Horsham’s “en plein air art gallery” is a unique town centre feature that provides an opportunity to see colourful watercolours as you wander through the Carfax.
Inspired by the rhododendron – a plant whose popularity is down to the celebrated Horsham based artist John G Millais – and the Loader family of Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, the sculptor Tim Ward of Circling the Square, and fabricators Pleshey Forge have created a distinctive feature at the very heart of which are the paintings housed in Horsham District Council’s Horsham Museum and Art Gallery.
The unique feature offers the opportunity for people to explore paintings as they go about their daily life.
Over the last three years, Horsham Museum and Art Gallery has, thanks to the Friends of Horsham Museum, created a strong watercolour collection. This unique feature allows the public to see part of the collection. Rather than portray the whole painting, elements of each artwork is shown.
Just as Horsham Museum has a changing programme of art exhibitions, this unique feature enables the museum staff to theme the displays and focus on different aspects of the collection to create a new show of over 20 paintings. The pictures are high quality photographic reproductions of the paintings, undertaken by Toby Phillips Photography for the project.
Commenting on the new open air “gallery”, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Jonathan Chowen, said: “I can’t think of a nicer way to capture a snapshot of the many pieces of art that are being exhibited in our Museum and Art Gallery than this unique outdoor display – a first for Horsham.
“The outdoor gallery, surrounded by eye-catching flowers and plants, provides a stunning feature for the Carfax and is a clever way to showcase all that’s going on in our Museum to passers- by.”
The “en plein air art gallery” stands in the raised flowerbed opposite the taxi rank in the Carfax. It is designed to add another dimension to the attractive planting undertaken by Horsham District Council’s Parks and Countryside team.
This new way of promoting the Museum’s art collection was funded through section 106 monies from property developers.
Photo: Horsham District Council Chairman, Cllr Kate Rowbottom, with Parks and Countryside Officers Mark Pullen, Jo Nixon and Sally McCormick.