Interview with artist Honey Pegg

The new Hive Gallery in Thornbury is the realisation of a long-held dream for local artist Honey Pegg. She had been thinking about opening a gallery for years when she happened to notice a For Rent sign in a shop behind Hawkins. “I thought, look at that, that would be great for hanging pictures in, I’ll give it a go.” Within three weeks she’d moved in, filling the walls with a range of her own pieces as well as paintings by other local artists.

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Open every day, from 10am to 4pm, you can see Honey at work in the gallery in one of the various media she uses, including pencil drawing, silk painting, glass engraving, painting and pyrography. She welcomes visitors and is happy to explain and demonstrate the various techniques she uses.

She has long been an artist, although local people may also know her from the Wheatsheaf in Thornbury where she is the landlady. Her art adorns the walls there, including a huge portrait of David Bowie made entirely from bottle tops. As a Bowie fan, it’s a piece she’ll never part with, particularly following his death just a couple of weeks after her completion of the work.

In the gallery there is an impressive display of her work in other media. An eagle owl done in pyrography on wood with amazingly detailed feathers and mesmerising eyes, a vibrant silk painting of balloons over the suspension bridge with a pretty pastoral scene in the foreground and a delicate pencil drawing showing the maternal bond between a mother tiger and her cub.

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Her inspiration comes from her love of wildlife and she has visited Kenya several times as well as Thailand and Malaysia, bringing back hundreds of photographs of the local animals and birds. Her photography is also for sale in the form of greetings cards, including local wildlife and countryside scenes as well as more exotic subjects. Regular readers will have seen more of her images in the Local Art Showcase pages at the back of this magazine.

Honey is planning a photographic exhibition of local artists after the Severn Vale Art Trail as well as an exhibition of her collection of over 50 old and retro cameras.

In her limited spare time Honey is studying for a science degree with the Open University. In between studying, running a pub, the new gallery and learning new artistic techniques there are surely never quite enough hours in the day. It is an inspiration to see someone achieving so much, and taking their art to a wider audience.