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24 September 2011

SAW Roadtrip Day 2: South Somerset and round in circles at Muchelney

Its Saturday, but in blogging terms it is a Wednesday and all of these images are from Wednesday's travels around South Somerset and a record of eight art weeks venues. Is that a lot? It is if you end up taking a couple detours here and there as you're looking for any yellow SAW arts weeks signs in the predominately green lanes of Somerset's countryside. Anyway, in chronological order here are the venues visited on this day:

At Venue 28/29: Muchelney Abbey, Muchelney, Langport: Cranes at Muchelney Abbey- Two venues in one place! The Cranes (pictured here) created by school kids and the community as a part of the 'Great Crane Project' adorn the lawns leading up and around the Abbey. Inside the Abbey there's work to be seen from Emily Colenso, Will Shakspeare, Carol Mackenzie and Mary Vanderplank. All in all a great example of art in a site specific context with some of the artists taking features from the Abbey's architecture and history and using it in their work or the 'Crane project' located on the site where Cranes have been released.

(above) Part of the charm of art weeks is visiting places you've never been to before. This was the first time I'd been to Muchelney Abbey and so I couldn't resist taking lots of photos of things like this wall painting in what is a remarkable building.

(above) A couple of Kitty Hillier's engraved and coloured wood pieces can be seen inside the Abbey at Muchelney. Kitty was also an artist who worked on 'The Great Crane Project'.More of Kitty's work can be seen at Pitney (Venue 32).

(above) Fiona Campbell's wire work created in workshops with schools and community groups at Muchelney Abbey as a part of the Great Crane Project. To see Fiona's own wire creations this art weeks visit, Stoberry Park, Wells (Venue 60).

(above and below) Venue 27: Mucheleney Forge, Langport: 'Five at the Forge' - Fantastic forge and (below) Julia Thompson's caravan where she makes hand crafted bespoke lockets and jewelery. Also at this venue expect to see forged ironwork from Nick Ostroumoff, carved alabaster mathematical art from Nick Durnan, firuartive oil paintings from Corrine Short and woodcarvings and prints from Jane Mowat (who was carving the most huge impressive bed when I visited). On different days there are all sorts of demonstrations and activities to see which makes this a lively place worth a visit.

....and of course the fact that there happened to be a forge with loads of tools in had no baring on my decision to visit this venue...

(above and below) At Venue 1: Fleet Air Arm Museum, Yeovilton: 'Operation Chameleon' -Jon England's installation of mixed media pieces is so site specific to the extent where you'd almost believe the work is not only part of the museum, now, but looks as though it could have always been there. The work in response to the restoration being undertaken of a WW2 Grumman Martlet plane mimics the processes used by the restoration team (whose portraits have been created as a part of the exhibition -see below). The pieces in the show document the history of the plane in images of the pilots who flew it and places the plane journeyed throughout its history before it arrived at Fleet for its restoration. The work is situe alongside the plane itself making it a very poignant exhibition. Worth a visit as the museum itself is also incredibly cool.

(above and below) At Venue 11: The Old School room and Lanes Hotel at West Coker: 'Under a new sun' -Simon Lee Dicker's exhibition in the recently turned gallery, The Old School room at West Coker. Featuring work from Somerset based contemporary artists, Megan Calver (you'll possibly see her out in the village with her pole...), painting from Angela Charles, musical instruments (or are they sculptures) from Michael Fairfax, Lucia Harley, Simon Hitchens, Tasha Stevens and new media and video pieces from Luke Paramore. Pictured is Simon's bicycle, titled, 'The way to work' (he actually does ride them in apparently?!)

On that note, I'm going to get on my bike and have a moment to digest all the things I've seen these art weeks. Until next time!

For more information about all the venues and more along the way then pick up the SAW catalogue at a library or venue near you!

Or in the order we visited venues are as follows:

Please look at the SAW map before heading out because there are loads of other venues along the way...

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