Category Archives: Arts and Culture

THE LOST WORDS A CELEBRATION!

It has been an astonishing year for Jackie Morris since the publication of The Lost Words and Number Seven Dulverton is delighted that she is joining them later this month to celebrate the book’s first birthday.

The illustrations and ‘spells’ that feature throughout this beautiful publication were created very much in partnership when illustrator Jackie Morris and renowned nature writer Robert Macfarlane learned that certain nature words were to be excluded from the Junior Oxford English Dictionary as a result of falling out of everyday use. The response to this stunningly produced, heartfelt publication has been quite astounding, and both Robert and Jackie are overwhelmed by the public’s embrace and desire to keep the lost words of nature very much alive in our children’s vocabulary and landscape.

This enthusiasm has inspired individuals and communities throughout the country to raise funding via crowdsourcing so that copies of The Lost Words can be found in every school library in their region. Somerset has recently been successful, while Devon has recently announced its campaign and joined ‘The Lost Words‘ Movement.’

‘The book was made with love and hope, and I think it has been received in the same way: with hope, with love.’

Jackie Morris


Number Seven has two events planned, the first is to be The Lost Words supper at Loyton Lodge, where Jackie will be joined by composer and folk musician Kerry Andrew who has set two of Robert Macfarlane’s poems, ‘Bluebell’ and ‘Wren’, to music.

The following day, on Thursday 25 October, Jackie will be resident by the fireside in ‘the kitchen’ at Number Seven where she will be painting and signing copies of her books for you, of which there are many, she is quite the prolific creative and has previously illustrated for Carol Ann Duffy and Ted Hughes.

Number Seven highly recommends ordering or reserving copies beforehand to avoid disappointment although of course there will be stock available on the day. Alongside her books, cards, calendars, prints and originals will be available for sale. It promises to be a wonderful, inspiring day and all ages are welcome.

PHOTO Jackie by Christopher Jelley

LEAF AND TREE EXHIBITION BY LOCAL ARTIST IN DULVERTON

Bampton print maker Lizzie Mee’s exhibition, ‘Leaf and Tree’, opens at the Guildhall Gallery in Dulverton on Monday 1 October and runs until Saturday 6 October. The exhibition features linocut and aquatint prints which have been inspired by Lizzie’s love of the local countryside.

As part of the exhibition, Lizzie is running a special print workshop in the gallery which covers two sessions (both 10am-1pm) on Tuesday 2 and Thursday 4 October for £75 and a workshop on Saturday 6 October 10am-1pm for £45. Lizzie is an experienced teacher and workshop leader. These sessions offer a unique opportunity to explore how Lizzie has made her prints, and for people to have a go at lino printing themselves. All materials are included; booking is essential through lizziemee@hotmail.com

Lizzie Mee says, “I am very excited to be showing my work in Dulverton. I love spending time around the twon and on Exmoor. I hope that people see the inspiration of the local landscape within my prints.”

Lizzie Mee is a print maker based in Bampton. She has been printmaking for around 15 years, and has been a teacher for longer! Lizzie studied at Falmouth Art College and has printed at Spike Island Print Studios in Bristol before moving to Devon.
lizzieprint.wordpress.com

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX IN MINEHEAD

This is a press release issued by West Somerset Council.

A functional but far from glamorous green box on Minehead seafront is all set for a makeover – and the hunt is on for the talent to do it.

Wessex Water has agreed that its equipment box near the Jubilee Gardens Café can feature a new cover as part of the Eastern Esplanade enhancement.

As a result, Minehead Coastal Communities Team is launching a competition for a design on the theme of ‘Maritime Minehead by the Sea’.

Minehead’s prosperity was closely bound up with the sea and for more than 200 years the port was second in local importance only to Bristol. Minehead offers traditional seaside fun, with its promenade, a beautiful bay with sandy beach and a backdrop of Exmoor.

Budding artists from the community now have the chance to design their ideas or memories of how they portray Maritime Minehead in a graphic style than can be transferred to a cover for the equipment box.

The closing date for entries is noon on September 30 and they will be judged by at least three representatives from Minehead Town Council, the Coastal Communities Team and Swan Paul Architects.

“People often comment on the dilapidated state of the box. This is a great opportunity for local artists to transform it into something that shows more of Minehead’s seaside heritage, whilst retaining its functionality. I look forward to seeing the results,” said Katrina Midgley, who chairs the Coastal Communities Team in Minehead.

Enterprising Minehead is a partnership project involving West Somerset Council, Minehead Coastal Communities Team (MCCT) and partners including representatives from the business, voluntary and leisure sectors.

