FOUR artists have stepped back in time to show work from their past as well as the present.

Exhibits by Becky Paton, Robin Danely, Juliet Eccles and Vicky Hirsch are on display at the Cou Cou studio run by Clare Carswell at Charlbury until November 28.

Ms Carswell had the idea of creating the exhibition when she heard that paintings by the celebrated Dutch artist, Rembrandt, were to be displayed at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The Ashmolean had decided to feature work created by Rembrandt early in his career in the Dutch city of Leiden before he migrated to Amsterdam.

Leiden is Oxford’s oldest twin city and Ms Carswell is a member of the committee which runs the twin city link in Oxford. It seemed logical to her to mount an exhibition of early work by local artists at the same time.

Sadly, few had the opportunity to see the Young Rembrandt exhibition as the Ashmolean had to close its doors when the Covid pandemic started early last year.

Ms Carswell’s attempt to stage a simultaneous exhibition by local artists elsewhere in Oxford faced a similar fate.

Now nearly two years later, she is giving them the opportunity to display their past work, as well as more recent work, at her studio in Spelsbury Road, Charlbury.

Oxford Mail: Robin Danely’s self portrait in oils

Self portrait by Robin Danely

It includes oil paintings, mosaics, ceramics, etchings and wooden sculpture as well as photographs.

What’s more, Ms Carswell is keeping the Dutch theme in the title of the exhibition – it is called Jong (Dutch for young).

She said: “The Young Rembrandt exhibition, as well as offering amazing insights into the early years of the renowned artist, gave me the idea of reflecting on my own early years as an artist.

“It occurred to me that other mid-career artists might be interested to do the same. The exhibition will show art works made when the artists were young and just setting out.

“All are making new works for the exhibition which will be shown alongside them.”

Robin Danely, an American living and working in Oxford, is delighted to be taking part.

She said: “I decided that self-portraits would be the most fitting contribution. I have chosen to show an early self-portrait, from around 1996, when I first began painting at university.

“In this newest piece, I wear a collar crocheted by my grandmother, a connection to my past and to the decorative collars of Rembrandt’s era.

“I also wear turquoise eye shadow applied by my five-year-old daughter, a thoroughly modern aesthetic and a playful nod to the future.”

Juliet Eccles, who lives in Oxford, reflects her own vulnerability after she spent a year recovering from a riding accident, in which she broke her neck.

Her carved wooden pillow mirrors the long periods she was dependent on others to help her with the most basic needs, including feeding.

Vicky Hirsch, also from Oxford, trained in art at the Roehampton Institute and then in studio pottery at Harrow College of Art.

She will exhibit ceramics made in her early years in the 1980s as well as recent self-portrait etchings.

Oxford Mail: Vicky Hirsch’s etched self portrait

Vicky Hirsch’s etched self portrait

Becky Paton graduated in 1997 in public art and design at Chelsea School of Art, specialising in mosaic.

Since then, she has undertaken many public and community art commissions, in her home town of Oxford as well as in London and abroad. She is showing a series of mosaic self-portraits.

Curator Ms Carswell said: “It delights me that my enthusiasm should have so inspired the artists to make their works in response to the stunning Young Rembrandt exhibition at the Ashmolean.

“I am grateful to them for sticking with me and this project over the last trying two years.”

The exhibition opened last Friday ahead of a special weekend celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Oxford-Leiden twin city link.

Visitors will be able to see the exhibits every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon-5pm until November 28 or by appointment by calling 01608 811997 or 07769 723328 or emailing