Exhibitions and events archive

Previous exhibitions 2014

Sara Preisler Gallery presents: ‘Starry Night’

The nights are drawing in and we’re appreciating the stars in this exhibition! Featuring the beautiful jewellery of Jill Stewart, Julie Brown and Claire Lowe, along with ceramics by Emma Williams and Matthew David Marsh, there’s never been a better way to embrace autumn!

This exhibition ran from 27th September to 27th November 2014.

‘If You Go Down To The Woods Today’

Join us for a stroll in the wild wood this season as we showcase makers celebrating the undiscovered wonderland of our woodlands! Featuring Sara's very own collection 'Foraged and Forged' plus the gorgeous jewellery of Elizabeth Terzza and Jessica Sherriff along with sculpture by Amanda Cobbett and ceramics by Emma Williams, this exhibition is not to be missed!

The exhibition ran from 26th July to 26th September 2014.


A riot of colour! CHROMAtic showcases the work of Chroma Collective, a group of four recent graduates: Ruth Laird, Lana Crabb, Amy Logan and Amanda Trimmer, all connected with the Birmingham School of Jewellery, whose work is a celebration of colour line and form, often utilising under-appreciated materials. A perfect exhibition for the start of summer!

The exhibition ran from the 7th June to Friday 25th July 2014.

‘City Sweet’

Working in conjunction with the Birmingham Architectural Festival, 'City Sweet' is a celebration of industrial architecture, both old and new.

Featuring the miniature sculptures of recent graduate and last year's winner of The Sara Preisler Gallery Award, (for Practical Realisation of Concept): Miriam McSorley, the exhibition looks towards modernism and Birmingham's structural heritage and also features jewellery from Stacey Bentley and Stephanie Bates plus ceramics by Rowena Brown.

As part of the collection Sara is herself launching her latest collection in the gallery: 'Equator' which features influences from localities of the city.

'City Sweet' shines a light on the stark beauty of Birmingham’s industrial heritage and as part of the festival is not to be missed!

The exhibition ran from the 29th March to 30th May 2014.


Previous exhibitions 2013

'The Past in Keeping' featuring new graduates: Katie Loewy and Lori Muldoon

Katie Loewy

Both jeweller and writer, Katie combines her written words with the visual image; together they influence the narrative of her pieces. Her collection is inspired by her novella ‘The Cult of Charming Men’ which brings to life the dark underworld of the late Victorian era. Visually, Katie draws on the architecture of churches and cathedrals, representing a juxtaposition of both the saintly and the illicit. Enigmatic and esoteric her work invites a closer look. This is her first post-graduate collection.

Lori Muldoon

With a passion for heritage and keepsakes, Lori’s ceramics are evocative of long-treasured possessions. She draws inspiration from the dilapidation of old buildings and deterioration of antique objects and combines her work with samples of lace taken from her childhood garments. She  invites the beholder to share her history and  to look upon her work as new legacy. This is her very first collection since graduation.

The exhibition ran from the 1st October 2013 until the 30th November 2013.

In support of CRAFT & DESIGN MONTH: Emily-Kriste Wilcox

Much of Emily’s work focuses on surface decoration, collage and juxtaposition.  The vessel is a starting point for exploration of shape, and an interest in the sense of repair and assemblage has informed her method of construction over several years.  The result is multi-faceted pots, rich in movement, energy and aesthetic value.  

Current research into 18th century tea caddies is adding another dimension to her forms, in particular inspiring an oval shape yet still encompassing several individual panels.  Other references include dressmaking patterns and text, maps, boats; and my colour palette draws inspiration from the clouds and the landscape.  Often, she finds that drawing and painting is integral to the development of the surface treatment of her work.   Layers of decorating slips are applied to build up the surface and create a depth that holds similarities to misty skies, or walks across the hills, which in turn allow the pots to create a sense of place – sometimes this can be a memory of a walk or a view across the sea.

With each piece of clay she likes to be able to weave the surface pattern in, around, out and through – to explore the space and composition much like a painting.  This is worked alongside more controlled sgraffito techniques, sometimes in order to ‘contain’ the painted surface, and other times to continue it. Pots are hand-built using predominantly a white earthenware body treated to layers of slip, underglaze, glaze, and occasionally transfer and lustre.  Glazes are used to enhance and add another level of tone, or to enrich the texture of isolated areas.  Pieces often go through multiple firings and as each is individual, the process of building up the surface varies accordingly.

