Art students exhibit work in Rainham Marshes for first time

Art students are exhibiting their work at Rainham Marshes for the first time.

The temporary gallery of students’ artwork will be in the new Purfleet Hide until the New Year.

They learnt their skills at an adult art course at the reserve taught by John Chandler for 12 weeks, which has resulted in the exhibition.

John said: “There’s some incredible work that has been produced by the students on the course.

“It’s amazing to see how much they’ve all grown and developed as artists since they started.”

He said the course was about investing in local people to develop their skills, and the gallery will give the students a chance to show off their talents to the community.

Many of the students said they took inspiration from their surrounds at the nature reserves and created art based on the landscapes, natural history, environment and wildlife.

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Mike Walters, a student on the course, said: “It’s such a pleasure to be able to sit outside to draw and paint for a few hours with some good friends; my paintings have improved no end since joining the class.”

Janet Crofton, also on the course, said: “I really enjoy our relaxing Saturday mornings together, being able to be creative with nature. A wonderful experience.”

Brona Doyle, senior education and communications officer at the marsh, said they wanted to use the new Purfleet Hide as the exhibition space and make it into a cultural space.

She added: “We want it to be a place which can be used for culture, art, music – all things which can be inspired by nature. It’s so much more than simply a place to see birds.”