I have lived in and around Hamble in Hampshire for quite a few years and I will never forget an evening in a local pub called the King and Queen, not long after I first moved here. A guy came up to me and asked me whether I was on holiday in Hamble. I replied that I actually lived here, to which he immediately made the assumption, “Oh, so you sail…” Inside I let out a sigh; hating to disappoint him I informed him that I didn’t sail, I simply lived here. The man’s brow furrowed in confusion and the conversation more or less died right there… much to my relief.
Things have been like that for quite a while in Hamble, if you don’t belong to the sailing community people almost look at you as if you have been misdirected and your intended destination was actually London. One of Mark’s friends asked me if I sailed (it’s a common question around these parts) and upon being told “No” he answered “Don’t you think you should?” So, I think it is fair to say, it’s easy to feel a little out of place in pretty little Hamble. However, slowly but surely that is all changing.
Last year, artist Sandy Curry moved to Hamble and with her she brought a whole new creative vision. Sandy’s got an amazing story, with an MA in Fine Art Painting, she’s won the Windsor and Newton Painting Prize, and was awarded the Fenton Arts Trust Artist in Residence at Watts Gallery. She led workshops at the Gallery and did outreach work in the community, some with disadvantaged and homeless young people. She still works as a freelance artist on the learning programme at Watts Gallery, delivering workshops for young offenders, and women at HMP Send, where she’s the Michael Varah artist in residence.
In Hamble, she opened the Sea Sky Art Studio where she runs art classes; creative writing classes (run by my lovely husband) and sells beautiful affordable art and craft created by local artists. Sea Sky Art Studio will also soon be the home of Tina Chisnell Photography where I will be using some of the space for my portrait studio. So, whether it is hand-made jewellery, paintings, ceramics, sculptures or portrait photography you are interested in, Sandy’s got something you’ll love.
Finally, Hamble has a place where the creative hearts can hang out and fit in.