Art - 4 Over 50

Andrew Aarons’ blocky oil paintings of Normandy currently on display in the Thebes Gallery slightly unnerved me, and I could not put my finger on why. Rolling hills, just like our own, with something intangibly French about them. Dark greens, light greens, dark blue skies; there was something childlike about them, but something very tragic and adult too. I looked closely and saw that red paint was poking through all the little gaps. I read the explanatory blurb and found out that Aarons is deeply aware of the thousand years of warfare that has blighted that part of France. The red is the blood of the dead on the many battlefields of Normandy. It made me wonder whether such messages should be explained in black and white, or left to their own subliminal devices.

Aarons is one of four 50+ artists featured in this exhibition. The others are Irene Runayker, Val Wade and Pamela Byrne. Runayker has produced a number of vibrant, multihued, tactile square frames full of acrylic foliage in blues and golds and greens. There’s a glow about them all. They look good on walls, bringing the outside in. Wade has produced a number of colourful oil paintings, which have a mysterious darkness about them. Petals are black; children at a party are half defined in a fuzzy gloom. Byrne has made a series of sculptures from agate loosely based on an aboriginal Australian painting depicting the different indigenous dialects. It’s an Antipodean Tower of Babel. But it’s the blood in the Norman fields that stays in my head. AL

Wall flowers: Irene Runayker’s vibrant acrylics at the Thebes Gallery
Thebes Gallery, Church Twitten, Lewes
When? 10.30am-5.30pm closed for lunch 12.45-130pm
How Much? Prices range from £100-£1,000
Thebes Gallery
(t) 01273 484400