Gates of Heaven


11th -15th December 2018at A&D Gallery, 51 Chiltern Street


Marylebone, London W1U 6LX






Marilena Balint


Marilena was born and grew up in Romania. Her childhood was unlike most. Growing up in communist Romania as a young artist, she had to find a way to express herself in a system which oppressed the elementary freedoms of thought, speech and, ultimately, expression. At the age of 13 she enrolled in the local art school where she discovered her fascination with oil painting. Painting was Marilena's way to free her heart and mind from the daily troubles of such a hostile environment and engage with the universal language of the soul – art. At the age of 20, along many other students, she rebelled against the communist regime, rallying in the streets during the 1989 revolution that eventually led to democracy being restored in Romania.


Marilena currently lives and works in Sheffield where she owns an art studio 'Hunaari'. She creates art inspired by Romanian and Japanese folklore. Marilena’s paintings are a reflection of this dynamic path which art set her on, inviting those who admire them to meditate on the poetic aspects of nature. In a unique style of abstract expressionism painting, Marilena’s works are created for those who wish to connect with nature on an ever-deeper level.


Bertolutti Dora Howard


Dora (Bertolutti) Howard is a studio assistant and photographer. Proud of her Italian routes, she enjoys the busy life of London, and travelling to pursue her passion for capturing life in public, and undiluted clarity.


Lizzie Black 


I am a landscape painter living in Mousehole, Cornwall. Rooted in a tradition of plein air painting, my work follows the changing patterns of the day, season and weather scape. I strive to capture transitory moments of light, colour, tide and time, and to communicate its beauty and magic on canvas. My formal background in painting was acquired at Bristol Polytechnic and Falmouth School of Art, and I have exhibited extensively in Cornwall and the West Country.


My family arrived in Cornwall in 1976 as part of a wave of new artists relocating to Penwith. In particular they were attracted to the thriving art scene, history of painting, light and landscape. They ran the Mounts Bay Arts Centre for 20 years offering painting holidays to guests from all parts of the world. My father Bernard Evans, previously an abstract artist, soon dropped this practice to paint outside particularly in Newlyn harbour.


As a young child I accompanied my father on painting trips and watched him work in his studio. My first oil painting was of Prussia Cove at the age of thirteen. In this way, I was drawn into life as a painter. Subsequently I attended art school before re-joining my parents as a tutor at their school.

Raising a family took me away from my work, but in recent years I have returned to my passion of plein air painting.


Painting within the landscape is an utterly absorbing art practice. By working onsite my aim is not to copy, but to find a way of communicating experience. This might be the physical activity of


movement, sound, wind or light changes. In some respect I seek to unlearn what I know and describe the subject objectively and without prejudice.


Preparation is crucial with a trolley loaded with an easel, pochade box, paints, rags, brushes, canvases sun hat etc. Painting outside brings with it a certain ceremony and protocol. I am aware that if I forget just one item then the trip has to be abandoned.


I have a number of favourite locations that I often revisit, such as a corner in Mousehole at high tide on a sunny late afternoon or Newlyn harbour in the morning as the fishermen return with their catch. Sometimes I drive past a scene with plans to return at the same time the next day, yet find that the view has changed entirely. Occasionally a rigorously planned painting results in a disaster, but unbeknownst an unexpected surprise lay just behind me all along.


The scene changes constantly. While out painting, the wind is the most tenacious trickster. It can upturn the easel or even blow the canvas away and face down onto the sand (on at least one occasion). Currently I have access to my father’s old studio, which is a tranquil and inspiring space.


Recently I have introduced a human element into my work, rising to the challenge of another layer of movement. I wish for these figures to be part of the landscape and to blend naturally into their surroundings. On some occasions I will often paint multiple canvases. Psychologically this lessens the pressure of producing an authoritative piece and frees up my own movements.


I have learnt a great deal from other artists’ work in this arena and beyond. Ultimately though I believe it is essential to remain authentic and true to oneself. I am happiest out painting every day, being constantly inspired by the surrounding landscape of Cornwall, and feel privileged to live and work where I am.


Tony Fandino


Tony Fandino was born in New York City. The Museum of Modern Art had just inaugurated young people's art course. He applied for and received the one free scholarship. With his portfolio and passing the entry exams he was accepted to the highly respected School of Music and Art. He next attended the newly established School of Visual Arts. Instruction was given by famous practising artists and illustrators. In competition he received a part scholarship. In 1960 he was drafted into the US Army and spent his two years in the Dept of Comptroller of the army, Pentagon, Washington, where he supervised an office that supplied the needs of the army in graphic arts and illustration publicity. He remained in Washington as a freelance artist. Then deciding to leave America he arrived in London where fortuitously Hornsey College had just initiated a Post Graduate course for emerging professionals. The multi task courses included photography and fine art. He worked for a publications firm before becoming manager of design/art, photography and cartography for the British Tourist Authority.


