Children at The Grove Primary School Win High Sheriff Award for Pearls of Wisdom Postcards

Pearls of WisdomOver fifty eight and nine year old children at The Grove Primary School have won the High Sheriff Award, as administered by Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, for participating in a project that aims to bring together old and young residents in the city through art run by Care Network Cambridge and Cambridge Art Salon.

As part of Pearls of Wisdom Postcards, elderly residents in Cambridge from Cambridge Manor Carehome and St Martins Day Centre generously contributed their own pearls of wisdom, to children at The Grove Primary School – little nuggets of wisdom, for the younger generation, such as ‘Don’t Waste Time’, ‘Save For A Rainy Day’, or ‘Kindness Costs Nothing’. The school children then created artworks in response to the pearls, with help from artists at Cambridge Art Salon, for an exhibition and pack of postcards that the public can see and buy at Stir Cafe, throughout from December 1stuntil January 11th.

100 packs of cards of 8 of the children’s designs are available for sale for £2 each at the popular CB4 based Stir cafe – with a #pearlchallenge to send postcards to family members and loved ones, to celebrate family and friendship. Participants are invited to buy postcards and post on social media their messages to friends and family, as part of the challenge.

Participating artists based at North Cambridge art space Thrifts Walk Studios and East Cambridge’s UNIT 13, include Sa’adiah Khan, Daisy Tempest, Sukey Sleeper and Cathy Dunbar. The project was produced by writer Ruthie Collins who interviewed older residents for their pearls, with help from Cambridge Art Salon volunteer Victor Ibanez, Care Network Cambs and staff at Manor Care Home and St Martins Day Centre.

Interview – Glyn Bateman, ‘Consumirrorism’

What inspired the name of the show?
I have always been interested in consumerism and have often tinkered about with words and their phonetic sounds when I have titled work – The words have to lend themselves to the art piece and what it is engaging with. The show presents a selection of works that reflect upon the state of the world at the time of the global economic downturn of 2008. Some of my pieces use mirrors explicitly for this reason as part of the visual language and I thought it would be fitting to use an ‘it-does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ approach towards the name of the show.

Who or what are your influences?
I am heavily influenced by pre modern artists such as Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel and love the works of Dadaist and Surrealist Max Ernst – I love collage and am fascinated with some of the mark making techniques such as ‘decalcomania’ that Ernst and Salvador Dali employed in their work to tap into the subconscious to evoke ‘phantom images’ in the onlookers mind.

What is the role of the artist in times of austerity?
For me, it’s to encourage critical thinking about our existence and the experience of living within the creative and destructive cycles of late capitalism where everything has been commoditised – including art itself.

Who excites you right now?
Aidan Salakhova – her quasi-religious paintings and sculptures are sublime. Also, Ashley Bickerton’s composite photo/painting parodies greatly inspire me as do the exquisitely detailed screen prints of Dan Hillier that are currently being displayed at the Saatchi Gallery.

Hope for 2017?
For world peace and prosperity to all! I am also excited to continue with the work that I have been developing and photo-harvesting for the last few years, it’s called ‘No Horoscope’. It’s now in the preparatory stages where I have lots of labour intensive, digital cutting and editing of photographs to get through. The works are going to be large scale allegorical compositions engaging with themes concerning the human condition and technology.


CONSUMIRRORISM – Reflections on Recession #consumirrorism

Glyn Bateman
CONSUMIRRORISM – Reflections on Recession 
16.12.16 – 19.12.16

Friday 16th December 6 – 9pm
Saturday 17th – Monday 19th December 10am – 5pm
(Limited Private viewings from 20th December)

CONSUMIRRORISM presents a selection of works that were developed during the time of the global economic downturn of 2008 – a shift from the consumer empowering, excessive commodity culture of capitalist boom time to the mirror opposite starkness of gloomy financial uncertainty, diminished consumer confidence and tightened up purse strings. In 2016, how much has changed? The works on display reflect upon the state of our world, providing commentary upon the autonomous rich, the suffering many and questions how art will fare in times of austerity.


SPAN Artist Collective

SPAN Artist Collective: Sophie C Hill, Guiseppina Santoro-Ellwood, Adriana Forte, Neil Horsefield

2 December 2016 – 11 December 2016
Cambridge Art Salon, 1 Thrift Walk, Cambridge, CB2

Showcasing paintings, drawings, ceramics, sculpture and video by four artists working individually and then coming together to respond to each others’ work with in the gallery.

The show brings together individual work from the four artists and provides an opportunity for them to interact and respond live to the exhibited work. The artists will experiment in the space to create visual reactions to each others work in an effort to exchange ideas, deepen understanding and further possible meaning and interpretations. This will create a dynamic and changing show which the audience can enter; their own experience will depend on the daily activity, with both the art and artists on show. You will see videos, paintings, installations and photographs from four different perspectives that will encourage you to think and question the ideas and artists. You will be simultaneously in a gallery and a studio.

