By Neil Partrick

 A tense art show is taking place at Hastings Arts Forum in St Leonards. Local artists Kate Gritton and Valerie Grove are jointly exhibiting in ‘Surface Tension’, an exhibition reflecting their mutual fascination with the tangible and intangible forces at work in the world around us.

 Their differing work, contrastingly multi-coloured, bi-colour and monochrome, is either geologically focused or utilises the material that autumn is depositing all around us – see ‘Road (detail)’. The upside down text in the show’s promotional material also suggests a tension in life, as well as nature, which somehow needs to be exorcised.

 Valerie Grove - Road (detail)

At times Kate’s art looks like tectonic snapshots of the beauty lying deep inside the rocky hills that surround our town. Valerie’s work recycles nature, deploying leaf and bark amidst a stark white that evokes suprematism and, sometimes, op-art. Kate is exhibiting oil paintings and original prints – see ‘Red Earth’ (pictured). Valerie’s paintings are on canvases, large and small, while her triptych is framed.

 K Gritton Red Earth

Both artists’ output over the years has emphasised the art in nature. In the process they are making powerful aesthetic statements about the environment and about our abuse of it. Both women have also worked abroad as artists, including in France or Dubai, but are currently channelling the Sussex countryside as their muse.

 ‘Surface Tension’ is a free exhibition running from 1st to 13th November inclusive. For more information check out www.hastingsartsforum.co.uk/surface-tension or just go to the gallery at 36 Marine, St Leonard’s (open 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Sunday).