Previous Exhibitions

The Old Fire Engine House - Exhibitions


December 2019

Anthony Day

Returning for his 52nd show at The Old Fire Engine House with new pieces from this Spring and unseen work from his portfolio. Mostly using gouache, Anthony depicts Fen landscapes and views from his home.

Richard Neal

"So much has changed in the world but still the Fens remain constant and resolute. Iím still out there interpreting the Fen landscape and people in paint and pencil in my own unique and humorous style."

November 2019

12 Printmakers

12PM was formed in 1984 from a group of professional artists working in and around Colchester. The name of the group derives from there being twelve founding members. Many have had solo exhibitions, shown at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, Royal West of England Academy Autumn Exhibitions, Originals' Print Exhibitions, or taken part in mixed exhibitions all over the UK and abroad. The group feels strongly about the need to heighten public awareness about printmaking as an art form and to dispel any misunderstandings about the definition of an original print.

Ruth Beloe

Ruth trained at the Charles H Cecil Studios in Florence over a period of three years, studying portrait and figurative drawing and sculpting using the 'sight-size' technique.

Once back in the UK she opened her studio in Ely and was appointed Artist in Residence at the Kings' School. Ruth then worked in an artists' foundry to better understand the processes and practicalities of lost wax casting for bronze, and used this knowledge to inform her own work. More recently, attracted by the different visual challenge it presents, Ruth has spent her time painting in oil and currently works from her studio in York.

Barbara McGirr

Having studied textile design at Belfast College of Art and Reading University, Barbara has worked as a freelance designer for Sandersons, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Colefax and Fowler, Textra and Liberty's, as well as producing wallpaper collections for New York. In 1976 she moved to Ely and began illustrating children's books for Dinosaur Publications, Longmans, Cambridge University Press, and Collins, on mostly Natural History subjects. Her botanical painting commissions include a plan of Marjorie Fishes Garden in Somerset and portraits of new species for Blooms of Bressingham and is a member of the Society of Botanical Artists.

September 2019

Chris Witchall

Christopher Witchall is a realist artist whose subjects include Landscape, Seascapes and Urban Landscape. His paintings are inspired by a passion for the painting process and a fascination with the photographic image, combining traditional painting techniques with the realism and cool detachment of photography.

Recently, he has been working on small scale paintings, creating a greater intimacy between the work and viewer.

Rebecca Harvey

Pots for Flowers, a collection of ceramic vessels.

The shapes and colours are inspired by Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging; the beauty of nature in Rebeccaís garden; the wooded valley; the Cornish hedgerows.

Christine Calow

Richly coloured and textured silkscreen prints and paper collages; "The process of silkscreen printing gives me the freedom to experiment with vibrant colour combinations and textures. I am fascinated by the ways in which colour can be used to define pictorial depth, to create mood and evoke emotion."

July 2019

three ramblers

Barrie Houghton

"There is something very special about this house, perhaps the nature of my work suits the domestic setting, after all, I like storytelling, weather and atmosphere."

Mixed Summer Show

The Upper Gallery on the first floor will feature a mixed show of work including pieces by Jon Harris, David Remfry, Elaine Pamphilon, Julia Ball, Frances Hatch, Robin Boyd, Carol Sinclair and Bill Lintott.

April 2019

Carl Borges

Suffolk based artist using printing techniques to express memories of the people and places he has encountered and to explore patterns, shapes and textures found in nature.

Peter Cavaciuti & Sonia Lewis

"Making pots began as a direct response to the thrilling physicality of the process. This original feeling is the foundation of my work, Ideas develop and change but reference to this initial response is fundamental." Sonia Lewis

Peter Cavaciutiís paintings capture the exquisite beauty of the traditional Chinese Nanga style, he works with Chinese ink and traditional pigments on a variety of handmade papers.

Lizzie Madder - Sitting Room

Painting the rivers and flooded meadows of the Fens in watercolour, Lizzie takes inspiration from autumn and winter light, gathering clouds and the silence and solitude found walking the river banks.

Birds by Tom Karen

Designer and artist, Tom Karen, has produced a small number of 'Birds' for sale in aid of The Addenbrookes Children's Ward with 100% of sales donated. For sale in The Garden Room.

