By Mia L

The latest show at Hastings Arts Forum explores the notion of chaos in all its creative variables. Contributing artists were invited to explore the theme from both interpersonal and metaphysical perspectives. The gallery utilises its space for the exhibition well, thus providing the public with ample opportunity to appreciate the superior quality of work on display. I was especially taken with the eclectic tone of the show, which was a sure inflection of the given theme.

The Arts Forum have been consistently providing a platform for artists in East Sussex to exhibit their work and ‘Chaos…’ further affirms the exceptional level of talent in the locality.

The show’s written introduction includes a quote from a certain Carl Jung ‘In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order’which lends an insight into the duality of chaos and the inescapable role it plays in our everyday lives. This sets the mood of the show to dramatic effect which, when coupled with the intense visual offerings on display, only serves to enhance one’s experience as gallery visitor.

Knotted wall hanging by Julie Gurr.

The exhibition is mixed media, broadly split into two categories: chaos of the mind and emotions; and chaos in its naturalised state of play.

I was instantly drawn to the work of Hastings based artist, Julie Gurr. Her selection of knotted, sculptural wall hangings and baskets look deceptively fragile, yet belie a sense of quiet intensity.

Julie intersplices traditional techniques with more contemporary practices. She works with willow, as well as other natural and found materials, sourced from East Sussex.

Gurr’s elegantly twisted weavings evoke a wondrous juxtaposition when displayed alongside the work of fellow artists, such as Lydia Moon.

Bronze/purple canvas by Lydia Moon

Lydia uses mixed media on canvas. Shades of purple and bronze are melded together in a seemingly frenzied state, providing an intimate insight into her own interpretation of chaos.

Ceramicist Branka Vrhovski-Stanton extends the brief yet further still with her bold and skillful designs. Indeed, there is such a varied body of work on display, that the scope for exploration of such an abstract theme feels truly inspirational.

‘Chaos is a Friend of Mine’ is yet another thought-provoking exhibition from The Arts Forum, surely setting a strong precedent for future shows later this year.

‘Chaos is a Friend of Mine’ ran from 25th June – 7th July 2019 at Hastings Arts Forum.

You can find out more about forthcoming exhibitions via the gallery website-

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