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Artists put skills on show again in church

DOZENS of painters put their works on show in Pagham’s latest art exhibition.


The bright bank holiday sunshine kept numbers of visitors to St Thomas a’Becket Church down compared to previous years. But the several hundred who went along still saw plenty that caught their eye.


Some 30-plus paintings were expected to have been sold by the close of the three-day event on Monday.


Organiser Trudi Kearsley said: “The weather has been too nice, really. I think everyone is on the beach. But the people who have come in are enjoying the quality of the work we have on show.”


A total of 290 paintings were on view in front of the altar when the exhibition opened. They covered a range of media and subjects.


“This is our 21st year of the exhibition,” said Mrs Kearsley. “We are the only church in this year which has an art exhibition. The only other one we know about is at Birdham.


“Artists like displaying here because the light is quite good and the atmosphere is nice and friendly.”


Both the number of artists and works on view were less than 2017 – but Mrs Kearsley described that as a bumper year.


This means the amount set to be raised from the exhibition, including refreshment sales, was likely to be about £1,000 against £1,400 last year. The church’s Raise the Roof appeal for essential repairs will again benefit from the exhibition.


One of the artists who continued to back the event was Middleton resident Heidi Walmsley, 58. She sold her tenth painting, out of six framed and ten unframed, just after the opening of the last day.


“It’s a fantastic feeling,” she said. “I’ve been exhibiting here for 11 years and sold my first painting here. I still get the same satisfaction now as I did then.


“People say my paintings are so cheerful, bright and colourful. I just have a passion for painting and I feel that comes out in my work.


“Painting just relaxes me and I thank God every day that I can do it. If I wake up at 7am, I’ve got a paintbrush in my hand at ten minutes past.”


Other artists on show in the exhibition included John Crowley with the watercolour Broken Light Bognor, Kathie Stocker (Study in Brown, acrylic), Jean Wapshere (Bosham from Chidham, watercolour), Marjorie Good (Tea Break, acrylic) and Roger Donovan (Tranquillity, acrylic).

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