A VERY nice Christmas exhibition, excellently presented as usual, is on show at the New Ashgate Gallery, Farnham, until December, 29.

Some16 artists and about 40 makers were invited this year and they have provided a varied and charming mix of paintings, prints, ceramics, glass, textiles, jewellery, cushions, mirrors, as well as hats, bags and scarves.

It is amazing to see how capacious the Ashgate appears when every single wall and room has been adorned to the full.

First of all, the artists include the well known Mike Bernard RI with his colourful mixed media works, especially Boatyard Elmsworth, Helen Clapcott with her tiny but exquisite picture Mill, and Fiona Millias with an attractive abstract, mainly in blues, Garden Wet With Rain.

Charles Sutton is there too with an impressionistic work in oil, Rocky Headland and Sarah Spackman has one of her watercolours, Still Life with Blue Bottle. Keith New has a strange panorama in pastel and acrylic, Blackthorn, Early Spring which looks almost as though it has been sewn with wool.

Some interesting newcomers to the gallery include Marj Bond who paints portraits in oil like mystic icons in subtle colours as in OttolineÕs Party and Dora in Yegen.

Vicky Philosoph has some oils which show her interest in paint marks and textures as in Golden Light On The Water and Katherine Holmes, who is showing a small but intriguing mixed media work Winterland, Boss Moor.

Among the prints there are some cosy and amusing drypoint etchings of curled-up figures, such as Lady with Necklace and Nige Reading What Camera, by Anita Klein, who has often been seen at the Ashgate.

ThereÕs a striking geometric abstract linocut, Blue Wings by Breon OÕCasey, and a lovely, traditional etching in dark sepia, Tall Ships, Charlestown by Oliver West.

Also there is Victoria CroweÕs very attractive colour etchings in triptych, Drawn from Nature, which includes some images of indiscrete beetles, a tree nibiscus and some butterflies and wasps.

A long vertical dark monoprint by Olive Gill called Calculus, Figures and Falling Angel, appears to be an underwater image with bubbles and seaweed.

There is an abundance of high-quality textile work on show such as Wendy EdmondsÕ splendid wall hanging Refraction, which has an interestingly coloured abstract printed design.

Wallace and SewellÕs many Throws are all very colourful and Asta BarringtonÕs and Emma SimpsonÕs beautiful range of scarves and not a few cushions and bags are placed invitingly everywhere.

Christine Meyer-EaglefareÕs unique screens (four-panel and three- panel versions) in wood and paper marquetry, have designs and colours with a definite Japanese look.

Rob MarshallÕs exotic glass bowls, bottles and plates are delightfully patterned and very colourful.

Among the vast array of ceramics these drew my attention for their unusual shapes and colours: Charles HowisonÕs extremely long- necked bottles, Samantha BrondyÕs very tall, curved vessels with their tiny patterns of holes, and Jill Fanshawe-KatoÕs decorative set of bowls, vases and jugs all with fish, turtles and other such things on the surface glaze.

Finally, Babette MartiniÕs small but amusing small ceramic Hanging Figures, suspended from the ceiling in two parts of the gallery were most entertaining to see and that phrase surely describes the show as a whole.

Eric Buesnel