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Art - Star Dust Exhibition

The latest exhibition in the Star Gallery is a group show with a difference: there are over 50 artists involved. “The concept of the show,” says Hayley Brown, the gallery curator, “is a mixture of my love for the form of Indian miniatures, and the fact that I wanted to exhibit a large number of different artists. Regulars to the gallery will recognise pieces from a number of artists who have exhibited here in recent years - both in the two years I’ve been here and in the 18 years the gallery was run before I arrived. There are also a number of artists that I liked the work of who I wanted to introduce to the gallery. Oh, and several whose work will appear in the future.”

When you walk into the gallery there’s a bit of a wow factor. There are 60 or so works - mostly paintings, the occasional sculpture - which line the walls. Three or four immediately catch my eye, and I’m torn as to which to go and examine first. “There was a simple rule to artists I invited to exhibit,” continues Hayley. “The pictures needed to be smaller than A4 size. I gave the exhibition the name ‘Star Dust’ but that was in no way meant to influence the subject of the works. The artists had a free rein.”

Hayley takes me round each painting in turn, giving me a brief resume on the artists concerned. First up I’m dying to see Peter Messer’s latest work, which we commissioned as the cover of the just-out Viva Lewes Handbook, but which I have never seen in the flesh. It’s a Bonfire Night scene of a number of Commercial Square smugglers congregating at the Bottleneck with their burning barrels.

‘Sunset in Ship Street’ by Aksorn Rukpong