Village People - Thomas Allen

By Claire Cooper

A Lindfield artist, whose Contemporary Cave Paintings enthralled hundreds of visitors to a Brighton exhibition earlier this year, has reached another milestone in his career.

Thomas Allen, is one of an elite group of just 64 artists from all over Europe to have a piece shortlisted for the prestigious Threadneedle Prize. “I’m absolutely over the moon to have a piece selected from thousands of submissions from across Europe!” said Thomas.

His selection comes at just the right time for Thomas, who currently has a painting, Transporting Touch, on show in the Year of the Horse exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London. He will revisit the gallery early next year to undertake his second Contemporary Cave Painting project.

Thomas describes how he has developed his unique style, taking inspiration from prehistoric cave paintings, and how he gives himself over to the life of the image, never knowing quite what will emerge when he starts a painting…

“I’ve always enjoyed drawing,” said Thomas, 24, who lives in The Glebe. “When I was a child, all my parents needed to do was give me a pencil and a piece of paper if they ever wanted me out of their hair for a few hours!” Encouraged by family, Thomas continued to draw and paint throughout his school years. On leaving Haywards Heath College, Thomas would have liked to follow his heart and concentrate on drawing and painting, but decided to take the perhaps more practical route, studying Economics and Sociology at Exeter University. Rather ironically, the Sociological theory Thomas was taught came to play a key role in the development of his unique style.

Read full article on pages 24/25

The Toll House re-opens

Shoppers and residents in Lindfield have welcomed the re-opening of the Toll House Gallery and Café in the
High Street.

The new Toll House Gallery showcases the work of Sussex artists and craftspeople, while the popular café will be serving delicious locally produced food as well as award winning coffee from World Coffees, roasted just across the High Street at Lindfield’s Old Forge.

Alongside  unique local artwork, the Gallery will be running a regular programme of events and workshops designed to promote the work of Sussex’s creative industries.  Local artists already exhibiting in the Gallery include Leesa Le May, Debbie Smith and Judith Fisher.  

Jackie McGahan, proprietor of the Toll House Gallery and Café, commented: “We are very excited to be bringing an entirely new concept like this to Lindfield’s historic High Street.  We think that customers will love the opportunity to interact directly with artists and craftspeople, especially in the amazing surroundings of a unique 16th century, Grade II listed building. 

“The village community and visitors will also welcome the re-opening of the café, which will give them the chance to enjoy delicious locally produced food and drink in a relaxed and creative environment.”

The Toll House is open Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm and on Saturdays 10am to 5pm.