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25 September 2011

SAW Roadtrip day 3: To Wells and back

Friday was the last day I had to visit arts weeks venues and this trip turned out to be a much more leisurely venture visiting four venues travelling from Taunton towards Wells on the A361 taking a few detours along the way and then back again. Although this is the last full day of SAW visits I still plan on visiting a couple more venues in Taunton that I haven't been to yet (I can walk to those so it will be a lot more relaxing). Anyway, this excursion started off with the fantastic Stoberry Park in Wells and what has turned out to be overall one of the best venues visited. I think it is fair to say that the reason its so good has a lot to do with the park itself which has brilliant gardens and views over Wells and the Cathedral. All of which is definitely made more interesting and engaging by having the sculptures of five different artists in amongst the gardens and grounds. It was a very enjoyable experience to look around and discover and in some cases search out the art. There are sculptures from artists, Sonja Klinger, Ian Marlow, Christine-Ann Richards, Fiona Campbell and Alex Relph (see images below for some of their work).

(above) Ian Marlow's sculpture overlooking views of Wells Cathedral the Tor.

(above) Fiona Campell's wire sculptures can be seen hidden amongst the gardens .

(above) Sonja Klinger's 'Getting blood out of a stone' (II) in the gardens at Stoberry Park

From Wells we headed further upwards into the Mendips into the village of Priddy (sadly no sheep this day) where we visited October House and the work of eight artists; Belinda Brownlee, Christina White, Susan Walker, Duncan Simey, Peter Davey, Cath Bloomfield, Alison Potter and Linda Briscow. Lots to see here, some great ceramics and photography and personally loved Cath Bloomfield's collagraphs (pictured above).

Onwards and back down the A39 and past Galstonbury to visit Spring Farm Arts at Moorlinch. Five artists here, Nancy Farmer, Anne Farmer, Jenny Graham (pictured above), Clio Graham and Susan Gradwell. Similar set-up to Hurstone Studios in Milverton with lots of artists working in farm buildings. Lots to see here and worth going to see and meet the artists and their studio spaces.
And.....finally 'Level Space' at Stoke St Gregory and the work of the four artists listed below and very near the Willows and Wetlands Centre (a great place to visit). Sadly, I'm not really a fan of minimalism so this venue wasn't, if I'm being honest, to my taste, but is great if you like that kind of thing. Plus there's some great conker trees outside if you fancy picking up some (I did).
(below) Pennie Elfick, Bronwen Bradshaw, Tony Martin and Caroline Sharp at Level Space near Stoke St Gregory

More info in the SAW catalogue. Or click on the links listed below (in chronological order):

Thus, my friends, concludes this years art weeks road-trips. Its been busy, inspiring and I've had the pleasure of meeting and talking to lots of interesting people. Hope it may have inspired you to get out there and visit some venues too (or even take part yourself next year?). There's still a few places I've not yet been to so I'll keep you posted when I visit those and of course there's the 'Night of Light' event at Hestercombe Gardens this Friday, 30th to look forward to as well. Watch this space. You've still got a whole week to explore until the end of art weeks on the 2nd October, so get out there!

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