The project aims to make the most of Minehead’s traditional appeal as a seaside resort – but making sure it is fit for the twenty-first century.

The design will be transferred to flat vinyl, stickyback panels which will be fixed to the box. Full details of the competition rules and ‘Appendix A’ containing the design layout can be found at mineheadcct.co.uk.

Completed entries can be emailed to tender@westsomerset.gov.uk or alternatively sent by post to Minehead Esplanade Equipment Box Design Competition, West Somerset Council, West Somerset House, Killick Way, Williton, TA4 4QA.

ART TREK OPEN STUDIOS FIFTEEN YEARS ON

This much-loved North Devon Open Studios event is entering its fifteenth year and going from strength to strength. With many local artists and makers new to the event this year (14-30 September), they join others who have taken part many times, helping keep Art Trek the fresh, vibrant and enticing event visitors have come to expect.

There’s an array of art forms being showcased in 2018, including wood and stone carving, ceramics, painting, original printmaking, wood engraving, photography, textiles and weaving, cartoons and illustration, artisan market stalls, basketmaking, rope making and knotted sculpture, etc.

This year Art Trek has international guest artist and ceramicist, Sandy Brown, opening in her amazing studio at The Sandy Brown Museum, housed in The Old Glove Factory, Appledore, where she will also be collaborating on ‘The Glorious Modern Banquet’ with award-winning chef, Lyndsay Platt of The Glorious Oyster fame. This special evening event will take place on Friday 21 September. Details of ‘The Glorious Modern Banquet’ and other Art Trek Special Events, along with all the artists taking part, can be found on www.arttrek.co.uk

The Art Trek brochure is available at White Moose, Trinity Street, Barnstaple and at various galleries, TICs, libraries, shops and businesses or for enquiries please email info@arttrek.co.uk or call; 01271 379872.

PHOTO: Artwork by Sandy Brown.

SOMERSET OPEN STUDIOS 2018

Now the largest event in Somerset for visual artists and makers, Somerset Open Studios draws Art Weeks back to its roots this year, focusing on artists in their working environment. Between 15 and 30 September 2018, artists demonstrate how they make their work: their process, practice and inspiration. The event allows a rare opportunity to see inside artists’ studios, temporary working spaces and other locations to find out what goes on behind the scenes. Open Studios showcases established names as well as introducing new and emerging artists.

Open Studios visitors can find out first hand about the creative process through demonstrations, workshops, talks and visits, to educate, inspire and delight. Art appreciators of all ages are welcome at Family Friendly venues and also at a Family Friendly finale weekend on 29 and 30 September, with special events and activities for all.

Artists’ Open Studios can be found in unexpected and unusual locations and the event is an ideal opportunity to explore the different and distinct regions of the county and make some surprising discoveries.

The 2018 Open Studios Guide is out now and features nearly 300 artists in 192 venues. It is available in tourist information points, libraries, museums, galleries and cultural locations, as well as cafes, bookshops and other selected outlets or you can browse an online version at somersetartworks.org.uk.

Top: Artwork by Emma Bradshaw

The artists exhibiting in West Somerset this year are (venue numbers in brackets and all details on the website):

 

DEVON OPEN STUDIOS BEGINS TODAY

This September, 8th -23rd, Devon Open Studios showcases the talent and creative lives of the artists who live and work in Devon, when hundreds of artists are the stars of the show as they open their studios to the public.

Imagine finding free art exhibitions everywhere you go, with the unique chance to enter the personal space of an artist, talk to them about their work and buy art directly without paying a gallery commission. Whether meeting a solo artist in their private studio or discovering pop-up artist collectives in some of Devon’s most stunning heritage buildings, art lovers can gain exclusive access to the inner workings of the Devon art community.

Visitors can discover art on self-guided tours, brochure in hand, visiting as many artists as they wish or just follow their whim and the little yellow studio arrows dotted around some of the most strikingly diverse and spectacular landscapes in Britain, from the wilderness of the moors, across bucolic villages and towns to the rugged beauty of, not one, but two incredible coastlines.

Opportunities abound to join events, workshops and meet artists face to face in their working environment: whether it’s painting, sculpture, textiles, furniture, glass-blowing, photography, printmaking, crafts, ceramics, or fantastical puppetry; there’s something for everyone.

