What's on show

Callum Saunders

Callum Saunders

David Marl

David Marl

Nicky May

Nicky May




7th July - 9th August 2015

Callum Saunders is a student doing the Arts Foundation Course at Abingdon and Witney College. He is specialising in photography and has been offered a place on the Photography degree course at Bournemouth.

He is currently exploring street photography and has been inspired by Antonio Olmos, who is a London based Mexican photojournalist.

Many of these images were taken in Oxford over the last few months. Some were fleeting moments grabbed opportunistically. Others were taken with the subject’s permission and the rest are from his travels in various countries. 

Callum comes from a family of photographers so it was natural to start taking pictures at an early age. He fell in love with it when he was at school and would often steal his dad’s camera before he got his own.

He is interested in street photography and enjoys taking candid images. This fits well with his love of travel and pictures of people. Recently he has completed a project around mobile phones and the rise and rise of the selfie. Callum is keen to promote ‘proper photography’ but would also support the quote by Chase Jarvis that the best camera is the one that’s with you.

The next step is for Callum to spend some of the next year travelling, he then has a place at Bournemouth University to study photography in 2016.



DAVID MARL - The Gates of Heaven

9th July - 18th August 2015

‘Gates of Heaven’ features works by Dorset artist David Marl who has become well-known for his small, jewel-like paintings with their references to the spiritual, and echoes of the distinctive landscapes of North Dorset. Marl regularly walks the fields and hills near his home, stopping to paint in spots he describes as ‘thin places’ – places which are close to God. The studies he produces, a number of which are included in this exhibition, inform the more considered allegorical works undertaken in his studio, and may go some way to explaining why these paintings appear to open a window on a world both familiar and yet somehow different. The otherworldliness of these very beautiful paintings is due in part to his use of spiritual imagery as angels walk beside men and crosses sit atop hills.

There are distinct echoes of Samuel Palmer in this use of a known and much-loved landscape as background to an instructional narrative. Tracks near Fontmell Down and Hambledon Hill near Shaftesbury are clearly recognisable in some of the works in Marl’s series ‘Parables without words’, and he is quick to cite Palmer as an influence. He speaks also of Eric Ravilious. Ravilious, who died in 1942 while serving as a war artist, has been described as a ‘Romantic Modern’, one writer going on to say that his work was ‘recognisably of the twentieth century, but never avant garde’.  Ravilious was painting his landscapes at a time when many other artists were exploring abstraction and surrealism. Considering the works in this exhibition at The Jam Factory, a similar description might well be applied to David Marl’s work, for it is recognisably of the twenty-first century, but never ‘avant garde’. 

The exhibition comes to The Jam Factory from The Slade Centre in Dorset and includes a number of drawings which illustrate the development of Marl’s work since his first solo exhibition at there in 2001.

The Slade Centre, The Square, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4AY




NICKY MAY - Landscape Re-imagined

15th July – 10th August 2015

My work hovers between the figurative and the abstract - the idea that you're free to choose the meaning of your work seems really profound to me. Freed from the way-marking of completely representational painting, abstract/subjective painting means for me that the subject material comes from an inner life, even if often sparked by, or abstracted from, a view or a detail from the landscape around me in North Cornwall. In this method, I feel immediately very much at home and at liberty to paint from the deepest part of me, and simultaneously am almost overwhelmed each time I approach a canvas.

I will often work on a series of sketches and studies to help me work out what its is that I have seen in the landscape that has excited my attention, before deciding which material and format will work best. Just as a completely figurative painter strives to be true to an objective reality, so in abstract/subjective painting I am all the time trying to be completely honest with myself about the colours, shapes and textures of paint I am laying down – whether they work, whether they feel right, and if when put together they “sing”.

Brief Biography

I have painted since I was small, but I started my career in the voluntary sector, including VSO in Papua New Guinea and Kenya. I worked in senior management for Oxfam, and in a series of voluntary organisations, as well as doing freelance work evaluating the effectiveness of development projects in Africa and Asiia.

I turned seriously to painting in 1994. My formal art training was through the Open College of the Arts (courses in painting and drawing). I spent many years under the tutelage of Norman Rechter, a renowned European watercolourist. I also studied studio ceramics and still work as a potter alongside the painting.

I paint in watercolour, oils and acrylics, choosing the medium to suit the message. My work starts from landscape but leans towards the abstract. 

I am a member of the Cornwall Watercolour Society, Bude Art Society, East Cornwall Society of Artists and the Cornwall Ceramics and Glass Group. I have shown work in galleries and exhibitions through the South west and in Oxford and London.



ALSO ON @ The Jam Factory Arts Centre


Monday - JL Painting and Drawing Courses

Tuesday - Life Drawing


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