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11 October 2013

Blaze of Glory

The SAW festival is over for another year, the exhibitions are closed to the public but those directly involved are still busy behind the scenes. Now is the time for the shows to be dismantled, to begin focusing on future projects, for many a chance to get the much missed paint brushes out after two weeks busy stewarding. I hope that you were able to enjoy the abundance of creativity that was available locally on your doorstop and had the opportunity to get out and about. I hear many people lament that they only wish they had more time to view everything that was going on - me being one of them!

Artist Leah Hislop took a slightly different approach to her art weeks and particularly her installation for the Abundance Garden Trail.  Her Labyrinth took shape over the two week period, providing visitors a valuable insight into the work that goes into creating such a large scale structure plus the obvious opportunity to meet with the artist first hand. Once her installation was finally finished it was only to be seen in it's completed glory on the last day of the festival. Some may feel a little disappointed by this, only a fleeting moment to catch a view of this transient sculpture, but what a glorious day to end on. The garden at Aller farmhouse was a blaze of yellow, orange and red in the unexpected warmth of the autumn sunshine, the colour not shouting from the garden's borders but from Leah's woven Labyrinth. 

I arrived early on the Sunday morning to help set up for the Friends of Saw private view and had the joy of experiencing Leah's Labyrinth selfishly to myself. The farm and gardens looked incredibly beguiling, with red brick outbuildings, old oak doors and located in one of those little pockets of West Somerset that feel like France. The light was also amazing and highlighted the long lengths of spider web that were being caught on the soft breeze - quite apt I thought considering the thought processes behind Leah's work. 

The guests slowly arrived and it would seem that all generations took pleasure in not just viewing but stepping inside the Labyrinth. Some were a little tentative in their approach,  unsure how they would escape from the web. Others, particularly the children  relished in running and leaping their way through.

Leah explained that she was very taken by how the human figure was 'lost' in the layers as they ventured deeper within, she also realised that inadvertently the layout of the labyrinth had mimicked the layout of the paths and gardens at Aller. I loved the fact that throughout the entire time Leah was at the private view a length of yellow spun wool did not leave her hands.

The bright sunshine of Sunday was a striking contrast to many of the dark days Leah had worked through to complete her task, enduring heavy rain showers and even thunder as part of her creative journey - a journey from dark to light almost mirroring that of her sculpture. 

You may enjoy reading her progress at the Abundance Blog by clicking here

Now I was under the impression all the SAW venue doors were closed for another year but no you still have an opportunity to visit Make the Most at Barrington Court which is open until the 31st October - so there is plenty more time to get your fix of Somerset art. Plus many of the artists involved with SAW will no doubt be exhibiting in the near future. A great way to keep up to date with many of these events is by signing up for the SAW newsletter, by joining the Friends of SAW and of course by signing up to receive regular updates from the SAW Blog by entering your details in the 'follow by e mail box' to the top right of this page. 

My next posting will be a reflection on the Last Walk at Westcott....

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