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"FLAVOURS" heads to the The Atkinson Art Gallery

3 very different local artists are linked through their personal use of colour in a new exhibition, at The Atkinson, Southport, this autumn. ‘Flavours’ will be the 1st combined showing of the work of Carole Dawber, Caroline Kaye and Lisa Langan.

Carole concedes that:- "Colour is my main driving force, often with vivid combinations or unacceptable norms and certainly lacking any preconceptions about how hues should interact together."

Already no strangers on the region’s art scene, the contrasts of their individual creative practice will be well to the fore in this collective showing. Carole and Caroline are both award winning graduates of the celebrated Liverpool Art School (now Liverpool John Moores University) from a time when John Lennon’s autograph was still in evidence carved on the Lecture Theatre desks.

Carole reflects on her student days in Liverpool as:- "magical. All I did all day was draw and paint, work with fabric, design clothes, and create by taking risks and having fun. The most inspiring artists, tutors and musicians surrounded me. It was awesome. There were no limits to imagination. I met such amazing people, all of whom just loved creativity for the idea of invention."

Diverse in their media, all 3 artists recognise the importance of individuality of expression in their work.

Lisa, who likes to work from her home studio, admits:- "My still life paintings are personal centred. They are a slice of my life and will usually have evolved from an experience that I'm trying to evaluate in my head. Painting these evaluations helps me to deal with the reality of them that much better."

Lisa also admits that her domestic paintings are a form of therapy:- "a way I can push myself artistically, whether its by challenging myself with a new pattern in a fabric or with a wallpaper colour I have never used before." Symbolism is key to her composition:- "I use objects in my still life paintings that have a relevance to interpreting the situation. I might use a ‘Jammie Dodger’ biscuit with the heart in it as a symbol for self love. A cup from my cupboard, with a painted heart on the side, might symbolise self care and I often incorporate a candle to represent spirituality."

Caroline, who is currently completing a PhD in Art History, uses mixed media as a means to express her own private commentary. "I spent a great deal of my artistic training and practice in observational work and my abstracted work draws upon all of that experience of looking at the world. I anticipate chance happenings, and the ability to over paint or collage where necessary."

All 3 endorse the value of personal research. Caroline confirms:- "Despite the abstracted nature of my work, I’m a great believer in observing the world in all kinds of ways. I make use of all manner of reference material. That might be objects that I have to hand or drawings, sketches, photographs I’ve taken, cuttings and collected material."

For Caroline, the making of art is a process of discovery:- "about the work and oneself. My starting point is the construction of interesting surface textures that can be quite arbitrary. I then begin the painting by mark making in a fairly intuitive way. This often oscillates between an idea of landscape and still life. I find that I continually subvert many decisions, breaking lines, interrupting shapes, overpainting, suggesting known objects alluding to others, allowing some ambiguity to remain. I have a rule that says that even if I find a section of the picture to be wonderful, if it doesn’t work, it has to go. Each picture develops its own mood and parameters as I attempt to achieve some coherence. In this way, a painting presents a puzzle or a problem that I set out to solve."

Carole’s similarly tactile approach stems from her student days experimenting with yarn and natural dyeing techniques that earned her a Life Fellowship from the Royal Society of Arts during the Queen’s Silver Jubilee year. "Sometimes, I forget how thread and needle is like pen and ink to me. My earliest memories ever revolve around my Nana teaching me to crochet using just my fingers then showing me how to peg a rag rug using real dolly clothes pegs." For her current ‘Bouquet in a Vase’ series she has:- "revisited silk fabric appliqué technics to express the exuberance of the cut blooms. Each flower is created using hand dyed, reclaimed sari silk, hand cut into individual petal and leaf forms, bonded together using transfer adhesive. These are then assembled into individual floral stems that are used in a similar way to any cut bloom arrangement. Once the whole composition is complete hand stitching is used to enhance and anchor both silk blooms and silk backgrounds."

will also feature a collection of new flower paintings from life by Lisa. "I work mostly from life apart from when I need close up detail not visible to the eye. It is the freedom in this type of painting and that I enjoy the most."