Tony Fandino always sketched and painted throughout his life. He completed an accredited two year Intaglio course in Washington. Throughout extensive travel abroad he has sketched, used pastels and watercolours as well as oils. He enjoys capturing a moment in time in true definition. He was once informed by a viewer of his work "what I like in a painting is- as I walk up close to it the detail remains the  same", He achieves a finished quality, while retaining a fresh artistic impression.


He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art, London.


The artist about his work: "I enjoy capturing the play of sunlight on water - and in landscapes. Blue skies that create deep shadows cast off by structures and beneath trees. The summer sunshine that creates a sense of hearing and smelling both the sea and countryside in my work."


Lalage Florio


Lalage Nydia Florio Hacker was born in Turin in Italy. After graduating from the Collegio Mellerio Rosmini of Domodossola, Lalage enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture in Turin where she studied for two years. Furthermore she decided to attend the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts in Turin, School of Decoration, under Nicola Maria Martino. With great response, she immediately started to exhibit her


work in Italy and abroad with a solo exhibition at the Italian Institute of Culture in Stuttgart. Her first curated exhibition was a project against violence towards women. She also organised the Italian pavilion at Master Olofsgarten in Stockholm with an exhibition of emerging Italian artists. In 2014 she moved permanently to Germany and in 2017 her project TABULA RASA was born. She now regularly exhibit her work in Italy and Europe.


Sue Maud


Sue creates dramatic seascapes using painting and printmaking, (etchings, gum bichromates and cyanotypes) drawing on her sailing experiences to reflect the power and erosion created by the sea. The work tries to create the feeling of ‘being’ and to allow the viewer to experience the elements, strength, terrifying beauty and awesome might of the sea, in conjunction with our own frailty while sailing the oceans. Sue has exhibited in solo shows all over the country winning awards for her work in the Hartlepool Renaissance Exhibition at the Gray Art Galley and the T N Lawrence Award at the International Exhibition, Falmouth in 1999. Her work has also been seen in group shows as far away as Norway and Tokyo.


Sabine Oecking


Sabine Oecking was born in Munich Germany, where her artist father and goldsmith mother ensured she grew up surrounded by art.  After many years focused mainly on figurative paintings, she began experimenting with colour and abstract art.


Sabine began pursuing art full time in 2013. Based at her studio in Dortmund, Germany, she developed her work in the following years, studying with Professor Adam Jankowski of the Offenbach University of Art & Design.


Sabine says of her painting:


"The main theme of my work is luck and happiness. I have developed my own style with spray paint, ink, and sometimes acrylic paints. I want to capture and preserve happy moments, create positive atmosphere and to make this moment last.


I am deeply interested in the emotional response to my work and how it's being perceived by the audience.”


Ann Palmer


Ann Palmer lives in Rochester and spends up to three months a year in her cottage in the Loire Valley in France.  She has been drawing and painting from 2007, taking up oils 8 years ago. Ann works in OILS principally land, sky and seascapes, often working directly out of doors in front of the scene. Her larger paintings are developed in the studio from her experiences en plein air, sketches and photographs.   Ann gains inspiration from her travels to the coasts of Cornwall and Normandy as well as her home county of Kent.


Ann is married to John;  they have three grown up children and 7 grandchildren.  Ann grew up in Wiltshire and Somerset, and met John who is also from Bath, in Edinburgh in the freshers queue for medical school. Ann spent her working life as a Public Health doctor, and took up painting when she retired in 2006.


Largely self taught Ann has attended local art classes and done a lot of reading and visiting museums and exhibitions; she has been to a number of master classes, notably with Mike Chaplin, Crawfurd Adamson, Alan Bordier and James Willis.


Ann developed her reputation as a plein air painter; working in the vineyards of the Loire Valley and around the Kent Coast where until last year she worked out of a beach hut in Whitstable.  Ann now has a studio in Chatham at the Nucleus Arts Centre where she exhibits in the Halpern Gallery;  she also works from home painting in her conservatory and using her Attic Studio for preparing canvases and framing and storing her work. Currently Ann is working on a series of shoreline, sea and skyscape paintings around the Kent Coast and Cornwall.


