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HELEN SEAR PROSPECT REFUGE HAZARD 2: EXHIBITION AT HESTERCOMBE

Internationally acclaimed artist Helen Sear presents a large collection of new and recent work at Hestercombe Gallery this summer. Consisting of works made since 2015, this will be her most ambitious exhibition in the UK to date. Sear’s technique is characterised by exploring the crossover between photography and fine art, and focusing on the co-existence of the human, animal and natural worlds.

The exhibition runs from 14 July until 28 October 2018.

Helen Sear has exhibited around the world and was the first female artist selected to represent Cymru yn Fenis/Wales in Venice with a solo exhibition at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. Producing high-quality, conceptually rigorous work, her current work incorporates photography, sound and video within a sculptural context, exploring the potential for her artwork to activate and elicit feeling.

“The photographic/moving image in art practice,” Sear says, “has never been so diverse or contested and, with the acceleration of new digital technologies, the function and presence of the image as both material and permeable is an ongoing challenge in the meaning, making and reception of my work.”

Her practice has evolved from a fine art education in performance, film and installation work in the 1980s and is rooted in an interest in Magic Realism, Surrealism and Conceptual Art. With photography a central subject in her work, she often challenges the dominance of the eye and the fixed-point perspective associated with the camera lens, placing the viewer in intriguing new relationships with the image.

The title of the exhibition comes from the 1975 book by Jay Appleton The Experience of Landscape where he developed the prospect-refuge theory of human aesthetics.

Helen Sear studied Fine Art at Reading University and University College London, Slade School, with her work rising to prominence in the late 1980s, when she worked primarily through installation, performance and film. Her photographic works became widely known in the 1991 British Council exhibition, De-Composition: Constructed Photography in Britain, which toured Latin America and Eastern Europe. Since then she has exhibited widely including About Face at the Hayward Gallery, London, 2004; La Mirada Reflexiva at the Espai D’Art Contemporani in Castellon Spain, 2005; Inside The View, shown at Gallery Harmonia in Finland in 2006; Klompching Gallery New York and Bildkultur, Stuttgart, 2010-12. This year she produced a new video and sound work commissioned during a year-long residency at The Forestry Commission England, Dalby Forest, in partnership with Crescent Arts and as part of Forest Art Works.

She is represented by: Klompching in New York, Martin Asbaek In Copenhagen and Galerie Pennings in Eindhoven.

Top: Forest Operations, 2018.

WEST BUCKLAND SCHOOL RAISE THOUSANDS FOR LOCAL CHARITY

West Buckland School’s Charities Committee, run by Sixth Form students, have raised £8,318.81 for their nominated local charity ‘Everything Ellie’ – the highest amount ever achieved.

The school ran a Fashion Show, put together a special-edition calendar,  sold beautiful glass ‘Ellie’ beads and even busked in South Molton to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Ellie sadly lost her battle with leukaemia in 2015 and the charity, ‘Everything Ellie’, offers an amazing beach hut at Saunton Sands, North Devon, providing a simple day at the seaside and short breaks away. It is a welcome respite from hospital rooms for young people or parents and guardians with young families undergoing treatment for long-term, life-threatening or terminal illnesses.

Justeen Easton, Ellie’s mum, said: “The charity trustees are so very proud of the students and staff at West Buckland School. The grand total is a testament to how they have got behind the charity’s aims and were touched by Ellie’s story. This amount will make an ever-lasting difference to families having the most difficult time and I hope that the students continue to keep in touch to see the joy of their efforts.”

Staff and students are so pleased to have been able to support ‘Everything Ellie’ this year and will follow the progress of the charity going forward.

KING’S HALL CELEBRATE OPENING OF STATE-OF-THE-ART SCIENCE LABS

Staff and pupils at King’s Hall School recently opened their brand-new science labs with a special celebration.

Built by Qube Construct, the £1 million facility boasts state-of-the-art apparatus, with pupils having access to equipment including a Van de Graaff generator, multimeters and circuit equipment.