February 2019


December to March 31st 2019

A diverse group of seven Cambridge based artists founded in 2011 with the aim to challenge visual and ideological comfort zones and promote art to a wider public audience. They will be exhibiting work in all media throughout the house and both galleries this February and March.

Featuring; Sue Law, Judy Logan, Jill Ogilvy, Rosemary Catling, Alison Litherland, Manuela Hubner, Deanna Tyson.

December 2018

28th November to Jan 27th 2019

Anthony Day - With more in mind

Returning with his popular gouache paintings, Anthony has been our sole annual exhibiting artist since the restaurant and gallery opening in 1968. In this, his 51st show, he returns with a mix of retrospective pieces and new work as recent as May 2018. "Although last winter put a brake on production I still find the studio bracing, always promising better. But this and any future exhibition is likely to be retrospective, taken from bulging portfolios. The earliest shown are from 1979, the latest a single work from May this year, with more in mind."

Brin Edwards - Wildlife Artist & Illustrator

"My interest in birds dates from a childhood spent in Singapore where I was captivated by the colourful tropical species in our back garden. Back in the UK I also recall meeting Peter Scott at the Slimbridge Wildfowl Trust when I was ten years old and his ecouraging words for my likeness of a flamingo in crayons. I have developed a personal and expressive way of depicting the natural world in my oil paintings. This looser and atmospheric approach acts as a kind of antidote to the precision of my illustration work. I am very fortunate to live and work in the beautiful Suffolk countryside and much of the inspiration for my paintings comes from close to home."

November 2018

Preview 31st Oct 6-8pm
1-25th November


Sara Paynter

Sara makes wheel thrown and press moulded domestic pottery in simple utilitarian shapes using traditional English Slipware techniques to decorate. An interest in Japanese decorative styles and Art Deco textiles as well as Nature’s abundant patterns have all driven her changing applications of coloured slips to the clay surface. She uses contrasting areas of sharp division, suggesting a revealing or concealing tidal movement of one surface over another.

Paul Edwards

In their third joint exhibition at The Old Fire Engine House Gallery, Paul’s recent work continues his preoccupation with op-art imagery. New hand pulled silkscreen prints in black and white that challenge the viewer, leading the eye on a dance around the image plus work with opaque and transparent bands of colour creating tensions, resolutions and an overall sense of harmony.



Terence Harjula

Born and bought up in an isolated community in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, Terence attended Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia aged 17. He entered Vancouver School of Art in 1954 and later, Central School of Art in London. In 1960 Terence went to Mexico to teach mural painting at the Instituto Allende in San Miguel, where he met Mexican artists Siquieros and Cuellar. His family then lived in the wilds of the Sumas Mountains before returning to England. Terence now lives near the sea in Suffolk and is planning a visit to Finland as a descendant of the early Finnish painter, Akseli Gallen- Kallela. Latest work features Porcus Rubicundus & extended family including At home with Phoebe, Porcus Minor 49er, Piggy Galore, What did I do to be so black and pink? & more

October 2018

Preview 3rd Oct 6-8pm, continuing to October 28th.

Caroline Forward

My paintings for this exhibition are about making connections and exploring what lies beyond the surface through portraiture and abstract paintings. The portraits celebrate the success of 50 years of the Old Fire Engine House. The abstract paintings are inspired by landscape and the natural world in the Fens and further afield.

Peter Corr

All creative activity is a form of exploration. As artists we explore our thoughts, ideas and feelings about the world through the manipulation of materials. My central subject matter has always been landscape and the natural environment. I see painting as process of translation and simplification; I believe that all images are essentially abstractions, no matter how closely they appear to replicate reality. My photographic work follows a similar approach, although the mechanics of the camera and the information gathering potential of the lens impose a very different form of translation.

Paul Janssens

Destinations inspire me to work in different ways by experimenting with paint techniques including sgraffito, collage, screen-print and mixed media on wood, paper and canvas. With some of my recent work I have been exploring the bustle and frenetic energy of Moroccan markets and busy cities including London.