Ann builds her own canvases using stretcher bars and 12oz cotton duck, then primes them with 3 coats of acrylic primer and/or gesso.  She usually coats the canvas with turpsy red, often Indian red, sometimes Burnt Siena. When this is dry she lays out the scene with a thin coat of oil paints then building on this, firstly using a brush, then layers of thick oil paint applied with a palette knife.  The extent to which the painting is built with more impasto depends on the scene and mood. Ann’s style is impressionistic, representative tending towards some abstraction and expressionism.


Ann’s Kent Coastal paintings depict the beaches of Whitstable and beyond on the coast of Kent at various times of day and year, state of the tide and weathers and are inspired by Ann’s experience painting on the beach in Whitstable and the Kent Coast. Ann has been painting in Whitstable for several years, standing on the pebbly beach watching the tide ebb and flow, the morning mist across the Swale (the water which separates the Isle of Sheppey from the mainland), the light on the horizon, the clouds coming in from the west over London, and the light out to sea to the north and east. The low tide exposes sandbanks, pebbles, seafood for the gulls to seek. Ann has recently spent some time in Cornwall and is now working on a new series of Cornish beaches and Poldark Coastal paintings.


In addition to exhibiting with Gabriel Fine Arts Ann also exhibits in Capital Arts Gallery in Eltham, the Horsebridge Arts Centre in Whitstable, and the Halpern Gallery at Nucleus Arts Centre in Chatham where she has a studio.  Ann also has a travelling office exhibition of 10 large seascapes in oil with Little Van Gogh (  Ann was Chairman of the Rochester and West Kent Art Society for the last four years; she exhibits regularly with the Society and also participates in South East and Medway Open Studios.


Diane Ponder


The artist Diane Ponder, from Chicago, USA, elevates quiet, intimate human moments, depicting her female subjects' internal visceral emotions with unusual grace and attention that expose the psychology of her muses. Providing the audience with a visual contrast to the subtlety and delicate features of her figurative subjects, Diane balances her composition with the coherent shapes probing the relationship between humans and nature.


Her art refers to the passing of time and the dance of the quotidian. She began with mud and sand, ball point pen and pencil as a child, and continues to expand into a variety of materials. These materials include oil paint, salt, wax, string and linen. Emphasis on natural and non-toxic materials benefits the artist and collector.


Photography and video are also recently incorporated, and including poets, dancers and musicians in interactive work. This September, Diane Ponder had a show at Gateway Gallery in Bryant Park in NYC.


She has shown nationally and internationally in art fairs and galleries. Only woman in Saudi Arabian Gallery first abstract art show.


She recently was in an art fair in Hong Kong and Art Expo in NYC. Featured in November at her gallery, Studio 26 in the East Village, NYC. She featured in the Select Art Fair in NYC 2015, and Aqua and Art on Paper in Miami in December.

She was artist in residence for years with Oak Park, Illinois' The Art House. She was in a PBS broadcast about an arts project in support of Sarah's Inn, a womens' shelter. She has featured in shows at the Cultural Center Peace Tower of Mark do Suervo in Chicago, at a long term exhibit at the visitors center at Navy Pier and exhibited and also curated several shows at the Hyde Park Art Center.

Most recently moderated a program for CAN TV Senior Network concerning Cornelia Arts Building and Chicago Artists Month, including artists at the current Robert Morris College show.


A recent curated show was during Chicago Artists Month 2014, co-curating a new art space at Art Supply last fall. She has also curated shows in the Hyde Park Art Center.


She was included in Art From Excess, a show curated by Chris Toepfer in the Marshall J. Gardner Center for the Arts in Mills Park, Indiana. She is currently showing art in Montserrat Gallery in nyc, Thrivent Gallery in Chicago, Praxis Gallery and osom gallery in Chicago. She is included in a show in Bhutan in July.


Her education includes a Visual Arts Certificate from the Graham School of the University of Chicago, where she also studied as an undergraduate. She was also part of the Bridge Program and also Center Program at the Hyde Park Art Center, which partnered with the Graham school.


Ludmila Riabkowa 


Ludmila was born in Nizhny Novogrod, Russia 1969. Having graduated from the best Russian art universities, she was working with the Russian Theatre and found this collaboration very inspirational. She then moved to Poland and settled down there.


Ludmila about her work: “I never stop creating. My work is inspired by folklore and stories from Russia, Germany and Austria. However, my art can be found in private collections all over the world.”




Born in Paris, Sangie lived in Australia. She has now established her artistic studio in French Provence. Here, she harnesses that famous light in her abstract paintings. After drawing and oil, she works acrylic which is now her favorite artistic medium.


