'We've asked artists to respond to a theme this year: 'Woods in Winter' - which has given the work an exciting new edge,' says gallery director Sarah Wiseman. 'Artists like Daniel Ablitt, who specialises in atmospheric landscape, will be making new works that are inspired by Nordic landscape - the woods, mountains and snow that has inspired countless fairy tales and myth.'
The exhibition aims to be a more immersive experience for visitors and those seeking beautiful gifts for friends and family. 'Woods in Winter' is so evocative, and is open to many interpretations from artists and makers alike', says Sarah. 'You can imagine scenes of fireside tales, intriguing pathways, that hush of snow blanketed everywhere- we're very excited to see what artists come up with!'
Artist Abigail Reed for example has taken up the theme in her own way; her primary focus is large scale portraits of wild and domestic animals, showing their visceral and untamed power, using gestural brushstrokes in monochrome oil and ink. 'We're anticipating works by Abigail that focus on woodland creatures and game; the ancient notion of the woods being a provider' says Sarah.
There will also be a return of Clare Nicholl's snow people, a small army of hand-made ceramic characters all inspired by Clare's love of folklore, film and the uncanny. Each individually sculpted snow-character has a quirky hat or costume beautifully sculpted and glazed by Clare in her Oxfordshire studio.
New to the gallery will be Flora McLachlan, whose twilit images are an exploration of ancient and enchanted landscapes. She is best known for her etchings which are carefully constructed and layered with various techniques to achieve a time-worn look and softly lit atmosphere.
Sarah Wiseman Gallery's exhibition at Christmas always includes a dazzling range of gift ideas - from smaller scale ceramics and craft, to larger scale painting and printmaking collections. Topped off with a spectacular window display, the exhibition is set to be an inspiration for anyone seeking a beautifully made gift.