Faversham Life

An inside view

The Fifth Alexander Collection

Posted: 8th March, 2019 Category: Culture

Faversham Life visits the Alexander Collection, an annual art exhibition held in Faversham.

Words Amicia de Moubray Photographs The Alexander Centre

Now in its fifth year, the Alexander Collection is an exhibition of works of art by local artists, held in the handsome Alexander Centre on Preston Street.  Its contents changing every year, this showcase is an ingenious way of enhancing the building without incurring any cost. Faversham being a thriving artistic hotbed, it is blessed with a host of local artists to choose from.  A great coup is that Pim Baxter, the Deputy Director of the National Portrait Gallery, is the Patron.  ‘Giving local artists a platform to display their paintings and photographs all year round is a valuable opportunity,’ says Pim, who lives near Faversham.

‘It is an honour to be the curator,’ says Kate Garcia, a Faversham resident and director of Faversham based Stripey Lizard Creative Services.

An attractive feature of the Alexander Collection is the inclusion of emerging artists alongside more established names.  This year’s exhibition, which opened last month, is no exception. Bonnie Johnson’s striking portraits were executed whilst studying A Level Art at Abbey School, Faversham.  Tutors can at any time nominate individuals for the ’emerging artist’ category, in any artistic discipline.  Please contact Alison Fellows at the Alexander Centre for more information.

portaits by Bonnie Johnson at the Abbey School

Bonnie Johnson’s paintings of her younger sisters were executed while studying for an Art A Level at the Abbey School, Faversham. ‘I explored a range of media but finally chose coloured pencil and chalk pastels’

Artists in the show include the distinguished sculptor and painter, Jeff Lowe, who studied under art world luminaries such as Anthony Caro and William Tucker at Central St Martin’s School of Art.  He had his first solo exhibition at the prestigious Leicester Galleries in Cork Street, London while still a student aged 21, before going on to represent Britain at the Paris Biennale. Over the course of his career, his work has been exhibited at many other galleries including the Peggy Guggenheim, Venice, the National Gallery of Australia and the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.

Jeff Lowe

Painting by Jeff Lowe

Gabrielle Nesfield, born in Kent, studied painting at Canterbury College of Art and the Royal College of Art.  For over 20 years she was a sessional lecturer teaching Painting on the Foundation Course at the Kent Institute of Art and Design.

Gabrielle Nesfield's paintings

Gabrielle Nesfield in front of one of her paintings


Painting by Gabrielle Nesfield

Painting by Gabrielle Nesfield. ‘As I work, what starts as a subject with its own kind of reality the painting takes over so that I never quite know where it is going’


Painting by Gabrielle Nesfield. ‘I am particularly concerned with the ambiguity and mystery of different scales and spaces, reflections within and without the picture plane’

Tattoos are all the rage, and if you love them you will rejoice in Toby Pinn’s photographs of people sporting ‘tats’ in Faversham and Canterbury.  ‘I have endeavoured to show what special tattoos the average person in the street may have and the stories behind them.’

Toby Pinn, photographer and tattoos

‘The idea of getting a tattoo fascinates me’ says photographer Toby Pinn


Photographs of tattoos by Toby Pinn

Some of the photographs taken specially by Toby Pinn for the Alexander Collection

‘Painted portraits speak to people in a way that the written word and photography cannot,’ says painter Tim Benson.  ‘I am committed to working with charities and NGOs to tell the stories of people throughout the world who don’t have a voice.’

healer in Zambia painted by Tim Benson

Obed, traditional healer, Kitwe, Zambia painted by Tim Benson

Other artists in the exhibition include photographer  Perou,  who lives just a few yards from the Alexander Centre.  His colourful career has included stints as a chicken farmer, as a clown and as a butler, while always taking photographs.

Photo by Perou

Dita von Teese photographed by Perou


Text: Amicia.  Photographs: The Alexander Centre