Works by Sophie Barber, Jeb Haward and Kath Thompson. Three artists, born decades apart, are unified by a direct and uncompromising approach to their work. They have formed a cross-generational alliance founded on their belief in the sustained value of painting.

The youngest of the trio, Sophie Barber works on a large scale directly on to unstretched canvas. She ‘steals’ her imagery from life and from other paintings, and puts these images into her own work. “I cut sections out if they don’t work, and I wait to find another place for them in another painting. For me it’s like rehoming a dog; you want the best for that dog and you don’t want it going to the wrong home.”

Kath Thompson draws inspiration from the ordinary things she encounters in her daily life – a news item, a room, the telly, a visit to a museum. “What I want from my painting in the end is an imaginative transformation to take place through the paint and that the painting has presence, a life.” Kath taught at the legendary Tunbridge Wells summer school run by Roy Oxlade and Rose Wylie in the 1990s.

As both a former student at the summer school and later Sophie’s teacher in Hastings, Jeb Haward provides a link between generations of artists. Jeb says his paintings may appear to the viewer as clumsy, awkward or peculiar; however, “…they are meant to be meant, rather than liked, desired, good or contemporary. I intend for them to be authentic, irreducible, and the only option that I have remaining.”


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