Afghan Lives by Alex Alexander

In the late 1970’s, during years of instability and civil war, Alex Alexander lived in Kabul, working and travelling extensively throughout Afghanistan. These paintings are his reminiscences of that period and speak of a life lost from a country whose harsh beauty and people he grew to love and admire.

Autumn 2018

Clairew Cockayne & Mac Gregory

Clairew Cockayne - Upper Gallery

I live and work in the Fens in East Anglia. With such beautiful surroundings on my doorstep, natural form is a primary source of inspiration for me. I work intuitively and allow the element of chance to play a key role in my prints whilst I manipulate the process. When a situation hits me strongly, I remember everything about it. When a situation hits me strongly, I remember everything about it. I then try to recapture the place, memory and feelings in drawings and photographs of my surroundings. These images can become more abstract through the process of screenprinting and stitch. I like to work in a free and experimental way, creating images incorporating pattern, still life and natural forms.

Mac Gregory - Lower Gallery

Mac developed his style of stretched landscapes in the 1950's and 1960's, echoing the horizons of the fens and his interest in old, panoramic photography.
On canvas, he revels in the romanticism of flat, open spaces around the Fens and seas around his Lincolnshire home. Mac brings elements together in his studio, creating new landscapes and moods from a vivid palette of colours.

Summer 2018

50 Years...a selection!

A selection of works from our 50th Show continues in the Bar, Sitting Room and Garden Room. Featuring artists including David Remfry RA, Andrew Houston, Ophelia Redpath. Ceramics, textiles, photographs, prints and paintings.

Sally Reilly - Ceramics

Having spent the last 25 years living and working in the UK, Sally recently set up a small studio in the Sancerre region of France. Sally trained in Paris in an Anglo/Japanese tradition which has influenced her work but she remains interested in the pure shapes of Modernism and mid-20th century design.

Andy English - Printmaker

Specialising in the delicate art of engraving onto endgrain woodblocks through a lens and printing using Victorian handpresses. Andy's personal work reflects a love of gardens and wildlife, often set in local Fenland landscapes with Ely cathedral as a silhouette familiar to him since childhood. His book illustrations include Philip Pullman, Susan Hill and Keats and his work features in The V&A and British Library collections.

Lindsay Stemp - Pencil drawings and acrylics

"There are at least 600 Anglican Churches in each of the diocese of Ely, Peterborough, Norwich and St Edmundsbury. I have chosen a few based on places that we visit as a family with many dating back to the Middle Ages and which resonate with history and our national culture. All pieces show the churches ‘in their setting’."

Wednesday 2nd May, 6-8pm (Exhibition until 3rd June 2018)

Terry Beard, Stephen Murfitt & Melanie Max

Terry Beard

Paintings using mixed media, built up with layers of colour and texture. The work is a response to a fusion of elements which include the urban and rural environments. ‘My work explores colour and mark-making, and the ways in which abstract elements can create a sense of depth, form and movement. The work in this show was mainly influenced by the qualities of light, reflections in rain-washed surfaces, fairgrounds and street lights.’

Stephen Murfitt

Ceramic forms and vessels which are hand built and Raku fired. Folds, edges, seams and texture are all elements informed and inspired by the natural and built environments. ‘The slow and contemplative process of coiling allows for intuitive developments and refinements to be made as each vessel grows. The combination of making, glazing and firing methods result in pieces which are completely unique.’

Melanie Max

Influenced by the North Norfolk coast, the Scilly Isles and the Great Fen. "I am drawn to the endless beaches of Norfolk, the massive skies reflected in the huge canvases of its beaches. Tresco on the Scilly Isles for its powerful lines and stretches of vibrant colours. The Great Fen for its extra ordinary eye filling sunsets and patchwork of shining shallow marshes".

Wednesday 4th April, 6-8pm (Exhibition continues 5th - 29th April 2018)

Melanie Goemans & Ron Nix

Melanie Goemans

I seek out overlooked, incidental forms in nature; the great beauty in the rambling, chaotic lines of tangled weeds and the overgrown, especially in contrast with the man-made forms around us. Finding out the history of the places I am painting, I like to think these lines tell some of the stories, as if the past is making itself present.

