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9 July 2013

Contains Art!

The sun shone, the elderflower champagne was popped and the Contains Art Studios were declared open. The setting for these three iron ladies is quite stunning particularly on a warm Summer's day. In the shadow of the passing steam trains and directly on the harbour side the bunting and Contains Art flags only add to the holiday atmosphere. However this is also a working dock and there has been a huge amount of time and energy invested by the local creative community to transform these dark, cold, echoey metal boxes into light, airy studio spaces. 

Understandably the boat owners were a little wary of relinquishing an area of their boat yard to a group of artists but on witnessing how the contains art team have been literally hands on doing the build themselves they have come to appreciate and understand that maybe they are not so different - for they too are busy grinding, sanding and painting their boats and there is a mutual understanding of hard graft and getting a job done, one hopes that in time the two will feel that they cannot 'be' without the other. Comparisons are naturally drawn with St.Ives where the artists set up their studios in the net lofts of the local fisherman, to this day the two trades still share the same building and the working fishermen regularly attend many a private view. 

The Contains Art Team: Naomi Griffith, Sue Lowe, Melanie Deegan, Angela Wood, Alison Jacobs,
Jason Robinson, Dot Kuzniar, Christopher Jelley and Chris Ferris

The artists involved and the project's board of directors were exhausted and naturally elated that the first exhibition was now open to the public. Since March there has been a clarion call on the wind calling for postcards. And they came from all over the globe, from all ages, all artistic abilities and in a diverse range of medium. Between 250 to 300 were received and they are currently on view for all to see and perhaps even purchase. Priced at £20 each the proceeds will be fed directly back into the project. Displayed anonymously you will just have to trust your artistic judgement and buy what truly catches your eye. I am sure the keen eyed among you will spot some of our regular SAW participants!

Currently there are four studios, there are plans to add more in the future, even add a second floor by placing a fourth container on top. So whose 'bagsied' the first studio spaces? 

Angela Wood

It is now mainly up to these four to maintain the momentum and ensure the life remains at the containers and it becomes the artistic hub that is envisaged - for they are to be it's public faces. I am sure the board of directors will remain behind the scenes and am in no doubt that a project that even brought passing holiday makers on board to help with the build, plus up to forty local volunteers will remain infectious and all those that have invested time -  whether it be fitting insulation or popping by with much needed tea and cake will watch and help this venture grow. The test will be the winter months, but these containers have no doubt travelled in many storms, and when there are fewer holiday makers and only your seasoned dog walkers passing by well that is surely the time when the artists within will be less disturbed and do what they are truly there to do - create!

The Wish You Were Here exhibition runs until Thursday 17th July 
Open daily between 10am - 5pm closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

The Containers will also be Venue No19 for Somerset Art Works 2013 and will showcase paintings, prints and drawings by seven local artists. For exhibition details visit the SAW website by clicking here 

If you would like to become involved, rent a studio in the future or exhibit at Contains Art do contact the team who wish to encourage artists nationwide to be part of this creative space.

Enjoyed this post then you may be interested in reading about Natalie Parsley's (former SAW Blogger) visit to the opening over at her Spanner in the Workz.

And for my more personal take and further images do visit Chapter Seven.


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