Sophie C Hill works with a range of materials to produce paintings and installations that ask questions about her experience as a mother and artist. Visually eclectic and playful her work should make you smile while you think.

Pina Santoro creates works using varied materials such as ceramics, plaster and paint to found objects. Her practice is concerned with culture, identity, traditions and place and displacement aiming to capture the confusion, frustration and stress of her UK born Immigrant experiences.

Adriana Forte is a conceptual artist who explores difficult and often unspoken issues around mental health and identity. She creates through a process of immersion in research; an idea is born from extensive reading and the work develops through trial and error. Language forms an important part of her work although its usage can be quite discrete.

Neil Horsefield has an easel based studio practice which uses visual language conventions associated with painting, drawing and printmaking. His work raises a reconsideration of authorship, ownership, creative territory, value, permanence and transition and narrative.

digital image from Fun Palace workshop, SPAN, 2016

digital image from Fun Palace workshop, SPAN, 2016

The Pear Tree and other poems


Beating the Bounds – New works by Gudrun Filipska

1 Thrifts Walk. Cambridge.

21st October -4th November 2016 (Family friendly Private View 5.30-8.30pm Fri Nov 21st).


An exhibition of work from the first stages of an ‘Artists Residency in Motherhood’, as mentored by British American artist Lenka Clayton. Filipska takes the experience of motherhood as a raw material, using as departure point her long standing interest in walking as artistic practice and fugal subjectivity and how this is altered by the presence of children. The show includes work documenting her daughters obsession with wrapping and enveloping found and foraged objects, the first part of a photographic project documenting daily walks, a video work reflecting the tedium and staccato rhythms of a walking pace set by children and a series of drawings referencing historical landscape painting.

This exhibition forms the first part of the Beating the Bounds project which will take place during the two year residency and further develop ideas of territory, boundaries, transience and motherhood. It’s also part of the BBC get Creative Family Arts Festival, happening throughout October – and Cambridge Art Salon’s We Are Family programme

Accompanying text, ‘Against the Odds: Creative Survival Throughout Parenthood’ by writer/curator Ruthie Collins will also be available at the exhibition, partnered with national campaign body Family Arts Campaign. Advice, personal experiences and strategies shared by parent artists have been turned into a poster style text, the first of a new ongoing series of #mamainart (MIA) pieces @ruthiecollins

Free Family Arts Activity! ‘The Alternatives’ – Jo Randall, as part of World Rivers Day.

416925_10150714652811488_726801487_11840502_1341552218_nFamilies live in all different types of home – boats, caravans, houses. Create a picture of your home – or your imaginary home! What would your dream home look like? Imagine living on a boat, or in a caravan, yurt or bender (a home made out of canvas and tree branches) – what might your home look like?

Whether you live in a boat, house or caravan – or dream of it, draw it, create it, paint it! Add some imagination, go wild.

Parents can join in too! All pictures to be shared as part of The Alternatives, Jo Randall, at Cambridge Art Salon – 1 Thrifts Walk, Cambridge CB4 1NR.

Or post your pictures online with hashtag #thealternatives16


What was the inspiration behind the show?
I’ve been a renter in the Cambridge area for the last 12 years. I often get asked ‘have you ever thought of buying your own home?’. If only it were as simple as that! My last module at uni was on the subject of Zeitgeist (which translates to the essence of the times in which we live) and I decided to investigate the housing crisis in Cambridge as I felt it was personal to me and very much a hot topic at the moment.

How did you find your subjects?
My friends have always been very supportive so when looking for subjects, I used social media to ask if any of my friends, or friends of theirs, lived in anything other than a traditional house and if they would be prepared to talk with me, with a view to becoming case studies. I was also introduced to the Cams Boaters facebook group which is run by the inhabitants of the house boats on the Cam. I received a huge amount of interest and support to my request, which was fantastic.

What are your influences as a photographer?
Tom Hunter is a big influence for this project. His series ‘Travellers’ documents the lives of the people he encountered whilst travelling in a converted bus from Europe to Portugal in the 1990’s. They’re shot in colour, on a large format camera, and have a really serene feel to them, capturing the humanity and the dignity of his friends. I’m aware that black and white can often be quite gritty and harsh, but I’ve tried to capture the same feeling of contentment and pride in my own images.

