Visual Art

Explore The Art Trail

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One of the many wonderful things about Ventnor Fringe is all of the art on display for you to see. There are exhibition spaces across the festival, all of which are free to view!

Here is our top picks of some of the best pop up exhibitions to visit during the Fringe.

Art_house_life @ 35 Madeira Road is back this year with a tour of recent artworks that reflect loss, change & transformation for 7 featured artists. Tickets are free, but you must book in advance.

When? Everyday – 11am & 4pm
Where? 35 Madeira Road

Looking Out From Lockdown is Independent Art’s exhibition celebrating community creativity through Covid. The exhibition features works of mixed mediums, from sketches and paintings, to floristry, cake baking & installations, submitted by a wide range of artists aged from 7 – 87.

When? Everyday – 10am-5pm
Where? Ventnor Baptist Church, Pier Street

The Ventnor Artists Collective have an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, textile art, ceramics, and studio jewellery, all of which are for sale. There is free parking for visitors to the exhibition with access to the Cafe, and a separate paid entrance for the Gardens.

When? Friday 23rd July – Friday 30th July – 10am-5pm
Where? Ventnor Botanic Garden

Paradox Island is a print shop and alternative exhibition space featuring creative-recycling art and posters by award-winning model-maker Paradox Paul.

When? Everyday except Monday – 11am-4pm
Where? Paradox Island, Ventnor High Street

The Shed is a creative space in the courtyard off Church Street, where you can see and buy Arts and Crafts, cyanotypes, ceramics, succulents, and lots more. There’s also a mini exhibition celebrating the Greenham Common Peace Protest as it’s the 40th anniversary of the Women’s Walk from Cardiff in 1981.

When? Friday 23rd July – Saturday 31st July – 11am-4pm
Where? The courtyard off Church Street, through the alleyway next to Honeybourne Jewellery.

New Artwork by Hugo Bilton

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We’re very excited to unveil new artwork for this year’s Ventnor Fringe.

Inspired by the legend of the ‘Ventnor Giant’ the series of bespoke illustrations has been created by Island artist Hugo Bilton. The designs build on new narrative begun in 2019 and where inspired by a mural created by the celebrated street artist Phlegm, which you can still see in the centre of Ventnor.

The artwork was created in the lead up to the 2018 festival, as part of an island-wide project called Lift The Lid. It was rated one of the best in the world by the Amsterdam based ‘Street Art Today’ journal, and despite being 3 stories tall it’s incredibly detailed. Like the festival’s artwork look closely and you can discover many tiny features.


5 Minutes with… Chris Jones

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This year is Ventnor Fringe’s 10th Birthday and you may have started to spot some people with some special 10th edition badges which you can get hold of in the Ventnor Exchange. We had a chat with the designer behind them, Chris Jones.

Hi Chris, Tell us a little bit who about who you are and what you create?
Hi. I am an artist, photographer and designer living in the sunny town of Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. I would consider myself multi-disciplinary; I like my art to be weird, my photography to be dark, and my design to be bright, friendly and accessible. I work mostly in design these days as it pays the bills, but have had a good stint as a photo artist exhibiting on the Island and in London, as well as being published internationally. I consider Art to be in my blood and have been creating for as long as I’ve been able to hold a pencil. Additionally (and no less importantly), I am a father to two boys and a husband to Island wedding photographer, Lucy Boynton.

You’ve designed some Ventnor Fringe 10th anniversary badges (Which are fantastic by the way) What do you think about the Ventnor Fringe? Do you think it’s been positive for the Island?

Thank you. They were fun to design! Ventnor Fringe was just beginning when I first moved to Ventnor, and I had just started to get involved with an art group called The Undecided Art Collective (The UAC). Aside from being incredibly accommodating to The UAC (providing exhibition spaces during Fringe week in the past), I think Ventnor Fringe is one of the most culturally vibrant events on the Island right now. I think it’s impact on Ventnor has completely transformed the town, and I look forward to seeing what the Fringe team has planned each year.

Your work spans both graphic design and photography, do you find any similarities in your process?
Yes and No. I think there are crossovers in processes – for example, working in photography helps improve composition. Working in design greatly enhances my understanding of colour, form and function. But I think the similarities end there. Photography has always been a conduit for the way I see myself and the world and the world through a lens is indeed a strange, delightful place. With design, I am more focussed on my client’s needs and approach it more as a form ofl problem solving. There is heart and soul in both, but coming from very different angles.
What are you working on at the moment? Is there anything we should keep an eye out for?
Professionally, I am currently very busy managing two website designs, as well as a re-branding for a well-known Islander. These are both secret projects for the time being, but all will be revealed! Personally, I continue to practice and refine my skills. Lucy and I have also been working on a photographic book entitled, ‘Clap Your Hands’. It’s a slightly psychedelic take on Bestival photographed over the span of three years. We took thousands of photos, and editing this down into a digestive format was a task in itself! I think many Islanders remember Bestival with a great deal of affection and fondness, and this series of photographs aims to capture exactly what it was that made it such a special event. What I really love about this project is the deliberately unexpected take on the subject where we focussed purely on environment and revelry rather than the main stage big acts. As such, It is very much a love letter to that time and place.
Where can we find your work?
I am currently working on a new website. For now, I am using Instagram to share my work; for my photography and for my design work. Give me a follow!
Photo by Lucy Boynton Photography.
You can buy Ventnor Fringe badges (Designed by Chris) from the Ventnor Exchange, and in doing so help in our big fundraising efforts for this year’s event.