Ron Nix

Inspired by places of wild beauty in Derbyshire, the Lake District and the Norfolk Coast. One ancient farmhouse, Stephenson Ground, high on the Eastern Fells with stone barns and outhouses has been a particular fascination with paintings exploring the geometry of internal space.

Wednesday 7th March, 6-8pm

Elizabeth Ikin & Anthony De Jong Cleyndert.

Free entry, all welcome.

Elizabeth Ikin

In her third exhibition at The Old Fire Engine House Ikin uses photography and photomontage to highlight the beauty found in hogweed, a common plant in the Fens. This body of work is in two parts, firstly an invitation to look at this plant in different lighting conditions and secondly, a series of ‘after-life’ thoughts – surfaces on which the hogweed could be said to be impressed, printed, fossilized, or painted.

Anthony de Jong Cleyndert

A meditation on the theme of water, expressing it's visual and protective role alongside the exploration of it's potential for danger and destruction. Through figures such as Noah and the Great Flood, this body of abstract mixed media work is a new direction for Anthony and only recently created in the last few months.

Anthony Day & Richard Neal

Preview 30th November 6-8pm, all welcome


Celebrating his 95 birthday and 50th show with us this year, Anthony Day returns to The Old Fire Engine with his inspired landscape paintings of the East Anglian Fens.

Richard Neal combines strong watercolours and a wry sense of humour to produce large, striking paintings which depict the life, landscape and characters of the Cambridgeshire Fens and local area.

3rd - 26th November 2017

Lilias August - Horizons (Paintings)

A member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour (RI) and has lived in East Anglia for thirty years. She has always admired the wide-open landscape of the fens and its flat horizons.

"The flat horizon is constantly in front of you. Towards it and on it things stand out like props on a stage and catch the eye. After many years of still life painting, this exhibition has been an opportunity for me to revisit this landscape, perhaps with a different eye."

Heidi Lichterman - Wearable Art, Scarves and Shawls

A Fellow of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, Heidi has been weaving in silk since 1977;

"I love the way it feels and the way it takes the dye, allowing me to create very subtle colour blending as well as sharp contrasts using the Ikat dyeing method. The colours are my reaction to the weather, seasons, moods of the landscape. I try to catch the hedgerows in the shawls; the East Anglian skies in the scarves. The short fibre silk noil from the innermost part of the silk cocoon weaves into a lovely, soft, warm shawl. The shinier, spun silk that I weave as a twill for the scarves, gives a luxurious feel, weight and drape."

Preview 2nd November 6-8pm, all welcome

Continuing in The Sitting Room, November 2017

Michael Randall (1947-2000) – In The Moment

A painter of light who could capture a fleeting moment of action on canvas, infusing it with emotion that never slid into sentimentality. He made Cambridgeshire his home although Southampton born and bred. He studied at Southampton Art College and the Royal Academy Schools where he developed impressive life drawing skills. He believed that the finest art was based on traditional skills of drawing, composition and understanding colour.

Kate King, Diana Kazemi, Cathy Parker & Michael Randall

Preview Thurs 5th October 6-8pm, all welcome.
Exhibition continues 6 – 29th October 2017

Kate King is a painter and photographer, using mainly oils in semi-abstract and abstract works painted on wood and canvas.

Diana Kazemi is a potter working with both stoneware and porcelain clays in a range of textures and glazes.

Cathy Parker is inspired by the natural world, especially trees producing semi-abstract works in oils, acrylics and watercolours.

Michael Randall is a Cambridgeshire based artist, Michael Randall believed that the finest art was based on traditional skills of drawing, composition and understanding colour.

He was a painter of light who could capture a fleeting moment of action on canvas, infusing it with emotion that never slid into sentimentality.


12th July – 3rd September 2017

The Old Fire Engine House Summer Exhibition

A summer exhibition featuring new and old works by artists including:

  • Anthony Day
  • Julia Ball
  • Terry Beard
  • Ruth Beloe
  • Simon Beer
  • Robin Boyd
  • Roger Coleman
  • Michael Edwards
  • Helena Gardner
  • Mark Handley
  • Terence Harjula
  • Susan Horsfield
  • Barrie Houghton
  • Andrew Houston
  • Manuela Hubner
  • Noel Myles
  • Sylvia Paul
  • John Preston
  • Malcolm Ryan
  • Richard Sell
  • Gareth Watson

Christopher Witchall

Land, Sea & Sky - An exhibition of realist paintings.