To conclude the school’s annual Arts Week, Headmaster Justin Chippendale, and Governors, Vice-Custos Roger Mott and Revd Canon Linda Barley, were in attendance to celebrate the outstanding facility.

Also present was King’s Chaplain, Father Mark, who blessed the new block, as per school tradition.

To commemorate the opening, pupils took part in a plasma workshop run by the Bristol-based Science Boffins, who officially opened the centre with a ribbon-burning ceremony.

Head of Science at King’s Hall, Joe Hayden said: “We are privileged to have such an incredible building. The facilities are truly remarkable and it makes not only our science lessons captivating, but also running our Saturday STEM Club a real joy.”

He added: “The new faculty is a fantastic space and I feel great excitement at the possibilities for future developments and the amazing educational benefits the pupils will receive.”

U14 CRICKET TEAM TAKES COUNTY TITLE

West Buckland School’s U14 cricket team have been crowned Devon county champions after a good win against Exeter School. The quality of the squad is unquestioned, having kept a clean sheet of wins all season.

West Buckland, in North Devon, has a strong heritage of sport and this win for the U14s comes on the back of this squad having won the same title at U13 level. In fact, the current U14s remain unbeaten in all boys sport for the entire academic year!

In a strong team effort, there were a few individual performances of note. Lead wicket-taker of the match was Ethan Cross and top run scorer was Reuben Windley, who are both in Year 9.

Cricket coach, Dom Ford, is impressed with their results this summer but sees this as just part of the bigger picture at the school. “West Buckland has always invested fully in its sport and the boys’ efforts are testament to this. But it is not just the cricket that is benefiting, This summer will see the astroturf pitch surface replaced, which will be great for our boys and girls hockey. In addition, our tennis programme continues to be very popular with our senior teams remaining unbeaten for two seasons!”

 

MILES LAUNCHES A NEW TEA RANGE

A brand-new range of 10 ‘Tea Kites’ has been launched by Miles Tea & Coffee.

These new flavours will focus on green, herbal and fruit teas. Each product will provide a ‘Miles Moment’ in the day, from sleepy moments to wake-up moments! The tea and fruit segments in each teabag will be larger than usual; this will improve the taste and quality of the customer. The new pack design and new machinery will allow Miles to adapt the range with different blends including limited-edition products and seasonal blends. The range currently includes the following flavours:

    • Super Green, Matcha & Turmeric
    • Fennel, Orange & Hibiscus
    • Green Tea & Chamomile
    • Berry Berry
    • Rooibos, Boabab & Chai
    • Lavender, Limeflower & Rose
    • Ginger & Lemongrass
    • Liquorice, Peppermint & Spearmint
    • English Breakfast

John Halls, Operations Director, said: “This is an exciting new market for Miles, being a family business for generations it’s important as we adapt to current trends. This new premium range will provide us with a relevant offering for the ever-growing green tea, herbal and fruit tea market.”

PHOTO: A selection of the new range.

ECO-FRIENDLY PUPILS FUND COACH SUSTAINABILITY PROJECT

Eco-friendly pupils from King’s College recently welcomed to the school the Club Captain of Taunton Rowing Club, Steve Swan.
Steve met with the Head of the King’s Sustainability Strategy, Christina French, to discuss the various sustainability measures implemented across the school and to see how the children could get involved in his latest project: a rainwater-harvesting system at Taunton’s Centre for Outdoor Activities & Community Hub (COACH).

Earlier this month, members of the sustainability group visited the centre, where they took part in an interactive design workshop. Students had the opportunity to audit the building and come up with their own strategies and ideas of how the centre could be more sustainable.

In the coming weeks, King’s pupils will work closely with COACH and Taunton Rowing to construct the rainwater system after donating £500 to help fund the project.

Pictured, left to right: Thomas Newman, Harvey Richard, Steve Swan and Christina French.

