Calling an art exhibition Fragments is quite shrewd.  Consider: two people standing side by side seeing roughly the same things at about the same time,  but from different angles or heights.  Maybe they’re aware of different sounds and scents.  Their attention will almost certainly be caught by different aspects of whatever they’re looking at.  Nobody really has a truly comprehensive picture of anything. The best we can hope for are fragments. Not quite: presenting their second joint exhibition local artists Joanne Dale and Stefanie Gundlach stitch the bits together for us in their latest collection of compelling and arresting pieces.

Jo shows, in each piece, how “… fragments must be connected, assembled, layered and supported; no one component being robust enough on its own.  Each element is both a symbol of and an example from our own fragmented, fragile world”.  Exploring this idea further has been accompanied by a very important, exciting development in Jo’s style resulting in the production of 3D and collaged pieces that, without deliberate intention, introduce negative space.

Stef also explains her thinking behind the title:  “Fragments can be physical things, of course, but they can also be memories.  Your memories of an event , a sound, an object: these are all fragments”. Stef has been working with a wider variety of media since her last exhibition, and collaged effects have become a strong feature with her too.  Many pieces give an initial impression of a wild and uncontrolled energy, and although that is certainly present it is certainly not that simple and closer inspection reveals that reflective, thoughtful compositional element characteristic of her work.

The exhibition is also being supported by Halima Cassell, who is one of the foremost living sculptors in the UK, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors, who was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2021, for services to sculpture, and is a resident of Shropshire.  Halima has agreed to be the Guest Artist and will be exhibiting her bronze statue Makonde II together with three preparatory drawings.

Art by Stefanie Gundlach.

A bronze by Halima Cassell