Ever stronger French connections at the Hambly & Hambly gallery


THE French connection is strengthened at Hambly & Hambly with the recent gallery visit of Wendy York, president of The Ch̢teau Society in Dampierre-sur-Boutonne Рthe village in France in which the French John Richardson residency will take place next summer.

Last week, Wendy, one of the 10 judges for the John Richardson French Residency Award, made a whirlwind trip to Enniskillen to visit the Hambly & Hambly Gallery at Dunbar House and see the work of the finalists in situ.

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter on her first visit to Fermanagh, which she described as “absolute joy”, Wendy commented on the work of the 40 finalists, describing the collection as “very impressive and very diverse”.

She continued, “The styles, the medium, the techniques – for me to see it [in person], it’s so much easier for me to form impressions, because seeing it in 2D on a screen, you have no idea of ​​the scale or depth.

“How the brush stroke was done, and the colors, of course, are so much more vivid when you see them live,” said Wendy, who before her retirement taught art history and architecture in colleges and universities, and therefore is familiar with grading student artwork and what to look for.

“It was great for me to see and I walked around the gallery twice, just to confirm what I was thinking first, then I changed my mind about some things, under different lights, from different angles.

“It has been so interesting and absolutely fascinating,” she added, noting that she will meet with the other nine judges “to discuss everything and share their opinions” to jointly determine the three winners of the French Residency Prize.

Chief Justice Nora Hickey M’Scihili’s final announcement will be made in the gallery on December 20.

The historic chateau of Dampierre-sur-Boutonne, a commune in the Charente-Maritime department in southwestern France, in which Wendy is president of the Société du Chateau, is steeped in culture and art.

“It is also a former haunt of Salvador Dali who has resided there many times, and whose original works are still hung in the beautiful interiors of this flagship space of French culture, art and heritage”, said Ciara Hambly, co-owner of Hambly. & Hambly with her husband, Nick.

“The Chateau is a 30-second walk from our French residence and hosts art exhibitions and cultural events. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Chateau in the very exciting days to come and to introduce our artists Hambly & Hambly to this magnificent space for future magic, ”she said.

Delighted with the strong links forging between Hambly & Hambly and the Château, and the potential for future collaborations, Wendy said: “The connection we hope for [to nurture] between the Château and the artist in residence at Hambly & Hambly, is that at the Château, we can exhibit their work, advertise, so that when visitors come to the Château, they are given a leaflet to go see the artist in work of the residency.

“Fantastic connections”

“In what is a very small farming community village, it’s fantastic to have connections to the international art world. It’s unheard of, really, certainly in Charente-Maritime, ”she told this newspaper.

Hambly & Hambly open their physical Christmas exhibition ‘HARK!’ Sunday December 5th from 2pm at Dunbar House, Enniskillen.

This exhibition will feature a selection of new collections by artists Hambly & Hambly, as well as a special Gift Room with 200 pieces under £ 200.

Following the opening of the exhibition “Imagine Christmas”, a virtual group exhibition curated by a newcomer to the Hambly & Hambly curatorial team, Rikki van den Berg will be launched via all Hambly & Hambly virtual platforms on Monday 6 December.

“We look forward to a festive and sparkling art wonderland, both physical and virtual, and to develop our communities of artists and art lovers by making art accessible to everyone, whoever whatever and wherever you are, ”Ciara said.