Sunday, 31 March 2013

Artists Cafe at the Beehive 1st of April, it's not an April Fool

We haven't had Artists Cafe meeting for a few months, but they're back again.
Come along to the Beehive tomorrow evening for the Artsite Artists Cafe from 7pm onwards, everyone is welcome.
Meetings will be held on the first Monday of the month, there will be talks and topics organised by Jamie Moss who is running this event.
The Great Blondini by John Clinch, a fab sculpture currently ousted from Canal Walk and in a play area behind Beatrice Street. Added because I can't think of an image for the event tomorrow night.
Compare and contrast with the John Clinch sculpture in pride of place in Cardiff Bay:
For more information on the

Thursday, 28 March 2013

What is the Future of Leisure and Culture in Swindon?

At a Cabinet Meeting last Wednesday 20th of March, Councillor Garry Perkins recommended Cabinet Members agreed an Options Appraisal of Leisure and Culture Commissioning.
He emphasized that there will be a true consultation about which options the Council will adopt, but did not suggest how this will happen.
The plan which was approved by Cabinet, involves saving as much money as possible by transferring running of leisure centres and golf courses to other organisations or exploring alternative uses for the sites.
The Museum and Art Gallery is housed in a delightful building with a hideous looking sixties extension to house the art gallery. Even in its dilapidated state with the word 'Museum' removed, it looks rather grand:
 View of the Museum and Art Gallery- Apsley House from across the road
 Right in front of the building
 Above the front door where the word 'Museum' has been removed because the 'M' was vandalised
And a view of the front door.
Under point 3.24, the suggestion is made that the Swindon museum collections are relocated to STEAM or Lydiard and the Art Collection, so admired by the Duchess of Cornwall in January 2012 with the accompanying booklet 'They Take Art Seriously in Swindon', may be moved to the former Reference library adjacent to the Central Library.
The Arts Centre and Wyvern are together subsidised to the tune of £500000, so their future is uncertain. It's hard to imagine Old Town without the Arts Centre.

The Press Release relating to this can be found below:
The more detailed plan which was approved by cabinet can be found on the local resident's association

Sunday, 24 March 2013

The Twentieth Swindon Festival of Literature booklet is now available

On Thursday 21st of March, the 20th Swindon Festival of Literature was launched in the former Reference library next to the Central Library.
The event runs for 2 weeks, from the 6th-18th of May, to find out more:
To book tickets:
Matt Holland the festival director/organiser was as entertaining and enthusiastic as ever; he gave us a taste of Swindon Slam by competing with Sara-Jane Arbury, each had to perform for 3 minutes with an inspiring piece of prose/poem.
Above Matt in full flow, and below the audience:
The above photos courtesy of Michael Scott.
And below a gorgeous photo of a fire juggler at the Dawn Chorus taken by Linda Lee:

And most wonderfully for us, page 11 where you can find the Open Studios advertisement:
Thank you Matt.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Kingston Bagpuize House and Garden - open last Wekend for the NGS

Kingston Bagpuize house and garden was open last Sunday as part of the National Garden Scheme, or Yellow Book as it's popularly known.
The garden is wonderful, but we were slightly surprised to find that the snow had settled in the garden, hiding crocuses, snowdrops and many of the hellebores.
Here are a few photos of the garden which was splendid in the snow:
 This Iris managed to poke its way through the snow.
 A glimpse of a domed feature above and a gate below

 A close up of the domed octagon
 This was a Daphne in flower, with a gorgeous perfume.
 A Cornus above
 This is the fireplace inside the Pavilion, a lovely building.

This is the view from the raised terrace leading away from the Pavilion.
And a glorious view of the house from the raised terrace.
After looking round the garden, it was lovely to go inside to warm up and have a look round the house, with some lovely features and many portraits

 I love corner cupboards, and have one similar to this one, although not as old. It has been beautifully painted, although it's hard to see because of the reflections.
 Some of the pottery was gorgeous like this bowl whose provenance I have forgotten.
The kitchen is well worth a visit for tea and cakes, pottery items, postcards and other things for sale.
For visiting times have a look at the where you can also find out about the history of the house.

