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23 January 2012

When all the art exhibitions finally arrived...

Happy new year! The start of January was actually pretty quiet (in exhibition terms) until the end of the month when loads arrived all at once! Two exhibitions, a project in the High Street and the beginnings of several big exciting projects coming up-soon and during the Olympic torch ceremonies. 2012 has landed!

In no particular order:

Tuesday 17th - Friday 27th Get Creative @ Taunton -

Hosted by Actiontrack, Creative Carnival, Somerset Film and The Brewhouse, 'Get Creative' is a two week series of free events, workshops and debates based in Mendip House at the top of Taunton High Street.

From what I gather the point of having the building is to talk to the public/artists/performers etc. etc. [in terms of what they would want from an arts space] whilst having the opportunity to learn some new skills [film/web based] and take part in some performance pieces one of which includes a gamelan. Confused? Me too, slightly, there's quite a mix of stuff going on there although I think using the empty space, that is Mendip House for anything creative, no matter how confusing, is better than leaving it empty. Certainly I also hope that Taunton High Street can use events like this one to run further exhibitions and activities that will draw people into our High Street. All of this is of particular interest to me personally as it has a natural link to the 'Big Draw' project we held in the same place last October.

These two images are from Simon Lee Dicker's exhibition, 'Show and tell' at 'The Old School Room', West Coker - 18th until 29th January

"This exhibition brings together the work of artist collective OSR projects, established by artist Simon Lee Dicker. The Old School Room has been a place of learning, meeting and gathering for over 160 years and this exhibition works with the social history of the building as a catalyst for creative exploration." -Evolver

I hadn't been to 'The Old School Room' since Somerset Art Weeks so it was great to go back and see how things have changed (the addition of a gold painted wall for example!) and what new art works waited in store. I think its a bold move that warrants a lot of credit, to bring contemporary art of the, what I would call more conceptual nature into a relatively small Somerset village. But as West Coker proves, why conform to the stereotype? Why have landscape paintings and pictures of cows when you can have tartan on the walls and on the floors!(I actually think there's a place for both!) That's not to say its eccentric for eccentrics sake, but there is always a very playful and witty side to all the work that is shown in 'The Old School Room'. Even more appropriate when you consider it was actually a school room and, for it now to act as a place of play and a place to make you think/question is highly relevant. There are a lot of very 'cool' and clever visual elements to this exhibition and if you like art that is reminiscent of the balancing sculptures of Fischli and Weiss then this is definitely for you.

14th January - 18th February Richard Pomeroy 'Landscape: Imprint', Brewhouse Theatre -

New, big and bold paintings from SAW artist, Richard Pomeroy!
"Somerset based artist Richard Pomeroy explores the link between landscape and humanity. The artist lies down in carefully prepared wet paint on primed linen. The resulting image can form either the dramatic centrepiece of the painting or can be gradually subsumed by the subsequent layers of paint. The body's clothing is clearly modern with zips and denim defining the figure as contemporary. Aspects of the landscape are then painted as an upper layer on top of the body print. This physical union between body and landscape dramatises the subject of the paintings and creates a memorable image." -Brewhouse website

Yes! A painter! I'm very pleased that a painting exhibition has come to the Brew, and its an exciting one too! I won't bore you by re-aliterating what the descriptor above states instead I will talk a little bit, from a painterly point-of-view what I thought of the show. Out of the 10/12 canvases there's a wide exploration of colour palettes and techniques that, whilst the subject matter [of rivers/landscapes] remains relatively constant the surfaces and moods of the paintings are very different. It's those different textures and layers or colour that, for me, best reflect the idea of how the landscape in Somerset is connected geographically but is also very varied from place to place. Out of all the work the more subtle, 'white/grey' pieces appeal to me the most because I like the sharpness of the detail picked up from the printed clothing on the top that I feel is detracted by the brightness in some of the more colourful pieces. Overall, I spent a lot longer in this exhibition than a lot of the more 'sculptural' Brewhouse exhibitions which is clear to say that I really enjoyed it.

Really worth a look and if you want to find out more then come along to the 'artist talk' on Wednesday 2nd February from 6pm

So, phew! All of that in a week, and that's without mentioning the upcoming, 'Iluminos' project as a part of SAW's 'Maximum exposure' in which pill boxes along the Taunton stop line will be lit up with projections between, Feb 24th and 4th March. Plus there's a whole load of events happening surrounding the Olympics, all of which I'll have to fill you in on next time!

That's all for now, I'm off to hear a gamelan being played! 6.30pm tonight in the High Street, onwards. See you there!

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