By Mia L

The annual ‘Stains and Traces’ exhibition will be opening its doors once again, at The Gallery at Hastings Arts Forum this February. This highly anticipated show first began in 2014,when local resident and former Chairman of The Hastings Arts Forum, Ian Welsh, introduced a revised format to The Gallery’s’ burgeoning arts programme.

‘Stains and Traces V’ is a curated show, which asks participating artists to submit work under Welsh’s self-initiated creative remit, with the aim of representing ‘The presence or absence of a figure, as well as anthropomorphic echoes and resonances’.

Etching by Jo Welsh

Previous shows have included a myriad of conceptual and abstract interpretations of Welsh’s given theme. ‘Stains and Traces IV’ in 2018, was perhaps The Art Forum’s most popular yet and featured the work of some sixteen artists.

‘Stains and Traces V’ looks set to further develop the high standard of work, already seen in previous shows. Hastings-based artist Raymond McChrystal has featured in ‘Stains and Traces’ from it’s opening year and will be curating the fifth edition of the show for the very first time. Ian Welsh sadly passed away some years ago, but McChrystal is keen to stress the importance of ‘Keeping this vital and innovative event alive in his name’.

Detail of watercolour by Raymond McChrystal

McChrystal has opened up applications for this year’s show to artists outside of The Hastings Arts Forum, whilst also being sure to maintain the creative precedence and legacy of Ian Welsh. It’s a move which can only serve to enhance the quality and diversity of the work on display.

Visitors are invited to experience ‘Stains and Traces V’ from a mixed media perspective, one which attempts to quantify the complex and yet nuanced tone of the show. ‘Stains and Traces V’ seeks to embody the human experience from both a literal and metaphysical perspective.

Watercolour by Robert Cross

Established artists such as Victoria Kiff will be exhibiting, alongside less experienced artists like Bob Cross, who’ll be showing his previously unseen work, at this year’s event.

The Hastings Arts Forum has long since championed artists from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. ‘Stains and Traces V’ further exemplifies this commitment to supporting the arts community in Hastings, East Sussex and beyond.

‘Stains and Traces V’ is running from the 18th February – 1st March 2020 (Open evening Friday 21st February 6.30-8.30pm)

Please refer to The Gallery at Hastings Arts Forum website for further details –

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