Monday, 31 August 2015

The Banner is in Place

Every year we have been told, you must get a banner, more advertising and more signage. It's true of course, we haven't paid enough attention in the past to these things. This year we have tried to do more, we've had about 7 large articles in the Swindon Advertiser, all 39 venues have a laminated sign like this:
so visitors can readily see these people are taking part in SOS.
And we've now got a banner which we've placed in Newport Street, on the railings opposite Rose Earle's newsagents shop. It's looking really good and there's no mistaking that Swindon Open Studios is taking place on the first two weekends of September.

And if you haven't yet got a brochure, Rose Earle has a great stack of them on the counter.

The Launch of Poetry Swindon and Swindon Artists Collaborative Postcards

On Friday night I was attracted by invitations to attend the launch of the postcards to see the postcards.
This is what the invitation said: 'There will be readings of the poems and a celebration of the visual art created in response. The postcards will be on sale. Special guest poet Carrie Etter will also be giving a short reading of her work. Free!'
Here's the link I clicked on: 
and saw lots of Swindon Open Studios artists are taking part, and it looked like a good night out.
Hilda Sheehan, of all things poetic and a great entertainer introduced the event, which was very interesting. The intention was also to advertise the Poetry Swindon Festival 2015 taking place from the 1st-5th October with lots of great events taking place.
So here's what happened on Friday evening, it's all a bit distant because I arrived late and sat at the back, firstly here's Hilda  explaining what's happening:
 There were then quite a few people reading their poetry out before the postcard and poets part started, including Michael Scott who is a charismatic reader

 During the break, we were able to buy postcards with poetry on the back, I bought Pei Lim's postcard, which I love. Pei is exhibiting from her studio in the Mall this year, so do go along and see her.
 Below here's Gavin Salisbury poet and artist, Gavin will be in the central Library for open studios.
 And below the other postcard I bought, Sue Bardwell's dodos. A glorious image used on the Poetry on Postcards invitation.
 I think this is Ann Marie Laugher:
 Onto Lynette Thomas who will be taking place in SOS this year as last at the beehive, and also has pieces on display at Baila on Victoria Hill. Lynette's image was used on the front of the brochure for the poetry festival and she's running a workshop on Sunday 4th October at Lower Shaw Farm from 10am-12noon.
 Here's Val Gibbons talking about her piece; Val will be in the Central Library for open studios.

 Here is Ruth Wintle showing Hilda her owl; Ruth will be at Willows in Prospect Place for SOS.
 Below here's Tim Carroll talking to Hilda about his 'moons'
 There was a great moment when a group photo was needed

 Not sure which of these I like best.
 And finally Pei with her poet:
Lovely evening, and a lovely thank you today, reminding us about the exhibition at Artsite and various other things:

Dear Poets, Artists, and Friends,

Thank you to all who came to the Poetry Postcards launch event last night at the Central Library. There were over 100 people in the audience and it was a very vibrant night. It was such a pleasure to see all the work created in response to poetry and to hear most of the poems read. Some of the postcards sold out, which was amazing to see. 

If you were not able to attend the event, but have a poem or an artwork on a postcard, we owe you some postcards. Please let us know and we will put them in an envelope ready for collection at Artsite between 28th September and 5th October. If you can not collect these, then we can post them on to you. Just let us know and send us your address.

Many people have asked to buy extras, or couldn't buy postcards last night due to the crowds. We have now added Paypal buttons to the blog so you may share with family and friends too. 

You may buy a bundle of all postcards here: 

We would like to invite you all for a Private View of the exhibition at Artsite Post Modern Gallery on Wednesday 30th September at 6pm to 8:30pm. Please let us know if you can join us. 

You can see information for hanging your work and paying your hanging fees in the link below. We only ask that you pay according to pocket and welcome everyone to hang for whatever they are able to pay. We welcome your artwork or poem above any money, but still have many costs to cover. So do pay as little or as much as you can. All received with grateful thanks

Alex is in the Adver again Today

Just had a look at Facebook, intending to catch up with my Scrabble games when I noticed that Alex Coppock-Bunce at Venue 8 in Avenue Road is in the Adver again today. Well done Alex.
Same photo as last week, but great write up about Alex.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Invitations Received so Far....

