What's on Show


Life Enhancing 

Power of the Human Form II 

Small and Large Gallery 

17 October - 10 December 2017 

Life Enhancing is a group of artists active in life drawing. We believe the art produced in life sessions has a special power and freshness that conventional nudes lack. 

In this exhibition at the Jam Factory, ten talented artists will be showing life drawings and paintings on the theme of the 'Power of the Human Form'. Most of the work will be available to buy as originals or limited edition prints. All the artists have exhibited widely before and include professional illustrators, a film animator, tutors, committed amateurs and an art degree student. The media used range from watercolour and pastel to charcoal and collage. 

While the styles vary, all the images have the immediacy that comes from drawing from a live model and capture the moment of that human contact. 

Life Enhancing was created by a life model, Dermot, who really liked many of the drawings that were produced in life classes and thought other people might too. He collaborated with a tutor, Stewart, to launch the Life Enhancing online gallery in June 2016 which sells original life art and limited edition prints. Around ten artists are represented, many of them art tutors. The group is centred around Buckinghamshire. This is our second exhibition. 


Before and After Lines

Boiler Room Gallery 

22 November 2017 - 7 January 2018


Joanna Billingham 

This group of small watercolours and digital images develops Joanna Billingham’s fascination with forms which are simultaneously appealing and unnerving; plant like forms and shadowed shapes seem to sprout, balance, writhe and meet in a world of gothic fairytales and Folk Art. The resulting hybrids and mutations suggest a point where the familiar collides with the strange. Objects awkwardly shift - half seen in the picture frame - offering  a sense of anticipation as though the drama is about to occur, or may have recently past, as we stumble onto the metaphysical scene of events.


Matt Black 

Matt Black is interested in going beyond the surface of things to discover. His work seeks to create openings that allow new interpretations and meaningful connections to flow.

Through a process of mapping, plotting and tracking via mark making he seeks to translate illusory in-between spaces often using film and fiction as starting points. These spaces being interpreted reside outside our own temporal realities - psychological states and physical spaces are in flux. At times the results appear to reflect a disorientating network akin to the digital realm.

Julie Smith

Julie's artwork dwells on qualities of quietness and intimacy, cherishing the extraordinary that lies within the ordinary. 

“I am inspired by the act of collecting; both physical gathering and the accumulation of thoughts.  This is reflected in the materials I choose.  I am interested in considering traditional methods through my work. I seek to provoke a balance between a contemplative experience and a sense of fun.  Key threads within my practice include fragility, protection and preservation.”

Her work celebrates the time and looking absorbed in the act of making.  Art residencies are also part of her work that often can take her in directions that are initially unexpected but remain informed by the act of observing and doing.  These have included the Voltaire Room, Oxford, Vale and Downland Museum, Wantage and Woodchester Mansion, Woodchester and the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, Chippenham.

She also makes “I call them begin” handmade notebooks, sketchbooks, and journals using traditional book binding methods.


Rebecca Spicer 

Rebecca Spicer is interested in the Landscape and what makes her human; she has begun to find allegorical and metaphorical ways of portraying the figure in a particular place without being too literal. To explore the feelings of isolation or integration, of confrontation through considering the pebbles on the beach or document the effect of the wind as it passes by, rather than depict the figure in the landscape itself. Her personal memories, sounds, feelings and words are vital as she records these through her drawings. Place is key, and she has chosen to record through sensory experience in drawing, film, photography and sound recordings, the essence of a place that Rebecca has known since childhood and has particular resonance for her - such as, the Ceibwr Bay, Pembrokeshire. In this case the Landscape, the environment she is in, the elements and time become valuable sources. The colours she uses are evocative of that place, directly connected to the stones and pebbles, the sky and the sea. To play with perspective allows Rebecca numerous possibilities; consequently balance and counterbalance, being inside or outside, surface and skin, scale and time. The internal space of a drawing will incorporate the idea of a relationship with the place such as: containment or confinement or freedom or security, employing the emotional state, such as anxiety or joy, whilst considering the metaphysical, the idea of here and now, being mortal or immortal. The legacy of the Landscape artists’ consideration of sublime, in direct contrast to the romantic visual observance of a place, has continued to fascinate her.


Elena Cremona

Uncertain States 

Restaurant Gallery 

14 November 2017 - 8 January 2018 

The content of Elena Cremona’s work centres on environmental and landscape coverage, as well as social-documentary photography: bringing the issues which surround Climate Change into focus. ‘Uncertain States’ is a reminder of our fragile Earth, a homage to Mother Earth, and, she hopes, ‘an appreciation to the core elements which make up our beautiful planet’. 

Elena uses her photographic work as a tool to allow her to understand better, let go of the past and create a sense of awareness and respect for our irreplaceable landscapes. In doing so, she attempts to challenge the mind of society, and to evoke an emotional and tactile connection between humanity and nature. 

Elena admits that she finds it hard to understand life and society, to make sense of it allto make sense of the system we are born into; a system she considers driven by power, money and exploitation, and where greed seems to be put above the wellbeing of our planet. 

Considering this, she asserts, ‘society is ignorance, but nature is bliss’.

The emotions linked to her memory constantly fade. The inspiration of these emotions is what leads Elena to the act of photography, with each photograph being as unique as the memory that inspired it. The consequence of her creative process disrupts, makes conscious and redraws invisible lines. Thus, she is reminded that though life moves forward and leaves behind memories, through her art she is making sense and creating permanence with her memories if the photographs she takes.

Elena Cremona’s unique photographs are hand-printed in a colour darkroom. In this exhibition, the viewer is invited to share in her uncertain states and vulnerabilities, through her photographs of seemingly untouched corners of Earth. 

Her solo exhibition ‘Uncertain States’  will show selected series’ of environmental and landscape documentary photography in the Restaurant Gallery until 8 January.

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