Wildlife Art Exhibition at Avocet Gallery

Bird wood carvings by John Mainwaring
Bird wood carvings by John Mainwaring

Some days you just need to get out of the workshop for a hour or so and I reached that point last week. Luckily for me there was something to go and see locally, an exhibition of wildlife art at local gallery and tea room Avocet in Rye, East Sussex.

Yes you read that right it is a gallery and a tea room, you can sit and have a cup of tea and a piece of lovely homemade cake while you look at the art around you. I must admit we did partake of tea, well cappucino and hot chocolate, and a piece of fruit cake which was fantastic and served in beautiful hand made cups.

I think that its a fantastic idea to be able to sit and look at the art while enjoying tea and cake as it gives you time to think things over if you are in the buying mood. It also gives you a little insight as to how the art might feel in your home.

Being a woodcarver myself I’m always interested to go and see another woodcarvers work so I especially wanted to see the work of John Mainwaring, even though I didn’t know what I was going to see.

The gallery owners are lovely people and happily chatted away to us about the various artists in the show and theirĀ  art. I have visited the gallery once before and I find that they choose beautiful pieces to display all of which are of a very good standard. The exhibition changes over its course as the pieces are sold new pieces are hung.


John Mainwaring carvings - foxes, mice, penguins
Foxes, mice and penguins by John Mainwaring


I must apologise here for not getting the proper names of the various bird carvings as I was so engrossed in chatting about the art.


Badger wood carvings by John Mainwaring
Badger wood carvings by John Mainwaring


These Badgers are really lovely and they look like they are discussing something rather important, or even one encouraging the other to climb up to the top of the ‘hill’.

I really enjoyed looking at (and touching, yes I was allowed to touch) the carvings, there is a delightful whimsy about them and they feel great to the touch.

My main focus when I go to see an Exhibition is usually the 3d/sculpture/woodcarving work but I also enjoyed looking at the various 2d works on the walls, I especially like the paintings on driftwood, you can just see them on the right in the photograph below.


Prints and driftwood paintings
Prints and driftwood paintings
Avocet Gallery and Tea rooms from the outside
Avocet Gallery and Tea Room


The current Wildlife Exhibition ends on 24th June, yes I know thats today, if you’re in the area go have a look.

The next exhibition is a Coastal Exhibition and I think it will be starting on 28th June, but don’t hold me to that have a look at the Avocet Gallery website here for opening times and days as they are not open every day.

It is well worth a visit and make sure that when you do go that you have a piece of cake, I highly recommend it and will definitely be going back to see the new exhibition and try a different piece of lovely cake and look at the new selection of art.





Jutta M Stiller is a wood carver and sculptor specialising in Netsuke and Couture frames click here to subscribe to her newsletter ‘Tales From the Woodcarving Bench’ .