I like to think of hosting an open studio being a bit like holding a party, invitations being part of the process. Certainly from my point of view, anticipating guests is very exciting, and it's great when there's a big turn out, so this year we have been very encouraged by the Swindon Advertiser's Liz Mackley who has ensured we have had a lot of coverage. I'm hoping that we'll get a bumper turn out for this years Open Studios, certainly more people than ever should be aware of the two weekends, but no one can come to all 39 venues, so visitors will have to be selective.
Here's a selection of invitations artists have produced this year:
 Artsite have produced 2 invitations, one for their associates' exhibition and another for their open studios where the following artists can be found in their studios: Bill Cox, Kate Dawson,Phyllida Richards, Martin King, Sally Taylor, Samantha Silverton, , Lynette Thomas Sue Wigmore Paula Sullivan, Paul Exton, Martin King, Vicky Silver, Laura Cadman, Sue Bardwell and Jason Barrett
 Tim Carroll's invitation to our open studio
 David Bent's 2 invitations to his open studio

 And Susan Carr and Terry Humphries' 2 invitations to the Town Gardens open studio

 Here's Naomi Cantillon's invitation
 And Marilyn Trew's
 David Robinson and Mark Worrall's invitation.
 Mark and David have invited people from far and wide and encouraged them to come with this lovely guide to Swindon:

 Jane Milner-Barry's invitation, also with Rachel Pryor and Lucy Britton
 Lynne Forrester's event on the second weekend at Bradenstoke village hall
 Pei Lim's invitation to her studio in the Mall.
And Alex Coppock-Bunce's invitation:
 And Caroline Day's also at the Town Gardens weather permitting
And today 2 more invitations:
Every Cloud Arts and Crafts who will be exhibiting at Stanton Farmhouse:
 and Carmen B Norris' invitation. She'll be at the Central Library

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Sharon Rich is in the Adver today

Great article on Sharon Rich, a sculptor who lives just along the road from Pat Elmore at Longcot.
If you haven't spent an afternoon in Longcot, visiting Sharon and Pat in previous years, make this the year that you venture out there.
What the article doesn't mention is the fact that Sharon has one of the best views of the White horse, wonderful hens and free range eggs.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Holding the Banner

I think this counts as a successful photograph, we're all looking happy and facing the camera:
After our SOS committee meeting last Thursday, we decided to go outside and be photographed with our SOS banner, designed by Jane, and looking absolutely stunning.
Of course we can't just go on holding it, we have to find some railings to tie it onto.
Members of the committee are from the left, Jane Milner-Barry, Linda Kasmaty, Rachel Pryor and Vanetta Joffe.
Jane and Rachel are sharing venue 17 at 45, St.Margaret's Road, and Linda is at venue 18 with Tim Carroll. Vanetta isn't opening this year.

Mill Dene and Bourton House- two Beautiful Cotswold Gardens

It's good to have a day out with a friend and go somewhere new. On Friday, there was the 'where to go?' moment, and I bucked making a decision, thinking I would be happy with Hidcote or Batsford Arboretum. When Sue suggested Mill Dene and Bourton House gardens, I was intruiged to go, never having heard of them. We started off with Mill Dene, it's in Blockley, just a few miles beyond Batsford Arboretum which is reached by turning left in Moreton-in-Marsh when coming from the south.
Mill Dene is a two and a half acre garden on a slope with a river running through the garden of this former mill, and a mill pond in front of the house. It's a lovely position hidden away from everything, with a map guiding the visitor through the garden, and unexpected features round every corner, here's a waterfall with a shrine beside the stream:
 The buildings dotted around the garden are really special and well thought out. This one at the top of the herb garden is delightful
 Below there's a close up of the mural painted on the wall:
 Here's another view of the herb garden with the church in the background
 Wendy Dare describes falling in love with the house and garden when she saw it while on holiday,  the development of the garden is explained in a booklet 'An Old Mill by the Stream' where she cites Rosemary Verey among others as an influence.
 On the last page of her booklet, Wendy has a Garden notebook where gives a few suggestions, mentioning 'Urns of Delight' and advises don't have too many plants that need changing with the seasons, get a shredder for compost to speed up the process, use colourful paintwork, get a hedgehog and do something symbolic.
From the peace of Mill Dene, we went to Batsford Arboretum for lunch, one of the best places to eat, the Applestore, gardens and plant sales are all really good there, but we opted for pastures new at Bourton House Garden which when you look it up, you'll find has won a 2105 Garden of Excellence award, so it's no wonder I couldn't stop taking photographs. The planters were exceptionally good, the borders riots of colour, the topiary delightful, the planting ideas inspired; it was a bit dull and threatening rain, so the photos don't convey the brilliance of the garden:
 Above a planter by the entrance to the garden via a 16th century tithe barn, and below the white garden

 Here are two photos of the topiary
 And at the end of the topiary this fabulous planter
Below one of the long borders:

There's a wonderful border along the back wall, furthest away from the house
 with a great view of the house through the Echinaeceas

 And at the side of the house, more topiary in the knot garden and a basket pond from the Great Exhibition of 1851 which I didn't photograph
I have deleted some of the planter photos because there are too many, but have to keep this one in. It's a classic
 Two beautiful gardens to visit within 2 miles of each other, and lunch at Batsford Arboretum, what a day!