She leans on her modern dancer’s sensations and she applies colored layers to highlight emotions and embark us on different levels of reality. Over the years, she tirelessly studies the way in which abstraction and the energies conveyed naturally take precedence over reality, in order to transcend the limits of the physical world.


The optimism which emanates from her work is passed on the one who looks at her paintings.


She regularly exhibit in her native country France and internationally in Art Fairs and Art Galleries.



Madeline Schachter 


Madeleine Schachter's art traverses a journey to lightness, comprised of subtle palettes imbued with glints of gilded tones.  Each piece implies movement, infused with buoyancy and sensation that diverges from a language of pragmatism and precision, and uses tilt and tinge to evoke a sense of hope.  Suggestive abstraction endows the viewer with prospect and possibility, entrusting that implication will arouse contemplation to enable unique flights into self-reflection and sentiment.  She works in mixed media, including pastels, watercolors, acrylics, metal leaf, and glass crystals, and she employs unusual materials, such as mascara.


Ms. Schachter has been trained by ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), a partner of the International Rescue Committee, and by Udemy, in techniques to use art to empower and to release emotions relating to trauma.  She collaborates with ASTEP, New York Cares, and Art of Hope to use art to empower and engage people in transitional housing, survivors of domestic violence, refugees, and children with autism spectrum disorders.  She has worked with Syrian refugee children in Mount Lebanon, Lebanon, and she has trained Syrian and Lebanese teachers in Beqaa, Lebanon to use such techniques.  She does similar work with inmates at Rikers Correctional Facility and with survivors of domestic violence.



David Turner FRSA


David Turner FRSA is a well known Visual Artist and Digital Maker winning a variety of product design competitions and working on projects for a wide range of organisations including but not limited to NASA, Universal Studios, ABInbev, Allianz, McDonalds, as well as several startups. He was awarded a Masters Degree in Culture, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship from the University of Leeds in 2014 and thereafter was appointed a "Fellow" of the RSA, a London based "think tank" founded in 1754 and dedicated to the "encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce".


He has acted as a Judge and Mentor at several international start-up competitions. He is currently working on his submission to the BP Portrait Award and the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London



Milan Svanderlik 


Milan Svanderlik was born in 1948, in northern Bohemia, and was educated partly in the former states of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, and partly in the UK.  He has lived and worked in Croatia, in Switzerland and for over 40 years in London.  A veteran observer of the extraordinary diversity and beauty of nature, people, and life in general, Milan studied Botany abroad and Photography in London – combining both these interests, he has in the past exhibited plant photographs in London’s Photographers’ Gallery.  In addition to portraiture and plant studies, Milan’s photographic work encompasses travel photography, landscape, still life and photo-reportage.  As a UK civil servant, Milan worked as a photographer at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, where he later became Head of Media Resources, with responsibility for graphic design, photography and publishing.  


You might have also seen Milan’s non-commercial, solo exhibitions at the Gallery in the Crypt, St Martin-in the Fields, Trafalgar Square:  100 Faces of London ( 2012) and Outsiders in London, Are you one, too ? (2015).   His current project, and the last part of his trilogy about life in London and its people, Londoners at Home:  The Way We Live Now, is nearing completion - an exhibition is being planned for 2019/20.



Natalie Wiswell


Natalie was born in Russia to a Russian-Ukrainian family and grew up in Siberia, where she absorbed the spirit of nature and a multicultural environment. She underwent a big influence from her grandmother, who was a spiritual person and from her parents who were mathematicians and always looked for answers beyond the visible reality.

Her first experience with art was observing the Orthodox icons on the wall of her grandmother's bedroom, where little Natalie slept and played as her grandmother prayed. As a child she was also fascinated by bright colors and dreamy patterns of traditional Ukrainian and Russian clothes, illustrations and objects.

While studying Art History at Moscow State University, Natalie spent countless hours over prehistoric, Egyptian, Babylonian, Mesopotamian, Byzantine, Indian, Chinese and Japanese artworks.

Natalie mainly works with paintings, photographs and collage and uses her cultural background, travels and experiences to develop a style referred to by many as “Modern Icons”

The meditative and fantasizing style of a Russian artist opens the doors to new ideas, helps to observe life from a new perspective and brings strong sensations. Natalie’s art welcomes you to unfold the feeling of balance as you travel through different worlds, which are in fact our dreams.

Natalie currently lives in Bali, Indonesia with her husband and two kids.









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