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28 August 2011

Parsley's most wanted list for 2011:

After having a look at the Somerset Art Weeks catalogue over the last month I've picked out lots that I'd like to go out and see and the following is a selection of some of the venues that appealed to me. I'm not sure exactly what people look for when choosing what art week venues to visit, do you use the catalogue to decide? Or do you just hop in the car and drive down Somerset's country roads in search of yellow signs? Myself, I tend to visit venues where my friends are exhibiting (naturally, of course I would) or I am drawn in to finding new art work based on how interested or intrigued I am by the image in the catalogue. There are plenty of other ways people decide, based on location, what's happening near and around where you live, or by art practice. Anyway, whatever the reason you always end up finding new things along the way. So get out there and enjoy art weeks this September 17th til October 2nd. Without further ado here's my picks of 2011... In no particular order!

Click on the link below each venue which will provide further details of each venues location/opening times/contact details and more:

Four mediums-Many creatures: Venue 35

Metal work, painting, prints, drawing, photography and sculpture from four artists: Michelle McCullagh, Deborah Burt, Emma Harris and Amy Goodman.
Transient Threads: Venue 17
New work by Laura Rouse, Jenni Dutton, Ingrid Helsing and Esme May in the fantastic Tithe barn in Cotley. Had our show here last year, its a brilliant building. Look forward to seeing how its used this year.

Painting and animation: Venue 58

Paintings from Kate Noble and animations from loads of artists!

Sheds: Venue 102

Coming to you from Hemyock (Blackdown Hills artists and makers) a.k.a BHaam! explore, er... Sheds. Expect curiosities and discoveries aplenty.

The Reading Room: Venue 65

Meet the Calvers': Meg, Michael, Julia and Harriet as they install sketchbooks, notebooks and writing in the Reading room at Wrington.

Light Scribbles, Oakland Children's Centre Yeovil: Venue 10

Photographic images of work created by children at the Oakland's children's centre. Great photo here from the catalogue, I'm very intrigued to find out more.

Operation Chameleon: Venue 1

Jon England reveals his new work in response to the restoration of a WWII Grumman Martlet by The Fleet Air Arm Museum. The exhibition also set inside the museum features site specific installation/mixed media pieces that use both imagery and meticulous processes associated with forensic archaeology and history.

Richard Beart, Val Berry, Angela Wood and Len Payne @ the Broken Barn: Venue 87

Ceramics, painting, prints, drawing and photography from the artists mentioned above.

The Lamb and Flag: Venue 104

At this venue see, paintings from Sara Dudman (above), Phil Dudman, Michael Tarr and sculpture/installation from Richard Holt.

Under a new sun: Venue 11

Wow! Loads of artists at this venue, Simon Lee Dicker, Meg Calver, Angela Charles, Michael Fairfax, Lucia Harley, Simon Hitchens, Luke Paramore and Tasha Stevens, phew! Set in the slightly weird but wonderful Lanes Hotel and Old School Room in West Coker expect contemporary film, sculpture, installation, new media and more.....

'Chymistry' at Crescent Contemporary: Venue 98

Another 'good value' visit with all your favourite artists all under one roof. Go to link below to see them all listed very neatly:

Roots at Kings College, Taunton: Venue 97

Here's my friend, Lucy Lean! Alongside fellow artists, Emma Duke, Samantha Gilbert and Trevor Salway-Roberts. Looks like it features a great mix of practices with a natural/nature kind of theme that seems to unite them together.

ECHO: Postcards from a seaside town: Venue 85

A performance/film/site specific piece set in the postcard seaside town of Minehead. I absolutely love postcards so I wonder what I will make of 'living' ones?

Harbour Studios Porlock Weir: Venue 88

I really need to get down there to Porlock, can't remember when/if I ever have been there? And with Porlock arts festival on the way I really fancy a visit, plus this image by Merlyn Chesterman is fantastic.

