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Faces, Spaces, Places
3rd - 26th August 2024

Experience mischief and mayhem through colour, texture and form.  This exhibition is showing the work of Piers Ottey, Justin Robins and Yve Slater.  From portraits of Colony Room Club members, to abstract explosions of colour and form to an insight into the intriguing world of garage mechanics…  Welcome to a collection of considered chaos.

Open daily 12 - 5pm

Piers Ottey

Born in London, Piers trained at Chelsea School of Art in the 1970’s. He has been painting ever since. He moved to West Sussex in 1980 and set up The Mill Studio in 1994.


Panting mostly in oils, his subject matter has often been influenced by his travels to Greece, Spain, France and Denmark but he always returns to painting from the human form. He paints landscapes, objects as well as semi-abstract forms. His work has been exhibited in London, the provinces and abroad and can be found in private and corporate as well as public collections around the world.


Piers’ work is very personal. There is a mischievous quality in most of his paintings, sometimes subversive – as in ‘Horse race in the dark’ or in ‘ The serene and peaceful type 42 Destroyer’. Chairs may only have three legs, a Model only one eye and then there is the issue of the ‘code’ of colours often seen around the edge of his canvasses. These form a diary; a record of all the colours used to make the image and in the order they were made and used. 


For Piers, the edges of the picture are important, so is the geometry between the edge and the centre. The square is his most common format; primary red and blue form his initial drawing. ‘ Surface quality should be special’ he says and all viewers should feel free to feel the surface of the work.

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Justin Robins

Justin creates the kind of art which sets a persons Pareidolia off; ie looking for faces and objects in things which aren’t purposefully there. 


Most of his work begins in the dark, as a nod to Cy Twombly, or with the opposite hand, or rotating the surface, simply to create greater spontaneity, and a closer relationship with the piece. The planning of the work comes during the process, when moves are made, not at the outset.


Attempts are made to veer away from any known symbols or objects in the works. The aim is to create tension and drama via the unknown, yet challenge the spectator to accept this and not, as they are hardwired to, make sense of it all!

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Yve Slater

A few summers ago, after quitting my job at a superyacht design company, I found a job flipping burgers in a local café … an obvious ‘career’ choice for a Vegetarian.


The café was a hub for the mechanics who worked at the garage next door. We fuelled their daily caffeine intake.


The garage specialised in high performance and classic cars and I was attracted to the vibrant colours and elegant designs. The general banter and comments from the ‘grease monkeys’ punctuated the air and I loved the vibe. Sketching my way around the motor bays was my way of engaging with the organised chaos.  


‘Oh that’s the D5 bumper, I’ve been looking for that!’


It so happened that Malcolm, my 70 something neighbour, was also an avid mechanic who had over the years amassed a back yard collection of cars, tractors and assorted farm machinery all in various stages of repair and restoration. (1960’s Citroen DS series being his speciality). He gave me a tour and I was captivated. I spent a month of Sundays exploring the sheds and capturing numerous perspectives on A3 paper. They turned out to be a useful aide memoire to Malcolm and the whereabouts of a lost pieces of vital equipment.


This exhibition reflects my happy introduction to a world of garage mechanics, Car Meets and Malcolm. A community who enthusiastically shared their knowledge with me.​​

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