“Devon Open Studios – it’s so inspiring and I love getting to meet the artists, chat with them and see their work up close as well as their studio spaces. I travel around to visit studios so I see places I might not have gone to otherwise. The whole thing is a brilliant idea and makes for very enjoyable time. ” Visitor 2017

This year, 259 artists will be opening their doors to the public and exhibiting their work in more than 153 locations across Devon. The popularity of the event has soared, with over 34,387 visitors in 2017 and over £203,402 spent in reported sales of nearly 6,093 items sold.

Devon Open Studios is an event organised by Devon Artist Network (DAN), which promotes, celebrates and champions the arts in Devon. Artist members, resident or working in Devon, are provided with a home page to showcase their work on the DAN website, receive regular arts newsletters and the opportunity to join events, workshops and exhibitions.

More information about Devon Artist Network’s Devon Open Studios can be found on the website: www.devonartistnetwork.co.uk. A free guide to the event with colour-coded maps and every artist illustrated is available from tourist information centres, libraries, hotels and galleries and can also be downloaded here. Please check the brochure to confirm dates, times, and find out helpful directions.

Devon Open Studios began as a pilot project in 1999 and now, 19 years later, the FREE annual event which spans 16 days including 3 weekends in September, is one of the largest in the country.

Come and discover new artists in their studios, and buy directly from them .

PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER FILMED ON EXMOOR WILL HAVE FIRST SHOWING AT BARNSTAPLE

Winter Ridge, the multi-award-winning psychological thriller filmed around the Exmoor coastal towns of Lynton and Lynmouth, will have its first showing in North Devon on Wednesday 5 September at Scott Cinema Barnstaple as the start of a 30 Cinema run in London and the South West, including the Southampton Film Festival.

You can view the trailer here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA0ni0-Wccc

The story of Winter Ridge, filmed in April 2017, centres around a young detective played by Matt Hookings, who arrives home on his anniversary to find his wife has been in a devastating car accident. Seven months later she is still in a coma and the detective, unable to accept her condition, throws himself into a new case that soon develops into a murder investigation and manhunt for a serial killer targeting the elderly.

The film stars Matt Hookings (Maleficent), Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones), Alan Ford (Snatch), Olwen Kelly (The Autopsy of Jane Doe), Justin McDonald and Michael McKell (Allied). Several local inhabitants from Lynton and Lynmouth appear in the film as extras.

Lynton resident Diana Mitchell helped the production team by acting as its voluntary location manager. “The Director Dom Lenoir chose Lynton and Lynmouth and the surrounding Exmoor area because of our remote Victorian towns that are full of character and set in a rugged landscape with a dramatic coastline,” said Diana. “The Valley of Rocks with cliffs plunging down to the sea, densely wooded hills and the wild expanses of the moors are a stunning backdrop helping to create the visual and emotional impact they wanted for the film.”

Scenes were filmed in Lynton’s Grade II listed Gothic and Tudor style town hall and in a number of other properties that were lent by locals. Residents also helped out with sourcing cars and even an ambulance for some of the scenes.

Suzette Hibbert, who was Mayor at the time, said: “Locals were happy to have the film production team here and to help out however we could. The film will enable many thousands of people to see what we have to offer in and around Lynton and Lynmouth and that should help to bring in visitors to Exmoor. Not only that, as a thank you for our cooperation, the production team offered to make a cinema standard promotional film of the area.”

About the production
Winter Ridge has won 11 awards already, including ‘Best Feature’, in the London Independent Film Festival and the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival.

Directing Winter Ridge, Dom Lenoir has an expansive cinematic approach, having directed two features, Nightscape and Aleister Crowley: Legend of the Beast, the latter making an official selection at the London Independent Film Festival. Dom creates stories that challenge his viewer and leave an emotional impression by the end of the film through thought-provoking subject matters. Dom also has a keen interest in location shooting, which will be reflected in Winter Ridge with the film set in the remote British landscapes of Exmoor.

Producing and overlooking the visual effects (VFX) of the film is Chris Hardman who has worked in the visual effects industry and developed his skills through films such as Avatar, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Marvel’s Ant-Man, the Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, and Spectre. Also on board to produce was Nancy Bressolles, from the production company Nice One Film, which specialises largely in feature film production.

 

COMING UP THE REGAL THEATRE MINEHEAD

GUYS AND DOLLS
A Musical Fable of Broadway
Based on the Story and Characters of David Runyon
Music and Lyrics by FRANK LOESSER

The Regal Theatre presents it 2018 Summer Show at the Regal Theatre Monday 8 – Saturday 18 August with Guys and Dolls by Frank Loesser.  Opening on Broadway in 1950, the show received unanimously positive reviews from critics and won a raft of awards.  Frequently revived with star casts, this popular musical comedy is now performed at the Regal Theatre with an all-star cast of local talent

All the hot gamblers are in town, and they’re all depending on Nathan Detroit to set up this week’s incarnation of “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game in New York”; the only problem is, he needs $1,000 to find a safe place for the game. Throw in Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission she runs; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan’s $1000 bet that he can’t get Sarah Brown to go with him to Havana; Miss Adelaide, who wants Nathan to marry her; Police Lieutenant Brannigan, who always seems to appear at the wrong time and you have a set-up for a cracking show.

