The Salon Collective DVA Malthouse Gallery 10th – 23rd November

We’re Back: The Salon Collective DVA

New and Recent work from DVA Salon Collective

The Malthouse Gallery
The Town Mill
Mill Lane
Lyme Regis, DT7 3PU.
01297 444042

10 th to 23 rd November 2021
Open Daily 11am to 4pm
Visitor Information:

Visitors Information

New and Recent Work from the Dorset Visual Arts Salon Collective

The Salon was formed three years ago aiming to enable a group of artists with solid professional training and experience to test and challenge their ideas and find stimulus through peer review, discussion, exhibitions and informal collaborations.

They enjoy varied practices that complement and encourage each other. This exhibition of recent work includes sculpture, drawing, painting and installation. It brings together diverse thoughts ranging from contemporary issues of Covid and Black Lives Matter to cultural history, creating interesting and thought provoking dialogues for the viewer.


Members exhibiting in this show:


John Austin-Williams

‘Music and landscape are twin passions in my life and provide the basis for much of my work.

Line, colour and texture combine within the act of composition – a personal response to what is seen, felt and experienced. As a result, the work is primarily about its own existence’.


Mai-Dun 1

Is based on a Symphonic Poem by John Ireland relating to the great and ancient earthwork of Maiden Castle which is just outside Dorchester. This is also to be found in the work of Thomas Hardy including his poem ‘Tryst at an Ancient Earthwork’.

Studies l and ll

These are a visual representation of the first two Symphonies of the 20th Century Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu. The First Symphony gives me the impression of a series of greens whilst the Second implies the lightness of his shortest symphony.


John was born in Surrey but has lived in Dorset most of his life. He studied with Cecil Waller and later at The Polish School of Art, London, where he was awarded a distinction.

He has shown widely in solo and group exhibitions in London, the South of England and beyond. His work is in public and private collections in the UK and abroad.


Imogen Bittner

I have been working with mixed media and textiles for many years: the colours, patterns and textures of working with paper and fabrics being of prime interest, using a minimum of black stitching to hold, position and delineate form.

I have exhibited my work regularly and participated in major exhibitions such as the Salon d’Automn in the Grand Palais, Paris; Ostlandsutstilling in Oslo, Norway; The Society of Women Artists in the Mall Galleries, London and the RWA in Bristol.

I studied Fine Art (Painting) at West Surrey College of Art, Farnham and completed an MA in Fine Art at the Arts University Bournemouth.

I am a salon member of Dorset Visual Arts, Bruton Art Society and a member of Wessex Contemporary Arts.



Helen Brasher

Helen’s work is landscape derived. She prints semi-abstract tactile images based on the colours and forms of the coastline. Helen is drawn to detailed fragments of the landscape, the patterns and textures of rocks, rusting metal, peeling paint – the sense of the past pressing upon the present.

Helen likes to work directly from the landscape: walking observing and gathering information by sketch book, photograph and found materials. Back in her studio she explores ideas through the process of printmaking often starting with quick mono print sketches.

Depending on the subject matter, Helen may continue in monoprint which allows a freedom of mark making that at times can become almost painterly, or move onto the more labour intensive process of creating a collagraph printing plate. Helen approaches the surface of grey board or card much as she would that of a metal plate by cutting into, scraping and generally altering the surface texture to create deep textural marks. There is a similarity between the destruction of the card surface to create the printmaking plate and the effects of erosion on the subjects that she often likes to depict.


Jo Burlington

Puddles of inks made from plants and materials found in my home, garden and daily walk during ‘lockdown’. Pigment forms as ink reacts with oxygen; watching the puddles dry leaving lines of sediment; mixing, dripping, dragging, pulling, blowing, rubbing and agitating. Creating pebble like things, like the pebbles on my local beach at West Bay; millions of years old, sand and stone blown, squashed, heated, scraped, buried, exposed, washed, weathered, bashed and smoothed. A slow process for a slow time. Stay here, hold on to these.



Jo studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. Her work spans careful observational drawing, to large scale performance based drawing, to exploring the joy and power of mark making with very young children in the workshops she runs as Oops Wow Messy Art.


Jacqui Byrne

Artwork titles: Balance 1, 2 & 3.  Sculptural pieces from the ’Cut off, built up’ collection:

A word from the artist:

“Some of the wood used in this collection is certified Sapele sometimes referred to as African Mahogany.  A hard wood from the African rainforest that was harvested under license. The off cuts that make up each sculpture are from a local carpenter’s workshop floor. All original carpenter’s markings have been left in place.   In this new collection I’m exploring balance in relation to environmental sustainability and the built environment.”