The work will be on view at The Atkinson Art Gallery, Lord Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1DB. The exhibition will be running from:- 7 August 2021 until:- 4 September 2021.

Multimillion pound scheme to roll out zero emission buses across England launched!

TRANSPORT Secretary Grant Shapps has launched a multimillion pound scheme to enable local transport Authorities to roll out zero emission buses, as the Government continues to build back greener.

Up to ₤120 million is being made available through the Zero Emissions Buses Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme, which will allow local transport Authorities to bid for funding to purchase zero emission buses, in an effort to reduce the carbon emissions from their local public transport and to improve air quality in Towns and Cities across England.

The funding will deliver up to 500 zero emission buses, supporting the Government's wider commitment to introduce 4,000 zero emission buses. The funding comes from the wider ₤3 billion fund announced by the Government to improve bus services in our national bus strategy, that was published on 15 March 2021.

The major new strategy, the biggest shake up to the standard of bus services in the country for a generation, will see passengers benefit from lower, simpler flat fares, more frequent services, and new requirements that will see Councils set yearly targets for improving reliability of services.

To ensure the funding from today's zero emission bus fund is used quickly to help provide British bus manufacturers with an injection of orders, the Government is calling on a consortia of Local Transport Authorities, energy companies, bus operators and manufacturers to come together to work up strong cases for funding. This will help make sure that buses are built, bought and being driven on our roads efficiently to the benefit of local economies and communities.

Bidders will have until 21 May 2021 to submit Expressions of Interest for a Fast Track process; which will allow local transport Authorities with well developed proposals to move quickly in their bid to secure funding. However, the Government has said it wants all Local Authorities to have the opportunity to submit bids and therefore those who need more time to develop their proposals will have until 25 June 2021 to submit Expressions of Interest.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said:- "We've set out our vision of how we're going to make buses better in this country, and now we're getting on with delivering it. The launch of the scheme today means we're giving businesses and local Authorities the tools to help deliver the 4,000 zero emission buses we said we would introduce, which will dramatically improve air quality in Towns and Cities across the country, helping us achieve our net zero ambitions."

Silviya Barrett, Head of Policy, Research and Projects, at Campaign for Better Transport, said:- "Zero emission buses are great news all round. As well as addressing climate change and air pollution, this funding will boost the bus manufacturing sector and give more passengers the best modern buses. We're glad that the Government has appreciated the need to speed up the transition to zero emission buses."

Jane Gratton, Head of People Policy at the British Chamber of Commerce, said:- "The BCC very much welcomes investment in initiatives that boost public transport infrastructure and the UK's drive towards Net Zero. This is a welcome injection of cash and confidence for businesses in this sector and for Towns and Cities across the country. Access to affordable, reliable and greener public transport will be a key to re-building local economies."

The National Bus Strategy contains a number of pledges to improve the environmental friendliness of the country's bus sector. This includes a consultation on the end date for sales of diesel buses, which was launched alongside the strategy.

The announcement comes as Coventry recently received the historic 1st pot of funding from the All Electric Bus Towns and Cities competition, giving the City ₤50m of funding to revolutionise its bus services and entirely replace their current fleet with electric buses.

It also comes as the Government announces over ₤30 million of funding to support pioneering research into battery technology, the electric vehicle supply chain and hydrogen vehicles. 22 studies will receive a share of ₤9.4 million, including proposals to build a plant in Cornwall that will extract lithium for use in electric vehicle batteries, a plant to build specialised magnets for electric vehicle motors in Cheshire and lightweight hydrogen storage for cars and vans in Loughborough.

Funding from the ZEBRA scheme will help the UK build back greener as the Government prepares to publish its Transport Decarbonisation Plan, setting out how all modes of transport; sea, rail, road and aviation; can help deliver net zero by 2050.

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