Norwood artists get West End stage
Nestled between a rare Andy Warhol print, glassworks by Dale Chihuly and sculptures by Lorenzo Quinn at London's Halcyon Gallery last Thursday were more than 40 paintings and pieces by some lesser known talents - residents of Norwood's Ravenswood Village and others supported by the charity.
Bright handprints and butterflies, an abstract self-portrait, a colourful image of rockets firing into the air and an enormous rendition of a snail were among the artworks on display at the Norwood patrons reception attended by more than 150 people.
The product of weekly classes in painting, glass-sculpting and other craft skills, they will go on sale in September.
Artists included Ravenwood resident Peter Girvan, who has been taking classes for six years. He was delighted to see his large canvas featuring the word "Norwood" and a pair of eyes on display. "I designed it to get people interested in Norwood," he explained. "I enjoy the art classes - I look forward to doing it every Monday afternoon."
Lawrence Black's oversized snail collage was made from a patchwork of coloured paper arranged on a canvas. The piece - which took him four weeks to complete - was inspired by the Ravenswood garden.
"It's very good to see it at the gallery," he said. "I'm very excited to be here and show people."
Tina Sommer, who volunteers at the art classes, said participants gained "a sense of achievement. Being able to do something by themselves, something they can keep and exhibit, is great."
An event organiser, Carole Arnold, said the showcase was "really special" for exhibitors. "It's important for them to feel proud of something."
Gallery managing director Russell Green added: "Art puts smiles on people's faces. It is important for us all to continue to support Norwood's life-changing work, especially in this difficult economic climate."