The exhibition ran from the 1st May 2013 until the 30th June 2013.

Louise Mary Designs: An Exhibition of Contemporary Jewellery and Silversmithing

From her studio in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter, Louise Mary creates handmade silverware and jewellery in shapes inspired by nature. She is drawn to working with silver because of its malleability and beauty.

Louise’s work is characterised by her unique use of the technique of fold forming to create her distinctive contemporary range of silverware. The fold created in this instinctive process strengthens a seemingly thin piece of silver, as well as referencing the plant world, in particular leaves, which inspired it. Her work has an organic, elegant feel, and every object has a purpose, from her leaf shaped bowls and spoons to coffee scoops and delicate flower vases. Integral to the pieces is the importance of design, so a small cut out or twist gives each object an added dimension.

Most pieces are made in silver, and Louise works to commission in all precious metals including gold and platinum.

The exhibition ran from the 1st February 2013 to the 31st March 2013.

Helaina Sharpley: Ghosts, selected works

A creator of 2D and 3D wirework, Helaina’s work originated from the love of tea and tea drinking, but has since moved into other areas.  These include Edwardian and seaside architecture, grandfather clocks and pocket watches.

Using old sepia photographs, she first creates pen and ink drawings, capturing the aspects of the elegance she sees in the careful detail of her chosen object’s style.  These are then translated into small and large-scale wire drawings, mostly mounted on canvas, crossing the boundaries between drawing and sculpture.

Her work has a quiet presence which resonates in the space it inhabits; its strong linear existence almost seems to be both silent and loud at the same moment.

She welcomes commissions.

The exhibition ran from the 1st December 2012 to the 31st January 2013.

Previous exhibitions 2012

Sarah Purvey Ceramics

It is the energy of the landscape which informs the work of Sarah Purvey, its influence and rhythm echoing in the marks drawn, painted and scribed directly into each form that she creates.

Hand built using coils of stoneware, the physical process of her making is energised, reactive and intuitive. The surfaces of the large forms are created when the clay is still raw, vulnerable and at its most responsive.

Although inspired by nature, the ceramic in this body of work is not intended to imitate or recreate any particular landscape, but rather to explore and reveal the emotional and inherent sense of association and connection generated by our surroundings.

The exhibition ran from the 1st October to the 30th November 2012.

Lauren van Helmond – How much is that doggy in the window?

The creation of quirky characters whether through illustration or object making is central to Lauren’s work.

For this exhibition she has created a series of playful dogs made from discarded paint and biscuit tins.  Each dog is unique and is fabricated by cutting the sheet tin, forming the shapes, soldering the seams, and then painting with enamel paints.  

To accompany the dogs, Lauren has also designed and illustrated a picture book about the invention of Bird’s Custard.  This humorous book tells the story of how a man’s love for his newly wedded wife set him on a journey which ultimately made him his fortune.

The exhibition ran from the 4th August to the 30th September 2012.

Corinne Phillips – Fairy Tale Maker

Storytelling is an important element of Corinne’s practice where the love of creation is illuminated with illustration through textiles and found objects.

With a  nostalgia for childhood, Victorian inventions and gadgets, it seems that she is always on the hunt for unusual objects that can be used in the work.

Through use of  both hand and machine embroidery, the sewing machine itself has been used as a drawing tool. Her fascination for fairytales leaves this small collection of pieces a delight to see.

This exhibition ran from the 2nd June 2012 to the 30th July 2012.

Emily-Kriste Wilcox

Much of Emily-Kriste’s work focuses on surface decoration, collage and juxtaposition.  The vessel is her starting point for exploration of shape, and an interest in the sense of repair and assemblage has informed her method of construction over several years.  The result is multi-faceted pots, rich in movement, energy and aesthetic value.  Where handles, lips and spouts are used, these are exaggerated or understated in scale, removing the traditional tableware function.

Her references are diverse and include dressmaking patterns and text, medieval puzzle jugs, maps, boats, clouds and the landscape.   She often finds that drawing and painting is integral to the development of the surface treatment of her works, and in particular, informs the colours and textures used: I like to be able to weave the surface pattern in, around, out and through – to explore the space and composition much like a painting.

To achieve the desired depth of surface, she layers up coloured slips via an adapted method of monoprinting.  This is worked alongside other slipware and sgraffito techniques.  Pots are handbuilt using predominantly a white earthenware body treated with layers of slip, underglaze, oxide, glaze, and occasionally transfer and lustre.  Glazes are used to enhance and add another level of tone, or to enrich the texture of isolated areas.  Pieces often go through multiple firings and as each is individual, the process of building up the surface varies accordingly.