FOLK TRIO LEVERET AT HALSWAY MANOR

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts are delighted to be welcoming acclaimed instrumental trio Leveret to perform at the Manor on Saturday 16 June at 8pm. ​

“Classy players … their intuitive way with tunes is glorious” Mojo

Leveret is a unique collaboration between three of England’s finest folk musicians. Andy Cutting (melodeon), Sam Sweeney (fiddle) and Rob Harbron (concertina) are each regarded as exceptional performers and masters of their instruments. Together their performances combine consummate musicianship, compelling delivery and captivating spontaneity. Leveret’s music is not arranged in the conventional sense and instead they rely on mutual trust, listening and responding as they perform live. Their playing is relaxed and natural, drawing audiences in and inviting them to share in music making that is truly spontaneous and yet deeply timeless.

“This is all about the joy of playing and the intoxicating thrill of three masters of their craft … the empathy between them as the music ebbs and flows is exceptional; you can also see the smiles and winks between them. The feel-good warmth they generate is palpable.” Colin Irwin [fROOTS review of In The Round]

Fiddler Sam Sweeney was the 2015 BBC Folk Awards Musician of the Year, directs the National Youth Folk Ensemble and is known for his work in Bellowhead, Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band, The Full English and his own Made In The Great War project. Melodeon genius Andy Cutting, a three-time BBC Folk Awards Best Musician, is a compelling solo performer and currently works with Blowzabella, Topette, June Tabor, and Roger Daltry. Concertina wizard Rob Harbron leads the English Acoustic Collective summer school and is known for his work with The Full English (Best Group and Best Album BBC Folk Awards 2014), Emma Reid, Fay Hield, Jon Boden and others.

“You won’t find English folk music played better than this”R2

Leveret’s music is firmly rooted in the English tradition but sounds fresh and new.  With their albums New Anything and In The Round and over a long string of sell-out gigs, the trio have built a strong reputation as consummate musicians and captivating performers. Latest release Inventions brings Leveret’s trademark groove, energy and intuitive playing to bear on a set of new tunes composed by the trio, three of today’s finest tunesmiths in the folk field.

“Sublime, exquisite music – don’t miss them” Martin Simpson

Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, has been established as a Charity since 1965. Nestling at the foot of the Quantock Hills Halsway Manor provides a year-round programme of events and activities in traditional folk music, dance, song, storytelling, folklore and related arts and crafts. There’s ample free parking onsite, a bar and – of course – beautiful atmospheric settings for concerts with wonderful acoustics, and a chance to catch-up with the artists over a drink afterwards!

Tickets are priced £15. Call 01984 618274 (option 1), email office@halswaymanor.org.uk or buy securely online at www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

FORTHCOMING FIVE-WEEK ROSE FESTIVAL AT ROSEMOOR

From 16 June to 22 July, RHS Garden Rosemoor will host a five-week-long Rose Festival: a breathtaking showcase of colours and scents set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful RHS Gardens, bordered by acres of stunning woodlands. Swathes of scented blooms, floral workshops and unusual cultivars on sale make this a must-see for Devon visitors this summer.

Boasting one of the UK’s largest collections of roses, RHS Garden Rosemoor is home to two dedicated rose gardens, bringing together over 2,000 roses across more than 200 different varieties and a wealth of hues and perfumes. From cottage garden climbers, to bright and beautiful container varieties, there will be a rose to inspire and suit all gardens.

Top highlights from the festival include guided tours, expert advice from RHS horticulturists, a floral themed craft market, a rose trail, and much, much more.

Festival Events and Highlights:

  • Rose Weekend, extended to a three-day event from 22 to 24 June featuring a floral-themed craft and food market with over 40 stalls in the stunning new Garden Room events building.
  • Brand New for 2018 and to celebrate the centenary of the end of the First World War and in memory of those who lost their lives, Rosemoor has planted a group of Rosa Pax. Latin for ‘peace’, Rosa ‘Pax’ is a hybrid musk rose and was developed by the rose breeder, Joseph Pemberton, and launched in 1918 to commemorate the end of WW1.

