Wild Lea grasses for email

Wild Lea, bought in 2015 by a group of people who own the land around it, and put in trust for nature conservation/re-wilding

Three years ago, in October 2015, the Dove held a far-ranging celebration in conjunction with Somerset Art Weeks. This blog followed the exhibition that was the major event: Amazing Space. Documentation of the process can be found in this blog.

In 2017, we looked further afield, to the lands surrounding the Dove and the different ecological projects that are being undertaken there. One of the most groundbreaking of these was the purchase, in December 2015, of the field that linked all the other lands together (see photo). It was bought as a joint project by people whose land adjoins it, and will be jointly managed and held in trust as a re-wilding project: Wild Lea.

Amazing Space II was an exhibition and event held in September and October 2017, in conjunction with Somerset Art Works Festival 2017, and consisted of the following and more:

A treehouse platform that was the result of a course run by Jim Blackburn, timber framer, and a mixed age and ability group of students, over the summer of 2017.

Treehouse 6A treehouse library of artist made books especially commission for the project, which examined the various ecological projects going on in this corner of the old East Field of Butleigh

Spirit of Place 8

Paintings, prints and ceramics made following a road trip through the tribal lands of the American Southwest.

Way out Yonder 2

Pottery pit fired in the meadow, and made by whoever came by during the Summer holidays

spirit of place 4

So the emphasis was on the land, on local materials and plants, land projects, cooperation and mutual dependency; on the view from above, the prospect; on a group embarking on a joint learning curve to build the tree house; on being outside in the open, out there, out yonder.

Now it’s 2018 and Dove Arts is already looking ahead to Amazing Space III, to take place in Autumn 2019 at the Dove Studios and also at ACEarts Gallery, Somerton. ‘Start by not knowing’, says a line of text in the 2015 Amazing Space project ‘Dove Tales’, and that is exactly where we are beginning, now.

Watch this space.

Bronwen Bradshaw, curator Amazing Space

Faye in polytunnel