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Guest Blog from Artist, Annabel Ossel

The Eagle Gallery was very excited to collaborate with Optimis Consulting to showcase the work of some of their artist members. In the first display, held from October 2016 to January 2017, 5 paintings by Les Miller, Mike Townesend, Martyn Burdon and myself, selected by Optimis staff, were hung in their offices. The different works reveal the variety of styles practised by Eagle gallery members.

This unique partnership between the artistic and commercial communities of Bedford not only highlights work by the gallery’s members but also brightens the Optimis office with original, high-quality, locally produced work. The Eagle Gallery, located in Castle Road, part of Bedford’s “cultural quarter”, is an artists’ cooperative that has been going for nearly 12 years.

All of the gallery’s 40-plus members help to run the gallery, taking turns to man the gallery day to day, hanging the exhibitions, holding art-related events, even tending the garden and decorating the gallery once a year. Every year it holds up to 11 group shows running for 3-4 weeks. And throughout the year there are also 6 to 8 one week solo, duo or trio shows. Most of our members are painters but we also have sculptors, ceramicists, photographers, printmakers and textile artists.

I was delighted that two of my paintings, Burano and Leaning Towers of Possibility, were chosen to grace the boardroom at Optimis. (I’m told that the architectural elements of both works may have been an influence in their selection.) For the new display Optimis have kept Burano and chosen a second one to feature alongside it.

Burano (pictured above) is an abstract interpretation of the very colourful fishermen’s houses the eponymous Venetian island is famous for. I chose the subject for an Italian-themed group show we held at the Eagle Gallery in April 2015. We were celebrating the Italian community of Bedford and coincidentally, the 10th anniversary of the gallery.


Annabel's art in the Optimis boardroom

The second Eagle display continues to provide an opportunity for Optimis staff and their clients to see more of our artists’ work. The new paintings are by Audrey Imber, Maxine Copeland and Gillian Flack. All the works currently on show are for sale.

The next Eagle group show is themed ‘Through a Window’ and will run from 6 to 23 February. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, from 10.00 to 17.30.


Annabel Ossel

Eagle Gallery
101 Castle Road
Bedford MK40 3QP
01234 346995

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