This exhibition ran from the 1st April 2012 to the 31st May 2012.

Quarter Studios Jewellery

The official launch of ‘Quarter Studios’ provides the first public insight to a brand new, unique and innovative group of Birmingham’s emerging jewellery designer makers.

These eight talented designers recently established their studio workshops in the heart of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter. The first large group to do so in over a decade, the group's individuals combine not only industry knowledge and innovation through design, but have also won awards for their creativity and collections.

A selection of both jewellery items and Silversmithing pieces are on exhibition and for sale exclusively at The Sara Preisler Gallery, in Birmingham's Custard Factory, where each of the eight designers are featured profiling their own new collections.

During the eight weeks as exhibition progresses, details of each of  the individual designers in Quarter Studios will be posted up on the gallery facebook page (Sara Preisler-Gallery) alongside Sara Preisler's twitter feed (@Sara Preisler), check them out for a constant update on the exhibition as it developes.

This exhibition ran from the 1st February 2012 to the 30th March 2012.

Claire Ferguson Ceramics

A beautiful selling exhibition, this series of ceramic pieces by Claire Ferguson combines clean white forms with delicate texture.

The work explores the qualities of fabric married with bone china, exploiting the translucent properties of this material.

Each piece gains its individuality and character with texture applied by hand differently each time. The simple forms derive from the straight clean lines and geometric shapes found on old industrial machinery, and are designed to enhance and compliment the exterior pattern. When illuminated, every nuance of detail is captured in a soft glow that creates an ambient light to relax by.

This exhibition ran from the 30th November 2011 to the 1st February 2012.


Previous exhibitions archive 2011

Deborah Roberts Silk String Theory

As a maker specialising in textiles Deborah found that a much of her work is informed and inspired by the materials and techniques in her use. Since discovering silk string a few years ago she has been developing a body of work which technically starts with a thread, and by using a variety of knitting techniques, exploits the physical qualities of the material to transform it into multi dimensional forms which can be self supporting.

There is a String Theory relating to particle physics which suggests that if string theory is correct, the entire world is made of strings.  This body of work represents Deborah’s own alternative string theory.

This exhibition ran from the 1st October 2011 to the 30th November 2011.

Tracie Murchison Woven Memories

Each piece of Murchison’s work is individually constructed using her own technique of layering and forming. The layers of different materials, colours and textures gives each piece its own identity and history. She explores the contradictions of materials to create texture and vibrant colour contrasting with the smooth hard edges of the wood.

The strata of landscape, the layers that are revealed as a rock face is worn away, a wall that reveals its countless layers of colours and owners that came before, or a worn away stone step trodden by many people all intrigue her.

She is inspired by ceramics and basketry both traditional and contemporary for form, stance and finish of her pieces.

Her collections include the Alice Annie collection which uses reproduced love letters, photographs and fabrics left to her by her Great Aunt Alice (Cissie). The letters and photographs give the work a personal narrative of a bygone era when war and work separated couples whose only form of communication was by letter.

The exhibition ran from the 1st August to the 30th September 2011.

Mixed Media Paintings by Anna Crook

An established artist, Anna Crook’s unique paintings have become highly sort after as she re-enters the artistic scene after a three year break. Becoming established in 2001, Anna’s work has gone on to become highly collectable with many prominent followers, exhibiting at numerous locations countrywide. This exclusive exhibition sees new, developed work created especially for the Sara Preisler Gallery.

Each piece is an expression of who I am, exploring weakness and strength, confronting issues of belief and the self. My work is part of a journey, an exploration of life and the part I am to play.

Anna creates unique pieces of artwork by combining her own personal context with a variety of unconventional processes involving texture and surface manipulation. She develops her practise by exploring painting techniques as well as the use of text, found items and stitch work, contrasting materials which are transient with those that endure. In the work she considers the existence of truth, exploring the layers we naturally create, the filters we place over the truth, which having once existed are now obscured.

Although the work is tightly bound in meaning for the artist, Anna Crook allows the viewers to interpret the work for themselves. She keeps her titles ambiguous to allow a train of thought to be guided, but invites the viewer to draw their own conclusions, creating a rewarding and challenging experience for the viewer.

The exhibition ran from 2nd June to the 31st July.  A commission service is also available, should you require a piece more suitable to your space.

We hope to see you at the gallery soon.