Our Picks for Somerset Art Weeks Festival 2019
This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of Somerset Art Weeks, an annual county-wide celebration of the variety and quality of contemporary visual art that can be found across Somerset.
With 135 venues taking part, it is a fantastic opportunity to discover both artists and new places alike. Who might you discover?
Highlighting the artists and venues that we are looking forward to visiting, here is our pick of Somerset Art Weeks 2019:
WEST SOMERSET VENUES
Pine Feroda, Withypool
The Old Brick Workshop, Wellington
A versatile space for individuals in creative fields. It affords an opportunity for interaction, sharing ideas or stealing away time for focused work. Read more about the artists involved here
[images: The Old Brick Workshop]
CLOSE, Hatch Beauchamp
CLOSE Ltd is an arts consultancy and contemporary art space set in the grounds of Close House in Somerset. Specialising in curating inspiring exhibitions with international artists and collaborating with organisations and institutions here at CLOSE and externally to create outstanding projects.
[image: CloseLtd, Grenville Davey]
SOUTH SOMERSET VENUES
Cotley Tithe Barn is a working farm building. Between flower shows and harvest suppers it is occasionally transformed into a creative space, sharing new ideas and works in progress. Opening with Dolls House, the barns have been home to artist led collaborations and open studio events every year. In 2017 fourteen artists offered a rare glimpse inside Cotley’s complex of listed farm buildings with Prospect at Tithe Barn. 2018 brought Open Studios to the Tithe Barn introducing a year long textiles commission. This year Grounded shares the work of 5 artists, including 2 Somerset Art Works Bursary artists Liz Gregory and Jenny Mellings.
Ace Arts, Somerton is showcasing Fingerprint – an exhibition of works by artists who work together regularly at the Dove Etching Studio in Butleigh, inspiring and supporting each other. In addition to printmaking, they will be showing other aspects of their working practice including: Ceramics, Sculpture, Drawing and Painting.
Black Swan Arts, Frome
[images: Fiona Hingston]
Fiona Hingston’s new body of work, The English Woman’s Flora, includes more than 200 wildflowers made from masking tape and graphite. It is based on popular pocketbook ‘The Observer’s Book of Wild Flowers‘ (W.J. Stokoe, 1957). The work is part celebration and part lament for what is and increasingly is not to be found on the land she calls home.
B-Wing, Shepton Mallet
An ambitious multi-disciplinary arts event involving 6 artists and 2 writers making site-responsive works leading to an exhibition and performances in the unique spaces of B-Wing at Shepton Mallet Prison
Andelli Art, South Horrington, Wells
BACK TO THE FUTURE IV
Four artists – One art school – Five decades later. Andelli Art presents a group exhibition reuniting four contemporary artists (Kathy Dalwood, Susanna Lisle, Robin Sewell and Peter Webster) who studied together at the acclaimed Jacob Kramer Foundation Course in Leeds from 1969-70.
[image: Andelli Art]
Emilie Taylor, Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury
[images: Somerset Art Works]
Ceramicist Emilie Taylor will be presenting an exciting ceramic slipware based installation in Somerset Rural Life Museum’s beautiful and historic Abbey Barn in Glastonbury. The artwork is in response to the distinctive Donyatt slipware; a collection of pieces are currently on display in the Museum’s ‘The Art of the Potter’ exhibition.
Emilie uses traditional slipware to interpret and represent post-industrial landscapes and the spaces that sit between urban and rural. She is interested in the vessel or container as a metaphor for how we seek to contain communities and community rituals within British society, and considers this in relation to contemporary issues around food production and distribution, wealth and poverty. She will draw on the pre Christian ritual symbolizing the end of the Harvest, once common in parts of Somerset, and consider the ‘end of harvest’ in relation to contemporary issues around food production and distribution, wealth and poverty.
In a recent interview with Emilie, Professor Simon Olding, Director, Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts said:
“Her new vessels will tell us something about her as an artist as well as something about Glastonbury and storied ceramic history. They will be responsible guardians of the barn, messaging rural reality, offering through her own imagined female characters a folkloric and contemporary narrative.”
Lotte Scotte, A Long Hundred, The Abbot’s Fish House, Meare
For the last six years, Frome based artist Lotte Scotte has explored the landscape and history of the Somerset peat moors. A Long Hundred is an installation in the Abbot’s fish house, a medieval fishery building owned by English Heritage. It showcases new works made in collaboration with Natural England – large, peat pigment drawings, alongside 120 torrified wooden sculptures, each the size of a traditional peat turve.
Hunstile Organic Farm, Goathurst
The Arborealists, Fyne Court, Broomfield
[image: Paul Newman]
The Arborealists exhibition at National Trust Fyne Court , celebrates the importance and potential of trees as rich, vital and infinite subjects for art and life. Drawing on the romantic tradition in British art, alongside ecological issues, the exhibition intertwines art and nature, capturing a very British symbol of life and renewal. Our trees, like ruins, embody history; and such notions are a consistent thread that runs throughout many of the artists’ work.
OTHER SEDGEMOOR VENUES
We are based in Sedgemoor – be sure to pop by and say hello!
If you are coming to visit us at Clayhill Arts [Venue 133] we are close by, on the way to, or on the way from the following venues which are all worth visiting whilst in the area:
[Venue 125] Tractors & Cream : Installation and Painting
[including additional works by Emma Housley]
[Venue 126] George Foweraker : Woodturning
[Venue 128] A Load of Old Scrap : Scrap Metal Sculpture
[Venue 130] Jackie Curtis : Printmaking
[Venue 131] Engine Room : Film and installation works
We hope you have a great festival, enjoy meeting with artists and finding something new about Somerset along the way.
Download your festival guide here and start planning your visit
Here’s a list of 10 things you could be doing…