5 up-and-coming Sussex artists to watch in 2021 

People looking at artworks at Sussex Art Fairs

See up-and-coming artists at Sussex Art Fairs - Credit: Tim Hills Photography

Looking to build your art collection? Get heads up on the Sussex artists making their mark in the county and beyond

A sculpture by Steve Bicknell

Steve Bicknell is a self-taught sculptor who champions experimentation - Credit: Steve Bicknell

1. Steve Bicknell 

If you appreciate work based on shape and form drawing, this artist will pique your interest. A self-taught sculptor working in steel and concrete, Steve champions experimentation and collaboration, often combining unusual materials and techniques. He says: ‘I like to work without any preconceived ideas of the final form and finding the strength in the piece during the making process'. 

If you’re looking for a statement piece, ask about his limited-edition bronzes. You can browse by appointment at his studio, Bicknell Contemporary Sculpture in West Sussex. bicknellsculpture.com 

A coastal landscape painting by Jackie Hulford

Jackie Hulford's landscapes evoke a sense of tranquillity - Credit: Jackie Hulford

2. Jackie Hulford 

If you’re a fan of art that speaks of nature and beautiful landscapes, you’ll be drawn to Jackie’s work. Her favourite subjects are gardens, flora and fauna, with seascapes and coastal scenes equally present. She typically uses oils and acrylic on canvas or board, with the works often abstract in nature, setting the stage for birds and animals. She says: ‘I hope to impart character in all the creatures I paint and mood in my landscapes, to create a painting that affords a longer look and sometimes asks a question.' She divides her time between Sussex and Argyll, see @always_paints

An artwork by Matt G Baron of a woman holding a glass of wine

Matt G Baron is known for his figurative imagery - Credit: Matt G Baron

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3. Matt G Baron  

With a Masters in Fine Art from the University of Chichester under his belt, Matt draws upon his skills to produce eye-catching figurative imagery. He uses oils, acrylics and spray paint to create what he describes as ‘still versions of people watching'. The process starts with a moment in time, captured on camera, which is developed into a piece that conveys the essence of the subject. The result is works that show his subjects the way the human eye sees them, rather than the lens. mattgbaron.com

A painting of birds and sunflowers by Suzanne Claire Taylor

Suzanne Claire Taylor captures the beauty in nature - Credit: Suzanne Claire Taylor

4. Suzanne Claire Taylor   

Taking inspiration from nature, natural design and environmental concerns, Suzanne’s art will take you on a journey of discovery – not only through her use of materials, but also thanks to the thought process that goes into it and the study of natural design. Pieces are a showcase of beauty in nature and the majority of her art is painted with acrylic onto canvas. She comes from an illustrative background, and went onto paint murals and produce art for commercial properties and private homes, achieving a first-class honours degree in visual arts practice from the University of Brighton in 2019. artworkportal.co.uk/artists/suzanne-claire-taylor 

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An abstract work by Sussex artist Fraser Renton

Fraser Renton loves abstract in all forms - Credit: Fraser Renton

5. Fraser Renton 

If you gravitate towards abstract art, you’ll find plenty to catch the eye in Fraser’s collection. He loves abstract in all forms, with a particular fascination for digital, geometric, hard edge, 3D and minimalist works. He prepares his works digitally before transforming them into one-off original pieces, with sharp lines, three dimensional shapes and multi-layered optical illusions the focus. His aim? To create art that fascinates and stirs emotion. fraserrenton.com

You can view work by all these artists and more at Sussex Art Fairs, which is taking place from July 2-4 at Goodwood Racecourse in Chichester. Tickets: £14.40 for the private viewing on Friday from 5-9pm; £7.20 for general admission on Saturday (11am-6pm) and Sunday (11am-5pm). Sussex Life readers can get 50% off weekend entry by using the code SUSSEXLIFE50, see sussexartfairs.co.uk 

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People browsing artworks at Sussex Art Fairs

Sussex Art Fairs is having a private viewing on Friday July 2 from 5-9pm - Credit: Tim Hills Photography

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Top tips on how to build your art collection 

Avid collector Fraser Renton, an established geometric artist and co-founder of Sussex Art Fairs, shares his best advice: 

Do your research. Visit lots of art fairs and galleries and follow each online to give you an initial introduction to their artists. These are great ways to understand what you find most appealing and to educate yourself on the market and what’s happening. Attending degree shows and smaller auctions is a good way to find some hidden gems. You can pick up some really great art at good prices.  

Buy with your eyes, not with your ears. Buy a piece because you love it, not because other people are buying pieces from the artist. Galleries and artists are now making a concerted effort to bring transparency and access to information, artworks and prices. Take an opportunity to read artist biographies, engage in virtual studio visits where available, and fall in love with collecting art. 

Think about more than the money and support local talent. Unless you are buying works by an artist with a proven secondary market, don’t buy pieces with hopes of reselling for a profit. Collecting emerging art is romantic - it's thrilling. Emerging art is not an ‘asset’, which is guaranteed to accrue value, though many people present it as such. Only buy treasures that you want to live with for a very long time. 

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