Based on the story and characters of David Runyon and with music and lyrics by Frank Loesser, this is a popular musical which includes favourites like ‘Fugue for Tinhorns’; ‘Luck Be a Lady’ and ‘Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat’.

Performances begin at 7.30pm and tickets priced at £9 (adults), £8.50 (Friends of the Regal), £4.50 (16 and under & ES40s) and £20 (family ticket), are now available from the Regal Box Office (01643 706430), 10am – 3pm Monday – Friday. Opening night offer £5 per ticket. Hurry before tickets sell out!  No performance on Sunday 12 August. No matinées.

Apologies that online booking is currently unavailable. The service will be restored very shortly.

Also coming up…

The first of a monthly Sunday afternoon Jazz club
PETE ALLEN HOT 4
On Sunday 12 August from 3pm to 5.30pm in the Regal Theatre Bar

The Pete Allen Hot 4 gather to present the first of a monthly Sunday afternoon Jazz club.

For those who love jazz, this will be an entertaining musical selection of happy traditional jazz that everyone can enjoy and understand. A lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon listening to Pete on saxophone accompanied by drums, bass and piano or guitar/banjo.

Tickets all cost £12.00 and are now available from the Regal Box Office (details as above).

The Jazz Club will continue to meet on the second Sunday of each month.  Next date will be Sunday 9 September

LUMEN PRIZE: ADVENTURES IN DIGITAL ART EXHIBITION AT CONTAINS ART

This exhibition, specially curated for Contains Art in Watchet features interactive and immersive digital artworks by three international artists previously selected for The Lumen Prize. These works explore what is social and collaborative about digital, celebrating the value of such experiences.

American artist Biwei Niu was a 2017 Lumen Prize finalist with her ‘Evolution of Rhythm’. The piece is an interactive touch-based installation about Qi, a principle that forms the basis of much Chinese philosophy and medicine. In the work, abstract and organic graphics are projected onto a large, vertical frame covered with white fabric.  By touching the fabric surface people make waves, or push the imagery around.

‘MOC’, by Lab 212 from France, was a 2015 Lumen Prize finalist. It explores the relationship between sound and image through simple interactions. An imaginary landscape passes before the viewer, who, by whistling into a microphone, can make trees grow and evolve in real time based on the sound produced.

‘Hyperplanes of Simultaneity’, by Italian artists Fabio Giampietro and Alessio de Vecchi, was the 2016 Lumen Prize Gold winner. The work combines the tradition of painting with innovative Virtual Reality (VR) technologies. The viewer is presented at first with a large-scale urban canvas, but has their experience of it transformed by seeing the work through a VR headset.

The exhibitions runs until 12 August and is open 11-4, Wednesdays to Sundays.

‘COAST’ EXHIBITION AT WHITE MOOSE

If you love the sea and you are an art fan, don’t miss ‘Coast’ – an exhibition at White Moose Gallery in Barnstaple, that takes place between 20th July and 7th September, showing the work of four well-established North Devon artists all responding to the area’s coastline:

Ilfracombe ‘Plein Air’ painter Mark Rochester captures dramatic viewpoints looking from dizzying heights into the isolated bays along the North Devon coastline. Walking to his chosen sites, carrying all his painting equipment, sometimes presents quite a challenge, especially in all weathers!

Barnstaple-based Mike Woollacott beautifully and skilfully captures the area’s estuaries and seascapes. Painting in acrylics, his work is highly collectable and can be found in private collections across the UK.

Duncan Hopkins, based in Bideford, is fascinated by the waves, movement and reflective light of the sea in his fabulous drawings, pastels and paintings.

Complimenting these three painters, Chittlehampton ceramicist Roger Cockram will be showing his porcelain-ware, inspired by the rock pools along the North Devon coast. Roger’s work is collected world-wide and he’s often asked to exhibit and give lecture tours abroad, most recently to India.

For information on the ‘Coast’ exhibition and the artists, please see; www.whitemoose.co.uk or contact info@whitemoose.co.uk

TOP: Duncan Hopkins’The Hour Glass Shore’