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“Art is the stored honey of the human soul”

“Berwick and District Art Space” (BADAS), an artistic venture inspired and founded by amateur artist and creative soul Sarah Jane D’Agrosa currently takes the form of an interesting new Facebook page designed to bring all varieties of artists, from across the local areas of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders, together as a collective body of creative parallel minds, ultimately forming an imaginative, resourceful and inspiring space for learning and sharing, as well as a focal point for information about local exhibitions, galleries and workshops.


BADAS welcomes anybody of any age who holds an interest in art, whether amateur or professional, from painting and photography to clay modelling and jewellery making, BADAS provides a much needed online outlet for people to share their work, ideas, articles and opinions. From here on in the artistic and innovative possibilities and collaborations are potentially endless.

Having studied fine art at college, Sarah’s deep rooted love and appreciation for art as a wider genre is clear given her avid passion and clever ideas surrounding both the establishment and progression of BADAS as an arts project. Her personal interests as an artist lie in figurative work, particularly nude studies as she finds the human body such a limitless and versatile inspiration. Drawing stimulation from artists such as Jenny Saville’s depictions of the modern day naked female form and the Pre Raphaelite style of John William Waterhouse, Sarah’s work involves a lot of simplistic, curving, flowing lines and experimentation with tone and brush stroke, as can be seen in her subtly striking pieces entitled “Stretching” and “Swagger”. Asides from producing her own art, Sarah is keenly passionate about working with young people in arts based environments and spreading the word about the importance of utilising art as a therapeutic and effective teaching tool; thus her enthusiasm and future ambitions for the development of BADAS are boundless and exciting. She hopes that her idea will go some way to combat the severe lack of arts based projects in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders by encouraging more groups, exhibitions and workshops to spring into life and ultimately inspire more people of all ages, but in particular youths, to get involved in art and enjoy it as a valuable and fulfilling creative outlet. Her eventual aspiration is to expand BADAS into a much larger arts collective, showcasing both local and wider area artists with the inclusion of musicians through art exhibitions, workshops and music events.

Having only recently set up the Facebook page, Sarah’s idea has already been successful in capturing the attention of many aspiring artists within the local area who have portfolios of their work listed on BADAS; their diversity and talent is nothing short of awe inspiring. Kevin Fairnington is a prime example of such resident talent. Specialising in contemporary gothic style acrylic and oil portraits, Kevin is deeply inspired by the beauty and skill conveyed in much of Victorian era art and tries to express this with a modern surrealist twist infused with dark imagery in his own pieces. His exceptional portraits displayed with this article, “Dia De Los Muertos Girl” evokes a distinctly Mexican folk art come day of the dead feel along with Elsa Lanchester depicted as “Frankenstein’s Bride” from the 1935 American horror movie, displaying a similarly sombre and mysterious tone. However, Kevin’s relationship with his artistic abilities hasn’t always been straightforward; during his school years, he often felt restrained by curriculum demands and unable to use his imagination to paint freely, this contributed towards quashing his artistic flair and expression and he consequently did not feel inspired to paint for some time until he met his calling in the work of gothic and fantasy surrealism artists such as Michael Hussar and Lori Earley. Since then he has never paused to look back, with more commission requests than his paint brush can keep up with, Kevin is pleased that his alternative taste is understood and appreciated by others, and hopes he can further develop his style and ideas through sharing his work on BADAS. Asides from art, he has a keen interest in collecting and customising all manner of weird and wonderful objects in the form of antiques, curios and taxidermy, which often provide inspiration for his artwork. Check out his Facebook page here  for a sneak peek of some of his wonderfully evocative artwork and interesting collections, guaranteed to intrigue and astonish!

If fantasy and digital art is more up your street, then the wonderful work of Emma Inglis, another Northumberland artist, is likely to capture your imagination. Her style encompasses a huge fictional and fantasy based element with her love of fairies and cartoon centred designs featuring as a specific theme in her art. Currently studying towards a degree in illustration and animation at Newcastle College, Emma aspires to become a concept artist specialising in both traditional and digital media; this involves generating and then developing a visual representation for an item or character namely for use in films, video games or comics books. Her love of digital based art means her techniques and ideas are open to ever-changing and fast progressing technology. Emma currently uses Paint Tool Sai, a graphics editor and painting software alongside a Wacom Tablet, a digital drawing tool with an interactive pen display to bring her artwork to life. Facilitating such high-quality software means she is constantly mastering new skills and refining her abilities, two of her favourite and most detailed pieces “Arwen Undomiel”, a character from Lord of the Rings and “The Nebula Elf” are displayed with this article. Having initially struggled to find acceptance for her more specialised style of art for many years, Emma’s introduction to the fast paced world of digital art at college has boosted her confidence and opened her mind to the true diversity of art as a whole; she hopes BADAS will provide some much deserved recognition and insight into more contemporary art forms. Check out her Facebook page here  to take in some of her brilliantly enchanting designs.

So, if you are an artist yourself, amateur or professional, or merely just inquisitive about art as a whole and want to find out more, BADAS would love to hear from you! Pop along to the Facebook page here  and hit the like button to get involved. You won’t be disappointed or short on inspiration after taking a look at some of the truly wonderful work from some very talented and passionate local artists who are showcasing their amazingly creative efforts and sharing their inspiring ideas courtesy of BADAS.


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Melmiller had written 2 articles for The Trip Magazine

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