The Dove Artists’ Christmas Exhibition has been up at the Red Brick Building for a week now, and has attracted a lot of interest from the Private View last week onward. I’ve been impressed by the way visitors to the building stop and consider the works on their way up or down the stairs. It appears that this seemingly awkward, multi purpose space is acquiring an identity of its own as a gallery space. Although I was somewhat dreading the ‘hang’ – it’s never straightforward here – help was at hand on the ladders from John Fleming, thanks John. And I’d like to say I’m really pleased with how this exhibition has succeeded in linking two local creative hotspots: the Dove and the RBB, bringing benefits to both. Don’t miss it, and come soon as it’s a fast moving show (several of the works have already flown off the walls, though we are replacing them with others). On till January 8th.
A visit to the Redbrick Building in Glastonbury is always interesting and sometimes delicious! The Bocabar restaurant and cafe serve food and good coffee every day of the week; the events space hosts an exciting range of gigs; all sorts of regular courses take place in the upstairs spaces, alongside the studios where resident creatives work.
From 23rd November there will be an additional reason to go there: the artists who frequent Dove Studios are putting on a Christmas Exhibition in what I like to call the Staircase Gallery, running until January 8th. The show comprises work both by students and artists who attend printmaking classes at the Dove and also members of the Fingerprint group who work together in my studio once a week. There will also be work by artists more loosely associated with the Dove.
All types of media will be on display. Printmaking will predominate, but…
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Not exactly inviting weather for drawing outside this morning, but the gazebo was cosy, the sun came out at lunchtime, and those who came to draw spent most of the day in the treehouse corner, which was lovely. Animating this space with people, particularly children, is always wonderful. And they took to the trees as well (of course), and the treehouse too.
I don’t remember who wrote the following, but I’ve kept the cutting, and its words have rung in my ears since I started the Treehouse project: ‘Trees need to be lived in, whether by birds, insects, small children or the souls of poets – or, as the ancient Greeks thought, by nymphs.’ The same writer quotes Andrew Marvell from his poem ‘The Garden’ :
‘Casting the body’s vest aside, / My soul into the boughs does glide; / There like a bird it sits and sings, / Then whets and combs its silver wings.’
This weekend is the last chance to come down to our special place, The Dove (SAW venue 21) and catch what has been a much visited and dare I say much loved exhibition (the comments books say so, anyway). Here’s a round up of what you will see when you come, and what, in the words of one visitor, is ‘rich and lush’.
Here’s how the tree house platform looked this evening; the structure revealing itself a little more each day as the leaves fall.
This weekend we are running an event for all ages: Design (draw) your own treehouse. This is a free drop in workshop, with all materials provided. Hope to see you down here!
Run out of words this evening – lots of visitors over the past few days – so here is the weekend in pictures.
We made it. Time for a rest now (3 days off and then we start again – come and see us!)
Saturday September 2nd was the final day of the treehouse build. I should say treehouse platform build, because that is so far what we have made. We have made, in essence, a tree for the house to go in. Quite an achievement, and the only reason why we couldn’t complete the whole of this ambitious project in time for Somerset Art Weeks later this month was because of unforeseen events that led to 5 course date cancellations (injury, work commitments…).
So here we were, with a staircase to put up, balustrades to make and the small matter of a floor. It was all hands to the plough on this beautiful September day.
The stair treads are metal; won’t slip, will last, easy to bolt in place (see through, too, which for me is key – this is becoming the invisible tree house). Huge thanks to Paul Bannell at Bannell Engineering in Glastonbury for making these up for us out of a sheet of metal. He made the metal ‘feet’ of the main frame too, and has become a major sponsor of the project.
Marcel and Josh did heroic work, dragging a huge old flagstone over to the site that in the end wasn’t used – thanks all the same you two, for our building Stonehenge moment:
And all day it was more of the same: Jim making the stairs, with some help from Ali taking a break from the catering, Joe Rosa and Bethan soldiering on through ALL the laths, cutting tenons for the balustrade, and some moments of relief: cute dog moment, and Joe up an apparently unclimbable tree:
By the end of the day the staircase was up, though there’s still work to be done on the cantilevered platform it leads up to.
It was getting dark; I made cheese on toast for one last push of energy from everyone. Joe and Bethan were still working on the back balustrade,
And Jim had to get a torch out to finish securing the staircase. A fabulous day of great effort and commitment, and it’s set to continue. So watch this space for the next stage of the project (the House itself) and come and see the platform during Somerset Art Weeks: 23rd Sept – 8th Oct, 11 – 6pm, closed Mon Tues Wed; Venue 21.