The paintings have all been produced over the last year and feature landscapes and seascapes as the main subject, often with a dominant sky. Christopher Witchall's landscapes capture the light, open spaces and vast skies of the Cambridgeshire fens, where he has lived, explored, painted and photographed for 30 years. The seascapes have a similar intention and, regardless of location, take the same view of looking straight out to sea. In both the landscapes and seascapes the horizon plays a vital role in the composition.

Christopher Witchall

Christopher Witchall

Christopher Witchall

Marina Yedigaroff

Marina Yedigaroff is a mood affected colourist who concentrates her attention on the natural world painting murals, fabrics, furniture, small wooden bowls and boxes, ‘If it has a surface I can paint it.’ Marina has exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London, at the Society of Woman Artists , the Society of Watercolour and regularly at the Old Fire Engine House since 1985.

Marina Yedigaroff

Helena Greene

Water and Sky - Fenland Landscapes

These new paintings have been made over the last two years. They combine my love of colour and my experimental use of materials. This exhibition includes watercolour sketches, collage, oil painting and acrylic. The work comes from the relationship to a place and the mood it evokes in me. Most of the paintings and the landscapes were made after a visit to the Cyclades Islands in Greece

Renos Loizou 1948 - 2013

A memorial exhibition

Cambridge painter Renos Loizou was hailed as “one of the most exciting artists of the new generation” with his work selling in leading London galleries and public and corporate collections all around the world. His work explodes with colour and life, ranging from complex Mediterranean landscapes (from his travels to Andalusia) to classical figures and humorous Angels and Goddesses. Although he was better known for his landscapes and nudes, one of his final pieces, The Triptych, will be featured in this exhibition, which acts as a tribute to a much admired artist.

Loizou’s work was influenced by many important painters which he revered like El Greco and Picasso to Matisse and Kandinsky, but his style was always his own. Born in Cyprus in 1948, Renos came to England with his family in 1955 and lived in Cambridge for most of his adult life. Renos Loizou died in June 2013.

This May his family are holding a posthumous show in his memory, highlighting his success and showing some striking last pieces for the very first time.

lizzie madder

Water and Sky - Fenland Landscapes


Sonia Lewis

Peter Cavaciuti

Sonia & Peter

Lyz Gardner -

Katrina Wilkie -

Jeremy Peake -

Julie Baker -

Double Vision Reflectionson the landscape | Valerie and Tom Sims

Husband and wife artists Tom and Valerie Sims work from their home studio in Ely. Valerie creates handmade black and white woodcuts whilst Tom paints in an Impressionist style using mixed media on canvas. They both use the landscape as their inspiration and source material but each perceive and portray it in their own way.


Robin Boyd born in Norfolk 1940. Studied art in Cambridge, also briefly at Hornsey and at Reigate School of Art, culminating in a Diploma in Fine Art, painting at the West Surrey College of Art.

A prize-winner of the Alce Isigonis student award. Winner of the 1988 Eastern Open major painting prize and joint winner of the watercolour prize 1989. Has exhibited at most of the major galleries in East Anglia: The Minories Colchester, Kettles Yard Cambridge, Gainsborough's House Sudbury and the Fermoy Arts Centre as well as a number of smaller galleries in the region.

Best known for landscape and coastal works from Spain, Cornwall, the western Isles of Scotland and Pembrokeshire, East Anglian landscapes and a number of still life and less conventional abstractions.

When they were young

Anthony Day & Brin Edwards

an East Anglian retrospective

Geoffrey Lefever - Bellegarde Provence

Charles Duranty - Essex Marshes

Nicholas Barnham - Ickleton

An exhibition of East Anglian landscapes by three of the region’s most original and distinctive artists. More than 40 years ago these paintings were acquired by an eccentric collector, stashed away and all but forgotten. "Exhibited for the first time earlier this year, these remarkable landscapes are now going on show at the very same gallery where two of the the artists, still very active, began their careers nearly half a century ago."

