Visit our Alcove Gallery this September to see Fragments – a collaborative exhibition by local artists Joanne Dale and Stefanie Gundlach. Featuring guest artist Halima Cassell MBE.

Stefanie Gundlach


Stefanie Gundlach also had a career in graphic design working at one point with Warner Bros on the Harry Potter, but now she enjoys life as an independent artist. “Commercial briefs are very restricting”, she says. “Working independently is incredibly liberating. Sometimes just doodling results in something I can use”. She acknowledges, though, that her commercial work served as kind of an apprenticeship. “Having to find absolutely precise colour matches and harmonies for commercial printing across a variety of media probably helped to sharpen my perception”.


“My work is inspired by colours, textures and patterns in my surroundings. I enjoy exploring the artistic elements of colour, line and shape, experimenting with various media and techniques. All of my paintings develop intuitively. I start free of preconceptions and open to possibilities, experimenting with colours and textures until the subject begins to emerge. I don’t ask questions of it and trust it will lead the way.”


“My work for “Fragments” is all about collating different kinds of fragments, be it physical pieces of old sketches and paintings or memories and ideas. With all pieces being abstract to a varying degree, they hopefully invite the viewer to add fragments of their own from memories or imagination, evoked by looking at the work before them. Each new viewing creates the possibility of a new interpretation and understanding. New memories are created, new fragments emerge.”

Joanne Dale


Joanne Dale is a lecturer in Visual Communication at Loughborough University. Working for design companies for several years, she feels that the variety of materials she had to deal with then and now helps her to select different components for her art. Composition is the constituent of which she is most consciously aware. “Pretty well everything is intuitive. The real skill is the revealing”. she says, referring to the different layers from which colour, tone, line and shape emerge to produce powerful, beautifully restrained and understated images.


I have been a collector of material ‘fragments’ for as long as I can remember and I believe it stems from my childhood. ‘Proper’ art materials were rarely available, I had to use whatever I could and and I became very good at collecting fragments of detritus. It felt natural when I began to explore abstraction to begin the process using my collection of found and made fragments. Found paper has become my ‘go to’ material in all its forms. I delight in the properties of paper, its strength, physical characteristics, and ability to have memory, a fold, a crease.


Collage continues to inform my work, both 2D and 3D and is the ground on which I build. When working in 2D a layer of plaster, ink and paint are applied and sanded away in a process of adding and subtracting, where It is unknown what will remain and what will disappear. I believe in being open to chance, allowing random and unexpected compositions to slowly reveal themselves. I look for connections, texture, line, colour and shape that begin to appear on the surface that then may develop into an abstract work. The results look textural and yet feel smooth to the touch.


For this exhibition, my focus was to produce a varied body of work that explored new forms and new ways of working. I wanted to celebrate fragments and consider ways to connect and compose that may evoke a sense of fragility. I hope you enjoy the work.

Guest artist: Halima Cassell


Shropshire-based Halima Cassell is the exhibition’s guest artist, where she is displaying an iconic work with a unique history. After spending three months preparing a commission for the Hepworth Gallery in 2007, her two clay sculptures exploded in the kiln the day before the exhibition opened. Salvaging the fragments and reworking them, Halima subsequently created her superb 6th bronze, Makonde, currently on exhibition at Glyndebourne, while another original 14 inch fragment also cast in bronze, Makonde II, in the piece she has chosen for Qube. Halima is also exhibiting three sketches linked to the original piece.


Born in Kashmir, Halima has lived in the UK from the age of one. She gained an MA from the University of Central Lancashire where she developed her incisive, bold sculptural style that captures both the sublime aesthetics of Islamic art and physical drama of East African sculpture. She was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Sculptors in 2016 and awarded an MBE for her contribution to sculpture in the New Years Honours list, 2021.