Jacqui studied MA Fine Art at the Open College of the Arts.


Norbert de Montigny


My pieces are the result of flashes, collisions and fragmentary images in the brain. Many of these leave no traces. Others however pull everything along with them and snowball to an end. Still others continuously change direction, sometimes they come from an unexpected angle and are beyond my capacity.
As a result I break up a lot of pieces. And then I start again.

But it is always play.

I was apprenticed with Ray Finch at Winchcombe Pottery in the 70’s and I have a small studio in Sherborne.


Claudia Dharamshi

Recollections Series:

These paintings are a response to my family photo albums from the early 1900s showing glimpses of colonial life in Kashmir, Singapore and Shanghai. I am drawn to the patina of the images and feel as if I am travelling vicariously when looking at them. The use of layering, texture and haziness evokes memories and distance for me. There is a sense of nostalgia in the work, but it is not intended as a celebration of colonialism. I feel as if I am mining these albums for small fragments or nuggets which I feel connected to.



MA Fine Art University of Creative Arts

BA Art History Bristol University

HND Fine Art Weymouth College

I have exhibited work in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the Royal West of England Academy. I spent a term as artist in residence at Weymouth College and was awarded a bursary by b-side multi media festival, Portland.



Claudia Dharamshi Art


Hugh Dunford Wood

Hugh was trained at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art, which then offered a traditional academic training. Through his engagement with the theatre as Artist in Residence with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and then as the first Artist in Residence at London’s Globe Theatre, he developed a narrative language, especially in linocut. He has simultaneously developed Peggy Angus’ techniques of designing and printing wallpapers by hand and teaches that tradition in occasional workshops.

Hugh has always been keen to demystify and disseminate the role of the arts, co-founding the first Open Studio Weeks in Britain in 1983, in Oxfordshire, and the Lyme Regis ArtsFest in 2003, both celebrating local art scenes and promoting links between the arts and the community.

He has exhibited work throughout Britain, and in Japan, Europe, Iceland, the USA, Brazil and Bermuda. Recent shows include The Munich Handwerkskammer Exhibition, the Other Art Show, London, and the Ruthin Centre for the Applied Arts. His work is in the permanent collections of The Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Council, among others.


Clare Hawkes

Working predominantly in oil paint and drawing, Clare’s work depends heavily on colour, scale and gesture.  She is inspired by themes drawn from contemporary and art historical issues, finding points of comparison and contrast.

She frequently uses the human form, criss crossing the border of abstraction and figuration as a metaphor for invisibility and underrepresentation.

Clare graduated with BA Hons (First Class) in Fine Art from the Arts University Bournemouth.  In addition to collaborative exhibitions with the DVA Salon Collective she held a debut solo exhibition at her studio for Dorset Art Weeks 2021. She has previously exhibited at the Russell-Cotes Gallery in Bournemouth and currently has a selection of work on show at the Helen Millard Gallery in Abbotsbury, Dorset.

Salad Days:
Oil paint on linen
39cm x 35cm

Part of a continuing exploration of the relationship between the figure and the landscape and inspired by the light-hearted musical of the same name.

I Sit in the Sun:
Oil paint on canvas
50cm x 48cm

Using a song title taken from the musical Salad Days, here linking with contemporary themes of covering up and climate change.

Caro Lester

Caro Lester’s print and illustration work is vibrant, graphic and contemporary, investigating maritime and garden themes in print and pattern. She creates drawings en plein air, using a variety of mixed media and collage materials. Her current challenge is to carry the immediacy of her sketchbook practice into both traditional printmaking and digital illustration back at her studio. Caro uses a combination of drypoint, screenprint, collograph, chine-collé and digital techniques to develop her work.

By returning to the same locations over the seasons, Caro explores the sense of place that exists between these seaside locations and the people who visit for recreation and relaxation. The beautiful colours and light of South Dorset are a continual inspiration.

Caro has exhibited regularly in a range of venues, including Bridport Arts Centre, the Dorchester Arts Open and Evolver Prize Top 50. She also opens her studio at St George’s on Portland during events hosted with other artists and makers on site.


Caroline Liddington

I am influenced by the spaces I inhabit and the ‘framed’ views beyond, keenly interested in depth, contrast and unexpected vistas, as seen through doorways and windows.

My recent work explores the pictorial quality of memory.

‘Olde Thatch 1959’ depicts a familiar childhood space, with detail entirely remembered over sixty years later.

My early training was in fine art (painting) at Byam Shaw in London during the 1980’s, I then specialised in Illustration at Kingston University (BA) and Authorial Illustration at UC Falmouth (MA).

