Eastbourne artist goes public with first show

James Heighway at Under Ground Theatre in art exhibition December 2016

James Heighway at Under Ground Theatre in art exhibition December 2016

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James Heighway, a local fireman and artist from Eastbourne, is holding his first solo exhibition at the Under Ground Theatre this month.

Having tested the water at the Eastbourne Artists’ Open Houses in Spring, James received plenty of positive feedback which encouraged him to reach a wider audience.

The artworks displayed in the show reflect his growing confidence with his subject matter, size and brush work.

Working from a simple colour palette, borrowed from the Art Deco style, his acrylics paintings of Sussex landmarks from Brighton through to Rye, capture the atmosphere of the South coast.

It is a far cry from his day job; James has been a firefighter in Hastings for 19 years. He studied art at A Level at Hailsham School and obtained a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Cardiff University before joining the East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service in 1997 and he has been stationed at The Ridge Fire Station on White Watch ever since.

James has continued with his creative inclinations throughout this time, sketching and painting portraits of friends and family and local landmarks or landscapes.

“I was very daunted about doing this,” he said of the exhibition. “Although I have always loved to paint, I never took it seriously. It was not something I readily talk about at work, and it wasn’t until I joined Starlings Art and Craft Collective in Bexhill to sell some of my work that some of my colleagues actually got to see some of my paintings.”

The exhibition is from December 2-31.

The Underground Theatre (below central library) is open 10am-4pm Friday and Saturday.

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Go to www.eastbourneherald.co.uk/christmas/