For more information visit

Showing in the upstairs gallery:

Penelope Williams

Rebecca Harvey

Terence Harjula & Thelma Chambers

At The Old Fire Engine House, Ely

7th - 30th October

6.00-8.00pm Thursday 6th October

Midnight Birds by Terence Harjula

Lutton Marsh

New to the Old Fire Engine House, Thelma's new work is inspired by Ely and the Fens.

View more
View more by Thelma

Terry Beard

View website

Stephen Murfitt

View website

Frances Hatch and Andy English will each give an informal talk about their work, from 7pm.

FRANCES HATCH - Made With Norfolk

new paintings made earlier this year in and around Hunstanton and Titchwell


ANDY ENGLISH - Wood Engraver / Printmaker / Illustrator

original prints with handcoloured engravings commissioned by the Royal Mail


Please note the exhibition will continue throughout August


10th June – 3rd July 2016 | Private View Thursday 9th June 6.00 - 8.00pm




















































As happy as the birds in spring
Season of the Blue Butterflies
David Remfry RA




















































A quote from William Blake inspiring over 60 of our favourite artists, including:

Mick Abbott . Tom Anderson . Derek & Margot Andrews . Lotte Attwood . Julia Ball . Bob Banks Nicholas Barnham . Terry Beard . Ruth Blundell . Althea Braithwaite . Claire Cockayne . Roger Coleman . Anthony Day . Anthony de Jong Cleyndert . Brin Edwards . Michael Edwards . Andy English . Shirley Felts . Antonia Galloway . Lyz Gardner . Michael Gillespie . Melanie Goemans . Kate Green Helena Greene . Amanda Hall . Mark Handley . Terence Harjula . Rebecca Harvey . Emily Haysom . Julia Hedgecoe . Helen Herbert . Susan Horsfield . Barrie Houghton . Andrew Houston . Manuela Hübner . Elizabeth Ikin . Joan Jeans . Tom Karen . Francoise LeGrand . Sonia Lewis . Renos Loizou . Amanda MacPhail . Lizzie Madder . Paul Margiotta . Geoff Marsters . Melanie Max Barbara McGirr . Angela Mellor . John Miles . Jeremy Mulvey . Stephen Murfitt . Rika Newcombe Jeremy Nicholls . Valerie Orchard . Cathy Parker . Roger Phillippo . Janene Pike . Sally Reilly . David Remfry RA . Jenny Sanders . Richard Sell . Carol Sinclair . Devi Singh . Munni Srivastava . Isobel Stemp . Robin Stemp . Peer Towers . Lizanne Van Essen . Gareth Watson . Katrina Wilkie . David Wood . Marina Yedigaroff

Work will be displayed in all rooms and if appropriate in the garden.

Artist, Manuela Hübner, talks to MAC TV about her current exhibition at The Old Fire Engine House. (6 mins 45 secs in)

Two exciting new artists are coming to The Old Fire Engine House

Preview Evening 6pm – 8pm Thursday 5th May with live music and wine
"An evening of zesty art with French chansons performed live by Huguette and Peter Britton". ALL WELCOME

The Things We Do- Slices of Life Served Up in Mixed Media
by Manuela Hübner

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By Claire Cockayne

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Exhibition runs until Sunday 29th May

You are invited to the opening of Light Watch

Photographs - Robin Stemp

Paintings - Isobel Stemp

Thursday 31st March 2016
6pm – 8pm

Exhibition continues from 1st April – 1st May

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Still Life with Recorder| Photograph by Robin Stemp

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Clouds | Acrylic by Isobel Stemp


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Anthony de Jong Cleyndert
Peer Towers
Sara Towers

Julia Ball

Upstairs Gallery - all welcome

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A retro-spective

Anthony Day

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48th Exhibition of paintings by ANTHONY DAY

Richard Neal

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Mick Abbott


Mick Abbott

Ruth Beloe


Ruth Beloe

Charlotte Harvey

Ancient Fields


Shirley Felts

New watercolours


Barbara McGirr

Collage and watercolours

Barbara McGirr

Melanie Max

New and recent paintings


Melanie Max