The Comet – Arkley Fine Art

Hitchin town centre is set to gain a fine art gallery next week, with works on show from some of the world’s best contemporary artists.

The portfolio at Arkley Fine Art, due to open in the town’s trendy Hermitage Road on Tuesday, includes Alexander Millar, wildlife artist Jonathan Truss and rising star Lhouette.

Richard Barry and Danielle Walshe, from Sandy, are the team behind the venture – embarking on their own art journey after four years as art directors for a national art publisher.

Richard told the Comet: “We are both really excited to be opening our first art gallery displaying works from the world’s best and rising contemporary and collectable artists.

”We want our gallery to be a relaxed, fun environment that makes artwork accessible for everyone.”

The art portfolio ranges from abstract to figurative portraits, wildlife to landscapes, and prints to sculptures. Prices range from £300 to more than £60,000.

Contemporary impressionist artist Alexander Millar is known for his paintings inspired by the postwar British landscape in which he grew up, and the working men and women of his childhood on Tyneside.

Subjects in his work have included “one of my earliest memories of my father, as he was leaving the house as the sun rose behind him”.

Danielle and Richard have described him as “one of our all-time art heroes”.

Paintings by Jonathan Truss, from Bournemouth, hang in collections from Botswana to Beverley Hills. Among other things, he descended into the sea off South Africa in a cage to sketch great white sharks in their natural habitat.

Former Royal Navy seaman Lhouette, originally from Luton, is strongly influenced by pop and urban culture in his innovative art. He lists Antonio Banderas and Ronan Keating among his collectors.

Arkley Fine Art’s portfolio also includes work by Paul Bennett, who creates intense atmospheric seascapes from lesser-known parts of the UK coastline from memory, and graffiti-inspired pop artist Elmo Hood.

After the formal launch on Tuesday, an exclusive launch event will be held on Friday, November 24, with free tickets up for grabs to art-lovers in the Hitchin area.

To find out more or reserve your place for the launch event, get in touch with Richard and Danielle through arkleyfineart.co.uk.

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