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Art lovers from the across the region are being given the opportunity to view and purchase works of art, as final preparations take place at a Chester art gallery for the staging of their Spring Exhibition, which will showcase a variety of work by both local and nationally acclaimed artists.

Local residents and visitors to the area are being invited to view a diverse range of contemporary art at Gorstella Gallery. Whether you are a seasoned collector or just starting your journey, the gallery, which is open to all, offers a warm welcome and endless inspiration.

Established for over 30 years, Gorstella Gallery based at Tudor Farm in Dodleston near Chester, are set to open their doors for the first time this year with a Spring Exhibition. The show kicks off with a drinks reception on Thursday 25th April and Friday 26th April when the Gallery will be open from 6.30pm - 9pm. The Gallery will also be open on Saturday 27th April, Saturday 4th May and Sunday 5th May between 11am and 5pm. Viewings outside of these times can be made by appointment via the Gallery's website.

The exhibition which will see over 70 paintings on display, features work by 7 artists including Chester based artist, the late John Mackenzie. Born in Oban, Argyll in 1933, John attended Oban High School and after some time spent as a draftsman in a local architect's office, he joined the Royal Air Force. Following further studies John then worked as a civilian radiographer travelling the world for Marconi before settling in Chester in 1964 to work in radiography at RAF Sealand.

Speaking about John's life in Chester, Bridget said:

"Becoming bored with the routine of his employment John wanted to have more time to pursue the great passions of his life, painting and golf and so in the late 1960s, he decided to become a postman, the hours allowing him the time to indulge these. John was a very prolific artist, painting practically every day, extensively in the Chester and North Wales area, but two or three times a year he would travel to Oban to visit his family. John visited Iona, a great source of inspiration whenever possible whilst in the area. John was completely self-taught. John sadly passed away in October 2002."

Bridget added:

"John was a very unassuming man who had no desire for financial gain or public acclaim and as a result he generally refused to exhibit during his lifetime. We are delighted to have several of his paintings on display as part of our Spring Exhibition which features new and exciting work by some of the UK's finest artists."

In addition to paintings by John McKenzie, the exhibition will feature work by Donald McIntyre, Matthew Snowden, Lucy Almey Bird, Denise Heywood, Karel Lek, Sian McGill, Christopher Rainham, Drusilla Cole and Steph Aldwinckle.

Wirral based Artist Matthew Snowden takes his inspiration from the rugged coastline of Britain, Ireland and Wales. His obsession with the raw beauty of these landscapes is fuelled by their ancient history and ever- changing light. The exhibition features work from North Wales and Scotland. Matthew has held four very successful one man shows at Gorstella Gallery, and his popularity has continued to grow since his first exhibition with the Gallery in 2008.

Growing up in Somerset, Lucy Almey Bird was encouraged to draw and paint from an early age, regular trips to galleries and museums with her parents ignited her passion for art. She is completely self taught having not taken the conventional route through education. Domestic scenes feature regularly in her work.

Shropshire based artist Denise Heywood first exhibited at the gallery in November 2019. Her aim in painting is to convey the beauty and mystery which lies at the heart of nature. Her subjects are found in her garden and the fields and lanes near her home. She paints layering many washes of watercolour, refining details with small sable brushes to portray the jewel like quality of her subjects.

Based in Swansea, Sian McGill first exhibited in a mixed show at Gorstella Gallery in November 2021. Much of Sian’s inspiration comes from the places where she loves to spend time outdoors enjoying the coastline and mountains of Wales. Likewise, the work of fellow exhibitor Christopher Rainham is also inspired by the natural world.

Having graduated from Wimbledon School of Art and London’s Central School of Art, Drusilla Cole taught as Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts, London (UAL) for over twenty-five years. Drusilla moved to Bishops Castle in Shropshire where she has extended her practice of printmaking by focusing on reduction Linocut printing. Drusilla’s colourful Linocuts of swimming-based scenes have become very popular.

Wirral based artist Steph Aldwinckle is an abstract artist living in West Kirby. Her home studio overlooks the beautiful coastline of the Wirral Peninsula and on towards the dramatic rolling Welsh Hills. This daily inspirational view is the driving force behind all of her abstract landscape paintings. Her paintings are known for their bright, bold, and colourful compositions that capture the vibrancy and energy of the natural world around her.

Full details of Gorstella Gallery's Spring Exhibition can be found at:


Pictured - One of several paintings by the late Chester-based artist John MacKenzie, which will form part of the Spring Exhibition at Gorstella Gallery.

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