Armed Forces Day, 30 June                                                                        

100 red ceramic poppies, interpreted and designed by popular local artist Renée Kilburn, will be on display to start Rosemoor’s commemorations of the centenary of the end of the First World War. Standing tall amongst the poppies is a wonderful sculpture of an ‘Unknown Soldier’ affectionately known as George N. The life-size soldier is crafted by another popular Rosemoor and Devon based artist, George Hider.

Armed forces personnel have free admission to Rosemoor on 30 June – simply bring ID.

The display will stay up until 11 November when Rosemoor will welcome all serving and retired armed forces personnel plus a family guest in for free (simply bring proof to the front entrance). Then the poppies and George will continue to be displayed as part of the annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition. The red poppies are available to purchase, with a £3.50 donation on every poppy sold going to the Royal British Legion.

  • Rosemoor’s Garden Kitchen will be celebrating roses throughout the month with a delectable series of rose-inspired and rose-infused treats, from rose meringues to rose and raspberry cakes.
  • There will be ‘Late’ openings every Friday in July – 6, 13, 20 – and 27, when the garden will be open until 9pm and visitors can enjoy the gardens at dusk as the roses release their evening scent. Special offer of ‘5 after 5’ – £5 garden admission after 5pm. There will be live music and the restaurant will be serving delicious evening meals too (advance table reservations highly recommended).
  • Every Wednesday, there will rose-themed Afternoon Teas (pre-booking required) including an expert florist will demonstrate flower-arranging techniques with English roses and be present for a Q & A session.
  • The Celebrate Summer self-guided trail will take visitors on a historic, scented journey throughout the 65-acre garden and includes stunning rose varieties and their fascinating stories from the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden and the Shrub Rose Garden, down the Long Borders, the Cottage Garden, as well as other roses at Rosemoor House.

Normal garden admission applies, which is free for RHS Members. Please visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/rosemoor/Articles/Rose-Festival or call 01805 626810 for more details.

 

OLIVIER AND FINN SERVE UP TASTY NEW ROLES AT THE SWAN

Olivier Certain has this month (May, 2018) been officially appointed Head Chef at The Swan in Bampton and Finn Hutchison has also joined the kitchen team at the 2018 ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropub.

Olivier joins from the multi-award-winning Clavelshay Barn near Bridgwater and Finn from the Michelin-starred Masons Arms at Knowstone in Devon.

Co-owner of the gastropub with rooms, Donna Berry, who jointly runs the business with her husband and fellow Chef Patron, Paul, said: “We’re delighted that Olivier has joined us. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and really complements our style here. As does Finn, who is also an exceptional young chef. They will strengthen our talented team greatly and help us all take the business forward. We’ve exciting times ahead!

“But, rest assured, Paul and I are not taking a back seat, we’ll be here and all working together as a team to continue to develop the menu and what we offer to our loyal customers. The pair will very much work alongside us and you’ll continue to see us both in the kitchen, at the bar and front of house generally. We’re not disappearing!”
Marseille-born Olivier moved to Somerset in 1998 following his Michelin star training in La Bonne Etape Chateau Arnoux and Les Roches in Le Lavandou. His first job in the area was with Andrew Dixon at Porlock Weir where he was second chef.

In 2006, he joined Woods in Dulverton as head chef where he achieved 2 rosettes and the accolade of Somerset Dining Pub of the Year 2008, 2010 and 2011. In 2009, he reached the finals of the South West Chef of the Year competition.

In 2017, he was crowned Somerset Life’s Best Chef at the magazine’s annual Food and Drinks Award and he was also a finalist in the 2018 Trencherman’s Award, and was in great culinary company. His fellow finalists included Michael Caines, Josh Eggleton and Nathan Outlaw, who all have Michelin stars.

Olivier, who joined Clavelshay Barn in 2016, which has won Taste of the West Gold Award for the last six years running, as Head Chef.