Related: Venue 21

Featuring work by Andrew Davey, Toni Davey, Fay Davey, Leo Davey and Rose Davey at The Ilminster Meeting House

Homecoming: Venue 84

More from Hannah Bishop and company who held the successful 'Homecoming' multidisciplinary event earlier this year.

Quorum -Contemporary paintings and sculpture: Venue 103

Sculpture from Mike West, mixed media-installation pieces from Scarlet Von Teazel and paintings from Diane Burnell and Andrea Rowbotham.

Blue II at Rook Lane Chapel: Venue 40

'A fascinating 18th Century dyers woad recipe book from Wallbridge Mill in Frome inspires a group of professional artists.' Sounds very interesting to me.

Story Walks: Venue 91

Three walks, stories and locations from Christopher Jelley (I remember you!). What could be a better art experience than being outside! A brilliant idea for a family day out.

Stoberry Park: Venue 60

For your sculpture, stone carving, glass and ceramic needs visit, Stoberry Park and see work from Sonja Klingler, Ian Marlow, Fiona Campbell (pictured), Christine-Ann Richards and Alex Relph.

And that's only the start of it! There are 20 venues listed here out of a possible 108. So there really is something for everyone.

22 August 2011

Back from my, er..holidays?

Aloha! Apologies not to have posted in the last few weeks, I'd like to say I'd been on holiday...

....except I haven't (although I did enjoy an orange juice in Bath one day). In fact, I've been busy making...

this! And....
this! You see, because obviously a head's got to have a body. In my spare time I've been writing this...

My MA Fine art proposal. Aaaannd when I wasn't doing any of that I was probably hanging this... exhibition currently on at the Conference Centre at Somerset College til October 2nd.

But now that's all nearly out of the way I'm back and ready to share with you all the art weeks events and exhibitions happening in Somerset very soon (September 17th). There's a lot to look forward to so watch this space.

10 August 2011

Give it a go!

The following is a press release about the exciting 'I love art' project involving local schools and being run by SAW artist, Sara Dudman. Please see details of an opportunity to volunteer and 'give it a go' at helping hang an exhibition of students work/get involved in workshops at The Brewhouse this August. On a blog post about a month ago I talked about my own experiences at working with the 'I love art' project and how inspiring it has been as a part of my practice. So please take the time to read the information below and 'Give it a go!'

I Love Art (at The Brewhouse)
'KS2-3 Young Artists Gallery Education Project 2011'

Coinciding with SAW 2011, an exhibition of work by pupils and teachers from 4 Taunton Schools will be held in the Box Office at the Brewhouse from 21st – 28th September.

It’s all been happening over the past few weeks at The Brewhouse and Castle School in Taunton. Young artists from 4 Taunton schools have been working alongside their teachers with artists, including Double Elephant Print Workshop and art educators to explore, interpret, analyse and respond to the visual art exhibitions on show at the Brewhouse Gallery and CafĂ© Bar. 20 children from 2 primary schools and 2 secondary schools and their teachers have been stuck into drawing and printmaking on Wednesday afternoons from 2-6pm in The Cultivate Hub at The Brewhouse, working on themes and subjects suggested by the visual artwork exhibited at The Brewhouse.

On August 24th, 25th and 26th The Brewhouse’s Cultivate Hub will once again be alive with activity as the children and teachers will come together again to create paintings responding to the current exhibition, “Absinthe and Presence” – it is a rare and valuable opportunity for children and adults alike to meet the challenge of exploring a conceptual abstract exhibition as inspiration for their own explorations in paint.

‘Arts Adventures’ is a programme of after school and holiday arts activities available to children and young people in Somerset. Secured by SPAEDA, funded by Somerset County Council as part of the ‘Give it a Go!’ scheme, local professional artists will be running a series of free arts activities during the summer term and holiday period. ‘Arts Adventures’ aims to give, children and young people who wouldn’t usually have the opportunity, the chance to explore the arts, whilst encouraging them to discover their own creativity - a safe space to try new things, gain new skills, build confidence, make friends and have fun!