The whole show is shot in black and white – was there a rationale behind that?
I have only very recently discovered the beauty of traditional film. Shooting this series in black and white allowed me to further develop my darkroom printing skills. There’s something very tactile about creating your own photographs, from developing the film yourself through to making the prints in wet trays. For me, it completes the artistic process and really feels like they’re my personal creations. Each photograph you create is unique and many of the images in the exhibition were a culmination of many hours of experimentation to achieve my final results.

What have you learned or are hoping to share with the community through this show?
There is rarely a simple answer as to why we choose to live the way we do. There are many contributing factors such as location, finances, environmental impact and lifestyle, and it’s very easy to judge others without trying to understand their choices. The average income in Cambridge is in the region of £28k, with house prices currently at an average of £420k. Home ownerships is no longer an expectation or a right and we need to become more creative, to explore other avenues and find our own solutions to the current housing crisis outside of society’s norms.

From Syria With Love

From Syria With LoveWe were very proud to host From Syria With Love in April, please would all who bought pieces at The Guildhall contact us (see who below) to arrange an appointment if you haven’t already visited.


Phone or text Victor on 07734435238 to arrange an appointment to collect.

Getting here. We are right next to the Kids Classics children’s clothes shop, on Chesterton High St. Note that the number 2 bus stops just round the corner, but there is no parking available on Thrifts Walk itself. Plenty on nearby streets though.

Thank you for your support.

New exhibition: Once Upon A Time



*Stop Press
Extended Opening Hours For Final Week (check full programme for special events too)

Tuesday 5th 12 – 4pm
Wednesday 6th 12-4pm
Friday 8th 12-3pm

From 26th March to 8th April 2016 at 1 Thrifts Walk.

A story tale themed exhibition with a twist from Collaborating Cambridge artists, Abi Stevens, Jill Eastland, Alan Rogerson, Yasemin Gyford, Karen Stamper & Henry Shepherd for a fortnight this Easter holidays. Expect anything – from a Madhatters tea party for families, political art commenting on Cambridge’s housing crisis, ghost stories, poetry, the launch of SHINDIG’s interactive art shop – and more.

The exhibition has a range of art for sale from independent artists in the city, includes free events and workshops, many for children and families, some strictly for adults, all will be fun. Look out for the hashtag #WeAreFamily16 for family friendly events, as part of the Art Salon’s We Are Family project –

Collaborating Cambridge is a broad group of Cambridge based artists. With the emphasis on collaborating, they produce work for group exhibitions and events.

‘This is an exciting time for us as we are transitioning into a charitable association which gives us more opportunity to help the people and community we love. I set up Collaborating Cambridge because there are so many good quality artists in Cambridge but not enough platforms for them – buying from an independent artist is one of the best ways to support your local art scene,’ says Faye Wright, founder of Collaborating Cambridge.

Faye herself can also be found at the likes of Stir Cafe, hosting family arts events.

It’s important for artists to have space to breathe, experiment and sell to sustain their practices and grow. So we are also launching feedback boxes at this show to help develop the project – inviting the public and other artists to pass on their thoughts.

Please come along and support Cambridge artists by enjoying this work and buying from them. Prints for £20 and under, as well as cards and original art will be for sale. There will also be the chance to donate directly to Collaborating Cambridge, with fundraising buckets throughout.

‘Not so private’ view / opening night (FREE all welcome, bring a bottle!) #WeAreFamily16

All welcome, kids and adults, come and join in and see the amazing outcomes of the artists’ interpretations of the ‘stortelling’ theme.

Saturday March 26th, 6 – 9pm

Alan’s adults comic workshop (FREE)
Monday March 28th, 1-3pm
Selected range from Alan’s Art Kiosk for sale.

Allographic poetry and storytelling (FREE)
Tuesday March 29th, 6-9pm
Poetry books will be on sale.

Mad Hatters Tea Party (FREE) #WeAreFamily16
Childrens arts and crafts party
Thursday 31st March 12 noon – 2pm
Prints, cards and original art will be on sale.

Cambridge Storytellers ‘Local legends and Fen Mysteries’ (FREE)
Friday 1st April, 6-8pm…/566856856805952
Prints by selected artists will be on sale from under £20

Furry Tales (FREE)
A family art & story workshop, getting ready for Strawberry Fair!
Saturday 2 April 12 noon – 4pm
Prints, art and cards will be on sale

Ghost Stories (ticketed – please contact SHINDIG for details)
Saturday 2nd April 6-9pm
Launch of interactive SHINDIG art shop

Kids collaging with Yasemin (FREE)
Sunday 3rd April 12 noon – 2pm
Prints, art and cards for sale

Soundscape stories (FREE)
Guided visualisation & meditation with singing bowls
Wednesday 6th  April 7pm – 8pm
Prints, cards and original art for sale

Virginity Café
(A taboo breaking philosophy cafe involving virginity stories)
Friday 8th April,3-5pm
Prints, cards and original art for sale

Closing gathering (FREE All welcome, bring a bottle!)
Friday 8th April,6-8pm
Prints, cards and original art for sale

Kith and Kin – Opening Show for Thrifts Walk Studios (Spring Programme)


We’re delighted to announce the first show in our new pop up art space, nestled in the heart of Chesterton. Thrifts Walk Studios, has five independent artists based there, who have worked with residents in the city to restore the disused space so that it is usable, into a pop up ‘art shop’ where the artists can meet their customers and the public direct, plus a gallery and a garden where artists can sell, exhibit and exchange ideas with other makers. The gallery exhibitions are, of course, open to the public, with work for sale.