Meanwhile, Finn joins The Swan from well-known chef Mark Dodson’s Mason Arms. In July 2006, The Mason Arms’ restaurant was awarded a Michelin star, which it still holds 12 years on.

The Swan, which is an AA Four Star Gold Inn and the oldest pub in Bampton, was named as one of the top 50 gastropubs in the country for the second year running this year.

In 2017, the pub was polled at 50 and this year it’s 28th in the rankings and received a highest climber award. The ‘Estrella Damm’ Top 50 Gastropub Awards are voted for by food writers, executive chefs, celebrity and top hospitality industry chefs, pub guide editors, industry chiefs and food operators.

It has scooped a plethora of awards for its food in the past few months and years including being named Gold Tourism Pub of the Year 2018 at the South West Tourism Excellence Awards, voted Best Dining Pub for 2018 in the Trencherman Awards and receiving a Gold Tourism Pub award in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards. It has two AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence as well.

The Swan’s team has a passion for food and embraces the use of produce from the area to create some real pub classics, such as sausages and mash, cod and chips, pies, grilled rump steak and sweets.

Donna said: “We try to keep our dishes simple yet bursting with flavours and imagination. From the freshly baked bread at the start of the meal, to tempting puddings, our kitchen produces everything we serve here at the pub.”

The Swan’s menu is created from fresh, seasonal ingredients, sourced from nearby, on a daily basis by Paul and Donna and their team.

Paul, who is a leading chef with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, explained: “We are dedicated to using all the local or regional produce available to us, needless to say we are so lucky living here in the Westcountry, we have local farmers supplying us with their beef, pork and lamb and the fishing communities providing us with the freshest cod for our classic cod and chips.”

To find out more about The Swan and to book a table for the Exmoor please call 01398 332248 or visit www.theswan.co.

ALAUDIAE TAKE TO THE STAGE AT ST LUKE’S FOR SIMONSBATH FESTIVAL

After a brilliant evening in the company of ENPA chief executive Sarah Bryan, the fantastically talented opera singers Miranda Westcott and Claire Egan will take time out from their busy schedule of performances at prestigious venues such as the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, to give a concert at St Luke’s on Saturday 26 May at 7.30pm.

Members of the vocal trio Alaudiae, mezzo-soprano Miranda Westcott, from North Devon, and soprano Claire Egan return to Simonsbath Festival to present a hugely varied mix of songs celebrating A Woman’s Love and Life, from sixteenth-century madrigals to reimaginations of recent pop hits such as John Legend’s ‘All of me’ and Beyonce’s ‘Halo’.  At the centre of the evening’s programme is Schumann’s cycle ‘Frauenliebe und Leben’, balanced by a selection of folk music from the British Isles, with many other delights.

Miranda and Claire are joined by Arngeir Hauksson (theorbo, renaissance guitar, lute, percussion) and Marc Verter (piano).

Arngeir regularly performs for Shakespeare Globe productions and Marc performs in the UK and abroad at venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre and St John’s Smith Square.

Tickets cost £15 to reserve the seat of your choice; standard tickets £10 (£11 on the door); student/unemployed £7.50; with free admission for 14s and under.  Refreshments are available and a snack may be booked in advance for the interval.

And it’s your last chance to catch this year’s fabulous Simonsbath Festival Art Exhibition, now in its final week and closing on 28 May, at The Old Pottery, Simonsbath, in the centre of the village just by the Exmoor Forest Inn. One of the printmakers will be on hand on most days to explain the processes they use to produce their work. Phone Sandy Schott on 01643 831844 for details.

To buy tickets for Saturday’s concert, visit www.simonsbathfestival.org.uk, email tickets@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or telephone Marian Lloyd on 01643 831451.

To receive a full colour, printed festival programme or to join the mailing list email info@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or to find out about becoming a Friend of Simonsbath Festival and enjoy ticket discounts and priority booking while also supporting the festival, email friends@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or call Polly on 01643 831302.