A collective of local creative talent has taken the first steps into the brave new post-Covid world with an exhibition of their exceptional work over the Easter weekend in Folkestone.

The recently formed Axiom collective of artists showcased examples of their work at the Woodshed Gallery, off the Old High Street, with the group of seven exhibiting a wide range of creative disciplines, from sculpture, fused glass and ceramics to abstract painting in acrylics, and much more.

With Covid regulations still in place, visitors were only able to view the work through the Gallery’s window.

Hythe-based France Tetreault – who specialises in extraordinary and vibrant abstract interpretations of classic rock music – explained that the collective has come together after meeting through the Kent Creative cultural organisation.

“There was a core group of us who had met through Kent Creative, and we continued to meet up socially and support each other, in particular during lockdown,” says France. “We all had different, but complementary skills and abilities that we could bring to the group. We found that we could inspire each other with support and ideas, but we could see a golden opportunity for us to market ourselves collectively under the Axiom banner, whilst still working independently.”

The collective’s brand identity was pulled together by Axiom member, Stella Chapman, a graphic designer and founder of the Salt Design branding agency in Hythe.

“The whole process of arriving at the Axiom name ran very smoothly and we all had an opportunity to pitch in with ideas,” says Stella. “I am hugely enthusiastic about art and culture, so this was an opportunity for us collectively to get art out there and make connections.

“It is more than just hanging a picture on a wall – art is a vital part of our lives which connects people. We are all modest individuals, who have benefitted from mutual support, encouragement and inspiration, and we look forward to inspiring others in the future through our social media outlets – and in real life at exhibitions!”

Axiom exhibition

Axiom’s inaugural exhibition was appropriately entitled ‘Connexions’. It was the first in what the group hopes will be many opportunities in the future to display their work, and engage with art-lovers as well as the wider public locally and across Kent. Clare Hamilton is another Axiom member, and resident artist at the Woodshed Gallery who describes herself as an exponent of work in “clay, paint and type”.

“The Connexions exhibition has proved to be a useful physical showcase for our collective work for the first time,” says Clare. “It has spurred a lot of activity on our social media platforms, and has been the perfect opportunity for us to set a marker down for promoting our work across the county – especially with the Folkestone Triennial now taking place from July to November”.

Axiom’s artists now have their sights firmly set on the future.

“We have built the foundations of a solid and supportive working group of professional creative artists, which we can build on to provide each other with mutual support, ideas and inspiration, for the enjoyment and appreciation of others – there is strength in our unity!” concludes France.

There are four other members of the ‘magnificent seven’ Axiom artists: Mecki Allen (ceramics, jewellery); Jeanette Cook (glasswork, painting, sculpture); Zel Hunt (contemporary artist, photographer) and Bev Saunders (bespoke framing). More news and information about Axiom’s work can be found on their Instagram and Facebook pages, or at www.axiomcollective.co.uk.

The collective’s next live show will be at the Halpern Gallery in Chatham in July.

The seven members of the Axiom creative collective are: Mecki Allen; Stella Chapman; Jeanette Cook; Clare Hamilton; Zel Hunt; Bev Saunders and France Tetreault, who came together to provide mutually creative support during the Covid-19 pandemic. All are based in and around Folkestone, Hythe and Dover.

By Ed