Project Art Works and that Seven Year Itch

Portrait of Tiggy by Charlotte Stephens
Portrait of Tiggy by Charlotte Stephens

New art show Seven Year Itch opens tomorrow at St Mary in the Castle, Hastings, and runs from October 3 -November 29.

It is part of the Project Art Works’ trio of exhibitions on the south coast including No Church in the Wild, a film installation for Art in Romney Marsh and In The Realm Of Others at the De La Warr Pavilion.

No Church in The Wild is a film exploring ideas of sanctuary, security and congregation tracking four young men with autism as they travel through Romney Marsh to the 14th century St Thomas à Becket Church, while In The Realm Of Others contains work produced by 14 artists with profound intellectual impairment.

Established over 15 years ago, Project Art Works is a pioneering organisation using contemporary visual art to facilitate the making of paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography, artistic happenings and actions in the studio and at site-specific locations by adults and children with severe intellectual impairment.

Seven Year Itch is a solo exhibition by Charlotte Stephens. She was born in Bath in 1983 and moved to Hastings when she was nine. Born into a family of artists she has enjoyed making art since she was a child and is a member of Project Art Works’ Mentoring Studios which she attends every week. This exhibition presents a selection of the work she has produced within the studio in the last seven years. Over this period Stephens’ has continuously developed and refined her painting technique and in doing so has overcome many challenges in her life.

This is an achievement that she is extremely proud of. She chooses subjects for her paintings that reflect her interests and the community that she lives within. Her paintings have included family portraits, significant buildings, local festivals, nature and animals. An underlying theme in her work is the rhythms of nature and cycles of the calendar.

Making art has allowed Stephen’s to focus her energies in a way that has had a positive effect on her life: she said: “When I get in the mind of painting – I can do anything.”

Kate Adams MBE commented: “Charlotte has been involved with Project Art Works for many years. During this time she has developed her facility in painting through tremendous hard work and courage. We are delighted that St Mary in the Castle have given Charlotte the opportunity for this retrospective. We urge audiences to join us in this celebration.”