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Friends 2024: Highly Commended Artworks Announced

Colin Kerrigan City Dreams 27cm x 27cm x 7cm Bronze £6,000

Following the opening of our Friends 2024 Exhibition, we are pleased to announce the artworks which were highly commended by the judges!

Please see the selected works below.


Aga Kubish: Whole Collection


Aga Kubish ARE is an award-winning artist printmaker specializing in very detailed, large linocuts. Aga is looking for additional forms of expression in the raw lino printing technique.

Kubish works without a press, making huge linocuts by hand, searching for a range of shades between black and lights. For her, linocut is an optimal combination of graphics and sculpture, and she draws inspiration from nature, sketching based on her own photos. In her free time, she draws with pencils and paints oil paintings.

Kubish was born in Poland in 1979, currently lives and works in Somerset, a self-taught printmaker, a member of the RE and has exhibited in art galleries around the UK. Her works can be found in numerous private collections around the world.

Colin Kerrigan: Whole Collection



A Proposal For A Public Sculpture

City Dreams takes its inspiration from the city of Kyoto, a place where Japan’s past both implicitly and explicitly informs the present. Conceptually, the sculpture represents the ancient heart and spirit of Kyoto, its layers of historical and cultural reference and its significance in Japanese history.

City Dreams is made up of spiralling forms of densely layered stainless steel and bronze; it reaches approximately four metres above ground level and descends to a depth of around four meters below ground. The scale is such that two people can comfortably walk from the highest to the lowest point either side by side or in opposite directions. The bronze cylindrical void located at the base point, cut deep into the earth, is similar to the form of a well. Small holes, which represent constellations, pierce the stainless steel and bronze and act as channels for the wind to leave its mark.

Those who journey to the lowest level of City Dreams will be invited to cast a personal handwritten message onto the bronze crucible. The private, almost ritualistic, act of leaving a message is intended to elevate the role of the visitor from passive observer to that of creative collaborator.

The vision for City Dreams is that it becomes an important landmark in Kyoto; a place where people can achieve a sense of solace and the confidence to find a voice through an act of uninhibited creativity. At the same time, this sculptural installation celebrates the spirit of Kyoto’s rich history and connects it with the hopes and dreams of its society today

Please note that the exhibited works are sketch models for a larger scale site-specific work.

Colin Kerrigan Fateful Moment 20cm x 22cm x 9cm Stainless Steel and Bronze £3,000
Colin Kerrigan, Fateful Moment, Stainless Steel and Bronze, £3,000

Fateful Moment explores ideas of expectancy and anticipation, the feeling that something, possibly momentous, is about to happen.

Integral to Colin’s thinking for the sculpture was the idea that fateful moments can change the direction of our lives and, in doing so, can open up new and exciting opportunities. Essentially, this is how we all experience life… through many such significant or small moments.

The strong interplay and tension between the polished steel surface of the work and the partly revealed inner core of darkly patinated bronze heighten the sense that change is imminent and the power of the work resides within.

The sculpture is at once an expression of impending change and anticipation, hope and inevitability.

Please note that the exhibited works are sketch models for a larger scale site-specific work.


Denise Maxwell: She-yepe Orange Paint


Denise Maxwell, She-yepe Orange Paint, Digital Print, £450
Denise Maxwell, She-yepe Orange Paint, Digital Print, £450

Dr Denise Maxwell is a multi genre photographer of 13 years, covering commercial and art genres. Her inspiration for the topics she covers comes from contemporary life, experiences of those around her and issues that have touched her.

Her success stems these the multiple genres including:

  • Named as 1 of 7 female documentary photographers to be highlighted by the BBC during lockdown.
  • A photography tutor for the Reframe Residency a collaboration between The Southbank Centre, Steamhouse, and Midlands Arts Centre in 2023.
  • One of 15 female photographers chosen to be exhibited by F22 in 2023 (The Association of Photographers – female photographers)
  • The award winning photographer behind the Starling Bank ‘Make Money Equal’ commercial campaign

In 2022, she had eight features in mainstream photography magazines and has delivered masterclasses on the Super-stage at The Photography Show; in 2023 she gained a Doctor in the Arts from The University of Wolverhampton.


Guy Chapman: Whole Collection


Guy Chapman, Delta 1, Ink, £1400
Guy Chapman, Delta 1, Ink, £1400

Delta 1 is an early step into space structures which Guy likes to imagine are of immense size. He has watched many sci-fi films in which space stations are littered with an eye watering array of pipes, walkways, electrical installations, trenches, corridors and various buildings which then, all combined, make for a very impressive complex structure. This work was inspired by a certain well-known film in a universe far far away and Guy has added a short back story to it on his website to reinforce its uniqueness.

Guy Chapman, K1, Ink, £1850

K1 was a deliberate attempt to draw a complex drawing at a slight angle, thus introducing ellipses, all drawn with freehand and a keen eye (and magnifying glass). Guy is attracted to the inner workings of machinery, finding it fascinating to see how things are put together and then work, so he decided to create a large steampunk airship. Missing its skin for the most part, it shows the very complicated structure of a triple-tailed behemoth of wood which, in spite its inevitable weight, flies with ease (don’t press him on how, because Guy doesn’t have a clue!) and is essentially an illustration from the manufacturer showing what it’s about.

Guy Chapman, Wyvern Crags, Ink, £1650
Guy Chapman, Wyvern Crags, Ink, £1650

Wyvern Crags is an interconnection of floating islands bridged by walkways and ropes. Cloaked in mystery, this ancient place rests quietly within the mountainous, misty regions beyond Sethnir Ras. A near-forgotten land that whispers of dragons and dark lore, it is left to the imagination conjured from of old tales written on the stained, brittle pages of ancient books which exude an odour of fire and smoke. Guy has created this picture with a good deal of imagination and hidden items which you can see if you allow yourself to look long enough!


Mukah Ispahani: Blessed Gaze


Mukah Ispahani, Blessed Glaze, Blue ball point pen on paper, £200
Mukah Ispahani, Blessed Glaze, Blue ball point pen on paper, £200

Mukah Ispahani engages in a captivating play of crosshatching and a range of other shading techniques using a ball point pen.

These lines, when layered, converge to form a  figurative presence that exceeds mere representation.

Ispahani aims at representing a sense of movement and vibrancy in his compositions and  the utilization of crosshatching techniques becomes a conduit for summoning life onto the paper, creating an illusion that transcends the boundaries of traditional drawing.

Each stroke creates movement in the composition, calling viewers to immerse themselves in the dynamic interplay of lines that captures depth and emotion in the piece.


Sally Ellis: Drink Wine and Pick Dandelions


Sally Ellis, Drink Wine and Pick Dandelions, Mixed Media, £1500
Sally Ellis, Drink Wine and Pick Dandelions, Mixed Media, £1500

Sally describes her work as “abstracted familiarity”, her subjects are familiar to everyone really, evoking endless narratives from the mundanities of domestic life. Using acrylic as her primary medium, she paints intuitively, building layers and uncovering hidden beauty by scraping and sanding. She deliberately avoids planning or sketching, preferring to let her mind wander freely, immersing herself for hours in the spontaneous exchange between her thoughts and the unfolding canvas. Her process seeks the elusive spark that shapes her final composition and where she acts as a conduit to evoke profound emotions, ignite memories, and spark untold stories within the viewer.


You can visit the Friends 2024 exhibition till Saturday 10 February.

Join some of the exhibiting artists for a guided tour of the exhibition from 2pm on Saturday 20 January.

For an annual fee, Friends receive opportunities and discounts, such as free talks, feedback on artwork, and discounts on exhibitions fees. Find more information on our website.