Foxlowe Galleries and Exhibitions

The Foxlowe Arts Centre has three exhibition spaces, the Gallery on the first floor, Cafe gallery in the Drawing Room cafe and spaces in the buildings ground floor hallways.

The Gallery open Wednesday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm

Hosting around 6-8 exhibitions a year, usually running for 6 weeks The Gallery is always worth visiting. The Gallery is completely staffed by volunteer stewards.

Drawing Room Gallery open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm

The Cafe Gallery holds a variety of smaller exhibitions of local artists along the cafe walls.

Hallway Gallery open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 4pm

The exhibitions in the Hallway’s of the Foxlowe are often displays of local school artwork featuring a topic or theme, the relationships with the schools is looked after by volunteers from the Foxlowe Arts Centre.

The Upper Gallery

Foxlowe Arts Centre’s main exhibition space

Reawakening Exhibition at the Foxlowe Gallery | Saturday 22nd May - Saturday 26th June

SoTArt Contemporary Artists

Foxlowe Arts Centre Upper Gallery

We are a mixed group of contemporary artists having met through Staffordshire University and the local ‘Artists’ network. We have many skills and artistic interests between us and the work here is a reflection of this diversity.

Our return to The Foxlowe Arts Centre Gallery has been long awaited and anticipated by us all. The exhibition has an open theme but aimed at individual artists showing key work and the exhibition title ‘Reawakening’ is aimed at kick-starting our artistic life after lockdown. We did not want the whole exhibition to be a reflection of Covid 19’s devastating effect on individuals, and the world as a whole, but equally some of the themes presented in the exhibition tackle issues that have affected many over the past year.

A quick overview into some of the work within the exhibition.

Karen Boulton  ‘Reawakening of the Phoenix’   Under the lockdowns imposed on our lives by Covid 19, the creation of the phoenix gave a small glimmer of hope at a time when we thought we should be free but were grounded through no fault of our own….‘Blink and We Are Gone’     The work here is an exploration of extinct, endangered and threatened animals and our help or hindrance of their survival.

Carole Rowland  ‘Looking into the Abyss’  The work is inspired by personal loss and the Emily Dickenson poem ‘Griefs’, and attempts to convey the emotional experience of loss through words, colour and the medium of fabric.

Frank Foy  ‘Bird Count’   This work is influenced by walking with the dog for exercise during lockdown and becoming more interested in bird watching and getting involved in the annual RSPB British bird count. Shown here is a selection of sketches of garden birds.

Rie Suto  Wonder land’   A map of Japanese spiritual creatures and legendary monsters.  ‘Mystery of DNA (code)    Figuerine from the pantheon of Egyptian gods and their land.   ‘Ancient Hybrid Back to Future’   Greek mythological creatures.   Exploring gene science; gene editing and genetic modification in art forms.

Russell Willet    ‘The Seven Sisters’   In 1956 the Clean Air Act was passed, which changed the industrial landscape forever. I have been influenced by the abundance of trees in the area that surrounds my home! An area that was once dotted with coal mines, potbanks and steel works.

Barrie Felton    One day I looked up to the sky and saw….1 & 2    2D sculptural laminated ‘constructions’ depicting the same ‘Worm’s Eye’ view of a sky-line framed by skyscraper buildings, the two  working in tandem to explore the visual effects on the viewer of “concretizing” the negative space between the buildings.

‘Torso 1 & 2’   Two 3D sculptures informed by the work of the American photographer Edward Weston whose B&W photographs of the human body and the geological aspects of the American landscape, helped to establish photography as an art form.

Peter R Smith   ‘Birds-Words’   A pair of contemporary mixed media bookends.

Allison Dias     ‘The Dark Peak’   My work has followed the landscape tradition for a number of years; It has evolved from my recording of local landscapes and geological forms.  The self-created landscapes employ the creative processes inherent in nature. The resulting crystalline forms emerge from the solutions, creating evocative patterns that replicate the original source of inspiration

Julie Gould       My Father’s Time’    Over lockdown my practice has been reawakened in a new direction, portraiture. Referencing an old photograph of a group of miners, the work here looks at the heritage of my father’s working life as a miner. This painting portrays the bond between the men who spent their working life underground.

James Dudley-Ward   ‘Defined’ examines the how we define a rectilinear form, we see the planes defining it in the solid, we outline it’s form with lines in defining it’s complete structure.   ‘Boxes’  Sixteen open topped boxes exploring and experimenting with combinations of tone and colour on the outside and the internal volumes.

Just two of a small selection of this artists work, shown as a tribute to James, who died suddenly after a short illness and before he saw this exhibition come to its fruition…

An artist, friend and gentleman.

Gavin Bowyer Fine Art & Portraiture Exhibition in the Drawing Room Gallery | 17th May - 17th July


Welcome to Foxlowe Art Centre’s Drawing Room’s first exhibition of 2021. Unseen since 2nd November 2020, this small solo exhibition, “…UNTIL SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS,” has patiently hung locked in as a result of lockdown. The pandemic may have taught us that some things are within our control, and some things are not. Thankfully, Nan taught me long ago patience is a virtue.

I am a ‘Grisaille’ inspired Leek Visual Artist and an award-winning Advanced Skills Teacher. For over three years I have worked as a professional visual artist and designer in my second-floor studio at the Foxlowe Arts Centre. Here I work, tutor and collaborate with others in the Creative Hub.

I am inspired by the ephemeral fragile natural world, and love to capture vivid poignant pictures in a realistic format.  Like Walter Sickert, I naturally gravitate to ordinary people and domestic interior scenes.  In addition, both Lucien Freud and Alberto Giacometti’s portraiture pose philosophical questions about the human condition; often the sitters are rendered devoid of emotion or expression and invite the spectator to invoke meaning into the image. In their own unique ways, each artist has provided a source of technical or thematic content to the way I approach drawing and painting.

I am a true advocate for the importance of ‘good drawing’. Black and white drawings and paintings allow the observer to concentrate on elements such as composition, value, lighting and form.  To take the colour out of an image lets the subject speak for themselves. It’s raw, it’s stripped back, it’s honest and it allows you to show the true person. Colour is distracting in a way, it pleases the eye but it doesn’t necessarily reach the heart. Picasso declared that“…colour weakens.” Often, he selected to purge it from his work in order to highlight the formal structure and autonomy of form inherent in his art. As you’ll see, I agree with Gogglebox’s’  Sophie Sandiford’s view, “Everybody looks good in black and white.”

Gavin Bowyer

44 (0) 7592 779968




Studio 6, Foxlowe Arts Centre, 

Stockwell Street, Leek, ST13 6AD

Gavin Bowyer, Foxlowe Solo Show

Exhibition in The Drawing Room Gallery