SOMERSET ART WEEKS FESTIVAL 2017
23 SEPTEMBER – 8 OCTOBER
SCAN members Venue Guide:
- Venue 12 – ashar (SCAN) with Rose Hubbard and Claudia Gunton
- Venue 43 – Tina Dodd (SCAN) with Juliet Arnison and Bridget Morrison
- Venue 71 – Judy Crosher (SCAN) & Alexandra Lavizzari (SCAN)
- Venue 82 – Lucy Lean (SCAN) as part of the Creative Pathways exhibition at The Brewhouse Theatre
- Venue 96 – John Gammans (SCAN) with Chris Kampf
Somerset Art Weeks is the unique celebration of Visual Arts in Somerset.
Alternating between Open Studios and Festival years, Somerset Art Weeks is now firmly established as one of the biggest showcases celebrating the visual arts in the South West. With over 350 artists in 120 venues for 16 days of this autumn’s Festival, many venues have embraced the theme ‘Prospect’ in their shows and events.
Featuring special projects, exhibitions, workshops and bursaries, it includes new art commissions by established and emerging artists, with a host of respected curators, all in special places unique to Somerset. Celebrated alongside these is an innovative programme of vibrant events over three weekends on the theme of Contemporary Craft, Film and Family, all of which place Art in the heart of the community.
Some of the more unusual venues and exhibitions to look out for this year include:
Rockaway Park, a scrapyard in a disused quarry near Temple Cloud, provides materials and inspiration for artists and many more, with on-site blacksmiths and woodworkers.
‘A Landscape of Objects’ shows specially commissioned artworks and installations located in some of the South West’s most beautiful gardens such as Lytes Cary, Kilver Court, Hestercombe Gardens and Forde Abbey.
Located in the Tithe Barn at Somerset Rural Life Museum, Gather-ing is a contemporary craft exhibition with specially-created work by Stewart Easton and Associates, Christopher Jelley, Jacky Oliver, Helen Snell and Gillian Widden.
St Cuthberts Mill near Wookey will be opening their doors and offering a rare opportunity to take a look inside with special ‘Golden-Ticket’ style tours.
The Engine Room in Bridgwater features a selection of work from Somerset artists who have collaborated with Ignite, passing on digital skills to artists in all artforms.
In Castle Cary, Two Artists and a Bookshop explore the work of siblings Gus and Lotte Scott and how books have informed their art.
Tucked away in the heart of Exmoor, Lanacre Barn Gallery hosts a group show by Leo Davey, Louis Down, Miranda Johnston, Jessamy Keily, Luke Martineau, Niko Michalopoulos and Jo Minoprio.
On the edge of the harbour in Watchet, Contains Art features ’New Wave’, a reunion of alumni from West Somerset Community College, curated by Toni Davey, responding to Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’.
Bruton School for Girls shows ’50 Bees ‘ by Feltmaker Lydia Needle with tiny, life-size British Bees in wool, representing just a few of the 260 varieties left in the UK.
The YMCA in Bridgwater welcomes the public with a new group show by SAW members Lucy Willis, Pennie Elfick and Judy Willoughby.
‘Amazing Space II: Spirit of Place’ features well known Somerset artists working in mixed media at Dove Studios near Butleigh.
Eight Museums across Somerset and Devon feature MUSE (Makers in Museums) with responses by contemporary artists to fascinating historic collections.
SAW Chair Richard Pomeroy extends an invitation to Russian artists to visit Somerset and take part in open-air painting who will then exhibit at The Gallery in Castle Cary.
‘Prospectus’ is a pilot project led by artist Anna Best for a new form of art school in the dispersed art community of Somerset, showing in two locations; Taunton and Bridgwater College and also at Huish Episcopi Academy.
‘Ephemeral and Eternal’ is an installation by sculptors Fiona Campbell and Angela Morley, looking at nature’s capacity for renewal, in the Round Tower at Black Swan Arts in Frome. Fiona and Angela will also be showing at a brand new venue to Somerset, Clayhill Arts, near Bridgwater.
Water-Meadow-Wood presents artwork created by participants working with resident artist Elizabeth Jardine, through an exploration of the natural, cultural and historical heritage of Yeovil Country Park.
Pubs and shops also feature this year. Chris Lee and Frances Harden take over the whole of Wells High Street with the longest gallery in Somerset – the 1/2 Mile Gallery, while the Archangel pub in Frome hosts a photography exhibition and workshops by Kit Sadgrove.
Established destinations take part along with newer venues including the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury, CICCIC in Taunton, Heritage Courtyard Studios and Andelli Art in Wells, Bruton Art Factory and a special pop up exhibition by Cavaliero Finn at Monks Yard in Ilminster.
Festival year continues to delight audiences by enabling Somerset Art Works artist members to participate in themed exhibitions and group shows. Many venues will have workshops, talks, demonstrations and family-friendly activities with plenty of opportunities for visitors to meet the artists, find out more about the work on display and even have a go at making something.
Visitors can expect to be inspired and surprised by experiencing art in a variety of unusual and special locations. The vast majority of the festival is free to attend. Somerset Art Works continues to support the arts in Somerset and facilitate exciting, challenging and inspiring artwork with a curated programme of commissions and partner projects.
An interactive map is available via the website www.somersetartworks.org.uk to help visitors find venues and plan visits. Free Festival guides are available from Somerset Art Works on 01458 253800 and in Tourist Information Centres, libraries, galleries, museums and other outlets across the county and beyond. The guide lists 120 Venues as well as special events including SAW projects and commissions, workshops, demonstrations and Family Friendly activities.