In partnership with The Brewhouse, the project aims to encourage schools to visit and engage with live visual art available on their doorsteps, developing analytical, critical and creative thinking skills in addition to the practical artistic development of the youngsters and their teachers. The project fosters children’s confidence, self-esteem and commitment, whilst also acting as a catalyst for further development of practice in schools more widely.

Nicky, secondary school art teacher said: “We all really enjoyed the session and I was slightly amazed how quickly the girls became absorbed in the whole process”.

Potential Opportunities for Placement Artists:

Gain valuable experience by coming along to help out and enjoy the experience on 24, 25, 26th August : contact Sara below. We will also be holding further sessions at the Brewhouse in September, with an exhibition to run from 20th – 28th September at the Brewhouse Boxoffice. Any volunteers to help hang the exhibition on 20th September would again be most welcome and should contact for more information.

3 August 2011

When Parsley went Pitt rivers,

Pitt Rivers: Oxford (scanned image from catalogue) -because its so dark in there!
Hooray, after eight years and two failed attempts (long story) I finally made it to Pitt Rivers in Oxford! That's to say that my interest in everyday bits and pieces, household stuff, tools etc. etc. has been with me ever since GCSE Art when I started drawing socks and slippers. Car engines, bicycles, umbrellas, cupboards, a few spanners (to say the least) later and at last I find myself outside the Oxford Museum of Natural History.
It certainly wasn't disappointing, rows and rows of glass museum cases full of weird and amazing oddities, artifacts and curiosities (well, unless you are 127 years old and from the People's Republic of Congo then some things may seem pretty everyday and mundane to you -but you get the point I am trying to make, anyway)to my eyes an endless amount of stuff to process. I can just imagine having a similar museum of the artifacts of tomorrow, putting together all the bits of our social history/material culture done in a similar way to Pitt Rivers. To some extent many artists have done this; Peter Blake and Hirst being two that immediately spring to mind. Anyway, what made exploring the collection even more enjoyable was the way it was ordered (by function as to location/period in history) so as a result you have a whole case full of drums, or surgical tools, scissors, combs or keys, or currency or clothes fastenings. Except sometimes you're not really sure what some of the things are for, certain objects might be in a case marked 'tools' but a lot of them are tools of the likes you have never seen before, its all very different. Sure, you can see that some tools are serrated so they must be used for cutting or others have large flat heads so they might be used for digging, but even so its not always quite that obvious as to what the things actually are. Exploring the collection in the darkly lit room also added to the feeling of wonder and mystery surrounding the objects, it wasn't clinical or stuffy, but (those of you who've also been will know what I mean) invited you to look and peer all around and above the objects.
I spent a great deal of time here of what could have easily been a whole day had I not had to catch the train back to Taunton and it is the sort of place that you could look at again and again and still find something new. This visit has definitely reinforced and re-acknowledged my confidence in the importance of tools, not just in our society, but to humans as a whole. It has also opened up new ideas in thinking more about; unusual tools/shapes/definitions where it is not always necessarily clear what purpose they have. Visually I will take away the aesthetic of collections (in example, how they are arranged), which I have always enjoyed doing in my work, but perhaps now I am thinking I could use that idea more. The labels on all the artifacts were completely beautiful, interesting and are still something I would like to explore using in my own work although I sort of feel that labels might be too obvious and done/used by artists a million times before so I'm thinking about that one.
If some of you are wondering what all of this very splendidness might actually have to do with SAW then the answer is that the research in both this trip as well as the trip I made to MERL (Museum of English Rural Life, Reading) the week before came out of the Professional Development Bursary that myself and four other artists received from SAW to develop a body of work for art weeks this year. We've met up as a group on several occasions (those of you who are no stranger to this blog will know). So given the fact that my project has been rooted in the storage facility of The Somerset Heritage Centre looking at their agricultural tools, a trip to Pitt Rivers seemed to be an important place to visit in connection with that. I'm really pleased that I finally managed to see it and hope to use the notes I made/pictures etc. to make some new work as a result of this visit.