TWO abstract painters, Marj Bond and Anne Davies, and the well known sculpture ceramist, John Maltby, are currently showing some original and charming work at the New Ashgate Gallery.

It is all admirably complementary in the way strong patterns of lines, shapes and colours are on display.

Marj Bond, who lives and works in Fife, has a most exotic sense of colour and an evident warm feeling about ethnic and cultural imagery.

She has travelled in Italy, southern Spain, India and Mexico and one can see how local icons and prehistory symbols have influenced her designs which are so full of light and intense hues.

Her Villa de Nuova, Winter, is large and striking with its tones of blue, mauve and grey and suggests the tattered form of a Spanish shutter and its twin, with sub title Summer, is in orange, yellow and brown.

The rest of her oil on canvas work is more boldly ethnic.

Jacob's Shrine is an architectural study in light and dark blues with a central image of an open book in yellow and Mesquita has an Islamic architectural flavour of receding arches with lovely contrasts of blues and reds.

Her quite large Votine Shrine is quite striking with its row of symbols set in a row within a surround of reds, browns and yellows and High Summer has a circle, in a sea of reds, within which are ideogrammatic boats and sailors.

Anne Davies, who comes from the Peak District and now lives in London, has gained, like so many British artists, an attraction for the scenery and light of the Cornish coast.

Her work in acrylics mainly comprises dark, varied little blocks contrasted with white and grey backgrounds, which she puts together in an infinite series of patterns which suggest a scenic element.

Many of these are small and some are nicely presented in the gallery as a linked set. Her titles are often difficult to associate with these abstract pictures and there is a little too much sameness, rather unfortunately.

Most, however, are very interesting when examined closely for the detailed textures and lines she uses.

Giant Stride I and II plus Winter Fields, in the first room, are imposing because they are seen together, as also are the set of four small works seen in the corridor and curiously named Fair Isle, Curly Town, Six Black Houses and Between the City and the Hill.

The most extraordinary is called Circle, which has no such format, but is still a nice set of blocks with scratches over the dark areas.

John Maltby has always raised a smile when exhibiting his cheeky ceramic pieces which, like Swing Boat, you can actually make to move.

His Angel and Wall and his Seabird with Fish are fun because he has a wonderful way with shapes and marks.

This artist tells us that his Englishness shows through but here his preoccupation is with foreign groups of little figures. These are posed on a stage set for a Greek tragedy as in Five Figures and a Wall, or in Family Group which shows Indian or African ladies sheltering under trees.

It is surprising that these are mostly in dull grey/white tones.

But his amusing Princess and Throne, Head of a Queen, Ancient King, and especially his Angel and Tiger, all show that his work is still as lively and well conceived as ever.

This attractive show continues until October 5.

Eric Buesnel