Kith & Kin is a new exhibition from Cambridge portrait painter, Heloise Toop and will run from 11 to 25 March 2016.

You can visit the exhibition between 10am and 5pm on

Saturday 12th / Sunday 13th
Friday 18th/ Saturday 19th / Sunday 20th
Friday 25th (9am – 5pm, with a private view for families midday – 2pm) / Saturday 26th

Kith and Kin, explores the connections between the family we have and the family we choose. Throughout 2016, Cambridge Art Salon is loosely curating a programme of talks, exhibitions and research as part of We Are Family  – a new project that explores the value of family and intergenerational arts in the community.

Heloise, who works primarily in oils, studied at The Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea and has embraced portraiture as her ‘path to happiness’. Art critic, Clive Christy has described her paintings as ‘strong and yet very sensitive… she seems to capture a vulnerability and humanity in her works’. A review in Style Magazine wrote ‘Heloise’s mastery of the paint palette is breathtaking; from delicate eyelashes to wispy strands of hair, her depiction is stunningly realistic’.

In 2009, at just seventeen, Heloise had a painting selected to show at the Mall Galleries in London. She also exhibited, by invitation, at the 2013 ‘People’ exhibition at the Bankside Gallery. Five of her paintings were shown at the ‘Debut Contemporary Art’ Gallery in Notting Hill, London and she has exhibited and led a portrait painting workshop at Impington Village College’s Annual Art Exhibition.

More recently, Heloise was one of two artists live painting at New Artists Fair in London.

Her commissioned work includes a portrait of Dr Rebecca Lingwood, the first female director of Madingley Hall, Cambridge and Professor Michael Green, a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

Of her latest pieces Heloise says  ‘As a portrait painter, I always strive to convey some kind of human emotion in my work. In my most recent paintings I have focused on the relationship between siblings, and the relationship between my friends and I. There are sets of portraits that interact with each other through eye contact and smirks. Each set tells a different story. Alongside this brand new work, I will also be exhibiting some large scale oil paintings featuring friends dressed as fairytale characters, and some honest portraits of those close to me. My Kith and Kin


Winter lights comes to Abbey

The Abbey community will be celebrating the festive season with their very own Winter Lights Festival. The Christmas lights switch on is happening on Wednesday 16 December and will include a Lantern parade along Wadloes Road followed by a community meal by Food-cycle, an Art Fair, and community performances.

The Cambridge Art Salon is delighted to be able to support this community event with funds raised by the EastSide Creates programme.

Local artist Jill Fordham, who has a studio at Unit 13, has been running lantern workshops ahead of the festival and we hope everyone who has participated will come along with their creations and help light up Wadloes Road.

If you need some inspiration, here are photos from previous lantern workshops.


The light switch on is outside Barnwell Spar at 6pm Wednesday 16 December.


Jill grew up in Cambridge and has explored many different areas of art and craft over the years. She attended art college as a mature student, where she learned her skills as a stained glass artist and for a short period, has worked in the stained glass studio of Susan Matthews, stained glass artist and curator of Ely Cathedral stained glass museum. Jill has been working in this medium now for 20 years, and has sold her work at various fairs and galleries in and around Cambridge.  As well as undertaking private commissions both designing and restoring stained glass windows, mostly for private clients. Past commissions have included work for Ely Cathedral and Chilford Hall. For the past ten years Jill has taught stained glass courses for manor community college, Whitehouse arts, Rowan foundation, and for school groups, as well as teaching general art/craft to special needs groups, such as Castle school and the Alzheimers’ society.

You can see some of Jill’s beautiful glasswork on her website



An eclectic mix of styles born from having fun, experimenting and applying new skills. Both traditional and digital methods have been utilised.

This body of work has been produced by past and current photography students of Mark Woods Nunn. Whilst all of those exhibiting hold a keen interest in photography, several are now working as professional photographers. The camers used range from modest ‘point and shoots’ to higher end kit.

Launch night starts at: 6pm at the Box Cafe, Gwydir St, Cambridge