Burford Garden Centre - a great place to visit

This was especially true last Saturday when it rained all day, making entertaining a friend staying for the weekend particularly challenging. Walking to Avebury and even walking down Burford High Street both got the thumbs down.
The Garden Centre at Burford has a wealth of interest, even its own gallery, here are a few of my favourites:
 'Red, orange, yellow mix' Lynn Golden
'Iris Bouquet' Katharine Dove
 'Pots, Portugal' Francesca Shaskespeare
 'Orange Tulips' Lynn Golden
 'Three Pots' Francesca Shakespeare

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Adan Exhibition at Artsite, Theatre Square until March 23rd - Talk on Wednesday March 20th at 7pm

If you haven't yet been down to Artsite in Theatre Square, you have until the 23rd of March to visit Mike Yates' extraordinary collection.
Mike is there every day between 11am-4pm to talk about the figures and their significance.
He will also be giving a talk on Wednesday the 20th of March in the gallery at 7pm with refreshments.
The evening promises to be very special, an experience not to be missed.
In the meantime, here's a taste of the sort of things you will see:
Lots of glorious wall hangings and figures

 The figures above were removed annually from houses and ritually washed in the sea, and dusted with kaolin before being returned, hence their white appearance.

 The figure above and below is a very interesting looking figure.

 His face in close up is fabulous.

 The photo above shows part of an Adan shrine
 This is photo above shows Adan Spirit Houses, they are kept on shrines, they represent stylized Adan houses and are a place for spirits to stay while visiting the shrine.
 Above and some amazing birds and below a tortoise
 The pieces below are part of the Ritual metalwork and other symbolic shrine pieces group of displays. Metal objects such as ritual knives or axes are often placed on Adan shrines as a mark of respect to Gu, the God of Iron.
 A couple more photos..

As can be seen by the fact they are holding something on their heads, these figures are Water Carriers, also associated with trade and commerce.
 For the definitive explanations and great insight into the exhibition, come along on Wednesday evening the 20th of March at 7pm.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

International Women's Day - The Corridor Gallery Exhibition, Bea Menier's Journaling Workshop and More...

International Women's Day in the Central Library in Swindon was well supported and a great success thanks to the brilliant organising by Rosa Matheson.
The Corridor Gallery in the Library looked like it's always been used as a gallery space, I felt the Swindon Open Studios exhibition certainly enhanced the space. Here are some photos:

 Two views of the general space taken from either end, and below close ups of individual pieces:
These three paintings were entered for the 'Applause competition at the Arts Centre, so that is their theme. On the left is 'The Birth of Galathor' by Rebecca Culver, top is 'The Crowd went Wild' by Denise Leaning and below it, 'Applause' by Ewa Hamilton.
The top picture is Bev Greig's 'Sanguine' and below Sophie Corrigan's Comfort Quilt.
 Above there are 4 pictures by Jill Adams entitled 'Lydiard Park Before the Revamp'
The circus elephant is called 'Tembo' and is by Cat Jamieson, to the left is 'Column and Blue Pot' by Alex Coppock-Bunce and below that 2 photos by Mira Graham which can't really be seen very well.
 Moving along with a blue edging, Dee Levy's 'Holding Together' with 'Beauty' a photo by Cidalia Dias below. Only just visible on the left of them are a photo by Karen Roswell and a painting 'Girl from 'Cote d'Ivoire' by Jane Milner-Barry
 Two quilts by Carmen B Norris entitled 'The Couple' and 'Model Student'
 Above, the top piece is ''Applause' by Sue Bardwell and the piece below Sue's is 'Viral Dreamers' by Pei Lim
Doesn't this look amazing? It's the view of the garden from Jane's bathroom, her cat Suki is looking out  over the garden, just visible behind the plants. It's Called 'Suki's Kingdom' by Jane Milner-Barry.

The exhibition will be in the Corridor Gallery until the 20th of March, so try and have a look.
I attended Bea's Journaling workshop which was the first of the day. I was inspired to start doing something myself and so bought a gorgeous notebook from the Pen and Paper stand.
Here are a couple of photos of the workshop:

 A book by Sue Lewington, I thought her books were beautifully illustrated.
Sabine Coe was photographing the event, and hopefully she will email Bea and I a couple of flattering photos of ourselves for the website. and

And look at Artsite's latest banner, it looked fab.