Art society celebrates three decades with Highgate exhibition

'The Queen of Agre' by Maureen Harrison.

'The Queen of Agre' by Maureen Harrison. - Credit: Courtesy of the artist

An art club, which started as a life drawing group in a Crouch End living room, is marking its 30th anniversary with an exhibition at the Highgate gallery where they first showed their work.

The Dashwood Art Society – named after the street where they first met – exhibits at Lauderdale House, where they held their inaugural show.

It was formed on November 26, 1992, by a group of friends who shared a love of drawing and started meeting at 15 Dashwood Road.

Co founders Allen Hardcastle, Charles Ellis and former life model turned artist Judy Clarkson

Co founders Allen Hardcastle, Charles Ellis and life model turned artist Judy Clarkson - Credit: Supplied

"Models were booked, the venue established, and the Dashwood art society was formed," says founder member Charles Ellis.

"What started as a spontaneous idea has proved to have longevity, perhaps because the group is more than a weekly life drawing meet-up. All are independent artists who have found a supportive and stimulating environment with fellow members."

The society, which now meets at Hornsey Vale Community Centre in Crouch End, exhibits regularly at venues including The Diorama and The Original Gallery in Hornsey Library.

The original poster for the Dashwood Society's first exhibition at Lauderdale House

The original poster for the Dashwood Society's first exhibition at Lauderdale House - Credit: Supplied

"Over the years, there has inevitably been a turnover of venues and membership, but the links of friendship and mutual passion for art have remained strong," adds Ellis.

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He and fellow founder member Allen Hardcastle will exhibit work at the February show, alongside Judy Clarkson, one of the original models at Dashwood Road and now an artist.

The Artist by Judy Clarkson, a former life model for The Dashwood Arts Society and now an exhibiting artist

The Artist by Judy Clarkson, a former life model for The Dashwood Arts Society and now an exhibiting artist - Credit: Judy Clarkson

The exhibition was twice postponed due to the pandemic and features an eclectic mix of styles ranging from the figurative to landscape, abstract and portraiture.

"We are delighted to be returning to this venue after nearly thirty years," said Ellis. "Lauderdale House offers a unique gallery space set in the stunning surroundings of Waterlow Park and I am sure the exhibition will have something for everyone."

Ebb and Flow by Mei-Yim Low

Ebb and Flow by Mei-Yim Low - Credit: Courtesy of the artist

The Dashwood Art Society's Winter Exhibition runs February 16 to March 15 at Lauderdale House, Highgate. lauderdalehouse.org.uk