Since moving to Cornwall, then Dorset in 2015 I have concentrated on oil painting and have exhibited widely.



Aleathea Lillitos

Aleathea graduated in Fine Art from Camberwell School of Art, London. After teaching at both Camberwell and St Martin’s in their complementary studies departments she went on to train as an Art Psychotherapist followed, later, by a Child Psychotherapy training at the Tavistock and the BAP.

Her practice as an artist tends to be conceptual or installation based and is enriched and informed by psychoanalytic thinking.

On her installation ‘Conversation Pieces’ she reflects:

Altered states of mood and mind during a pandemic; a narrative work, but what it’s saying is open to interpretation.


Jem Main


Much of what I do creatively is based on air – space; movement – often water; and weather.


Some work references an affinity with migration and the sense of travelling between places familiar or, to some extent, imaginary and the enormity of the environment around one when travelling alone.


The influence of Scandinavia historically and culturally is evident – hopefully.  This is personal and I hesitate to explain it.  Some works are composed – intended – to convey a sort of visual poetry.


I studied fine art in Birmingham, Portsmouth and Liverpool where I taught for many years.  Subsequently, as a senior lecturer in further education in Dorset.  Twists in my career in education led to national opportunities alongside and outside of formal education, and secondment as Dorset County Art Advisor.  In turn, this journey led to an MA in Museums and Galleries in Education at London University and becoming Founding Director and Curator of The Study Gallery, Poole – later known as KUBE.


I am currently the part time Creative Director of Dorset Visual Arts, the charity and organisation prompting the Salon Collective.


I am only recently pretty much solely focused on making art, exhibiting in the past as a guest artist or co-collaborator in creative projects.


Email contact: – or:



Carrie Mason

Carrie studied at the Arts University Bournemouth graduating with a BA and Masters in Fine Art in 2017. She regularly exhibits with the Salon Collective and currently has sculptures at the Walled Garden, Moreton and Bridport Sculpture Trail.

Carrie was recently invited to be one of 13 women artists in residence at Shepton Mallet prison ( and has been selected for the forthcoming Print International 2021 at Ty Pawb, Wrexham.


Lisa Riot

A contemporary visual artist working primarily within photography, painting, sculpture, collage and installation.  Lisa’s work discusses the human experience, such as gender, the human psyche and the body and explores their direct relationship with nature.  Using photography to discuss reality and perception and painting, collage and sculpture to reveal that which cannot be seen.  Lisa holds an MA in Fine Art from Winchester School of Art.



George Paul Sainsbury

After a Design degree and some teaching in the early 90’s I moved to SW France where I worked as an Artist and designer – painting and exhibiting in the Gers and later in Madiran in the Haute Pyrenees. Also freelance art and design work – from business cards and logos to wine bottle labels, returning to the UK in 2005.

From my studio in Long Bredy, my work centres on Dorset landscapes and coastal scenes painted in oils, en plein air, in which I try to record the ever changing weather, light and atmosphere of the location with some larger studio paintings and, as a relief from harsh weather, I produce small, quiet, still life paintings which allow me to concentrate on careful observation and, in particular, the representation of light and reflections.

Represented in Dorset by Lyme Bay Arts at the Sou’- Sou’- West Gallery, Symondsbury


Helen Simpson

“Looking into a flower I am aware of an unceasing journey of transformation, a continual movement through time that becomes inherent to its structure:  a structure that can itself be a landscape, a structure with echoes of what has gone before and with hints of what is to come. It is this mysterious sense of place and travel that I want the viewer to experience.”


Helen studied fine art at the Royal Academy Schools, London. She regularly shows her work and has had exhibitions in Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset and London, including 30 pictures on show in Kew Gardens.

Her most recent solo shows have been in the Oxford Botanic Garden, 2015, Wolfson College Oxford, 2017 and “Petal Poise” 2021 in the Malthouse Gallery, East Lambrook Manor Gardens, Somerset.


Ilona Skladzien

‘Through adopting diverse drawing and painting techniques in the making of her work, Ilona disrupts and alters the imagery taken from secondary sources, drawing attention to subjects of memory, perception, cruelty and free will.

In her recent practice, Ilona uses content found online, specifically on YouTube, to delve into questions of objectivity of our perception and the authenticity of our own memories in regards to moving imagery shown online.

Since graduating from Arts University Bournemouth in 2018, Ilona has been taking part in number of group exhibitions, including Drawn on Dorset Exhibition and Society of Women Artist at Mall Galleries, London.

She has been a recipient of a platform bursary from Dorset Visual Arts and B-Side Festival in 2019 as well as the winner of the Signature Arts Prize in the Drawing and Printmaking Category in 2021.

6th January 2021