recent work is for the rebuilt cathedral in Longford in Ireland.

However, there have also been other sites, unconnected with architecture, including a country park and nature reserves and the most recent, the Gibberd Garden in Harlow. In these there has been the opportunity to bring together my particular interests: the study of natural forms, the use of text, the feeling for place and the integration of all these into the sculptural form. These are also the concerns I have explored in the other sculptures I make when not working on a commission.

My training in Newcastle was strongly influenced by the teaching of Victor Pasmore with its emphasis on abstract form: proportion, shape and space. This, I think, has stayed with me and is evident in all my work, from the early St Albans altar and Four Part Groups to the more recent carved reliefs with text, from the façade of Nazeing Glass to the Carryduff dove. Even in my closely observed drawings of rocks and trees, the overall design, the shapes and spaces are important to me.

The material I use is chosen to suit the commission. Early on, the fee available for a one-off sculpture such as a font or door meant the use of cast concrete, fibreglass or wood. Later I was able to choose large blocks of stone to carve and to have things cast in bronze and aluminium. Recently the open structure and reflective qualities of stainless steel have best suited the function and position of a number of pieces I have been asked to make and were made possible by working with an expert welder/fabricator.


Alan Burgess - Artist statement

I have painted throughout my life but, although the approach and content have varied from time to time, there have been two recurrent factors: the celebration of the natural world and the enjoyment of manipulating materials. Landscape has been a rich source of visual potential. The changing play of light reveals compositions with changing accents. The trees within the landscape have been an increasing focus illustrating that the necessary balance of warm and cool colours, of solids and voids, of contrasting angles can be found within a small compass. There has to be also a balance between capturing the essence of the subject and yet creating a work of art which becomes independent of the subject through its visual qualities. There is still the need for us to have a sense of wonder in relation to the natural world and through that, respect.

Between 2002 and 2004 I produced a series of paintings of the Fifty Great British Trees selected by the Tree Council to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. These have been shown together in a number of locations forming one large multiple work. Currently I am working on a series showing the varied forms of ash trees.

From having a painting in the Young Contemporaries in 1957 and a one-person exhibition in a West End gallery in 1962, through to the present, I have continued to show my work, having held 27 solo and joint exhibitions and shown in many mixed exhibitions.


Saturday Openings

August 8th and August 22nd

11am - 2pm

An end of year exhibition for the Creative Media and Photography Students from Harlow College. 

Reflect showcases an exciting presentation of local Harlow media talent. The exhibition highlights a broad mix of works including graphics, photography, film and animation.

This exhibition is only on for one week but represents the launch pad for their future careers. 




Saturday the 21st of March saw a fantastic amount of activity at the gallery with a sculpture workshop, live dance performances and a visit from Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid MP. 

We were honoured to have Sajid visit our gallery so we could show him the fantastic talent that exists in Harlow and how the gallery acts as a creative hub for all of Harlow and beyond, inspiring the young and creating exceptional exhibitions. He spoke with one of our Young Curators Kayleigh and gallery volunteer and artist Nicola Hutchison about the arts in Harlow. 

The Secretary of State said "It is a wonderful day to visit Harlow. This town is a cultural bastion in the East of England.  Both the Gibberd Gallery and Parndon Mill are great examples of grass roots and community art".

Find out more about the visit by clicking here.

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Essex County Council commissioned artist Grenville Davey in 2008 to create a series of sculptures as a permanent legacy of the Essex Jiangsu Festival that celebrated the county’s 20 year relationship with Jiangsu Province in China. This sculpture is now loaned to Harlow Art Trust and placed in the main reception of the Civic Centre. 

Grenville Davey lives and works in Great Yeldham in Essex. He studied art at Exeter College of Art and Design and Goldsmiths College and has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1989. He won the Turner Prize, widely regarded as one of the most important awards for visual arts, in 1992.

Grenville Davey travelled to Jiangsu Province, where he met local people and visited temples, gardens, museums and markets.  These encounters and experiences inspired a series of sculptures including Moongate.

Moon Gate


Moon Gate is based upon entrances to the many gardens in Jiangsu. They mark the transition from the outside to a fantastic inner world. The steel banners carry family philosophies which are usually presented in the reception areas of the home.

Spring Raffle - Jim Peel Water colour

We are raffling a beautiful water colour of the Clock Tower by Jim Peel in support of the Gibberd Gallery permanent collection. 

Jim Peel was a member of the Friend's Committee for some time, and has run a very popular water colour class at the Arc Old Harlow for the past 15 years. Jim has been drawing and painting since the 1940, starting in Primary School. Although untrained he has considerable technical and artistic ability. 

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Tickets are £1 each

Attain your tickets from the Gibberd Gallery or through contacting the Friends.

The draw will be held at the Gallery on Wednesday 1st April at The Big Sculpture Build event during the Easter Holidays.

The Gibberd Gallery's MID POINT exhibition in Harlow Town features a range of bold oil paintings and a delicate wooden sculpture beautifully lit among the canvassed walls. MID POINT celebrates new art graduates Abe Pardue, Sarah Foyster and Anwar Talukdar and their emerging talent onto the art scene.

To have the opportunity to exhibit work in such a renowned gallery fresh out of Univeristy is a major and extraodinary privilege. Each artist has met a high standard of creativity and proved themselves to be an activity addition to the Gibberd Gallery's history.

MID POINT is open until the 6th February and and the gallery is holding a meet the artist event on Saturday 31st January starting at 1pm. This event will engage the public and give an insight into the artists and their work. 

Written by Young Curator Robyn Bailey 

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